An Interview with Skeletonwitch

Our good friend Alex at All About The Music [click the metal news link on the side] recently did an interview with SKELETONWITCH. We thought we’d introduce you to Alex and his site by letting you into the world of Skeletonwitch. Be sure to support the band and Alex [I’m sure he’ll be showing his face around here more and more]

Alex (All About The Music): You guys have been a touring machine lately and about to head out on the Blackest Of The Black Tour in October with Danzig, Dimmu Borgir, Moonspell, and Winds Of Plague. Cheers man you guys must be really stoked huh?

Scott Hedrick (guitar): Thanks a lot!! We’re beyond stoked! When we first started Skeletonwitch, I remember a particular Halloween where [Skeletonwitch guitarist] Nate stood on his roof with a Marshall half-stack and a case of beer and played a bunch of songs off of the first Danzig album to befuddled walkers by. Considering the beer consumption, it’s a wonder he didn’t fall of the fucking roof. Needless to say, we never thought we be chosen to tour with Danzig. We consider it a big honor!

A: And not to forget the tour with Valient Thorr and Early Man. How does it feel to meet so many awesome bands throughout your career so far in Skeletonwitch?

S: If it feels pretty good. We’re lucky to have shared the stage with, and become friends with, so many killer bands. and equally important: killer people! We’re in the midst of the Valient Thorr and Early Man tour right now and having an amazing time with those guys. They’re great dudes to be on the road with. If you want to see just how much fun we’re having, search YouTube for ‘Skeletonwitch vs. whiskey.’ Hehe!

Quick Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZmlKM2u07o

A: Your blackened thrash attack is very versatile attracting many different crowds. How has the response from the road been so far touring with many different bands?

S: All crowds react differently, even within the same genre, but it’s been largely positive. It’s also, in my opinion, more interesting to have a mixed style of bands touring together, or vary the style of tours that we do. A show tends to lose its luster if you have ‘5 of the most high-energy rock and roll bands’ or ‘7 of the most technical, brutal death metal bands to ever wield an arpeggio, all on one stage.’ Or perhaps ’32 of the most necro-grim, one-man black metal acts” at an all-day fest; nobody will have fun guaranteed!

A: Because of the music being very versatile you guys must have a good range of influences though I assume heavy metal is still the law. Are there any influences in particular that have especially influenced Skeletonwitch?

S: Our biggest influences are bands that have always stuck to their guns and wrote the type of music that THEY wanted to hear. Bands that have busted their ass, sweated it out, and do what they do simply because they love it. Some bands that come to mind are Mercyful Fate, Immortal, Amon Amarth, Kampfar, Testament.

A: Can you explain a Skeletonwitch show from shredding the stage to partying with the Witch for those who might not have seen the band yet?

S: Expect a show. Not just five dudes playing instruments on the same stage: Lots of energy. Hair, beer, Marshall full-stacks, sweat, standard tuning, riffs, songs, a non-triggered drum kit. You might even chuckle a bit as well. We take our music AND having a good time very seriously.

A: Being from the Midwest myself (Grand Rapids, MI) I do know there’s a pretty big scene out there. Skeletonwitch has traveled all throughout the US and parts of Europe. When coming back through Ohio is there still no place like home? Any shout outs also that you’d like to add?

S: Absolutely!! It’s funny because people often ask us what Ohio is like, almost as if it’s a fucking curse, but we love it there! There’s a great local music scene in Ohio, and most tours at least make one stop in Cleveland, Columbus, or Cincinnati. After traveling all over hell, it’s nice to come back to slower Midwest pace. Also, some killer Ohio metal bands that should be mentioned are Midnight, Teeth of the Hydra, and Deadsea.

A: The artwork on Beyond The Permafrost from John Dyer Baizley (Baroness) is amazing. I also see you have quite the artist in your drummer ‘Mullet Chad’. Would you like to give some promotion for these artists?

S: Thanks for the compliments! I wish I could take credit! Mullet Chad and Baizley are both amazing artists. We’re stoked that John was willing to do another album cover for us (he also did the ‘Worship the Witch’ EP) and hope to work with him in the future. Mullet Chad, on the other hand, is chained up in our basement and repeatedly tortured until he comes up with a design that we all like. Although, we may have to rethink our strategy. I think Mullet Chad is actually starting to enjoy the nipple clamps. Please check out both of their artwork on their respective MySpace pages.

John: www.myspace.com/johndyerbaizley

Mullet Chad: www.myspace.com/apocalypsenau

A: From constant touring Skeletonwitch has been pretty busy lately. Aside from the road does the band have any plans brewing up for a new record?

S: We’ve already started writing for the next record but have yet to perform any of the material live. It’s a bit difficult to say, but our schedule is starting to look like Danzig, another European tour, a headlining tour, then straight into the studio.

A: What music has constantly been playing in your CD player for your listening pleasure?

S: Some frequent listens on this tour are Absu, Body Count, Agents of Oblivion, Demolition Hammer, Judas Priest, Dolly Parton, Testament, and Amon Amarth.

A: Last off you guys have been on the fast track getting big quickly. I’m starting to picture fans yelling, ‘SKELETONWITCH!!’ at the top of their lungs as one would yell, ‘SLAYER!!’ How does the future look for Skeletonwitch?

S: Our crystal ball shows us continuing to sweat our ass off in a van with no air conditioning, touring as much as we possibly can, and having a great time while we do it. I do not see Skeletonwitch worrying about ‘thrash revivals’ or ‘the recent rise in popularity of metal.’ Again, we’re going to stay focused on doing what we want to do and playing music that we enjoy first and foremost. Thanks for taking the time to interview us!!

*Written By: Alex Gilbert*

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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