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. “It’s a biblical quote; it’s a creepy passage, but we’re not a religious band,” he says. “Every time we play there is lots of smiting. We’ve smited many crowds.” At first listen, the band screams “metal.” But, Johnston would argue that their sound is more complex. “We play something that is in between genre lines,” he explains.
“A lot of people in metal are ridiculously strict about that. If you don’t have X, Y and Z then you’re not part of their scene.” Johnston and his bandmates were all raised in Santa Cruz and grew up listening to Bay Area thrash metal, but it wasn’t until 2002, that they began performing as A Thousand Shall Fall. The band came together rather serendipitously—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. They’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 Fall’s Catalyst set on March 31 should prepare to be blown away. “We want to scar the audience,” says Johnston. “So when they see other shows they will think that’s it’s not as over the top and dynamic as we are.” | DNA
INFO: 8 p.m. Monday, March 31. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 423-1338.