Listening to You’ll See Me Up There, the newest six-track offering from Nashville bruisers Thirty Nights Of Violence, it’s clear that the Tennessee quintet has a strong desire for off-beat experimentation. Catching up with the band over Zoom, we dive into the creative process behind their new EP, along with their diverse range of musical influences.
What were you guys listening to during the writing and recording process for You’ll See Me Up There?
Zach Wilbourn (vocals): I get asked about the band’s collective influences a lot. But I think this might differ a great deal, because mine may not always contribute to like an idea for a song, a sonic feeling, a specific melody-like contrast, or anything like that. I pull a lot of lyrical influence from an awful lot of different kind of artists that may not necessarily fall under conventional metal influences, I suppose.
I’m a huge Grateful Dead fan and the way that they would collaborate with multiple lyricists at a time, for incredibly long tracks and sort of have a more narrative mindset beyond the abstract, which I was doing a lot more of on the last record [2018’s To Die In Your Portrait EP]. Some of the tracks on the new record have more of a narrative kind-of idea and a logical start point-end point. So, when I was listening to that, it was a lot of Grateful Dead. I’m also really inspired by Jacob Bannon from Converge as a lyrical influence when I might write something that’s a bit more metaphoric or something to that degree.
I think a lot of us are always listening to Deftones. I don’t really think it’s a secret now that [they’re] our one major collective influence, so I almost always have some sort of input or influence from their musical shape, both with [Deftones front man] Chino’s [Moreno] lyrics and the way that their songs really encapsulate certain feelings or ideas and the way those translate through to music. So yeah, that probably covers mine.
James Chatham (guitar): I was listening to a lot of Between The Buried And Me and other super technical metal, especially their later stuff, where they’re really kind of combining that heavy and melodic side on their records. They balance it really well, and that was definitely one of the goals for this record was to like, have a better balance of those two elements.
With the first record, while I still love it, it’s very much separate where everything else is like balls to the wall. So, sort of combining those two was definitely a big influence. And then I also listen to a lot of Mewithoutyou, especially for some of our chord choices, like on “Shattered Glass” for example.
Kelly Cook (guitar/backing vocals): Obviously, Zach touched on the fact that we all love Deftones, and that’s probably a big one. But there was definitely a point for like maybe two months, where I on purpose didn’t listen to anything heavy and I just listened to Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, and Square Pusher. And then also, I had like a huge run where I only listened to trap music for a month, just to separate myself again from anything heavy. I think some of those things kind of made it onto the EP, just a little bit of it. And then also stuff like Glassjaw and Decapitated. Their guitarist [Wacław] “Vogg” [Kiełtyka] is one of my top five guitar players.
Ethan Young (drums/backing vocals): I had to sort of pull playing drums and then also do vocals. So, I have different influences from both of the things that I do. Lyrically and vocally, just fucking Slipknot man, that’s all. The reason I do vocals in the band is because I think me and Zack have a great contrast; it really brings an interesting dynamic. So yeah, lyrically, and vocally you know, just fucking Corey Taylor. He’s MY man. Love that shit.
As far as like themes and visuals and stuff go, I was listening to lot of The 1975 and a lot of Radiohead, at least the more like electronic, kind of glitchy sort of sounding stuff that they do. A lot of Soundgarden and the  record Badmotorfinger, because they have a lot of interesting grooves on that record, which is why I love it a lot. But that’s pretty much it. I didn’t really go into it with too much of a mindset. I just tried to like play the songs the way that I felt would elevate them, instead of trying to show off like I did on the last record [laughs]. It sounds scary when I did the vocals, so that’s about it.
Jake Chestnut (bass/clean vocals): I mean, it’s no surprise that we take a lot of influence from like, earlier hardcore, emo, metalcore stuff. So, where I came into that is with the clean vocals. A lot of early Underoath; I’ve been obsessed with them forever. Jeremy [DePoyster] from The Devil Wears Prada. Just big, contrasting clean breaks and build-up kind of singing.
I’ve also always been a fan of like, a lot of 90s, big chord, grungy sort of stuff with just big, beefy sounds. And so, I think that came through a lot with some of the bigger moments in the record, where there’s a lot of the bigger parts feel bigger, like we’re doing bigger melodies, with a lot of big chords. And just a lot of the energy isn’t necessarily in a riff, but more just kind of the tonal qualities of it all. Where just kind of how heavy it sounds, I think is kind of reflected in the theme of the record.
Purchase You’ll See Me Up There here.