Overwrought: Making metal-mixed music

by Caitlin Cohen

The metal uprising is back. Several new local metal bands are making their debut, including Overwrought who have just released their first album.

Keanen Ince (vocals), Trevor Fischer (guitar), Nathan Sutherland (guitar), Andrew Shore (bass), and Drake Graves (drums) started playing music for fun. They didn’t intend to become a full-blown band, but once every member joined and added their own unique layer to the mix, they had other plans for this project to take it somewhere.

While the band is highly influenced by black metal bands, they are breaking away from some of the common aspects. Lyrically, they want to avoid covering anti-religious writing and Satanism. Instead, they would rather focus on topics such as dreams, time, depression, truth, and symbolism.

“I wrote lyrics for two songs in the new material we’re working on. One is about getting absorbed into negative aspects of daily life and trying to get out of defeat. Another song we’re working on is a loose concept based around truth and the idea of being completely honest all the time. The idea that if everyone was honest enough that people could live in harmony,” Drake said.

As far as sonic writing goes, Overwrought does play traditional heavy and black metal sounds but also want to keep listeners guessing by incorporating some old school rock and roll in there as well (such as including bass solos).

“Some of our songs could honestly sound like they were done by somebody else because they sound much different than the last or next song in our archive but still have that same kind of feel. We definitely are mixed genre and are not just subjecting ourselves to one thing,” Nathan said.

Overwrought believes their demo album is a small preview of what they have to offer. The album gives every member in the band the opportunity to be highlighted in terms of song writing, playing, and producing. Andrew recorded, mixed, edited, and mastered the album. “Blinded by Time” was sonically written by Trevor and lyrically written by Nathan. Drake wrote “Vigil” for guitar and drums and Nathan wrote the guitar for “Wander.”

However, this album alone is just a small taste. They have a lot more tricks up their sleeves.

“The demo album shows how much our songs differ. We tried to pick three songs that give a well-rounded idea of the band while also still leaving a little bit of a surprise for when we do an album or a show,” Keanen said.

Overwrought is in the works of scheduling their first live performance. The group is especially excited to start getting their faces out there in hopes of simply getting people into their music, whether they are already metal fans or not.

Most of all, their goal is to inspire younger members of the Bellingham community to start playing music – just as they felt inspired by watching shows performed by Bellingham metal bands they grew up with.

“The people that we were looking up to when we were 15 are giving us props for our music. It’s a victory in itself to have them check out our demo and tell us that they think it’s awesome,” Nathan said. “Picturing back to being young, seeing them playing, and idolizing them; I knew playing music is what I wanted to do… that’s what we kind of want to do for a younger crowd as well. It would be great for us to be here x amount of years later and have someone say they remember us and that it inspired them to play too.”

Check out Overwrought’s demo album at overwroughtnw.bandcamp.com and see their Facebook for upcoming shows or to smessage them: facebook.com/overwroughtnw/.