The Black Dahlia Murder will continue with new vocalist, announce first show since Trevor’s death
The Black Dahlia Murder vocalist Trevor Strnad took his own life earlier this year, and the band now reveals in an interview with Decibel that they will continue on with guitarist and co-founder Brian Eschbach moving to vocalist and being replaced on guitar by the band's former guitarist Ryan Knight, who had left the band amicably in 2016. The article reads:
All the band members say that Eschbach’s move is the only way forward; Eschbach has been with the band since the beginning in Oak Park, MI in 2001, and honed the group’s identity. Inserting an outsider as frontman would never work because of the band’s close-knit, almost familial ethic.
“We spent many days thinking things like, ‘Is this over?’” Eschbach tells Decibel. “None of us wanted it to be over. We still feel like there is a lot left to do. I know Trevor would keep this band going if I went down a deep, dark path and weren’t here. It’s bigger than us. When we finally started talking about it, we thought, ‘Let’s remake it from within and see if Ryan wants to return. And I’ll take a crack on the vocals and see how it goes.’ I can’t go out there and do Trevor’s voice or try to be him. I can only execute the music of the Black Dahlia Murder with respect and try to do it the most justice I can. I’ve heard Trevor perform more than anyone else alive.”
Guitarist Brandon Ellis, who joined TBDM in 2016, says, "I know we’re going to encounter criticism. But I think all of us agree this is the right decision, especially bringing Ryan Knight back into the band. The people who love us and buy our albums—the majority—will be excited we are continuing it into the future with this lineup. As the guy who replaced Ryan Knight, I remember many people saying, ‘Bring Ryan Knight back.’ At least they were honest. [Laughs] But I look at it this way: We now have three guitarists and three prolific songwriters. There is a lot to look forward to with the five of us. We’ve all made music together, so it feels familiar. And people already know Brian’s voice."
Eschbach also says that the band is "making the best out of a shitty, horrible situation," and adds, "Some people will reject it just hearing about it, but this is just something we have to do. This is us, and we can’t stop it. If that bums them out, well, that bums us out, too. But we can’t stop doing it."
The band also adds in the Decibel interview that, in addition to fronting The Black Dahlia Murder, one of Trevor's roles was uplifting young and new bands, and the surviving members of TBDM plan to try their best to continue to do this.
Brian Slagel, CEO of the band's longtime label Metal Blade Records and the person who signed them all the way back in 2002, said, "I’m hoping everyone will give them a chance. I know this will be difficult, but they are doing this for the right reasons and from the heart. The BDM fans have always been incredible, and that will not change. I hope everyone can have an open mind."
Read the full story here.
The Black Dahlia Murder have also announced their first show since Trevor's passing, happening on October 28 at Saint Andrew's Hall in Detroit with Darkest Hour and Plague Years. It's billed as "A celebration of the life and legacy of Trevor Scott Strnad." Tickets go on sale Friday (9/16) at 10 AM with presales starting Thursday (9/15) at 10 AM.