New Hampshire metalcore quartet TrueShot are a band in the midst of an evolution. Having released their debut EP last year within 12 months of forming, they’ve since switched things up with an even heavier, lower-tuned sound and a brand new drummer to boot.
TrueShot first formed back in mid-2018 when vocalist Richard Janvrin teamed up with a long-time friend who played drums, then used Craigslist to recruit Adam Levesque (guitar and clean vocals), who in turn brought in Derek Mayo (bass). The drummer has since left and been replaced in time for new, shortly incoming material.
The band tell us: “Derek and Adam have been involved in some way shape or form with music for quite a long time. They used to be in bands and have always worked on music. For Richard, he always wanted to be the singer/frontman for a band and spent many years learning to scream in the car listening to Whitechapel and As I Lay Dying.”
The band released debut EP Escape last year, which fuses intense heavy screamed vocals with melodic cleans, and djenty guitars with blitzing guitar solos. It’s technical, yet big and aggressive.
Perfectly summarising that is the record’s second track Paris, which kicks off with savage screams and wild guitars alongside pounding drums then feeds into a blast of high clean vocals. Cool little technical guitar licks come in as the heavy vocals take over again, then a section of chugging guitars takes over.
That drops out and palm-muted guitars come in amid an ominous sounding atmospheric backdrop, then intense screamed vocals play off against each other. A piercing guitar solo jumps in and feeds into more bursts of the chorus cleans answered by booming djent guitars. And it closes out with intense screams. Give it a listen below:
While Cara foregoes the clean vocals until the very end, with screamed vocals throughout alongside big atmospheric guitars. Give it a listen below:
The EP goes out in style with the excellent Purgatory, which opens up with intense high-pitched guitars then pounding drums and chugging drums. Big throaty screams take over and give way to a singalong chorus, then booming drums and pounding drums feed into a cool technical section. It features lively spinning guitars and brings things to a close on a typically heavy, guttural scream. Give it a listen below:
On the EP they tell us: “Overall, the reception has been pretty solid. We released the EP within a year of forming so it came together pretty quickly. For those who haven’t listened, it has a very nostalgic metalcore feeling. We have honed our sound since the EP, though, which listeners will clearly hear in new material!”
And in terms of their sound generally, they add: “To use a word that we said above – evolving. Like I also said, we have kinda changed course a little bit since the EP. We all love a lot of the same music, but there are also differences which we try to incorporate.
“For instance, we changed from a 6 string guitar to a 7 string, and also changed tuning. I think that’s something we will always pride ourselves on: Evolving and looking for new ways to write music that stays within our wheelhouse but a sound that when someone hears a song they know it’s a TrueShot song.”
The band share common ground on bands like As I Lay Dying, August Burns Red, Fit For a King and Erra. But differ a little with Derek loving indie, Adam being a huge Coheed and Cambria fan, and Richard like the aggressive metal such as Emmure, Acacia Strain, Dealer, Whitechapel and Alpha Wolf. And he credits Phil Bozeman for getting him into screaming.
While on what inspires them to write, they explain: “Lyrically speaking, Richard sticks with what he knows and that’s his life. Depending on the content, he has to almost force himself to look inward and get into a darker headspace. He’s not big on writing about topics such as politics or anything like that.
“Musically speaking, it is primarily written by Adam and then Richard and Derek will add their flavor and refine it. Adam’s primary motivation for his writing is to alleviate ‘real world’ stresses. From the EP, we went from a 6-string Drop C to the new material being a 7-string and Drop G. So, the music itself is an amalgamation of those kinds of sounds and feels.”
There’s plenty to come from TrueShot this year, with a handful of singles that will demonstrate their new sound as well as getting their new drummer on board and playing as many gigs as possible.
As the band explain: “We know all bands say this kind of stuff, but 2020 will be a big year. We’re just every day guys trying to create music that pays respect to the sounds of what we have always loved over the years. And that’s metalcore.”