Liam Frith’s Ascension (A Look Into Managing Metal Bands and Playing In Them)
The Artisan Era records has been exploding with amazing death metal bands. Mostly modern gems that will make your mind simply explode. Where I live in Mohave County, we’ve been getting a ton of bands off The Artisan Era to play in Kingman. First it was Inanimate Existence (they loved it so much they went bragging about our scene.)
Well, because of that we got to work with Liam Frith. Liam has many jobs in the metal community managing bands and shredding in them too. Because of Frith, Mohave County has a lot to give thanks to including the hearty list of bands he manages. From The Artisan Era to Unique Leader Records. So, to make it short… we are spoiled brats.
Liam is a monster bass player and you probably know him from an array of projects. (Such as: Alterbeast, Flub and Becomes Astral… all very different from one another.) There’s a lot for us to learn from this man.
Let’s get to the interview of Liam Frith!
Let’s get into the thick of things: Bands in general have been recruiting members from all over the world to create certain projects. Hunting down the right person for their sound. You are a great example of this. What are some tips you would give musicians that are looking to start a band, but might be having trouble doing so in their area?
“I’ll give a huge backstory to get the proper answer to this, but essentially it’s all in how you present yourself and market yourself. I’ve been touring and booking tours for about 5 years now, and before that I was promoting shows in my hometown so I’ve always had to maintain a certain level of professionalism to continue to get work and not have a bad reputation for myself. So that all ties into how you meet people, I filled in for Depths of Hatred with Michael (Flub/ ex-Alterbeast) and he saw how I handle myself and we get along amazingly, which lead to me being the booking agent for Flub. When Matt had to step down due to life being life, Michael asked me to send an audition in and that’s how I joined Flub. Similarly Michael had talked about me to Andrew Lamb and that ultimately lead to me joining Alterbeast last year. I would definitely recommend making yourself professional and available for the right opportunities to further your career/ band life.“
From the goofy, ultra fun, and still ridiculously “tech-y shenanigans of Flub… To the more aggressive, mean, technical death metal attack of Alterbeast. Is there anything in particular that you do to keep the bands divided when it comes to tone?
“For both bands I use a Darkglass Microtubes 500 head with a Microtubes X pedal, but tonally I aim for different aspects. I try to keep the bass more rounded for Flub and for Alterbeast I go for a punchier attack. I also use different basses in each band. I use a Fender American Deluxe Dimension for Flub, and I use a Kornil Customs Brat II for Alterbeast. For Becomes Astral I use the Fender as well, but I use way less distortion for our sound because our music goes in and out of loud/ quiet parts so often.”
Tone is obviously huge in our scene, and everyone keeps looking to be the next big thing. What do you do to try to make your tone extra special?
“I try to use Canadian custom shops when I can to get a different tone than most of my peers, plus that lets me keep it local and supporting emerging Canadian luthiers. When I play guitar on the occasional fill-in tour I own a Guerilla, which is a really awesome shop based out of Quebec.”
Now, you’re not just a man of many bands. You actually help manage bands and set up their tours. You’re on both sides of music. How is it being on both sides of music industry? How has COVID-19 hit for you?
“That’s true! For people who don’t know me I set up tours and manage bands through Satellite Touring & Nomadic Arts respectively. I enjoy being on both sides of the industry because it keeps me in the loop which helps me within my bands and saves us money from paying other people to do it for us. I also tour manage for Inanimate Existence when I’m not playing on tour. Taking on multiple roles in the industry has me full time in music, which is really awesome. COVID-19 had me cancel a tonnnn of tours. I had some US tours with Flub cancel, I had a European tour and Mexico tour with Alterbeast cancel, a lot of North American tours I was booking cancelled. Definitely hit us all hard, but it’s really cool to see everyone persevering through it all and finding new avenues to grow their music and potential.”
Do you have big plans once everything clears up? What’s next on the agenda?
“As of now I have plans to start back up for April 2021 with a tour a lot of people have been asking for, but I can’t expand on that yet. Flub is working on new material, Alterbeast is working on new material, Becomes Astral we just released a new EP 2 months ago. Currently focusing on how to grow and engage our fan bases in the online world and getting ready to present ourselves in a post COVID world.”
Now I think everyone knows by now that death metal fans aren’t anything to worry about. We all have this obnoxious side to us all. What’s the most ridiculous story you have from being in bands?
“Oh that’s a tough one to answer, I always have a hard time narrowing down one specific story. I think most recently would have been when I was on tour in UK with Bloodshot Dawn and Becomes Astral. Myself and the tour manager got kicked out of our hotel for smoking a joint outside, I guess that’s still hugely frowned upon by some people. We were in Brighton, so we decided to go to a late bar and get pretty drunk until about 4 in the morning. We were walking back down to our van and I decided to go down to the beach to pee into the ocean, and proceeded to fall into the ocean and piss on myself. Not my proudest moment, but definitely ridiculous.”
Here we are at the end. Is there anything you’ll like to shout out?
“Definitely! I’d like to shout out all the bands who are kind enough to trust in me for booking or playing…”
Continue to learn more about Liam and his work with these links: