EMQ’s with PESTILENT AGE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Lapeer, Michigan based Death Metal band, Pestilent Age. Huge thanks to guitarist, Lee Roach, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Lee Roach, I Play guitar in Pestilent Age and actually, I used to sing in the band. We started out in 2016 with a release for an album called “Medieval Holocaust”. We were four guys that kind of experimented with what kind of death metal we were trying to play and when you listen to our 2nd release an EP called “Novgorod” you can hear the shift towards a more melodic sound. While experimenting with this music we lost our first guitarist Nick Chaney-Ruiz and for a long while Pestilent Age was just a 3 piece. With Lee Roach (Guitarist and vocalist), Brandon Lesley (aka Spud) (Bass), and Steve Worley (drums) continuing to write music we released a string of singles over the past 2 years that steadily drifted towards a more traditional Old School Death / Blackened Death Metal vibe. While trying to nail down our writing style we, by pure luck, picked up a singer named Taylor Sharpe who had crossed our path via a common workplace. We finished up a string of singles with Taylor behind the microphone and on those recordings, you can start to hear our signature tone and writing styles taking shape. With Taylor stepping into the role of front man we wrote our last string of singles and amongst those singles were the 3 songs on our newest EP “Unwavering Futility”.
How did you come up with your band name?
We really wanted a name that represented darker side of humanity, so we initially went with Pestilent. However, it turns out that a small gym in Chicago was branding clothing with the name Pestilent and had the trademark. Because we sell clothing with the name Pestilent on it, we had to change our name. This happened maybe a month into us announcing that we were a band so we added Age to the end of Pestilent so we could keep our merch and, in the end, adding the Age gives the band a bit more meaning and context when it comes to our lyrical content we were already writing.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Pestilent Age is from Lapeer, Michigan about 20 or 25 miles east of Flint, Michigan. I would say our metal scene is pretty good actually. It has fluctuated over the years a bit but before the pandemic show turn outs were really picking up. Our merch sales have been pretty good as well. Any area in Michigan that used to have a good manufacturing industry but has since declined seems to be the places that people seem to dig us at.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We have a 3 song EP out called “Unwavering Futility”.
‘Transgressions’ (Official video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Personally, Slash from Guns n Roses and Zakk Wylde from Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society. They shaped my early guitar playing a lot. When I got into heavier music it was stuff like Trivium that really blew me away with their lead playing. Later I started delving into heavier and heavier music. Necrophagist, Deicide, Dying Fetus, and Nile had music that caught my ear and inspired me to write heavier music.
What first got you into music?
My dad was a sound man for a big production company in the Detroit area and both of my parents really enjoyed music. My dad (although he had stopped playing) had played Saxophone and Bass guitar among other various instruments for most of his life and always encouraged my sister and I to play music.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
A musical collaboration interest of mine would have to be maybe working with Jeff Loomis. I’m nowhere near as good as he is but I feel like getting to work with him one on one would really be a great learning experience.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Wacken of course.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Copies of Twilight when I was in my old band Execrate. Our singer looked like Robert Pattinson and people used to throw books at us on stage. Haha!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
I wish we could tour overseas.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I like being a musician because it’s what I do. When I began learning to play guitar I fell in love with the instrument. Then as time passed, I fell in love with writing music and then with the production side of things like recording, mixing, and mastering.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
In some utopian society I wish people had to pay something for music. When music became divided from a physical medium (becoming really one of the first in the entertainment industry to do so) the record industry didn’t grapple with that problem well enough and record companies are just now finding alternative ways to profit. Are those alternative ways to profit good? Idk but I wish music could be sold to people purely for the sake of music and not part of some larger brand building scheme.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Dying Fetus – “Destroy The Opposition”, this album has so much groove, yet is technical, and just brutal.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
It doesn’t matter to me honestly; I listen to wav files or stream music.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Probably our last show we played before the Covid-19 lockdowns in Michigan. We released some singles and played a release party with another Michigan band named Asylence at the Diesel Lounge in basically the far north metro Detroit area. We had also played a Goatwhore / Battlecross show that was pretty wild.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
The same thing I’m doing now probably, working. I would probably fill my spare time with drinking, video games, or TV luckily, I don’t have time for that.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Fredrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, and Adam Smith.
What’s next for the band?
We’ve got a full Album in the works and we have almost an entire 6 song Symphonic Black Metal EP recorded currently. It just needs vocals. When we can gig again, we’re looking forward to it.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Pestilent Age is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bandcamp, Metal Amino, we have a website, Spotify, Apple Music.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
IDK what that is. lol
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Our new EP “Unwavering Futility” is out now. You can buy it anywhere that music is sold and stream it anywhere music can be streamed.
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