April 16, 2024

An Interview with Blood of the Beloved


1. What are the circumstances that inspired you to become a musician?

~NyteShade~ I grew up listening to metal and going to concerts since I was a kid, music was always a part of my life. Playing guitar and going to concerts with my dad. It looked fun so I proceeded to do music and have the same fun.

~Skeptik~ My house always had music playing when I was a kid, the minute we’d walk through the front door the stereo would be on and my fam would be listening to anything from Enya to Black Sabbath. I fell in love with the way that listening to music would make me feel and the older I got the more I wanted to make music. I started with piano and writing lyrics and eventually picked up a guitar.

2. How did you get into the trap metal scene? Who are your biggest influences?

~NyteShade~ I grew up listening to metal exclusively. Then when I was a teen I started enjoying a lot of different hip hop artists and started rapping myself but the metal element always felt like it was missing from there. One day I was just letting my YouTube auto play and stumbled across an artist called Prxjek, which was screamed trap music, then I found artists like Scarlxrd, and Xxxtentacion which was all rappers who screamed and I became hooked on the sound. I added my own elements and style of what I do, then collabing a couple times with Skeptik I really fell in love with the noise that we were making and Blood of the Beloved seemed almost like an inevitability.

~Skeptik~ I’ve always been a big time thrash metal guy but when it comes to writing lyrics I naturally gravitate towards rap and hip hop. I was fully entrenched in the nu metal wave as a teen where bands like 40 Below Summer and Static-X were using fast paced scream rap type vocals. I was really into the idea of incorporating that vocal style into the hip hop and metal music I was making but I think it was when me and NyteShAde started collaborating that he had first clued me into trap metal artists like Scarlxrd and Jasiah and honestly I’m finding people within this scene all the time who are just boiling over with talent.

3. Tell us a bit about your songwriting process. How do you go about writing music, do you like working alone or do you love collaborating with others?

~NyteShade~ When it comes to writing for me it goes down a couple different ways. Skeptik hits me with something he’s working on, it always slaps to the point that I write everything almost immediately after hearing it because he has a way to say what I’m thinking or writing something that pertains to how I’m feeling at that given time. Other ways I write is sometimes I’ll have a really dope line or stanza that I’ll write and then I’ll make an instrumental that reflects that tone and I’ll crank that out and finish the lyrics from that point and I’ll ship it to skeptik to see if he’s feelin it. As far as collaborations go I love doing them, when we hop on tracks with other dope artists if feels like several artists with their own unique styles painting a dark picture on a blank canvas and it always ends up being doper than I thought it could be.

~Skeptik~ Nyte pretty much nailed it in terms of our collaborative chemistry. It helps that we’re both all over the place in what we like musically because whether I throw him some thrashing death metal, boom bap or even a slowed down ballad type track, dude comes back immediately with matched energy and deep lyrics. We’ll both send instrumentals or even just lyrical themes to each other at random and toss them back and forth until a track is born. Riffs and lyrics are a big time therapeutic release for me so there’s always chunks of songs that are bouncin around my head. I’ll write them down or record a video of it and eventually they’ll start to shape into a song.

4. What instruments do you play aside from doing vocals? Do you plan on learning any new instruments anytime soon?

~NyteShade~ I can play guitar decently enough, I can’t really solo or anything. All the major shreds come from Skeptik. I can also slap the bass pretty decent. I used to be decent at the drums but it’s been years since I’ve been near a kit so I don’t know how well I am at it anymore. I dabble a bit on piano, not enough to be a pianist or anything but enough to make a decent instrumental for what we do

~Skeptik~ I do a lot of guitar noodling. Nearly all the guitars you hear on BOTB’s music are played by either NyteShAde or myself. Apart from that I dabble in bass and piano/keyboard. I also played trumpet and bagpipes back in highschool but it’s been a minute on that. I’ve always wanted to learn drums but I have accepted at this juncture in life that I will never be able to accomplish this.

5. What is the best advice you can provide to a new musician aspiring to make it in the music industry?

~NyteShade~ Just have fun with it and put everything you got into every song you create. Be consistent and also don’t be afraid to go against the grain

~Skeptik~ Make the music you want to hear because the chances are there’s at least one other person out there who wants to hear it too. In terms of actually *making it* in the industry I have no idea but if you’re creating something you like with your art then it’s gonna end up being time well spent.

6. What do you wish to accomplish through your music? What symbolism does your music represent?

~NyteShade~ All I try to accomplish is to make the dopest songs that you can break your neck head banging to. Doing the best shit we can do and try to outdo ourselves everytime. The symbolism in our music I think is to find light in dark times, finding the good in the bad, and coming out on top ultimately. Skeptik and myself we got some issues on the inside, but I think if you look at our lyrics, both of us still have hope in the underlying message.

~Skeptik~ I agree a lot with Nyte there for sure. We’re just trying to have a good time making our style of noise. There’s definitely a lot of dark and occult imagery in our music and a lot of it comes from a place of either symbolizing internal turmoil, commentary on what we see in the world or just telling a dark story but yeah, it all comes with an ere of owning your identity and confronting your oppressors whether they’re the demons that your mind hands down to you or the conformists who demonize your differences.

7. Who do you have to thank for getting you where you are now in life and in your music career? Who has been there for you through thick and thin?

~NyteShade~ My parents are a big part of it, they have always been there to talk me through some bad times. But the way they raised me to not rely on other people and to push through everything to come out on rope really helped me get through some dark times. My dad I have to thank for the music aspect of my life. He taught me how to play guitar, and really set me on the path that I am on today.

~Skeptik~ There’s a lot of support I’ve got along the way that helped build me up to where I’m at now. Goes back as far as my parents sparking the love of music from an early age, my older sister who got me into the heavier sides of metal, my little brother who got me started on learning guitar, my kids’ mom who got me the guitar recorder and the DAW I use for production and my kids who are always super positive and supportive about song ideas as they’re coming together at home.

8. Can you tell us about the music scene near you? Do you have any show or tour plans? Who do you want to play shows or tour with?

~NyteShade~ The music scene in Cinci is pretty non existent, ever since I moved here I had tried to play shows and unless you can organize a full concert yourself and find enough bands to fill the time slots, basically the shows don’t happen. Back home in St. Louis the shows used to be bussin, I used to play a show almost every weekend for a time. I miss that. I got some health issues I’m dealing with at the moment but once I’m clear for that I would love to play shows again. Especially if we got all our friends together for a big show. That would be fun.

~Skeptik~ I’m actually only a year deep where I’m living in Utah currently and I’m honestly not sure what the climate of the local scene is but there’s a good deal more underground and heavy types of shows than I expected when I moved. It would be really awesome to get some live shows for BOTB on the books and get out on stage again but that’s one of those goals we’ll get to in the future.

9. Who are some of your favorite artists and producers you have gotten to work with? Which are the artists and producers you are looking to work with next?

~NyteShade~ Batibatt is one of my all time favorite artists that we have worked with, she’s super dope and absolutely crushing it in music right now. Brittany Bordella also a dope human being and very talented artist, always love working with her. We have a few artists coming up on the collab record we are working with and they are all dope, I can’t wait for people to hear what we got cookin’.

~Skeptik~ I’ve done a couple tracks where my daughters did vocals and that is one of the coolest feelings there is but to be completely honest, everybody that we’ve worked with so far is someone I am actively a fan of, which includes the fellas conducting this interview and hosting this magazine. Definitely agree Bordella and BatiBatt are fantastic and talented people that we love working with. Lola who fronts the French band Ocean Encounters always brings killer energy to collabs. The Possessed Promotions and Blacklist Crew collectives are just crawling with talented people as well. It’s hard not to list everyone we’ve worked with but I’ll echo that sentiment that we’ve got a whole collab album coming down the pipeline that we’ve been kind of drip releasing so far and I’m extremely stoked for every feature on it.

10. What are your artistic goals for 2024? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What about 10 years? Do you have an end game goal?

~NyteShade~ Artistic goals are pretty much experiment with a few different sounds and make them in the style that is undoubtedly Blood of the Beloved, we are always trying new things and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. 5 years from now I hope to be doing more of the same with my boy Skeptik. 10 years from now still the same. I personally don’t have an end game goal. Life is unpredictable, you have to roll with the punches and take what you’re given in stride. I try living in the moment and staying in the present and enjoy everything that we have done, and everything we are currently doing. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, so it’s important to enjoy the moment, and that’s pretty much what I’m doing, enjoying the moment.

~Skeptik~ I am definitely a kinda person that has a real hard time thinking that far out into the future but the artistic plan and the 5-10 year plan at this point is just to continue making the music we love to make and connecting with the people who vibe along with it. Big thanks to Sam Astaroth and Brett Deadly for havin us on for an interview.