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A few lineup changes haven’t stopped Sever This Illusion from getting a record deal and producing its first album, which is to be released in February.
Now comprised of members from Elizabethtown and Louisville, Sever this Illusion originally formed in Louisville in the winter of 2007.
“I was originally the guitar player for STI,” current drummer Darren Garriott said. “We were a five piece that kind of formed by accident. Our original drummer Chris Bledsoe, former guitar player Josh Brown and myself kind of stumbled upon Brett (Marshall) and Trevor (Harbolt) and started making music.”
After Bledsoe left, Garriott became the drummer,and the four remaining members signed on with independent record label Turkey Vulture Records to make an album.
Brown recently left the group. Elizabethtown musicians Nick Glass and Jeff Lawson were added into the mix in October 2010.
“We now have evolved into the STI we are today: A five-piece metal band with a new twist on a very different style of metal,” Garriott said.
Sever This Illusion is made up of drummer Garriott; Harbolt, vocalist; Glass, lead guitarist and backup vocalist; Lawson, guitarist; and Marshall, bassist. Harbolt, Glass and Lawson are from Elizabethtown. Garriott and Marshall are from Louisville.
Harbolt, who originally was introduced into the group by his friend, Marshall, had an interest in music early.
“My mom and dad both showed me the different sides of music, from Rush and Led Zeppelin to Bon Jovi and Prince,” Harbolt said. “I have always been influenced by music and I think most people are.”
In 2006, Harbolt started singing in an Elizabethtown band called 88 Sins. A friend showed him “different ways to scream and also show the nice side” of his voice, he said.
“If I wasn't the singer I wouldn't be in a band,” Harbolt said. “I'm not very good at the other instruments. But it's harder than most would think.”
Marshall’s involvement with the band was the result of a chance meeting with the Bledsoe at a gas station.
“He said that their band was in need of a bass player and it was like a sign or something,” Marshall said. “They didn't think I would show for tryouts, but I did and I've been here ever since.”
Marshall, who has been playing music for 13 years, said his role in the band is “all about low ends and getting the fans into the show.”
“I love getting people in the crowd to mosh and go nuts,” he said.
Lawson said he had no musical background before he picked up his first guitar. He’s been playing since 1996 and began playing with friends in 1998.
“I do a little bit of home recording and production and have recorded demo CDs for various bands throughout the years,” Lawson said. “I actually recorded a demo CD for Sever This Illusion a few years ago with Traver Wilson.”
Garriott recalls his interest in music from age 3, when he began beating on pots and pans.
“It's always been a part of my life,” he said.
Glass picked up the guitar when he was 13 and began playing for a band from Atlanta. He previously had played drums for them.
Asked to play for Sever This Illusion, he did not hesitate to agree.
Glass believes the unique blend that comes from each member's taste in music and their abilities as musicians and songwriters set the band apart.
“We each bring a different sound to the group and are constantly learning from one another,” Glass said. “The fact that we're all open to endless musical possibilities is what makes us so different.”
Harbolt described Sever This Illusion as “straight metal” but one where band members “mix it up.”
Lawson cited the various musical philosophies as a plus for the band.
“It's nice to have open possibilities for expression,” Lawson said. “I think some bands box themselves into a niche genre, it's good to be able to cross those lines.”
“The lyrics are not demonic or about death,” Harbolt said. “Most lyrics are stories wrote to fit the music honestly. It's all original music and our drummer and former guitar player Josh Brown wrote the music. All of us put in on lyrics.”
The band is set to release their first full-length album, titled “Unidentified Assassins,” in February.
“It is sure to make you bang your head,” Harbolt said.
Marshall expressed optimism about the band’s momentum.
“I feel like we are a freight train that won't be stopped,” Marshall said. “If you put your mind and time into what you want to do things can happen for sure.”
Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743 or firstname.lastname@example.org.