Season Of Arrows Is Keeping Stoner Doom Alive In Nashville
Originally slated for release via Static Tension at the end of 2016, a label shift saw Nashville doom crew Season Of Arrows holding off on dropping new album "Give It To The Mountain" until this week.
Due out Friday, March 24th, via masters of all things heavy and slow - Argonauta Records - "Give It To The Mountain" is about to hit the metal world like a ten ton sludge hammer! Now just a mere handful of days from its official arrival, guitarist Dave Gates got in touch with us to chat about the album, joining Argonauta Records, and much more.
xFiruath: Nashville has a world-famous music scene, but obviously metal isn't a gigantic part of that to the average person. What's been your experience with the Nashville heavier rock / metal scene, and what venues do you feel particularly champion heavier sounds?
Dave: It’s true, Nashville is notorious for country music. That being said, as long as we have been playing in bands, there has always been a handful of bands in the heavy genre that struggle to thrive here. You know Hank III used to play drums in an awesome metal band, Today is the Day used to live and play here all the time, and Duane Dennison from the infamous The Jesus Lizard/Tomahawk lives here as well as many other talented musicians. The point is, this underground scene has always been here, but since Nashville is growing very popular as of late, you are finally starting to here more about it. Check out the band Loss on Profound Lore too, they are doing big things in the doom scene. It’s funny, our guitarist Dave has been great friends with their bass player for 25+ years, small world man.
xFiruath: How long has Season Of Arrows been together and how did the lineup originally formed?
Dave: We formed as Season of Arrows in January, 2014. However, several of us have played together in previous bands for years. Brandon, Dave, and Brad were in a hardcore/metal band called Fall With Me. We played a lot of shows and put out a few albums together. Stormie is married to Brandon and Dave has known her since middle school. Shawn is Brandon’s cousin, so we are all friends first and share this common bond of music.
xFiruath: You signed with Argonauta not too long ago, which has a roster really known for doom, sludge, and stoner bands. How did you get hooked up with the label, and where do you see Season Of Arrows sitting on the roster in terms of sound and what you bring to the table?
Dave: Yes, we are very excited to work with Argonauta Records! They are doing some big things in the doom metal scene and continue to have full support in what we are all about. I think that we compliment many of the awesome bands on their current roster. It’s really cool they work with bands from all over the world. We have been working with Dewar PR and he mentioned them to us and due to the internet, they had heard of us already. :) We started that conversation and the rest is history and we are stoked to release "Give it to the Mountain" on March 24th, 2017.
xFiruath: On the new album, tell me a bit about when “Give it to the Mountain” was written and how the recording process went.
Dave: After our first self-titled release, we got quite a bit of exposure and were fortunate to play some great shows with bands like Windhand, Jucifer, Mouth of the Architect, Scorpion Child, Kyng, ASG, Neon Worship, and Maryland Doom Fest. We wrote "From the Wilderness We Return" as the first new song. We feel that song kind of set the tone as to where we wanted to go as a band and how we could learn and improve upon our first album to create and try new things for this album. All of the sudden, riffs, bass lines, vocal melodies and everything started to come together.
We started to collaborating and putting all these ideas together and arrange parts and record everything on our 16 track at home. That way we can listen to every detail and make tweaks on what works and what doesn’t work. We put everything under a microscope when writing a song. It takes each one of us to add their special touch to make it a Season of Arrows song. We knew that we wanted to work with Mikey Allred of Dark Art Audio again. We booked the time and some of the songs were quite done yet, so we took that pressure and ran with it. Mikey is a great person and engineer to work with. We worked with him on our first album and it was a no brainer to work with again. He has a great ear and understands our vision for the sound of this band. He has recorded several awesome bands like Inter Arma, Yautja, Across Tundras, and local faves, All Them Witches Rifft and Greywoods, etc.
xFiruath: Who handled the cover art and how does it connect to the music?
Dave: Scott Van Dusen is his name, he Brandon’s cousin and Shawn’s brother. A very talented and modest illustrator. We gave him the concept and some art direction and starting sketching things right away. He also did our first album artwork as well as our shirt design. We wanted to have a continued theme for this album cover, to feature that girl that was on the first one, but not make her look the same. We also felt that the imagery fits the sound of the album.
xFiruath: What sort of themes and ideas is the album presenting?
Dave: Our songs are all written from the passions that we have in what we do. We try not to pinpoint the exact subject matter exactly and leave it up to other people’s interpretations. Many times they deal with depression, and heavy emotions.
xFiruath: What track on the release do you personally identify with most and why?
Dave: I would say that "Farewell to the Horseman" has a lot life to it. It starts with an epic intro that we had to break out the ole acoustics for and then it takes you on a journey from there and offers a lot of dynamics.
xFiruath: Moving away from music, so seriously, was "Logan" the feel-good road trip movie of the year or what?
Dave: Honestly, we haven’t seen it yet, but it is on our list to see very soon!
xFiruath: Describe your level of hype for "Star Wars: Episode 8" this December in four words or less.
Dave: It should be cool.
xFiruath: You're killing me here. The absolute best horror movie you've seen lately is....?
Dave: I can’t think of a great recent horror movie per say, but I did really enjoy "Get Out" and "Split." Highly recommend as suspenseful thriller movies.
xFiruath: I saw on the band's Facebook page you listed the top 25 music releases of 2016, with that Monolord EP at the #1 spot. I take it the Season Of Arrow crew is super into psychedelic, slowly building doom sounds? What would you say you dig most about that release and has Monolord been an influence at all on your own music?
Dave: They captured that massive wall of sound with their tones and his voice just cuts right through all the thick swampy sounds of their songs. They know how to set the mood and I hope that we can see them live one day. I would say that element compliments what we try to do in our band.
xFiruath: With the album just about out, what's next for Season Of Arrows? Touring, local gigs, new writing, staying at home getting wasted, etc.?
Dave: The sky is the limit! We have been asked to play a very well known Fest that we will announce more details on our Facebook and Instagram as that unfolds. We will play several shows throughout the year, probably a few weekend runs here and there too. I don’t think we are going to go on a several month tour as we all have jobs and families. Our hopes are to gain a bigger audience and surround our selves with people that are into what we do in this band. Perhaps that will be bigger shows, opening for larger bands or just obtaining more downloads, stream, and merch sales at our shows. It’s a stepping stone for us to continue to leverage what we do in this band and have a great time, whatever happens while we do that is a bonus.
xFiruath: Anything else you'd like to add?
Dave: Thanks so much for taking this time to talk with us today. I hope that helps you and your viewers to gain a bit more insight to us as a band. We do this because we love it and we have worked hard at it and will continue to evolve and create as a band while working on our next record. Special thanks to Curtis Dewar and Gero of Argonauta Records for believing in us and helping us achieve these goal of ours. We will also have Give it to the Mountain available on vinyl within the next few months. The plates have been made, so that process has been started. We will have more merch for sale, and who knows what else the future will bring.
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