Singled Out: Drifter’s Black Mamba

New Jersey metallers Drifter recently released a music video for their track “Black Mamba,” which is a single from their new EP “The Howling”. To celebrate we asked frontman Mike Monto to tell us about the song. Here is the story:

Creating the Music: I think every band goes through stages of trying to find “their sound” and I think “Black Mamba” was the song that made it all come clear what Drifter is. When working on the song with the guys in the pre-production stage, I wanted to create something that was chaotically organized, as much of a paradox as that is. I wanted to take elements from bands such as The Chariot, Pantera, Underoath, Everytime I Die, and a few other old favorites and create something unique and innovative.

When creating every song, including this one, the guys and I always think cinematically. I want the listener to feel like they’re watching a very detailed movie, loaded with dynamics and parts that leave your jaw dropped. There’s also an abundance of beauty using dissonance. I’ve always been a fan of creating beautiful, flowing pieces blended with dark elements. I feel like it has this contrasting yet complimenting aesthetic I’ve always vibed with.

The one breakdown in the song with the singled-out hits and flickering camera frames was originally conceptualized from the perspective of someone laying on the ground seeping in and out of consciousness, while someone is above them throwing haymakers in their face. I wanted to create something punchy. I feel like bands lack in “Oh Sh*t” moments within their music the past couple of years, and I want to bring back those climatic moments. “Black Mamba” has all these elements, making it the flagship song for the record encompassing what the project is as a whole.

The Lyrics: When writing the lyrics for “Black Mamba” and the album, the vision began with a story centered around an ominous character; raw and dissonant. The personality had to be adaptable to different situations, like how most people are in life. Different personalities come out at different times. Similarly, I’m a very dynamic person. I used to be an innocent person in my younger years. Trying to be as much of a genuine person growing up as I could be, I became progressively angry as to why friends and family would betray me, why people are so greedy, lack love or humanity for each other. With the song, I wanted to address the wrongs with society that aren’t justifiable, but reinforced positively.

“Black Mamba” is an abstract song about redemption and revenge. Being in multiple projects coming from a town with a competitive scene, everyone pretends to be your friend face to face but talk sh*t behind your back. On the other hand, my family pushed for me to just get my degree, find a job, start a family, then die. I was never ready to forget my passion or let go of my dreams. I earned my masters and I’m searching for a job now, but I don’t want to be stuck in some office forever. I want to tour and travel, inspiring others to inspire. “Black Mamba” is basically symbolism for everything that is trying to tear us all down, saying that we’re going to persevere despite the odds stacked against us. The snake has always been symbol of evil through tales or even the bible which is why I chose the name “Black Mamba” for this track. I needed an antagonist. Something that I could destroy. Something I could crucify.

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