The Signs of the Swarm Interview: Deathcore, Inspirations, Matt Heafy and 2024

We've spoken to Bobby Crow, covering one of the most brutal deathcore albums of all time, working with Matt Heafy, hitting some awesome gigs around the world, and more.
Crown Magnetar Band Members
Signs of the Swarm

As our journey of interviewing deathcore bands continues (If you haven't checked yet, we've talked with Crown Magnetar and DISTANT), today we bring once again another heavy-weight deathcore band.

Pittsburgh crew Signs of the Swarm keeps making their unique kind of deathcore, staying away from what most other bands are doing nowadays. But don't get me wrong here, we are not talking about reinventing the wheel, but instead, pure and brutal deathcore. There are no soft, clean singing parts or breaks with dance-like music in between the heavy parts. This is as pure and direct a deathcore sound as you can find in 2024.

We spoke with Bobby Crow, drummer for the band, which by the way, is one of the most brutal drummers we've ever seen. Let's not talk too much, let's dive into it!

2024 And Deathcore

CONCERTY: Starting a new year, what are you most excited about for 2024?

BOBBY (SOTS): Signs is a band that thrives on the road, and we already have plenty of touring planned for this year. Personally though, I’ve been doing a lot of writing and am very much looking forward to getting back into the creative groove with the guys again later this year.

CONCERTY: Data speaks, and it indicates that deathcore is on the rise. How do you feel about it? Do you position yourselves to reap the benefits, or do you consider it a "momentarily viral" trend that will eventually fade away?

BOBBY (SOTS): I think everyone can kind of see how genres trend up and down every decade or so, especially nowadays. Some of my favorite deathcore records came out during the “down season” of the genre (Neverbloom, Danza III, Eclipse). It’s easy to get caught up in trends and hype, but as things come and go we’ve learned to simply make music that is fun and interesting for us first and foremost. If it’s a miss at the time, we can at least be proud that we made something we thoroughly enjoy. That said, I do think our timing worked out perfectly with “Amongst the Low & Empty”, whether it was intentional or not.

CONCERTY: Extreme metal is not a generic music genre; everything needs to be super technical, combined with meaningful lyrics. How is the process of creation for you guys? Do you enjoy being in the studio?

BOBBY (SOTS): For years we all just kind of wrote our own songs and came together pretty late in the process to flush them out together. But our last two records were a much more collaborative process than in the past. We’ve really come to enjoy our time together in the studio as it’s incredibly productive when you have a space to just shut off the outside world when you need to. One thing we focused on a lot with “Amongst the Low & Empty” was creating a space for David (vocals) to be free, and give him an opportunity to shine. I think it’s really important to play to everyone’s strengths in that way.

Influences & Amongst The Low & Empty

CONCERTY: Thinking about inspirations, looking back to when you started the band, which bands do you feel indirectly or even directly shaped Signs of the Swarm into what it is today?

BOBBY (SOTS): When we started writing for our first and second albums, we pretty shamelessly pulled inspiration from a ton of OG deathcore and death metal bands. To the extent of using other band’s song names in our demos LOL. But bands like Whitechapel, Job for a CowboySuicide Silence, Fit For An Autopsy, Ingested, I Declare War, and Pathology were a massive influence on the band in 2014/2015. We have been fortunate to spend time on the road with many of these bands over the years and it only reinforces my passion for the sound and energy that bands like these pioneered in the mid to late 2000s. But with that said our personal tastes are always changing. I think lately we’ve kind of branched off into our own realm of deathcore and metalcore, but we still carry that soul of the band from the early days with us now.

CONCERTY: Now, let's discuss Amongst The Low & Empty. It's a brutal, back-to-the-roots, extremely technical album. A few months after its release, how do you see the album today? Is it how you expected it to be?

BOBBY (SOTS): The reception of “Amongst the Low & Empty” in the later half of 2023 far and beyond exceeded our expectations. We’ve been riding a pretty steady wave since its release, and the numbers just keep climbing. It’s definitely been a very humbling year for the band! Looking back I think there are a few little things I may have chosen to do differently, but when I listen back to some of the tracks I’m like… Damn, WE did that!

Working with Matt Heafy from Trivium

CONCERTY: We know that Trivium's Matt Heafy was featured on the album. While you've talked about working with him, could you share some backstage details? Did you feel any pressure, or did everything go smoothly?

BOBBY (SOTS): Matt is a true professional and the whole process of working with him was about as easy as it could possibly be. It was surely a bit intimidating at first, but he was very open minded and interested in what Signs was working on, and he brought that energy to all of our conversations as well as the track. He pretty much sent us 1 long file, single tracked, very raw (in the best way) and basically gave us creative control over his voice. We wanted to make his and Dave’s voice dance between sections together so I did a bit of fading between their vocal lines at our AirBNB before the studio one day and that's pretty much the version you hear on the record!

Gigs and Upcoming Projects

CONCERTY: Festival season is approaching. Are you excited for this year's festivals?

BOBBY (SOTS): Seeing as we hit the festival circuit pretty hard in 2023,  the only major festival we have booked for this year is Inferno Fest. But it will be our first time performing there and we are very keen to see a bunch of new faces!

CONCERTY: Talking to bands from around the world, some prefer playing at music festivals rather than their own concerts. Others believe that while music festivals provide exposure to new audiences, they can be messy. How do you feel about it?

BOBBY (SOTS): There’s definitely a unique and special energy that comes with a festival setting. I love seeing so many people together just for the love of music, whether you love every band on the bill or are just there to see a few it’s an amazing way to bring people together. With that said, there’s something about a small 300/400 capacity club gig, where everyone’s just buzzing and vibing wall to wall, that can’t be captured in a larger crowd. I don’t think I have a preference, I’m just happy to be on stage!

CONCERTY: Lastly, could you share what fans can expect in 2024?

BOBBY (SOTS): What can I say… More tours, more music! We have yet another busy year on the books, keep an eye on our socials, and hopefully we will be in a city near you.

We wish the band all the best for their 2024 tours and upcoming projects!


Be prepared for SIGNS OF THE SWARM's upcoming concerts at the link below!
Signs of the Swarm's Next Concerts, Setlist Prediction, and more


concerty logo loading
Please wait, while we work our Magic...