“That’s my favorite part of it. We don’t really have a genre. We don’t have hooks and we don’t have choruses. The mood is just constantly changing and everyone puts in a piece of what they like. That just makes craziness.” Traci Pason, keyboardist and backing vocalist of Surrounded By Monsters, speaks of the band’s unclassified sound. This can be heard in full glory on Surrounded By Monsters’ debut album “Novella” on Nuclear Blast Records.
Surrounding By Monsters’ LP “Novella,” meaning short stories, provides listeners with complex metal shredding (including six string bass) and rifts over a melodic base. These compositions are infused with each member’s own unique influences, ranging from bands such as The Dillinger Escape Plan to Radiohead to Glassjaw. “I try to bring the pretty and girly side to it,” says self-proclaimed Tori Amos fan, Pason. The aggressive and intricate side is in full swing on Surrounded By Monsters’ lead off track “Dr Phuck.” The video, directed by Justin Beasley (Iwrestledabearonce, The Contortionist), is a contemporary metal interpretation of the 1989 film “The Little Monsters.”
Having been a part of various bands throughout New York, Michigan, and Texas, the members came together in Denton in 2007 to form Surrounded By Monsters and derived their name from a comic book. Since those early days, there have been a few switch-ups, but for the past three years, Surrounded By Monsters has remained with their current lineup. “I’ve always been the type of girl that does things only boys can do. It’s always been my kind of thing, but they are my family and I love it”, says Pason, who brings the female perspective to the male dominated metal group, which includes Mike Batson (lead vocals), John McCoy (guitar), Lee Dudley (guitar), Joe Demerrit (bass) and Chris Hoedebeck (drums).
Independently releasing their second EP “Planet Horror” in 2009, the six-piece band is excited about their pairing with the Crimson Management, who they first connected with through Iwrestledabearonce’s guitarist Steven Bradley. Surrounded By Monsters’ relationship with Bradley is going on seven years strong. “I just can’t imagine a better fit”, comments Pason, regarding Surrounded By Monsters’ management. Surrounded By Monsters has not only toured with the previously mentioned Iwrestledabearonce, but also with The Chariot, The Color Of Violence, and Chelsea Grin.