The Black Dahlia Murder have confirmed that they are planning to move forward following the death of their frontman Trevor Strnad. Guitarist Brian Eschbach will now be taking on vocals for the band, while Ryan Knight will be returning on guitar. The new lineup will be paying tribute to Strnad during a special show with Darkest Hour and Plague Years at Saint Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, MI on October 28.
Eschbach told Decibel Magazine the following about their decision to continue:
“We spent many days thinking things like, ‘Is this over?’ None of us wanted it to be over. We still feel like there is a lot left to do. 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.”
Knight also commented:
“The time I’ve spent with this band is the best time I’ve ever had. Being away has given me a lot of time to reflect, and it always occurred to me that being in BDM is the best use of my time. I’ve thought a lot about the band while I was away and realized how much value this band has. I almost feel like I let some opportunities slip, being away from the band. So, it feels great to be back and like everything has come full circle. I’ve realized how much I love being in this band.”
Guitarist Brandon Ellis continued:
“It was the only way it could work. Brian has been the president and mastermind of the band from the beginning. He’s our leader. For him to take over as the face and frontman of the band is the only option. We are all so thankful that there is a path that seems to make sense.
Because if we don’t continue this band, all of this music and all of these songs—everything we worked on with Trevor for over 21 years—just goes away. That didn’t seem like an option. This is the only way forward that is authentic, respectful and genuine. We have five guys that are and have been The Black Dahlia Murder. No one on the planet knows this band like Brian.”
Ellis also had the following to say about losing Strnad:
“People felt like, ‘This guy sees who I am and we are friends forever now.’ The next time he saw them, he would remember exactly who they were and what they talked about. People just felt this intense connection to him. When one of your friends dies, you go through all of these things in your head. I wondered if I was more like Trevor if he would still be around.
Maybe he would have known how appreciated he was. You always hear people saying, ‘Check on your friends,’ or ‘Tell people you love them.’ Everyone just goes back to their life. I’ve learned something from this and will forever be a different person. Everyone needs to realize life is fragile.
Your friends might be struggling, and you might not even know it or understand it. But you can still help. If there is any way that this tragedy can help move forward, it’s understanding that this guy was such a positive force in people’s lives and uplifted people’s lives. But even he was struggling.”
“I don’t have any doubts about what we’re doing. We are making the best out of a shitty, horrible situation. We are the people to do it. It’s always a challenge to write a new album, but it will be a different challenge this time to keep this legacy alive without Trevor. We aren’t going to start writing a bunch of political songs.
In the early days, we would always talk about horror comics. We wanted to tell dark and scary stories. That was the foundation of it, and will stay the same. [Second-guessing] is going to happen. We’re a big band. Some people will reject it just hearing about it, but this is just something we have to do. This is us, and we can’t stop it. If that bums them out, well, that bums us out, too. But we can’t stop doing it.”