- Please introduce yourself and tell us who you sing for
Hey, this is David, lead vocalist of Chugger! I do mostly growls and screams nowadays, but have dabbled a bit in clean vocals too in my previous bands Eta Carinae and Taketh.
- What / Who made you want to sing?
I grew up in the church, and music and song was always a part of that life. I spent a lot of time singing in different choirs, and always dreamed of starting a band. So when me and my friend Mikael started Taketh, it was natural for me to take that position. It also became apparent, rather quickly, that I didn’t have the knack for playing guitar, so vocals were really the only position that fit me.
- Who was the first singer you saw live that gave you chills?
That’s probably Extol with Peter Espevoll and Ole Børud in ‘99. That gig was my first real extreme metal experience, and the power and intensity just blew my mind. The combination of Peters vicious screams and Oles flawless clean vocals remain one of my favorites to this day.
- Many people say heavy music is just screaming, how would you combat that statement?
The point of screams/growls to me, is that the vocals become one of the instruments. It’s no longer a lead that you’re supposed to focus on, but a part in the whole. I think that people can listen to whatever they want, and we all have different tastes, so it’s fine that people like different things. But I think you’re missing out if you’re not at least giving it a chance.
And apart from that, metal tends to have some of the absolute best musicians in the world. It’s a very demanding genre to play. So if you appreciate good musicianship, definitely don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
- If you growl or do harsh vocals how do you keep your voice after such violent performances?
For me it’s been a combination of trial and error, and singing lessons. The big thing about harsh vocals is to not put too much pressure on yourself. It’s very easy to go crazy in a live situation, but that’s when you hurt yourself. Good technique and monitors are a necessity.
- Do you have a warm up routine? Tell us about it?
I don’t do much vocal warm up honestly. I do some focused and simple growls to get the body in the right zone, and then I loosen up the body to get some blood in my muscles, and that’s pretty much it.
- Do you think power or performance is more important?
For me it’s definitely performance. I enjoy vocalists that go wild on stage, but I’m more about controlled focus and stage presence. I spent a lot of time playing theater as a kid, and that’s something I take with me on stage to this day.
- Who do you think gets unfair vocal praise, someone the world thinks is great but is not? / And who is great but does not get the credit?
Don’t really have anyone to complain about, I don’t really think about those things. But one band I think deserves more exposure is VOLA, their vocalist Asger Mygind is absolutely magical.
- Name your top 5 vocalist
Zaher Zorgati (Myrath)
Roy Khan (Kamelot)
Eric Clayton (Saviour Machine)
- Michael Bublé or Jim Gillette? Just testing your skills here
I had to google both of them, so can’t take any credit there. But definitely Jim Gillette! Michael Bublé did nothing for me honestly.
- Who do you love to listen to that would surprise people?
I mostly listen to clean vocal stuff nowadays, with Myrath being my all out favorite lately. But my most played artist of the last decade is actually Blue Stahli, a one man electronic rock act that’s got me hooked. It’s got drive, energy and lots of synths and weird glitchy electronic stuff.
- If you could remove the autotune from any singer who would it be?
I would love for the whole “autotune as an instrument” fad to disappear. All these popular songs with overcorrected and just downright horrible vocal performances makes me sick to my stomach.