Brand of Sacrifice frontman Kyle Anderson bridges anime culture and deathcore on the Electric Theater

Posted by Ramon Gonzales in Interviews on March 3, 2021

The frontman for Canadian deathcore outfit Brand of Sacrifice details how anime and manga led him to explore extremity in metal, taught him to appreciate art with an edge, and created a deep respect for dark art with real narrative.

Armed with one of the most anticipated releases of the year thus far, Toronto-based deathcore outfit Brand of Sacrifice have captured the attention of heavy music fans universally with their compelling meld of intensity and intricacy.

Delivering a succession of singles in tracks like “Animal,” “Demon King,” “Altered Eyes,” and the emphatic title track, “Lifeblood,” the band’s crushing brutality is coupled with a brilliant esthetic that touts a unique level of sophistication with regards to heavy music.

At the helm of the project stands vocalist Kyle Anderson. A commanding presence on the record, Anderson voice reverberates in a way demands the listener’s attention. On paper, Anderson pens the kind of stories that showcase a much more methodical side, one that understands the importance of narrative and substance, in addition to thorough pummel that has become the signature of Brand of Sacrifice.

The combination of style and substance is what makes the band such a promising unit and shining example of the third wave of the genre. Digging further than the surface, clown welcomed frontman Kyle Anderson into the Electric Theater for an in-depth discussion that touched on art, edge, culture, in an effort to better illuminate the total package that is Brand of Sacrifice.

4:45 – Being exposed to Japanese manga and anime at an early age 

The frontman shared how his world would ultimately be transformed with the introduction to Japanese anime and manga by his uncle, Michael. Starting gradually with more light-hearted works like Astroboy, it’s then that Anderson says that he really developed his love for the artform.

Growing enamored with Japanese culture, in addition the art and narrative at the root of the medium, Anderson gravitated towards the darker stuff as he became more and more immersed in the culture. It’s when he found the manga Berserk, that his entire wold changed. Violence, visceral, and articulate, Anderson’s real admiration for narrative was rooted in the character development. For Anderson, his love for Berserk was equal parts spectacle and substance, so much that he revisited it frequently and eventually would integrate it into his own artistic expression.

8:45 – Seeking out art with an edge

clown quickly found something in common with Anderson in that both found a connection with the visual component of art at a very young age. Intrigued by art with an edge, material that had an aggressive lean, clown explained how that interest fueled his pursuit to dig, explore, and scratch well beneath the surface to find the especially good stuff.

Anderson explained that his affinity for the more aggressive stuff didn’t just end with anime. Growing up in a Christian household, the stigma of the darker side of art only served to pique his interest. Despite some difficulty in accessing maybe less than age appropriate content, Anderson found himself barreling into Quentin Tarantino movies and eventually diving headfirst into the world of extreme metal music.

11:50 – Traveling to Japan

clown has always been very vocal about his admiration for the Japanese culture. He’s often expressed that the people and the social climate of the country make it a must-visit destination.

Anderson shared in that appreciation for Japan, recalling the first time he was able to visit the country back in 2018. Citing the shows he performed in both Tokyo and Osaka as some of the very best in his career thus far, both artists expressed how the unique level of respect expressed by the fans in the country results in a very humbling experience for the performers visiting.

15:05 – A unique time to release music

It’s near impossible to have a conversation in 2021 without at least touching on the significance of living though a pandemic. The reality seems to hit especially hard for musicians, touring musicians in that not only is their livelihood in the balance, but their daily routine has transformed drastically.

Anderson shared that the silver lining in introducing new music during a time when he’s unable to tour in support of it, is that the audience now seems to have a greater attention span to finally sit and consume it thoroughly. The slower pace of the world presumably has resulted in people paying better attention and opting to actually listen – a reality that clown agreed with. The inability to tour remains a tough realization, but if there is any positive spin to the current state of affairs, Anderson takes stock in that people are finally diving in completely, instead of just skipping through the singles.

22:05 – Connecting with fans in a digital space

In lieu of reaching out and being able to touch fans from the stage and command the pit on the microphone, Anderson shared that the immediacy and real time revelation of reaction videos have helped him get through the band’s intermission of live shows.

The frontman detailed how the prevalence of the videos loans itself to a proactive fanbase – one that cares enough to not only share their feelings about a particular song, but there is a unique effort that comes with making a video, cleaning it up, and publishing it. It remains a disappointing reality that a live set still seems so far away but for Anderson, the ability to see fans react, even if it is though Youtube, still holds plenty of motivational weight.

25:45 – Side-stepping the internet trolls

For all of the benefits that come with being able to connect with fans digitally and having that universal reach, there are some dangers packaged in that dynamic too. As clown put it, ‘with the love comes the hate’ and while people are great about voicing their opinions online, that sometimes can be an especially malicious practice.

Ever the pragmatist, Anderson coped to reading the negative comments that exist online but for a very practical reason. The frontman acknowledged that in being a self-produced band, sometimes the fans offer some constructive insight mixed in with some shit talk. Anderson shared that he doesn’t have a problem with negative criticism if it is coming from a constructive place. Aside from that, he takes the standard trash talk with a grain of salt and chalks it up to not being able to please everyone – an especially mature disposition to have as such a young musician.

32:09 Deciphering intent from text

Staying on topic with regards to online negativity for just a bit longer, Anderson shared a specific instance where he did a little digging into a particular person that was spitting venom in the comments. In an effort to maybe put a name to a face and try and figure this guy out, Anderson discovered that the guy’s feed suggested he was really going through a rough patch.

That moment really reinforced the idea that despite the trash people talk online, it’s important to remember the context. Anderson embraces the idea that people are generally good at heart and while they may talk some shit – it could just be their means of venting rather than any real assessment of what he is doing.

37:05 – The forecast for Brand of Sacrifice

Preparing to release their sophomore record in ‘Lifeblood,’ the band is already looking towards the future and how to build upon the strides they have made with this LP. Anderson shared that the band will be hosting a livestream to coincide with the March 5th release and is itching to jam.

There is also some real discussion about a potential streaming performance from the band as a way to show appreciation to the fans. Among the certainties that lay ahead for Brand of Sacrifice is the continued show of work ethic. Their album isn’t even out yet and already Anderson and the band are plotting how to best to improve. With plans for some additional releases and ideas swirling around about a cohesive, thematic story, there is no interest in resting on their laurels.

45:00 – Living and working in lockdown

Despite the fact that his hometown in still technically in a state of emergency, Anderson is naturally keeping busy with all things BoS but has also shared that he has started a small clothing line with his guitarist.

As a fully self-managed, self-produced, self-contained outfit, Anderson explained that most of his time is consumed with band and even with the current halt of live music, staying on top of everything pertaining to Brand of Sacrifice is more than a full time gig.

49:40 – Using downtime to create

In addition to music, both clown and Anderson shared with one another how they have taken this downtime to pursue other creative avenues. For Anderson, he shared that he has explored painting – a medium he is still getting familiar with with but finding a real fulfillment in exploring.

clown explained that in addition to a script he has invested plenty of time working on, he took full advantage of the layoff and immersed himself in cultivating a garden and getting busy in the kitchen. Making everything from barbecue sauce to kombucha, clown shared that his love for cooking and harvesting his own crops have been especially rewarding for him during the pandemic.

Closing out the conversation with the sense of optimism about the future, clown exuded an excitement in being able to watch Anderson’s journey in the rock universe – there was a sense of mentorship that became evident as the two musicians wrapped up their exchange that made for an interesting caveat in the conversation. clown has climbed a professional mountain two during his tenure and he shared a sense of excitement in knowing the next generation is now in tow.

Lifeblood from Brand of Sacrifice arrives March 5th via Blood Blast Distribution. Order the album – HERE

Stream the complete conversation with clown and Kyle Anderson of Brand of Sacrifice below.

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