Melanie Johnson Talks Fascinating Second Shooter Debut

Fury Made Flesh by Second Shooter is an outstanding debut full-length album that immerses listeners into the world of Death Metal with its relentless intensity. The album was released in January via Into Records, when the band also completed a nine date US tour.

This is a brutal slab of Metal driven by Melanie Johnson’s deep growl, which enhances the layers of emotion and aggression which set the theme across the album.

Fast and heavy, Fury Made Flesh is an impressive debut. A culmination of five years of hard work, I caught up with Melanie to find out more.

Second Shooter are pleased with the way the debut album has been received. “We’re really happy with how it’s been performing on the streaming platforms,” Melanie says. “We have a lot of new fans. We’re definitely happy with how people have been receiving it, but we want as many people as possible to hear it.

“We feel like this is just the beginning. The more people’s attention we can catch, the more legit fans we will get. So we’re excited to get it out there.”

Fury Made Flesh is an exciting album. Melanie’s voice and vocal style complement the music wonderfully. “We all just put our own flavour on what we make,” she says, “and I think it all goes together really well.”

Second Shooter - Fury Made Flesh. Photo: Jeremy Saffer
Second Shooter – Fury Made Flesh. Photo: Jeremy Saffer

Where does she get her inspiration from? “I love everything,” Melanie says. “But in terms of inspiration all across the heavy spectrum from Post-Hardcore to Extreme Metal, my favourite female vocalist would have to be Julie Christmas, who does a lot of Post Metal. I love her sounds. One of my early formative artists from a long time before I started doing music was listening to Angela [Gossow] from Arch Enemy.

“That’s kind of the first thing that made me not surprised that women could do it. I took that for granted. There are a lot of women all across the Metal scene that I think are awesome to listen to.

“Angela and Tatiana [Shmayluk] are, of course, the most well-known. I love any comparison I get. But I love all kinds of Heavy stuff, female-fronted, male-fronted, anything.”

Like most bands, the Second Shooter songwriting approach varies from song to song. “Sometimes somebody will come with a more fully formed song, including lyrics,” Melanie says. “Sometimes the band will write the whole instrumental, and then I’ll put my lyrics on it. So it is always the vocals that I’m taking part in writing, and sometimes I’m given lyrics and sort of just putting my spin on it, my vocals on it. Whereas other ones, the whole lyrical idea just comes from me.”

For song themes, sometimes they can be very literal. “We have a song from our first EP called 1 In 6,” Melanie says. “That’s very much about existing in the world and various kinds of harassment or treatment that women get.

“I figured adding my more unique voice to the genre, I can say things that I feel Metal isn’t talking about quite as much as other topics. Sometimes it’s more abstract. Sometimes it will be telling a story. Just whatever comes to mind as far as varying levels of ‘this is important to me’ versus this sounds super Metal.”

With Melanie’s impressively powerful vocals putting her brilliant twist and lilt on Second Shooter’s music, how does her voice hold up when playing live?

“It’s very sustainable for me,” she says. “We did a 10-date tour, and I didn’t have any trouble performing on a given night. I would say if my voice gets more tired, it’s more from yelling to be heard in a bar. The actual singing part never really messes with my throat or anything.”

With a show coming up with Otep, “more like a festival,” the band are hoping to kick on. “We’re excited,” Melanie says, “because we think that there is overlap in what will appeal to people. So that’s gonna be cool. It’s lots and lots of bands.”

For the future, a trip to the UK is not out of the question. “That would be so fun,” Melanie says. “I would love that.”

In the meantime, Fury Made Flesh by Second Shooter is an incredible listen and very worthwhile checking out. “Anyone who has any interest in the genre, especially Extreme Metal, definitely check it out,” Melanie says. “I feel like there’s something in there for every lover of heavy music. Every lover of heavy music that likes harsh vocals.”

To find out more about Second Shooter, visit linktr.ee/secondshooterband.

Second Shooter is:

Melanie Johnson, Vocals

Wynn McElwee, Guitar

Travis Hildreth, Guitar

Jeff Clark, Bass

James Wilinski, Drums

Sleeve Notes

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