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The Destro’s Aggressive Sound Is Fueled by Death, Breakups, Couch Hopping and Huey Lewis

It’s a Monday afternoon, just outside Little Rock, Ark., and the members of the Destro are speeding down the highway, blasting the Allman Brothers Band‘s ‘Ramblin’ Man.’ The band is on tour with It Dies Today and Arsonists Get All the Girls, and as guitarist Nick Emde admits, the Destro’s sticking out like a sore thumb on this trek.

“It’s different,” Emde tells Noisecreep. “The crowds that these guys … like, Arsonists get more of a young crowd, and I mean, we could appeal to whatever, but it seems like them and It Dies Today have a different type of audience, so [our music] is definitely something new to a lot of people. We’ll get out there and play, and people will be like, ‘Wait, there’s no choruses … it’s just heavy?’ It’s different, but still, it’s a good tour.”

On their sophomore LP, ‘Harmony of Dischord,’ which drops Oct. 13, the Destro exhibit their own brand of sludgy thrash that, at times, sounds just as heavy as anything Meshuggah‘s done in the past. The record is a crushing, ferocious beast, written during a rather trying time for the Destro, who were grappling with the loss of loves ones and longtime girlfriends, and even homelessness.

“It’s not like we were sitting under bridges,” Emde says. “It’s more like we were bouncing around from couch to couch, and had no stability. Some of us had to move back in with the folks. Then, our singer [Eric Daughtry] had the most table living situation, but his mother passed away unexpectedly, and that was hard. I had to give up my relationship that I had been in a while, that was either ‘Do it this way and we’ll stick together, or we part and focus on our careers.’ Our drummer [Jono Garrett] had to do the same thing, It was a very different time for us. A turning point, for sure, and it fueled the record a bit … made it a little more aggressive.”

The band’s practice space didn’t help matters either. If anything, it was being cramped into the closet-sized room, working on the songs for the new one, that made them so brutal and in-your-face. “It was a little hole in the wall, and we could barely fit drums and an amp in there,” he says. “That vibe definitely added to it. It was a very interesting work environment.”

Things haven’t gotten much better for the Destro when it comes to mile-logging. They’re still rolling in small van, but as long as they’ve got music, the ride is never as bad as it seems, Emde says.

“We’re always rocking the classic rock, but we listen to so much s—,” the guitarist says. “I’ll go through moods where we’ll just listen to Dokken and Cinderella, and then I’ll switch over to Eyehategod, Exhorder, Crowbar, Acid Bath, then switch to some Earth Crisis. Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy … basically all the stuff you grow up with when you’re younger. We’ll listen to Huey Lewis from time to time … haven’t heard much from the News. I guess the News ran out of gas somewhere along the line, and stopped playing.”

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