Traitor – Interview –
Genre: Thrash Metal
Interview with: Greg Lundmark & Joe Rado
Here we go , Welcome to Acier Doux ! Introduce us to the Traitor ?
Joe: Traitor is Greg Lundmark on guitar and vocals, Brian Mikus on guitar and backup vocals, Tony DiDonato on Bass, and myself (Joe Rado) on drums and back up vocals (lead vocals on a few select songs).
Tell us more about your influences!
Joe: Metal influences would include, GWAR, Slayer, Judas Priest, The Sword, Twisted Sister, Motörhead, the list goes on.
Greg: As far as heavy metal is concerned, I’d say Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer are some of my biggest influences.
How many times a week do you rehearse and what does it take to have the songs all tight and technically Ok as you imagined?
Joe: When we first started we used to do either two times a week or just one weekly jam for about 5 hours or so. These days we do once a week for a few hours but we have been playing together for 10 years so even if we have a gap in between rehearsals any rust snaps off very quickly. Tightness just comes from our experience together and everyone knowing their parts very well.
Greg: We rehearse once a week for the most part. Right now the rehearsals are usually meant for hashing out new material or running through our set list for a show. We’re in the process of writing new material for our second record, so we’re looking doing a few extended rehearsals strictly for the writing process.
Can you tell me about the summer Tour 2023 with Witchaven ?
Joe: The tour was great. Outside of the van getting towed in Richmond and blowing an AC outlet we had no major issues. The guys in Witchaven are total pros, and we meshed together very well. We had a day off in Gulf Breeze, Florida and rented an Air BNB, Greg made everyone a London broil and roasted veggies and we just hung around swapping stories and went for a dip in the Gulf of Mexico. Really could not have asked for a better band to share the road with.
Greg: Our tour with Witchaven was fantastic. They were an absolute pleasure on and off the stage. I unfortunately had some issues with my gear, the van did get towed, we did blow an AC outlet (thanks to our sound guy, AJ Montesano, for being handy enough to replace it), but everything else went well.
Your music sounds very thrashy, and every riffs flows quite well after another, so I guess it took quite some time to build everything! Tell us more about it! And is there more than one composer in Traitor ?
Joe: When we started out we just learned a few covers to get the hang of each other, but our original songs came together pretty quickly. Greg composes a lot of the material but he and I have developed a deep understanding of we work together so he is always very open to my (or anyone else’s) suggestions when composing. The songs I do lead vocals on in particular are heavily composed by me, though Greg interprets the emotions and structure of the songs very expertly into actual riffs since I am not a guitarist.
Greg: The writing process these days is mostly engineered by myself and Joe. I’ll either come out with a song that I already have fully written, I’ll have some ideas that Joe will help me develop, or Joe will come to me with an entire sheet of lyrics and just say, “Put music to this.” We keep everything open for input from Brian and Tony, and the songs come together without too much trouble. The goal is that every song makes the audience feel something, tells a story, and takes them on a journey.
Concerning this forthcoming album, you told me everything are in progress. Tell us about how this next recording will sound compared to the previous album ! Will it be exactly the same style, or maybe with a bit different (newer?) influences? Maybe it will be faster?
Joe: We’ve played with and seen so many great bands the last two years I think we are itching to take what we have seen and try to exceed the bar. For example, Tower, Solicitor, Vicious Blade, Witching and Bastard Cross have given me a lot of inspiration to push ourselves on the new record. I personally like to continue pushing different styles within the framework of thrash.
Greg: The first few songs that we’ve put together are more aligned with our first record’s style, but I’m trying to raise the bar with some faster and more technical progressions. Still, songwriting comes first for me, but I’m hoping to break down a few walls with this next record.
Do you often play gigs in The US, and how does it occur? Is it in small bars, or is there some bigger “official” concert places for metal bands?
Joe: We have not had the opportunity the play outside of the US but I think we all have Europe on the bucket list so to speak. We have played dive bars, basements, and bigger venues. For underground metal bands, anywhere there is a PA and willing listeners there can be a venue.
Greg: We haven’t done any of the “big stages” yet, but we’ve done everything from DIY house shows, to opening for some big headliners (Toxic Holocaust, Grim Reaper, Satan, etc.) on a professional stage like Voltage Lounge (RIP) in Philadelphia. I absolutely want us to tour Europe in the next 1-2 years.
What are the last albums you enjoyed, and kicked your ass until it bleed?
Joe: Spectral Devastation by Solicitor was really, really good. I had the pleasure of seeing them in Philly a few months ago and their live act was stellar. Vernal by Witching (another Philly band) was also particularly impressive. They have a unique blend of death and sludgey-doom metal that is somehow both incredibly heavy and emotional. They have a new album coming out in October I believe that I am looking forward to.
Greg: Traveler’s self titled first album was introduced to me some time ago, and that’s the one that did it for me. Also, the German thrash group, Ranger, has been an influence of mine for a while. Their album, Knights of Darkness, is incredible.
What are the future projects for Traitor ? It’s the final question, you can conclude the interview.?
Joe: Honestly just putting my nose to the grindstone and hammering out the second record. We’ve had so much going on with the last two tours and the releasing Last Hope for the Wretched I am excited to continue writing and put our recent experiences into play.
Greg: Writing the next record, touring the west coast, touring Europe, and getting on big metal festivals are all in my crosshairs. Shout out to Witchaven for the amazing tour, shout out to our sound guy, AJ Montesano, for being the best “man behind the scenes” that we could ask for, and shout out to Loudo guitars from New Jersey for letting me take one of their Khyber models on the road with me. I loved it. Thank you to all of our family, fans, and supporters who help us make this happen every time.
Interviewer : Speedskullcrusher