Exclusive Interview with Drew Copland of Death Toll Rising

Death Toll RisingEdmonton’s Death Toll Rising is releasing their sophomore album ‘Infection Legacy’ officially on October 22nd to follow up their 2010 debut ‘Defecation Suffocation’. If you’re a fan of Carcass, Death, Strapping Young Lad, At The Gates, Bloodbath, you may want to check this one out!
1. What is your name and what instrument(s) do you play in Death Toll Rising?

Drew Copland, guitars

2. Death Toll Rising plays a combination of death and thrash metal. How did you original get into these styles of music and what made you want to start a band that mixes the two genres together?
From early on when I was about 13 or 14 my main band, like so many others was Metallica.  From there it branched off to other seminal thrash groups like Megadeth and Sepultura.  Later at the end of high school I was becoming exposed to more extreme death and black metal, which really hit hard.  When the band got going we just tried to write anything we could, not really trying for something specific.  Our first drummer was really into punk and thrash so that is immediately where that aspect came from.
3. What were some of the bands that you were listening when you started the band, in terms of influence?
Some of the stuff that we were heavily listening to at the time was early 2000s melodic death and black metal, Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Dimmu Borgir, etc, but also Cannibal Corpse, Testament, Blind Guardian……… a huge range.  Its hard to say what we actually took into our own music, because I don’t think we were really cognitive enough of HOW those bands played, and the level they played at.
4. You guys are from the Alberta area. What do you think of Neil Young’s recent comments about the environment of Fort McMurray and his subsequent banning from the local radio station?

I can’t comment specifically, and I think most of us don’t have any sort of strong political stance on topics like that.

death toll rising - infection legacy5. Death Toll Rising is set to release its next album “Infection Legacy” this month. How do you think the album compares to your last album “Defecation Suffocation” and what can fans expect from the new release?

This album is a step up in every way.  We played better, it sounds fuller, and most importantly the songs are more thought out and relevant as a whole album.  I think listening to the two back to back you can really hear how we’ve streamlined our songs to be more to the point.  We have a bit of a different influence on this album with the addition of Tylor (guitar) back in 2010, he has brought some prog elements to the new songs that have made things even stronger.
6. You are known for high octane, energetic performances. What gives you the motivation to go out and give it your 100% night after night?
The motivation is that you have to.  Having a great sounding album is one thing, but for an indie band you have to make your mark in a live setting.  Too often I’ve seen major label bands, who I had been dying to see for years, end up disappointing me because of a lame performance.  Live playing doesn’t’ have to be perfect, so sacrifice a few notes and rock the fuck out!
7. What are some of the bands that you’ve been listening to at the moment?
Me personally I’ve been jerking off to the new Carcass lately, as well as the new Exhumed record.  I’ve recently gotten into Huntress, after seeing them on the Danzig tour.  Also, just witnessed Between the Buried and Me a couple nights ago for the first time, and it was seriously one of the most mind blowing shows I’ve ever seen.  They made a fan out of me!
8. In your opinion, how do you think the Canadian metal scene compares to the metal scene in other countries?
Canada is vast, and there has always been international level bands here and there, especially the Montreal extreme metal scene.  But western Canada in specific has really started to shape up in the last 3-4 years in terms of high quality bands.  Unfortunately touring for bands out here is a huge task so we don’t get as much experience in that regard compared to European bands, for example.  But I would stack the top 5-10 metal bands from Canada up against any list of bands, anytime.  It is strong, it just needs to be discovered.
9. I’m listening to some of your new songs at the moment. Can you tell me how you came up with the ideas for songs such as Malice Incarnate and Scorched Earth Policy? What were some of the inspirations for writing these new songs?
Many of our lyrics are quite satirical, or tongue in cheek, but veiled with gruesome and/or intense wording.  For example, Malice Incarnate is about a guy getting attacked by a polar bear.  Oddly specific, eh?  And Scorched Earth Policy is actually about an old computer game called Scorched Earth that Jesse (vocals) and I played together a few times in high school.  It’s pretty much about him kicking my ass.  Also, Crack Open a Cold One, as I’m sure you can imagine is not about beer……..
10. What can fans expect next from Death Toll Rising?
We will release the album, play some shows in and around AB, then hit the road in the fall and try to bring this beast to as many people as possible!

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Written by Destrukto. Original content here: Canadian Music News

About the author

Destrukto is a musician, songwriter and producer from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada with college diplomas in both business and computers. Destrukto has spent well over 10 years playing in, recording and promoting Canadian bands.