To say Marshall "Fucking" Beck and New Times have had a contentious relationship over the years would be an understatement.
Love him or hate him, though, Beck's dedication to the local metal scene is unassailable. In addition to hosting and promoting numerous metal shows throughout the Valley, Beck is also the lead singer in two local metal bands, Rebirth and Reign of Vengeance.
Rebirth is a solid -- if not entirely original -- take on the classic '90s groove metal sound perfected by Pantera. Not entirely surprising, since anyone who's seen Beck perform live can see the guy models himself after former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo.
Reign of Vengeance, on the other hand, was just a little too hateful and misogynistic for my delicate sensibilities.
However, Beck's latest project, Staren Black, might be his best work to date. He recently recorded vocals for three of the four songs on the group's new demo (the fourth is an instrumental). In a recent Facebook update, Beck described the music as having "much more of a raw, punk, hardcore feel then anything I've ever done before." He wasn't kidding.
Listen to the new Staren Black demo at their MySpace page and read a Q&A with Beck below.
Up On The Sun: How did you meet the guys in Staren Black and eventually end up recording the vocals for their demo?
Beck: Well I book a lot of the metal and rock shows in the Valley and Staren Black was a band I had booked many times before. I asked them if they wanted to do a show and they told me they were down a vocalist so I offered to do the vocals for that one show. They were extremely satisfied with my performance and realized there are no other local dudes that could pull it off as well as I had so they asked me to do what originally was going to be a full length CD. I agreed.
UP: Did you write the lyrics or were they already written?
Beck: The lyrics were written by Frank Black [not the famous one] he also wrote the the vocal cadences. I simply learned the songs as they were and put my voice on them. I did change some of the cadences slightly so that I could hold out certain notes or cut others short.
UP: Are you planning to join the band or was this just a one-off deal?
Beck: We are still talking about this, but at this point I will likely be doing the live vocals for them as long as I am not on tour or busy doing stuff with Rebirth or Reign of Vengeance. A lot of it has to do with how well the demo is received and the demand by the fans to see if performed live.
UP: Will you be playing any shows with them?
Beck: I have performed one so far, I'm sure there will be more in the future.
UP: What's the latest news on your other two bands, Rebirth and Reign of Vengeance, and your collection of short horror stories?
Beck: We are waiting on Kevin Talley who has done drums for just about every legendary metal and death metal band worth mentioning to finish editing his drum tracks for the new Rebirth album. We are also currently talking with Ralph Santolla who has played in Death, Deicide, and Obituary about doing some of the guitar work along with Tommy Gibbons. The bass has yet to be decided.
I am in the process of currently recording the vocals for Reign of Vengeance which features Tommy Gibbons on guitar, Nick Schendzielos from Cephalic Carnage on bass, and Samus Paulicelli former Abigail Williams on drums. Its coming along nicely and is extremely brutal. The musicianship is far beyond anything I've ever been a part of so far...
My horror "novella," they like to call it -- I find that word rather feminine and ridiculous to describe a work of horror -- is in the process of being edited and will hopefully be out within the next 6 months. I signed a full publishing deal and am hoping that the distributor will push it well, as they have promised.