New Orleans, Louisiana is home to many frightful and scary things, Above Ground cemeteries, Haunted Hotels, Voodoo, and most recently Horror movie influenced Death Metal band – Raise the Death Toll. We recently had the chance to interview the driving forces behind the band. We caught up with Philip (Brawla), Dussor (Vocals), and Gavin Brehm (Programming, Bass and Guitars) to ask them about what sets them apart in the Louisiana Death Metal Scene.
-Could you tell us a little bit about how Raise the Death Toll Started?
Philip(Brawla)-After taking some time off to become re-inspired after being in the scene for a lil over the decade I made a post about wanting to play music again, a friend of mine Kyle Thomas formerly of the band Exorder shared the post and a few people bit on it but it was Gavin that really interested me in the music we were writing and recording at the time.
Gavin- RTDT started when Brawla(vocals) posted on Facebook he was looking to start playing music again and I was trying to start a new project of my own. After some bottles of mead Raise the Death Toll was born.
-According to your bio you are “Horror Movie” influenced death metal. What are some of your favorite horror films and in what ways do these movies influence your music?
Philip(Brawla)-My horror movie favs range mainly in the 80s B-movie circuit or what’s considered classics now..I have an entire horror movie tattoo sleeve as well. As far as influences I wrote a song about a zombie filled strip club and one based on the Blair Witch Project and even Child’s Play..I wanted to write about something I’m truly passionate about and know about, not the “basic pouring my soul out and what bothers me” in a sense lyric format..I wanted to have fun with the lyrics and not be over something that may have made me feel a certain way at a moment that i’d be over in a month or two yet still singing about it, if that makes sense.
Gavin- My favorite horror movies would probably be the Saw series. Just a solid story line and plenty of brutal scenes. And we typically base out lyrics off some horror related element
– What is the death metal scene like in New Orleans and do you have any favorite local bands?
-What would you guys consider your biggest musical accomplishment to date?
Philip(Brawla)- I would say everything up to this point..this started as just a recording project and since playing shows in January, we’ve opened up for Spite, Distinguisher, Silent On Fifth Street, It Lies Within, Light The Fire, Norma Jean and Deicide. Next week we’re opening up for Stick To Your Guns and Hawthorne Heights. My personal big win for me is how Gavin and I get along and agree on everything thus far..so no inner turmoil or disagreements..we just want to have fun and make music. Also i’d like to add that our Blair Witch song was appraised and approved by the creators themselves, which I never thought for the life of me they’d ever hear it. Even our fill in live members are a joy to jam with and are amazing..they are Jared Gallet of the band The Void and Bayou and Michael Sauicer of the band Bayou. We also have some solo stuff coming out which is amazing!
Gavin- Our biggest musical accomplishment would probably be opening for Deicide. Only been playing shows for about 6 months and got to open for one of my favorites. Feels pretty good man haha.
-Your most recent single “Cannibalistic Chivalry” was released last month, Could you tell us a bit about that song and what it means to you?
Gavin- Cannibalistic was actually a song that I wrote when I had a great theme for a song. The song mostly tells a story of a guy killing his girlfriend, eating her insides and wearing her skin over himself as a coat. Just a shock theme I had that came to me really well.
– Do you remember which band, concert or album helped you fall in love with Death Metal?
Gavin- Necrophagist‘s Epitaph album really opened the door for death metal for me. Still one of my favorite albums to this day.
– Where do you guys hope to be in the next 5 years?
Gavin- Hopefully in the next 5 years we are still playing shows, writing music we love, and still enjoying this project. But no one knows what the future holds, so we shall see.
– How would you describe a typical Raise the Death toll live show?
Gavin- Our shows are just packed with energy and crowd interaction. Philip is such a solid and entertaining front man, he gets me hyped up on stage when he is bucking everyone up for the next part all the time.