INTERVIEW: Aaron Matts – Betraying The Martyrs

French deathcore mob BETRAYING THE MARTYRS recently released their third full length album The Resilient. We caught up with vocalist Aaron Matts whilst the band were out on tour with CHELSEA GRIN to discuss the latest album and what the band’s plans are for 2017.

So you recently released The Resilient, how has the response to the album been so far?

Aaron: Oh it’s fantastic. We were really happy with how the album turned out. Obviously we’ve been waiting a long time for people to hear it and yeah it’s a big relief that everyone is really stoked. We’re stoked, we couldn’t be happier.

Do you agree that this album is the most ambitious thing you’ve done as a band?

Aaron: Oh absolutely. We knew that if we wanted to continue rising up that we had to pull something good out the bag. So we took our time and really went the whole way with it. It’s definitely paid off.

The symphonic elements have definitely been pushed more this time, was that what you really wanted to expand on?

Aaron: I think it wasn’t necessarily a case of pushing the symphonics. We just kinda toned everything else down a bit. We tried to space everything out so the symphonic elements, particularly the simpler moments could be more effective. Also my vocals and everything else, we just wanted to space everything out and make it easier to understand.

The opening track would be a good example of this right, where you’ve got that choir that gives you a really epic sound.

Aaron: Yeah we’ve always tried to be epic it’s now just clearer and more in your face.

I think there’s some stuff on this album you wouldn’t typically expect on a deathcore album, did you try to experiment more?

Aaron: To be honest we never sat around a table and planned out exactly what we wanna do. Each one of us is so different. Victor likes classical music, Lucas likes indie music, Baptiste likes heavy stuff, I like a lot of rap music and Valentin is more of a death metal guy. Each person just puts their touch on a song.

You can hear a lot of those different influences, particularly the classical stuff. It’s interesting that you mention rap music because I guess you can hear that influence in some of your vocal delivery.

Aaron: I’ve always been influenced by rappers growing up, I mean only good rappers not shit. I am a fan of heavier stuff too, like I genuinely am a fan of deathcore. But yeah the delivery and patterns of rap music has always been something that I’ve looked to put through.

You’ve talked about some things that influenced the album, I know some of it was inspired by the terrible events in Paris from 2015. Was this difficult to write about?

Aaron: Not necessarily, it’s something we all felt really strongly about. Yeah I mean we definitely felt it and just wanted to let people know. It came naturally. Even before the lyrics came they were writing music that would fit in with what happened.

Did anything else significantly influence the writing process on this album?

Aaron: Yeah I was having a hard time in my personal life. Like different aspects of it were hard. I guess anything that makes me fucking feel something I’ll just put it down.

So are the lyrics very personal for you? I know some bands try to avoid being so personal cos it can be alienating to fans.

Aaron: Yeah in a sense. I mean I’m the lead voice in the band but that doesn’t mean it’s only my opinions. I get approached by the other guys in the band and they ask me to write lyrics on a certain subject. I then do my best to make it something the listeners can relate to.

So how have the shows with CHELSEA GRIN been so far?

Aaron: They’ve been fantastic. We’re still very early on in the tour and I did catch a bug on the first day but I’m fighting that off. But otherwise the shows have been really good and the response has been great to our new tunes.

Have you been playing many new songs live?

Aaron: Four new tunes. It’s a good 50% of our set.

So are you hoping to get some UK headline shows in later this year?

Aaron: We are looking at doing a European headliner yeah. Nothing is confirmed yet but it’ll happen.

So is there anything else we can expect from BETRAYING THE MARTYRS in 2017?

Aaron: Touring the album. Looking to just put out as much content as possible. Looking to tour in places we’ve never been to before. Making sure as many people see us as possible. It’s definitely gonna be a big year.

Great well thanks very much

Aaron: No worries man thank you.

The Resilient is out now via Sumerian Records.