You learn something new every day. You may not think you do, but you do.
Like on Friday, I learned that the German word for emptiness is “leere”. On Saturday, I learned that if you live in the Pacific Northwest and forgetfully leave your car window down overnight, spiders will move in and later drop on your arm while you’re driving, causing unexpected vehicular fun ‘n games. And yesterday, I learned the secrets of how extreme metal vocalists can shriek and growl really low without requiring hospitalization.
I’ve always wondered, and finally, after years of listening to non-clean singing, it now all becomes clear to me. It’s like some trade secret that finally leaked. And it turns out to be something that is easily duplicated. It just takes the right preparation and the right record producer (like Chris “Zeuss” Harris).
I’m not making this up. I learned it from a dude who ought to know — Adam Warren, who happens to be the frontman for deathcore heavyweights Oceano. It’s all in that video at the top of this post. It just takes sleeping ’til noon, some microwaved elixir, a little Lion King chord-stretching, and someone who can tell you which buttons to push.
Go ahead, see for yourself. The secrets are out. We won’t even charge you to watch. In the video, you can also see some spirited debate over whether “Contagion” is the kind of album title people will have to look up, as compared to a common street-word like, uh, “harbinger”.
Truly, Adam Warren is an engaging dude, and we can pretty much guarantee this thing will make you smile, even if you’re not an Oceano fan. And while we’re on the subject of deathcore, word of a Whitechapel–Impending Doom–Miss May I–Oceano–I Declare War tour has leaked out. Details about that breaking news, plus an Oceano video, follow after the jump. Wonder what I’ll learn today?
According to Lambgoat, Whitechapel will be headlining a fall tour with support from Impending Doom, Miss May I, Oceano, and our Seattle homies I Declare War. Lambgoat reported that the tour hasn’t been officially announced yet, but we did a little poking around and found a fresh Whitechapel announcement. It will be called THE CORRUPTOUR and here are the dates and places:
10/01 Macon, GA The 567
10/02 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
10/03 St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre
10/04 Jacksonville, FL Rain
10/05 Spartanburg, SC Ground Zero
10/06 Charlotte, NC Tremont Music Hall
10/07 Raleigh, NC Volume 11 Tavern
10/08 Norfolk, VA Norva
10/09 Jermyn, PA Eleanor Rigby’s
10/10 Boston, MA Harper’s Ferry
10/12 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre
10/13 Poughkeepsie, NY The Loft
10/14 Syracuse, NY Lost Horizon
10/15 Toledo, OH Headliner’s
10/16 Grand Rapids, MI Intersection
10/17 Elgin, IL Mad Maggies
10/19 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
10/20 St. Louis, MO Pop’s
10/21 Louisville, KY Headliners Music Hall
10/22 Birmingham, AL Zydeco
10/23 Nashville, TN Rocketown
Unfortunately, unless this thing gets expanded, there are no West Coast dates, which blows, because that’s a killer line-up.
And now here’s Adam Warren’s charismatic self growling and shrieking in an official Oceano vid for “District of Misery” off their last album. Break yourself down:
Oceano has also been participating in the OVER THE LIMIT tour with this line-up of bands:
As Blood Runs Black
Arsonist Get All the Girls
The Tony Danza Tapdance extravaganza
Thick As Blood
Burning The Masses
Circle of Contempt
Sons of Aruleus (Select dates)
This or The Apocalypse (Select dates)
The following dates remain on that tour:
8/16 Amarillo, TX @ The War Legion
8/17 Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep
8/19 El Paso, TX @ Club 101
8/20 Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
8/21 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse (Summerslam Fest)
While Metalsucks may have spoiled any chance for me getting into Oceano, this video doesn’t do anything to change that, while the first video doesn’t really do Adam and the other guys talking on camera any favors. At least now I know how to pronounce the band’s name properly (see, I learned something today too!), even if they have trouble with words like contagion and harbinger. I wonder how they could mangle a word like aluminum. Or how about onomatopoeia?
As for the “secret” to these kinds of vocals, it’s a matter of technique, and that to do this safely and for prolonged periods of time, it’s not much different than it is for cleanly sung material. True, this puts more wear and tear on the throat and vocal cords, but if a vocalist/singer takes care of his/per pipes and knows when to take a break, they should be just fine. But if you force it too much and/or don’t take care of your voice as well as you should, your singing career may be shortened or you will have to change things up.
However, as the first video does show, it doesn’t all have to come from your throat, you can use other stuff to enhance what you’re doing, but some vocalists probably use it too much (just as guitarists, bassists, drummers and keyboardists do with their weapons of choice) – although some bands distort and layer a multitude of effects on the vocals on purpose.
Didn’t Killswitch Engage’s first singer have to quit because he wrecked his voice with the screams? As much as Dan Swanö has done over his career, he hasn’t sung live much because he can’t sustain them over a period of time, while Jonas Renske dropped his harsh vocals years ago, finally using them again for the final song on Ayreon’s 01011001. I have to wonder how Karyn Crisis keeps her voice in shape, given that she uses (or maybe used, I haven’t heard much Crisis since Deathshead Extermination or any of her other stuff) both clean and harsh vocals, sometimes shifting mid-line or even mid-word on a few occasions.
It does appear that Jesse Leach quit KSE partly because he was blowing out his voice, but that was only part of it (he was pretty emotionally fucked up too, at the time). After KSE, he joined a band called Seemless, where he sang clean vocals. I saw that he also formed a band called The Empire Shall Fall, which released an album late last fall, but I haven’t heard it, so don’t know whether it’s still clean singing or not.
One of these days I may actually try to understand how people can belt out harsh vocals without wrecking their vocal chords over time (or even overnight). It blows my mind. I know there must be a technique that allows it to be done without immediate injury, I just haven’t studied it.
Check out this Empire Shall Fall vid when you get a chance. The screaming vocals are back, at least on this track.
Oh hell yeah! Definitely back! I like that song too. Gonna have to listen to more of that band. Thanks for the tip.
biggest part to screaming vocals is warming up beforehand
But how do you warm up? Microwaved beer?
lol, just the same warm-ups used for singing
Say bro, I thought I would just let this go, but I can’t. I’m too curious. You’re assuming that a schlub like me knows how any singer warms up. How do you do it?