Wednesday, 27 March 2013


FOR FANS OF: Trap Them, Disfear, Wolfbrigade, His Hero Is Gone, Nails
LATEST RELEASE: ‘True Predation’ (Translation Loss)

I stumbled upon Struck By Lightning whilst flicking through an issue of Decibel Magazine that a friend in USA had sent me and I noticed a Translation Loss advert for new releases and the Struck By Lightning striking apocalyptic black and white album cover immediately jumped out at me (that was designed by vocalist Gregory) and got me all curious about this band who I had never heard of before so I managed to hunt down their albums with the help of a friend and was blown away by the power and intensity of this bands music, the latest album “True Predation” especially appealing to me because of it’s potent mix of death metal, crust punk and sludge influences – I sent some questions to vocalist Gregory Lahm to find out more about this band

Hi there- please give me a brief history on the band and who currently does what in the band?

-Hello. Gregory Lahm here. I founded Struck by Lightning in early 2008 shortly after leaving my former band Mouth of the Architect. The intent when SBL started was to do something more energetic and up tempo that what I was doing prior. When I started playing in bands I was doing mostly crusty hardcore punk and death metal stuff and found myself missing it very much and wanted to incorporate those elements in a new project. As far as roles in the band are concerned, I play guitar and do vocals, Thomas Owens plays bass and does back up vocals, and Mike Leach plays guitar. Our drummer of 5 years just left the band as of a few months ago and we have yet to fill the spot.

Your debut album "Serpents" was released a few years or so ago and is quite a different entity to your new album "True Predation" which showcases in my opinion much more obvious death metal and crust influences aswell as some sludge/HC - why did you decide to adopt a more crusty death approach to the new album? It works VERY effectively and I must say will definetly be in my top 10 fave albums of 2012 as I love the obvious genre blending that you are doing. What differences do you think there are between both albums? And would you agree that the newer album both musically and vocally is much more death metal sounding overall?

-I think Serpents seems a bit removed from True Predation for a number of reasons. Because it was the first record, the sound of the band was still being sculpted and was maybe less focused. Another difference is the production. I think more so than anything the production differs far more than the content of both records. Serpents has a very polished sounding production which unfortunately may have polished up some the rougher qualities that are attributed to our sound. The production on True Predation is very much representative of how we sound live. I feel like the production on this record is the most accurate studio representation I have ever been a part of. With that being said, when the songs on Serpents are played in the live setting next to songs from True Predation, the gap doesn’t seem as large. Otherwise, the goal is always to progress and evolve. I think it is important to continue to grow as a band and stripping things down a bit more and making the sound even more raw and abrasive was a conscious decision and part of the evolution of the band. I definitely think True Predation is very much representative of our death metal, crust punk, black metal, and doom/sludge influences. 

The new album was released on Translation Loss - Please tell us abit about this album in your own words and tell the readers what they can expect from it. Are you satisfied with how it turned out? The production is great, raw, powerful and crushingly heavy yet crisp and sharp - a PERFECT mix in my opinion - where was it recorded (I currently don't own it on original so don't know that info!)

- Overall I think True Predation is more refined and focused. It captures the band in an accurate light and showcases a more stripped down, raw, and brutal approach. The recording process was very painless and probably one of my favorite studio experiences to date. We recorded True Predation here in Columbus, OH at a studio called The Tone Shoppe with engineer Eric Cronstein. Cronstein captured the sound of the band perfectly and seemingly with little effort. We will definitely be working with Cronstein again on the next one as we are all extremely pleased with the end result of the experience.

How has the overall response been to the new album so far? How can people on this side of the pond get ahold of it? What formats is it currently available on and are there plans for say a vinyl release?

-As far as I know the response has been positive. Unfortunately we have not been able to do any touring on the record so we haven’t seen the response outside of our hometown. Right now the album is only available digitally and on CD through Translation Loss Records. The album can be purchased directly from the label or through a number of online distributers and what not. The vinyl release of True Predation was supposed to come out the same time as the CD, but of course we have been having issues with making that happen. We are currently talking to other interested parties to try and get the LP out asap.

Same goes for the first album- is it still available to buy direct from label or wherever?

-Serpents on CD and digitally are both available through Translation Loss and their distributors, but the Serpents double LP is only available through me via my label Soulless Creature.

The artwork for the new album is awesome looking - who designed thart/came up with the concept - it is VERY striking! 

- Thank you! I did the artwork for True Predation. I do the artwork for all the SBL merch and have always wanted to do our album art but have never had the time in the past. I will continue to do the artwork for future SBL releases as well.  

Where do you draw the lyrical inspiration from, what inspires you to put pen to paper? From the lyrics I have managed to pick out they seem very dark and quite apocalyptic. Please tell us the meaning behind the new album title.

- My lyrics are a direct result of daily life and coming to terms with the abhorrent. Themes span from complete and utter hopelessness, nihilism, misanthropy, self-loathing, depression, anxiety, fear, hate and so on. I try to voice honest personal grievances in a format vague enough that it is open to interpretation and relatable. The album title True Predation is in reference to the predatory nature in mankind and the idea that we will ultimately be the culprits in our own demise.

What bands fuel and shape the sound of SBL? What bands and musicians inspired you guys to want to pick up instruments and get into a rehearsal room and start creating such music? 

-We all listen a very vast array of music but some bands that have helped shape the sound of Struck By Lightning are: Discharge, Amebix, Neurosis, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Entombed, Anti-Cimex, Darkthrone, His Hero Is Gone, Bathory, Poison Idea, Venom, Motorhead, Etc.

How would you personally describe your sound in 5 words only?!

Blackened Deathcrust of Doom or some bullshit 

How active is Struck by Lightning live/ Do you play many shows both locally and within North America? Have you done many gigs or any touring in support of the new album or do you have touring plans lined up? Any plans to hit Euopean shores in support of the new album? Have you had the opportunity to tour on this side of the pond yet?

-The first few years Struck By Lightning was more active than currently. We toured North America several times in support of Serpents but have yet to tour in support of True Predation. We toured Japan at the end of 2011 and that is the only time we have been overseas. We would love to come tour Europe. Just waiting for the right time/opportunity I suppose. Also, I am currently back in school thus limiting my touring ability to the summer months for the next few years. We all have obligations in our personal lives that limit how much SBL can do but we try to do as much as we can in spite of those things.

What is the local scene like both venuewise and bandwise? Any local bands you care to recommend?

-There is actually a really rad array of bands and a lot going on in Columbus. Shows happen often and in diverse venues ranging from basements, to bars, and venues. Some Columbus bands I would recommend are: Nukkehammer, Prosanctus Inferi, Artillery Breath, Vile Gash, Fumes

There seems to be quite a few bands mixing death metal with HC and Punk influences thesedays (some bands are either labelling themselves as "death crust" or being called such by the music media)- have any such bands caught your attention? Are there any bands doing such a style and genre mix that you could recommend? What other bands on the current scene do you feel an affinity with both musically and in attitude/ethos?

-I have indeed noticed the recent wave of bands taking a similar approach. I think despite sharing mutual influences, Struck By Lightning stands apart. That being said, some current bands doing similar things that I really enjoy are: Miasmal, Bastard Priest, Funebrarum, Tragedy, etc.

Are any of you involved with any other bands or have you been involved with any other bands worth a mention to the readers out there?

- I have been in a slew of bands over the past 17 years. Some of my former bands include: Deliver Me, Rune, Dead Blue Sky, Mouth of the Architect, Drug Money. I also currently have a solo raw black metal/punk project called Fever Nest, and I play drums in a raw punk band called Shaver.

Gregory you also run your own label called Soulless Creature Productions - please tell us abit about this.

- I initially started Soulless Creature to release the vinyl version of Serpents. Since then I have only put out one other release and that is the Fever Nest –First Kill cassette. I am getting ready to release the newest Fever Nest cassette next month titled “The Mooneyed and Paralyzed”. I also book and promote shows in Columbus under the Soulless Creature label.

Do you have any plans for another release lined up or much new material written or is it way too early to even begin to think about writing new material or are you one of those bands that is constantly writing and coming up with new ideas, riffs etc...?? What do you think we can expect from the next batch of songs? Will they follow in same vein overall? Do you like to experiment and try new things out or do you like to stick to a similar formula of writing?

-We will be releasing an EP at some point on Translation Loss in the near future. Until then we need to regroup and get a new drummer worked in and then start writing again. You can expect more of the same and beyond as far as content goes. We will continue to push the envelope and grow as a band. I don’t have a formula to writing, I just go off what feels right and achieves the desired end result.

What are your plans for  2013?

Hopefully we can line up a tour or two for summer 2013. Stay tuned.

The last words are yours Gregory - many thanks for answering this small interview - time to plug merch,websites know the drill!

-Thanks you for the interview Kat. Check out and stay tuned for news of future shows and releases. Also check out these fine folks that help us do what we do: Emperor Custom Cabinets, Lace Music, C&C Drums, and Black Arts Toneworks!

I can't find any tracks on youtube from "True Predation" so here is a video for a song from the debut album "Serpents".

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