While he’s still a young man, James Sigrist has been playing the drums for 27 years after taking up the instrument at just six years old. His love for it hasn’t waned one bit.
One need only speak to the Luling native about it for a few minutes and they will feel the kind of special energy only generated from someone truly passionate about a subject.
“When you’re playing metal, it’s like you’re playing a drum solo throughout the entire song. It’s a lot of fun … it’s an explosion of energy from within yourself,” Sigrist said.
Locally, many know Sigrist as the grill cook at Anita’s Smokin Steak Burgers in Boutte. But there’s plenty more to him – especially true recently, as his instrumental metal band Edifice recently released its first music video, a single titled “Dead Man’s Satchel.”
This is hardly his first band, or even his only current project – he is also part of the band Shores of Acheron, a far more established group.
But Edifice has Sigrist excited. Even for someone who’s played music all his life, this project – which started during the COVID-19 pandemic – offers a very different experience.
The band is the brainchild of Sigrist and guitarist Toby Sanders. The two met at an audition and hit it off quickly.
“After the audition, we stayed even longer and just started playing our own stuff,” Sigrist said. “That band didn’t last long, but Toby and I said OK, let’s do our own project. The rest is pretty much history.”
Edifice focuses on creating complex metal music that takes the audience on a different path than what is traditionally expected at a metal show.
“We didn’t want to take that route a lot of other bands take where the entirety of the message is very violent or all doom and gloom. We wanted to make something more beautiful and melodic … technical, hard to do, but very beautiful,” Sigrist said.
Being able to collaborate with Sanders and share input on what direction the band takes is appealing for Sigrist, who said he’s felt he’s had more to offer with groups he’s played with in the past.
“I’ve been playing for so long that I just feel like I have a lot of chops, a lot of skills that I think could be put to good use,” he said. “It’s really good (working with Sanders), he challenges me to write drum parts outside the box, things I wouldn’t ordinarily run with on another metal album.”
Sigrist said he knows he’s a bit uncommon – he hails from an area where there tends to me more of a love for country and other musical styles, yet he gravitated to metal.
He remembers exactly when the genre grabbed him.
“I didn’t have much of a friends group in school. I was quite the nerd,” he quipped. “I’d play drums for hours and hours and finally I got really good. A friend showed me a band called Blood Runs Black. There was a particular part in a song called Fears Become Phobias where the drummer takes the double pedal and hit a speed of, it had to be roughly 180 beats per minute.
“I heard about Slipknot, Jordy Jordison and all that, but I’d never heard anyone go that fast. It was astounding, and that was immediately an inspiration for me. I borrowed a double pedal from my friend the next day and started working on doing double base the best I could. I got pretty good at it.”
Beyond the stage – Edifice regularly plays in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas – he’s earned a degree in health science and most often spends his free time with his family and girlfriend.
“I’m kind of a simple individual,” he said. “I like to go home and write complicated music, but I’m a simple guy.”
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