Late THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER frontman Trevor Strnad, who passed away at the age of 41, talked about his battle with depression and alcohol dependence in an April 2021 interview with Metal Injection.
No official cause of death has yet been revealed, but band shared the telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, while sharing news of Strnad’s death which indicates that singer took his own life.
“At the rate I drink while we’re gone on tour, it’s just not sustainable for getting older,” Strnad told Metal Injection. Being 40-plus and being able to do what I do well and not look like a sh*thead, I’ve gotta be better to myself. So that’s really the impetus [for quitting drinking]. That’s the heart of it. It’s not that… I know I’m no fun [when I’m drinking].
“I did an eight-month stint with no alcohol out there, but at that time it was more to save a relationship; it wasn’t something I really, really wanted to do and really invested myself in. I was embittered by having to do it after a while and kind of resentful of my partner. But this is full-on my choice. I want to have the excitement I had before I ever drank. When we started this band, I was a f*cking weird straight-edge kid. And now it’s become kind of like… it’s a lubricant for me to get up on stage and be funny and be kind of carefree and be the wild guy that [fans] expect of us, that they’ve seen from our DVDs and sh*t, which is really just a compilation of the good times.
“So if you expect any band that’s just raging full-on like that all the time, they’re not — it’s just not sustainable. But it’s to the point where I’m having 10 drinks a day plus to go on stage. And two weeks into it, I’ve been hungover every single day. I’m chasing that hangover with just more liquor, until the end of the tour [by which time] I have doubled my intake just to get by, basically. And it’s not fun — it’s disgusting; it sucks. It starts as fun. The three of us that drink in the band are, like, ‘Yeah, bro. Sipping time.’ And it is fun, but it’s not sustainable. I’ve seen photos of myself, videos of myself where I’m, like, ‘Yeah, you look like sh*t.’ I don’t wanna look like sh*t. From here on out, it’s only gonna get harder to meet people’s standards physically.
“Even though it’s a death metal band, there are so many eyes on us and so much judgment, it’s insane. We’re not a boy band. I’m not supposed to be f*cking handsome. Who gives a f*ck? But people berate you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called fat on the Internet. It’s insane — literally. You’ve gotta have a thick skin to do what I do. But also it does wear you down over time, man. Doing all the social media myself and taking the brunt of whatever anonymous abuse, it’s accumulated in some self-doubt, it’s accumulated in more anxiety, for me, as the band has gotten bigger and bigger and there’s more eyes and more pressure.”
He went on to say that his 40th birthday was a turning point for him.
“I wanted my 40s to be awesome. I wanna look presentable; I wanna be a better frontman; I want to be more physically fit; I want to go into my 40 screaming,” Trevor said. “I don’t want anyone snickering at me. I don’t wanna be in W.A.S.P. I want this band to keep going at this tremendous speed, and I wanna segue into being an older metalhead gracefully. Luckily, in metal you can be an older metalhead. It’s not like pop music where they just throw you away. Thankfully, this music is just as much about the past as it is about the present and the future. People are always gonna love the classic metal records. And that’s one thing I enjoy about it. It’s not this disposable music that you like for a week and throw away.
“I see this band going for another 20 years. But to physically be able to do it at this level and not top out at all is gonna take a focus on health and longevity and sanity too.
“Being left alone with my thoughts all this time [during the pandemic] has just been so dangerous for me,” he added.
Trevor also revealed that he was about to undergo ketamine therapy as a way of treating his depression.
He said: “It’s intravenous. They pump ketamine into you over the course of two weeks — three days a week for two weeks. And they put you in this euphoric state for a couple of hours. And eventually you’ve done it enough to where your brain makes new passageways, new synapses, and you stop doing these cyclic kind of thinking — self-defeating. I’ve been a lot better now, but there was times when sh*t got pretty f*cking dark for me over the last two years.
“You can go there as an emergency if you’re ideating suicide really crazily — they can take you in on an emergency basis,” he continued. “You’re basically high as f*ck and euphoric as f*ck, and they just give you all these great chemicals — you release all these happy chemicals and stuff like that. And they just keep doing that to you until you kind of rewrite the way you think.
“Really, this put the nail in the coffin for me about the way I look at the world, and it’s been heavy as f*ck. I feel like there’s no happy ending for any of us in the way that we’ve set everything up — government and just everything. I feel like it’s just gonna be darker and darker from here on out. And that’s a lot for a person to think about all the time. It basically stole whatever little bit of innocence I had left or any little blinder I had on to the way sh*t is. It’s been heavy, dude. This has been a heavy f*cking thing for me… I’m arrested by all of this right now and by my own feelings. It’s just brought my anxiety to an ultimate head, basically. It’s to the point where I’ve gotta do something.”