Five & Five: The Letter Black

After a successful album run that has led to touring with bands from Skillet to Thousand Foot Krutch and an interesting remix project, The Letter Black is in the midst of creating their sophomore effort and on top of all of that, they were just named EMURG’s Band of the Month for the month of July. Kara and I had questions to ask the fiery lead singer Sarah Anthony about their past, present, and future plans.

Part I:

1.EMURG: How did you come up with the band name?

TLB: Our manager was talking with Page Hamilton (lead singer of Helmet) and discussing how we were trying to think of a name, but that we couldn’t think of anything awesome. In the discussion, Page threw out that we were thinking way too deep and he said “It doesn’t matter what you call the band, it could be called The Letter Black, it really doesn’t matter that much.” And it stuck.

2. EMURG: What artists/bands/songs/albums influenced you?

TLB: Too many to list all of them but here are a few favorites: Metallica – Master of Puppets. Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power. Alice In Chains – Dirt. The Beatles, any album, but of course, Abbey Road.

3. EMURG: What are you listening to right now?

TLB: Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, etc.

4. EMURG: What’s your favorite show/performance been as a band?

TLB: We love playing in Germany. We’ve done shows there every year for the past 5 years. Any show there is good by us.

5. EMURG: If I want people to remember one song from our band it would be…

TLB: That’s too hard!!! I just hope each person finds one song of ours that they connect with on a deeper level and that that song sticks with them through their life.

Part II:

1. EMURG: Rock and metal are still two strongly male dominated genres of music.  What advantages and/or disadvantages are there to having a female fronted rock band? And specifically as a woman, what were some of the obstacles you had to overcome?

TLB: The advantage is that we stand out from the “crowd” a bit, but the disadvantage is that most men still have a predetermined idea that they don’t like a female vocal over rock music. Some men still have a tainted idea before they hear a single word I sing. The biggest obstacle for me was to gain attention and respect as a front woman, without having to show skin in the process.

2. EMURG: Having followed your band since it was known as Breaking the Silence, how cool is it to now be known on a national level as opposed to just your hometown and state?

TLB: It’s an amazing feeling to walk into a store, half a country away from where we live, and see our CD in a store. We still geek out when we randomly hear our song on the radio.

3. EMURG: You guys recently released Hanging On By A Remix, an album of remixes featuring the songs from Hanging On By a Thread. Have you always been into dance/industrial music or would you have considered this project something you wouldn’t have thought of doing before?

TLB: We’ve always enjoyed music from bands like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson but we don’t necessarily prefer that sound to ours. So when the idea of a remix record was presented to us, we thought it would be a fun twist.

4. EMURG: You guys are working in the studio on your second album. How would you describe what you’re coming up with so far and when can we expect to hear something from it?

TLB: This record has a more mature sound than the last record. We’ve got heavy songs with some screaming, we’ve got modern rock ballads and we’ve got everything in between. If you make it out to a show this summer, you’ll get to hear one new song in our set from the upcoming album before the record comes out.

5. EMURG: What do you have to say to the EMURGers that voted you band of the month for July?

TLB: You guys are awesome!!! We are so honored that you voted for us. Thank you so much for voting and hopefully we’ll see you at one of our shows soon!!!

We’d like to thank Sarah for being so generous for granting this interview. It’s always awesome to find out that new music is coming soon especially from a band the caliber of The Letter Black. Check them out at a show stateside this summer as they will be playing shows in Maryland, Indiana, Texas,   New Mexico, and Washington State.

Also, if you’ve got some bread, make an awesome album sandwich with Hanging On By a Thread and Hanging On By a Remix on Amazon.