Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born in Brownsville, TX on the Southern-most tip of Texas. A couple of miles further south and my life would have taken a very different turn which is a bit ironic considering the political climate of the moment. I’m currently in between Oklahoma City and Chicago, over the years I have tended to go wherever music has lead me so where I ultimately end up is still a bit up in the air. One of the nice things about Beauty In The Suffering is that since I do everything in terms of songwriting, wherever I am is where the band is based.
Describe the concept of the band:
The concept of the band revolves around the band name Beauty In The Suffering which I came up with in a lyric for a song called “AnTiThesis” which is from my previous band; Marazene. The name itself represents the phoenix rising from the ashes and symbolizes rebirth. The name also represents the struggle that everybody goes through and who they become on the other side. We are all the butterfly that has emerged from the cocoon. We all have fascinating and incredible stories. We are all the beauty in the suffering in this world trying to figure ourselves out. The whole vibe is much more personal and something I always felt I wanted to be able to explore in much further depth within the context of the music and multi-media I have been working on.
You state your music deals with universal themes of love and loss, defeat and resolve, struggle and triumph. Tell us about some of your dark times:
Where do I start? One of the darker times that springs to mind was during the loss of my friend Kristov (RIP) from my previous band Marazene. During some of the later days of his struggle it was increasingly difficult to come face to face with the inevitability of losing a close friend. Kris had always been a rock to me while I had been pioneering new ground for the band. Kris was actually the band leader for Marazene in the very early 2000’s before I found my stride and started reaching out further than the band had originally thought possible. When he passed it clearly became a turning point as he was a deciding vote between the 3 core members now 2 core members. From that point on it became very difficult to complete any of the songs or execute any of the plans I attempted to make. We managed a couple digital singles but our follow up album that I had been piecing together as a concept album; complete with artwork notes, video scripts, and even a short story eventually got rolled into Beauty In The Suffering. “Reveille,” which we (Beauty In The Suffering) just released as a zombie themed music video would have been released as a Marazene song had the band stuck it out.
DieTrich, you have the renaissance man role of producer, front man and performer. How do you keep balance when performing these tasks?
Well, the studio and live are completely different from each other for obvious reason. In the studio my focus is on realizing the songs as I hear it in my head. When I’m playing live I’m more concerned with interacting with the people who are in front of me and adding some physicality to the ideas I am expressing in my lyrics. We have been opening our set with “Never Gonna Fucking Die” (N.G.F.D.) which is one of my favorite batch of stanzas that I have ever written. A perfect blend of personal empowerment and obnoxious over-the-top in-your-face electronic rock n’ roll done BITS style.
What has been your crowning achievement?
Staying involved with the industry as long as I have is probably something I am proud of despite the odds. I could never be completely satisfied being a utility member of a band for someone else’s vision so the fact that I have produced multiple music videos based off of my own concepts and scripts/notes, overseen the creation of multiple pieces of artwork based of the visions I see in my head and written 70+ songs for Beauty In The Suffering during the past few years has been an empowering and cathartic experience.
What do you wish to achieve?
On a musical/production level I am looking for a way to keep the pipeline of music released on a consistent basis. Beyond that just trying to find a way to keep creating. I think my ultimate goal is to learn, to teach, and through that experience continue my own personal and artistic growth as a writer, a musician, and as a producer. I’ve never been one to try and shove someone in a direction and I would prefer to offer a different perspective where I am able. Getting something back is just as important because there is so much to learn. I don’t care how rich you are, I don’t care how smart you are, how strong you are, how rock out with your cock out you are, at the end of the day we’re here to help each other. With any luck, maybe some of those concepts can make a difference somewhere.
How have you grown as an artist since your early days of music?
I think in the earlier days I was just trying to perfect writing songs in general. It never gets any “easier” per se and I am definitely a subscriber to the “I’m only as good as my last song” mentality but at least I am aware of the trap doors that pop up from time to time. In terms of what the difference is between then and now? I like to add more dimensional aspects to the songs. I’m always thinking Big Picture or, put another way, uber big budget super hero zombie apocalypse cinematic type stuffs. Ok – so we have a cool song with some cool riffs and a sweet bridge change up – how do we level up? Some artwork to expand on the story. Some visuals to add to the mix. Some performance to push the vocal personality. It’s become increasingly important to me as the lyrics have become increasingly personal.
The group is working on a string of zombie and horror themed music videos. You’ve started off the zombie trilogy concept with ‘The Crazies’. What can we expect to see on the follow up videos?
We just released “Reveille” which is the continuation of our story which began in “The Crazies.” “Juliet” which is part 3 will arrive soon and that will conclude this particular story. We’ll keep releasing videos thru all of next year as well for our 2nd EP which is currently finished. I have been trying to inject some key elements into the videos and I have been happy with the results but the masochist in me knows that I can be happier.
I dig your electro metal version of 80’s band The Outfield (Your Love), tell us about the choosing of this track for a cover:
Thanks! I had been working on numerous covers and trying to find something that I thought would represent the new sound. I had about a dozen in development – some of which could still see the light of day – but “Your Love” came together very quickly and I had so many ideas to add to the original song both in terms of approach and from a melodic standpoint. It really came together quickly. While we were mixing I swapped out a couple of the bass lines during the solo and outro that I heard during playback and really felt like we had something really special.
Who are some of your heroes?
Rather than single out an individual on this I’m going to generalize. An artist who, for a moment, was able to express themselves and to capture it is certainly someone I admire. That could be a peak moment in a song where the vocal melody shifts or an actor/director collaboration that manages to yield an emotional moment in a scene of a film or a painting or photograph that reminds us of something long buried deep inside of ourselves.
DieTrich, congrats on being selected to tour as bassist with Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. What was that experience like for you?
Thanks! It was fun! Was a great opportunity to meet new friends in new areas and help them make the jump from horror punk to horror electro-metal!
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Dark Beauty to me sounds like beauty that was acquired through struggle. Physical beauty is something you can be born with and that’s great because you can be born innocent. You can be a force of nature by your very being. There has to be some trans-formative experience, an evolution once you begin to see the world beyond Black and White. When you start seeing the layers of grey. When you start digging into the details and how things became so complicated. To remain beautiful through the struggle or the pain is Dark Beauty. Beauty In The Suffering is something that you have earned and accepted. It’s what made you who you are.