I had the pleasure to meet Trevor Humphreys mastermind of the newborn band An Open Letter. If you still haven’t heard of them, their self-titled EP has been released few weeks ago and it’s having a very good response so far. So, I was very curious to see what is standing behind the success of this young post-black metal band from Texas. And here’s what I discovered…
SL: Hello Trevor, welcome to “The Somber Lane” blog and thank you for giving us the chance for this interview!
First of all would you please introduce yourself to our readers?
T: Absolutely! My name is Trevor and I do all the instruments for An Open Letter.
SL: So, Trevor would you please tell us something about your project. Does the name “An Open Letter” have a particular meaning to you? When and how did you get started with this band of yours?
T: The name actually has no meaning to us. I wish it had a really cool story behind it, but I was listening to a Saetia song called “An Open Letter’ and we thought it would be a cool name.
The band was formed around the beginning of summer of 2015. Me and Ryan were doing an emo/indie band and I texted him at about 2 am and said “Hey do you wanna start doing atmospheric black metal?”. An Open Letter was then born.
SL: Well, let me say that for a 3 months old band your debut EP sounds pretty solid. Not to mention that the audience response seems quite good so far, right? What kind of witchcraft you guys did to make people mad about it?
T: It wasn’t hard at all! You just have to make good music and send it everywhere you can. We spend a little time every day promoting too. You can’t just send your work everywhere on the first day and expect it to go somewhere. I guess you could say we got a little lucky because our EP got out there fast, but we got it way bigger by promoting. If you keep promoting, you’ll eventually hit it big, and your fans will start sharing it themselves.
SL: We, at The Somber Lane, are particularly interested in the promotion side of music. So, would you please give us a more in-depth view of your promotion strategy?
T: Send it everywhere. Share your work to every single Facebook group you’re in, send it to every blog and Tumblr and Facebook page you can think of. Just don’t stop sharing.
SL: Let’s talk about the music. Which are the main influences that stand behind the “An Open Letter” sound?
T: We get the Deafheaven comparison a lot, but honestly they weren’t too important to our sound. Kerry McCoy inspired my guitar playing greatly, but as far as the music goes, it was mainly just me putting a lot of chords together that I like to write the songs. Then I layer it with lead guitar. That’s how An Open Letter’s songs are written.
SL: Honestly, everything around the composition of your songs is really that easy?
T: I wouldn’t call it easy. There’s a lot off chord shapes that I have to sit there and figure out. Writing everything and getting it structured takes time too, but there isn’t some huge secret to my writing.
SL: You’re from Texas, and frankly I can’t mention many more black metal acts from down there. What is your point of view on your country’s extreme metal scene?
T: I think there’s a lot of great bands but especially in our area, there are a ton of metalcore bands that all sound the same. A lot of American bands are trying to go for that same sound. I don’t have too much of an opinion, but the fact that a lot of bands aren’t striving to bring something new to the table is kind of sad. There are a lot of great bands that come from America though.
SL: What do you see in the future of “An Open Letter”? Do you have any plans already?
T: Next is our tape release. We’re trying to get some live members so we do some shows. Possibly a tour next year? I’m not too sure.
SL: Besides music, do you have any other hobby, or side project? What do you do for a living?
T: Not any other specific hobbies. I just hang out with friends when I’m not doing something music related. I don’t do anything for money except this band and chores because I’m only 15. Me and Ryan may finish some more stuff for our Skramz/Grindcore project if we get time!
SL: Well Trevor, it has been a pleasure hosting you on TSL but unfortunately our time is done. But before we wrap this up, if you have anything to say to your fans and our readers this place is yours.
Thanks for your time!
T: It was a pleasure doing this! I wanna say thanks to anyone who has downloaded our ep or has shared it around. You guys are awesome!