Hailing from the deep dark woods of a mysterious land known as Monroe, New York comes Black Table! This four-piece formed in 2012 and refuses to fit into one metal sub genre. The band’s experimental sounds have gotten them some media attention as well as landed them shows with metal greats such as Vital Remains, Wolven Ancestry, Sig:Ar:Tyr, and Agalloch.
More recently they played The Shadow Woods Festival in White Hall Maryland. I had the pleasure of interviewing vocalist/guitarist Mers Sumida, guitarist DJ Scully, and bassist Ryan Fleming on how this young, unsigned band has gotten so far so fast.
On band’s sound:
Mers: I’d say experimental metal. We aren’t really black metal… maybe a little blackened, but I feel we don’t have a genre.
Ryan: Since we pull influences from many styles, I don’t think we gravitate towards anything really. We just play what we like and try not to really pigeonhole our sound.
On band’s name:
Mers: We wanted a name that didn’t really have any previous meaning. The goal was to have our music and personality provide its definition. A table is a simple humble structure: it’s common and mundane.
On Shadowwoods Fest:
DJ: I loved sharing the stage with Sangharsa, great guys.
Mers: Slagstorm were really good they opened up the fest and I loved catching Falls of Rauros later.
DJ: Oh yeah those were good too, and Hivelords were fucking heavy.
Ryan: I have to say it’s my favorite show that I’ve ever played. Everyone was really cool! We wish we could stay both days, but we couldn’t since we had a show the next day.
On growing pains:
Mers: It took a while for us to be able to practice again in 2013. I didn’t have a job for a while, so I had no money for gas. Even when we aren’t doing anything I’m always writing songs, lyrics and ideas for the band.
Ryan: We wrote stuff for our new album during our hiatus. Since the writing process too so long we had different opinions on the products and ended up re-writing them. Though we weren’t playing we never stopped working, we wanted to get the stuff done.
How do you guys feel being a young unsigned band yet have tons of coverage and already play big shows?
Mers: We are always humbled and motivated by the support we get. It feels surreal a lot of the time, to know that people care about this thing you do that is very personal and vulnerable, at least for myself. It’s an honor. Music was my first expression so it carries great meaning for me.
Ryan: I’ve always been humbled that anyone takes the time to give our band even a moment of attention. As for labels, we haven’t really felt the need to look in that direction. We are extremely focused and know exactly what we want to do, so until we see a place where a label can elevate that, we are perfectly fine doing everything ourselves.
DJ: It’s great… While I think labels can still do bands a lot of good, they’re not entirely necessary if you have really have the drive and confidence to do what you want, and do it the way you want to.
Geosonic Magazine was put together by Doug McCausland in June 2013, showcasing multiple unsigned artists from a unique geographical location in the United States. You can contact him at dmccausland1(at)gmail.com