When asked how he and his bandmates settled on the name A Thousand Shall Fall, lead guitarist Dan Johnston explains that the moniker comes from Psalms in the Old Testament. â€œItâ€™s a biblical quote; itâ€™s a creepy passage, but weâ€™re not a religious band,â€ he says. â€œEvery time we play there is lots of smiting. Weâ€™ve smited many crowds.â€ At first listen, the band screams â€œmetal.â€ But, Johnston would argue that their sound is more complex. â€œWe play something that is in between genre lines,â€ he explains.
â€œA lot of people in metal are ridiculously strict about that. If you donâ€™t have X, Y and Z then youâ€™re not part of their scene.â€ Johnston and his bandmates were all raised in Santa Cruz and grew up listening to Bay Area thrash metal, but it wasnâ€™t until 2002, that they began performing as A Thousand Shall Fall. The band came together rather serendipitouslyâ€”Johnston had previously played with rhythm guitarist Dhruva Noel in the band Descending Forth; bassist Kevin Loftus met Noel at a bonfire; lead vocalist Jesse Williams responded to an ad on Craigslist; and drummer Gina Krupa aced her audition. Fast forward to today, and the band has just finished working on a few new tracks with sound engineer Aaron Cooper. Theyâ€™re currently debating whether they want to record an entire full-length album, or simply put out an EP. Whatever the group decides to do, one thing is for certain: audience members at A Thousand Shall Fallâ€™s Catalyst set on March 31 should prepare to be blown away. â€œWe want to scar the audience,â€ says Johnston. â€œSo when they see other shows they will think thatâ€™s itâ€™s not as over the top and dynamic as we are.â€ | DNA
INFO: 8 p.m. Monday, March 31. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 423-1338.