Trevor Strnad’s bandmates were as shocked as fans when they got the call that the Black Dahlia Murder frontman had died in May.
“When [I was told] that Trevor was gone, I was just in such disbelief and shock,” Black Dahlia Murder drummer Alan Cassidy told Decibel Magazine. “I kept thinking back to the text messages I received. I thought [the] call was about the tour on deck. From [the] wording, I thought Trevor was missing or in critical condition or something. It took me like five or 10 minutes to process it. It was so surreal and heartbreaking. I felt the pain, but I also felt like I was crying at nothing because I didn’t even believe it.”
Despite the tragedy, the Michigan melodic metal band will play on, with a memorial gig and celebration of Strnad’s life scheduled at Saint Andrew’s Hall on Oct. 28. Tickets went on sale via Live Nation on Friday.
Black Dahlia Murder founding member and guitarist Brian Eschbach will leave his guitar behind to take over Strnad’s vocal duties. Ryan Knight, who has played in the band before, will fill in on guitar. Darkest Hour and Plague Years will open the October show.
Eschbach told Decibel Magazine that none of the band members wanted their time onstage to be over.
“We still feel like there is a lot left to do,” he said in a detailed interview for Decibel’s November cover story. “I know Trevor would keep this band going if I went down a deep, dark path and weren’t here. It’s bigger than us. When we finally started talking about it, we thought, ‘Let’s remake it from within and see if Ryan wants to return. And I’ll take a crack on the vocals and see how it goes.’ I can’t go out there and do Trevor’s voice or try to be him. I can only execute the music of the Black Dahlia Murder with respect and try to do it the most justice I can. I’ve heard Trevor perform more than anyone else alive.”
Eschbach told Decibel that Strnad had been struggling with his mental health issues, but no one expected his death at 41 years old. While the cause of death was never confirmed by the band or Strnad’s family members, a social media post announcing his passing includes the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number.
“I know that he tried a lot of things, and he’d paid a lot of different people and tried a lot of different prescriptions,” Eschbach said. “He tried to find something that worked for him. When he talked about his struggles with me, he talked about it like it was something he had gone through recently and had been at a dark point. I didn’t have an idea of how bad things were. The pandemic exacerbated and amplified everything people were dealing with in their lives. There is no way that people not being able to live their lives didn’t impact everyone.”
Decibel’s cover story on the Black Dahlia Murder’s return will hit stands in November, but the full article can be read online.
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