For the Love of Rock and Metal is a blog dedicated to music articles, concert reviews, CD reviews, interviews and all other things related to rock and metal. There is an emphasis on local or semi-local music in the Madison, WI area.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Interview with Art of the Flesh Vocalist Dan Schulz

Art of the Flesh Interview with Vocalist Dan Schulz

By Nicki Stapleton
(Originally posted on The Blacktooth - follow the link by clicking above)

Sometimes it is hard to find new and distinctive metal bands, but sometimes they just fall into your lap. This is what happened when I heard an up-and-coming metal band at a show which had a unique combination of sounds including technical and death metal.

Art of the Flesh, a group from northern Illinois, was formed in 2004 by drummer Brian Leh, guitar player Scott Tomaselli and bass player Travis Jurs. The lineup now includes guitarist “Mega” Mark Harrison and vocalist Dan Schulz, who gave me the opportunity to ask him some questions about the band and himself, get to know Art of the Flesh better and learn more about their new EP to be released in spring of 2012 along with new merchandise.

Nicki: Where did the name “Art of the Flesh” come from?
Dan Schulz: We play the art. We are the flesh.

Nicki: Can you give me a little history about the band?
Dan: The style was just straight up thrash [when the band was formed] and we’ve evolved into a melodic technical death metal. We’ve gone through a good amount of member changes in the years, but finally have established our ideal sound and musicians. I’ve been in the band for 3 years now and can say the passion, drive and dedication of each individual of this band is uncanny, not to mention the talent. We’ve become more structured and ever since our new guitar player, “Mega” Mark Harrison joined, our style is getting heavier.

Nicki: Why did you choose metal?
Dan: Well, to be honest, it’s the only music that ever gave me a drive or a feeling after listening to it. The music, the lyrics and the feeling just grabbed ahold of me and never let go. The first metal band I ever heard that pushed me in the direction of where I am at is Children of Bodom. Their song “Bed of Razors” got me to where I am today.

Nicki: Tell me about the new EP you’re recording.
Dan: We’re currently recording at Botawerks Studios in Downers Grove, IL with our good friends engineering the project; Don Byczynski, and Chuck Macak. We currently have 4 songs tracked and are wrapping it all up hopefully by the end of February. We have brand new tracks on there and also some of our oldest songs we’ve revamped. So we’re very excited to see the outcome of this EP, especially with our new guitar player Mark.
Nicki: Can you give me some insight into the band’s writing process?
Dan: Our writing process is the motto “bring it to the table.” All three guitarists in the band bring new tunes and we go from there. We never shut down an idea, we always collaborate on a song . There is no ego, which is one of the reasons I love this band.

Nicki: What is your favorite song to perform live?
Dan: Personally, my favorite song to perform live is “If These Walls Could Talk.” I love the song because of its structure and how powerful it is. This is one of the songs we’re recording and I’m really excited to release it and see the feedback.

Nicki: What are some of your influences?
Dan: Some of my top influences are Lamb of God, Kalmah, Children of Bodom, In Flames, Scar Symmetry, Solution .45, Pantera, Slayer, Opeth and Into Eternity. These are the bands I grew up as a musician listening to and forming my style to.

Nicki: What else do you have in the works?
Dan: I just recently started a metal side project with Don Byczynski called “Summon the Rapture” in Chicago. We’re currently in the studio recording our 4 song EP that’s almost finished. The style is hard to explain, but a technical progressive death metal is our basic influence with European sound. I’m really excited to finish up and release the songs.
I also just graduated from Madison Media Institute from their recording and music technology program. I have plans to be working as a freelance engineer and hope to one day open my own studio and production company.

Nicki: Other than becoming the next great metal band, what aspirations do you have in life?
Dan:  I really hope to one day have my own studio and production company, helping local bands with proper studio recording, marketing and  networking. I want nothing more than to be involved with music or audio engineering. It’s the only thing that makes sense in my world.

Nicki: If you could describe the band in one word, what would it be and why?
Dan: Underdogs. The reason is we’ve been through a lot together, been around for a while and will never quit. No one really knows us, but when we are heard we get great feedback. A lot of our fans can’t put an exact label on us. We pride ourselves on not sounding like everyone else in the metal scene.

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