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Darkest Hour Guitarist Cops to Being Serious Trekkie

Appearances can be deceiving. Washington D.C.-based band Darkest Hour may be on metalcore and deathcore-friendly label Victory Records, and their dress sense might be a little less gnarly than that of Necrophagist, Suffocation, Dying Fetus and other death metal bands on this year’s Summer Slaughter Tour, but that doesn’t make them any less metal.

“People want to categorize the band, but nobody really wants to listen to the band,” Darkest Hour guitarist Mike Schleibaum gripes to Noisecreep. “We get called metalcore all the time, but to me that doesn’t apply to us. To me, metalcore isn’t really a dirty word. I understand it’s a mix of metal and hardcore in the sense of Minor Threat on up. But metalcore became its own genre to describe bands that play heavy rhythms and melodic choruses, and we don’t fit into that genre. We fit in your CD collection right next to melodic death metal, but we get defined more by how we look and who we tour with rather than what we actually sound like.”

Good thing Darkest Hour don’t also get judged by their television viewing habits or they’d probably lose whatever “cool” points they’ve still got. According to Schleibaum, he and one other member of the band are devoted Trekkies, and he claims he could go toe to toe with anyone when it comes to serious Star Trek trivia.

“I’m not saying I’ve got a ‘First Generation’ uniform in my closet or anything,” he says. “But I am saying that I’m a real good closet Trekkie.”

Like many Trekkies, Schleibaum has some pet peeves about the progression of the series, and his latest bone to pick with the producers of the Star Trek legacy has to do with the 2009 J.J. Abrams-directed flick ‘Star Trek.’

“We were in Finland when the new movie came out, but I saw it as soon as we got home,” begins Schleibaum. “I gotta say it threw me for a loop because they did time travel already in another ‘Star Trek’ movie. So, I wasn’t ready for that same kind of big plot changer to be used again. I guess it was a good way for them to be able to do a whole new series of ‘Star Trek’s differently because they can say that time changed, so none of the story lines apply. But most Trekkies like Star Trek because they like getting into all the various different elements, so when you change the entire plot, it changes everything. And that makes a couple of us weird.”

After hours of painstaking analysis about what Spock would call the “illogical sequence of events,” Schleibaum shrugged his shoulders and willingly suspended his disbelief. “I was really on the fence about it at first,” he says. “But any time you give me a reason to enjoy Star Trek for any reason, I’ll like it. So I would have to say I erred on the side of liking it.”

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