Traces Of Envy
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Traces Of Envy

Band Metal Metal


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""Take one for the scene""

Take One for the Scene
Traces of Envy uses the heavy metal buddy system
By Jason Budjinski

Published on December 14, 2006

We're all familiar with this story: local band gets a decent following, signs to a major, and moves to New York (or Austin or L.A.). Some of these bands do well. Most do not, getting dropped by their label after a few months before disbanding. Still, whether such a band makes it big or hits the skids, the message to the rest of us hometown schmoes is the same — later, suckers.

But when Traces of Envy manager Janei Balski contacted me a few weeks ago, I was curious to hear about her admittedly different style of band promotion. What started as a conversation about the band (how it's currently label-shopping) soon shifted to the South Florida metal scene in general — specifically, how the Traces guys are as interested in building a lasting local scene as getting signed.

But that's just part of the band's humble nature, Balski said. Now, I'm not saying South Florida's rife with egomaniacs, but humble isn't how I'd describe most musicians around here. So when I met Traces of Envy last week at the band's warehouse, I had to agree with Balski: For such a heavy band, they were light on the pretense.

"The whole idea was to have a band with no egos," vocalist/guitarist Cristian Sheput said of his bandmates, guitarist/vocalist Dan Viola, bassist Memo Acosta, and drummer Kevin O'Neil. And by the end of the night, I believed him. Sure, he belts out some mean-sounding tunes onstage. But in person, he's calm, cool, and totally grounded.

I always hear bands talk the talk about having no egos, but when it comes down to it, a lot of 'em are in permanent battle mode with everyone. Trust me, I've been there. For many years, it was us against them for whatever band I was in. The thing is, it never got us anywhere; it mostly just caused problems with clubs, labels, and other bands. That's sort of the opposite of how Traces (and Balski) see it.

"Every band talks about building a scene," Sheput said. "But if you want to build a scene, you have to embrace it. If there was more closeness among bands, more things could happen."

Balski concurs. "A big part of the problem around here is how bands try to get to the top and want to do it by themselves," she said. "They think if they have enough fans that it will spark attention to the area. But if they get signed and move, the scene's still in a shambles."

Yeah, but isn't that the normal thing to do? Was she trying to tell me that there are places where bands actually, you know, band together?

"Bands from Boston and New Jersey got signed by sticking together," she said, referring to a few staples of Northeast metal like Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, and All That Remains. "If Traces leaves, they want to take four or five bands with them and still stay involved with everyone who's down here."

One thing Balski's focused on is trying to put together an annual metal fest, something that will include national and local bands. The idea, she said, is to put South Florida metal on the map so the music industry will take notice. But it's still in the early planning stages.

"New England has a metal fest, San Diego has a metal fest, Milwaukee has a metal fest — all these metal fests happen everywhere else but not here," Balski said. "A lot of bands ended up getting signed from those events."

For now, Traces will settle for a trip to the festival in Milwaukee, where they'll play next March. It'll be their biggest show yet, after the 2005 arena show they played with God Forbid in Durham, North Carolina — a show Traces booked after God Forbid guitarist Dallas Coyle discovered them on MySpace ( "Dallas contacted me and said he'd be at the Culture Room," Balski said. "I met him in the parking lot, and we listened to Traces' demo in his car."

Coyle soon paid a visit to the band's warehouse, giving the guys pointers on songwriting and production. And according to Balski, Coyle gave Traces high marks on its music. So it seems the band's song-over-solo philosophy is working.

"I'm into the songs first," Sheput said. "I won't put a solo in unless it absolutely fits."

O'Neil put it more bluntly: "If we're up there to blow everyone away with our technical superiority but there's no song, what's the point?"

Besides, that's an approach that can easily lead to dueling guitars — and not in a good way. Thankfully, Sheput's relationship with Traces' other guitarist, Viola, is rock-solid.

"For years, I wouldn't play with another guitarist in the band because it always became a competition," Sheput said. "That's why this band is so great. Dan and I push each other, but we're not competing."

And, Sheput added, they're not competing with anyone else either. For Traces, it's all about supporting other bands, not battling them.

"The best thing about - The New Times


Still working on that hot first release.



Metal, Melody and a brutal yet elegant vocal delivery of heart felt sincere and true to life lyrics makes up the core of Traces of Envy. Since it's Formation in the summer of 2003 in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, This 4 peice band has played various shows and events such as the South Florida Tattoo Expo, and Metal and Models Events. Often captivating audiences, The band gained respect and popularity with other bands as well as fans from all over florida.

In the summer of 2005, the band got it's first big break going on a 3 day tour with Century Media artist "God Forbid" in North Carolina. Also during that tour traces of Envy has shared the stage with "Evergreen Terrace", and "The Chariot".

Seeing potential in the band, Dallas Coyle guitatist for God Forbid offered to Produce Traces of Envy, and has formed a good friendship with the band.

Currently, Traces of Envy is pressing their debut E.P (self titled) As well as playing as many shows as possible.

The band just received another big break sharing the stage with another Century Media powerhouse "Diecast". T.O.E. is also working on a Florida Tour which will cover every coast of their home state. Traces of Envy Prides itself on being a self reliant, hard working , and respected band who likes to have fun being