Interview with Skeletonwitch
Band Photo: Skeletonwitch (?)
Skeletonwitch has been touring relentlessly this year. Only the best of badasses can top them when Skeletonwitch comes to town. Before touring Europe with Goatwhore in December and to promote their new album “Breathing the Fire,” the band is tearing up the States, making sure there are no survivors before they leave. I caught up with guitarist Scott Kendrick and vocalist Chance Garnette when they played in Metairie, Louisiana, to talk about “Breathing the Fire” and just how fun it is to tour with Children of Bodom. A transcribed version follows.
Buick: Welcome to New Orleans! How’s the tour been going so far?
Scott: It’s been killer. We’ve been out for almost six weeks, something like that?
Chance: Yeah, I counted 41 days today, actually. I was interested, so I counted it.
Scott: Yeah, and it’s been really good. We started in Rhode Island with Children of Bodom and Black Dahlia, and we went basically through Canada to the West Coast. And now we’re down in New Orleans.
Buick: And the tour doesn’t until December.
Chance: No, it’s November…14th is our last day.
Buick: That’s a long tour.
Chance: Yeah, and then we’ll have ten days off, and then we’re heading off to Europe with the New Orleans band Goatwhore and Toxic Holocaust who is on this tour as well.
Buick: Wonderful! [Toxic Holocaust] is always good.
Chance: Yeah, love those guys.
Buick: Your latest album just came out this month, “Breathing the Fire.” It’s been really successful, it seems like. It landed in the Billboard chart, right?
Scott: It did! 151.
Chance: Who would’ve guessed?
Scott: We should’ve drank something.
Chance: Well, we did. We had pink champagne. In Columbus, our manager brought us this pink champagne. It was all this congratulatory shit.
Scott: That was a Nate thing ‘cause Nate used to drink that shit. I won’t get into Nate’s festivities. But we were surprised, you know? We were hoping it did well; we worked hard, and everything. You never know what to expect. So, it landed on the Billboard charts.
Chance: Especially when no one’s buying albums as a whole anymore. Unless you like Shakira. I think she does pretty well. Or Britney.
Scott: Lady Gaga.
Chance: Right, right..
Buick: Could you tell me more about the album?
Scott: Sure, We recorded it in Seattle with Jack Endino. I don’t know if you know him or are familiar with him, but he’s done a lot of different stuff with metal, punk and rock. He did the last High on Fire. He did the last Toxic Holocaust. He did the first Nirvana record, so he’s kinda famous for that.
Chance: He did Bruce Dickenson. He did Soundgarden.
Scott: Yeah, Soundgarden. All kinds of shit. So ,yeah, we spent about just under a month with him in Seattle recording it, and he did a killer job. It sounds really huge, but organic, which is what we wanted.
Chance: We try to stay away from that modern, digital metal that’s coming out. I think he gave us what we wanted.
Buick: Have you worked with him before?
Chance: No, first time.
Buick: Are you going to work with him again?
Chance: I’m open to it, sure. But, I think it’s cool when you don’t have the same guy every time so your albums don’t sound the same.
Scott: Yeah, he ruled. I was like,” Damn, I’d love to work with him again.” But we like to mix it up so we get a different sound, different vibe, whatever every time. He was awesome, so I wouldn’t be opposed to it.
Chance: I don’t have a bad word to say about him.
Buick: On a tangent, speaking of High on Fire, when is the next album coming out because I thought it was supposed to be out.
Chance: I just read a studio report in Revolver, was it Revolver or Decibel? A magazine. A metal mag.
Scott: It was one of those. I think it was Revolver.
Chance: Scott, call him. Call him and find out.
Scott: Should we call him up and see if he’ll answer?
Scott texts Matt Pike of High on Fire
Scott: I’ll send him a text instead since he’s on the Mastsdon/Dethklok Tour.
Chance: We’ll let you know before the end of the day.
Buick: You’ve toured with some great bands already. Like you said, you just got off the Children of Bodom tour, Danzig, which had to be really cool, and many other people. Who’s been your favorite to tour with?
Scott: I don’t think I could pick a favorite. We haven’t had a bad experience. Especially, the bigger tours; definitely not. Maybe some smaller, earlier tours when we were in the pick-up truck which just sucked sometimes on our own account. But, everybody’s been cool to us; Glen Danzig was fucking awesome. One of the coolest guys ever, took care of us and everything. Same thing with Amon Amarth and same thing with Bodom.
Chance: Yeah, we would run out of beer, Bodom would [say],” Take some of ours, we have too much.” I have negative [to say] about the large tours. I’m glad to be a part of it.
Scott: A lot of bands won’t tell you if it was bad. But, really, it wasn’t. Like, I got nothing; don’t have any dirt on anybody. Everybody was cool.
Buick: How’s [Alexi’s] arm doing?
Scott: It seemed to be good, he was shredding pretty hard.
Chance: It seemed to be fine.
Scott: He’s still able to lift a bottle of liquor up.
Chance: He can shred and drink, so I think he’s good.
Buick: Well, that’s perfect. What else do you need? Who would you like to tour with in the future since you’re becoming so popular and you have so many options?
Scott: Good question. I’d like to tour with King Diamond.
Chance: That’d be fun.
Scott: I’d be down with that for sure. Oh, I’d love to tour with Immortal.
Chance: Yeah, that would probably be number 1. If we could do an Immortal tour, I think my head would explode.
Scott: Yeah, they gotta be coming over here since they just put out their new record; I would think.
Chance: The list of who I would want to tour with would be very long. I don’t know. Cannibal Corpse would be pretty sweet.
Scott: Yeah, that would be awesome.
Buick: I’m interviewing them next month.
Scott: Tell those dudes we said hey. This year earlier, we met George “Corpsegrinder” and Alex Webster. I don’t know if they remember us or not, but, either way, tell them Skeletonwitch says hey.
Chance: I’d like to tour with Dimmu again. That was real fun. I loved watching their show every night; all the production and effort that goes in to that. I wish we were able to pull that off ourselves, but maybe someday. But it was awesome, I like that.
Buick: You were saying earlier, you’ve been to festivals, you’ve been on all these huge tours, but this tour is fairly small and this is a very small venue.
Scott: [The back lot] is our green room, by the way.
Buick: Actually, what’s cool about this place is that the kids will hang on the rafters. Hopefully, you’ll see that, if not, do it yourself.
Chance: I might not. I might be a little old for that.
Buick: Do you prefer the large, airy festivals or the small tours?
Chance: I think each one of them has pros and cons. Get on the big stage, you got a ton of room, the sound is “big-dollar” sound, and that’s awesome. But in the small club, there’s no barricade, and you get to interact with your crowd, and that’s also a plus, too. I like how we’re doing both. Just get off a big theater tour with Bodom and then go right into the clubs. We started in the clubs. We actually started in the damn basements.
Scott: We started in the front yard!
Chance: The fuckin’ bowling alleys, stages in the front yard, basements. We started how we should, and that’s how it should be. And now we can do both.
Buick: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Chance: I would like to say thanks to everybody that’s been coming out on this enormous tour that we’ve been doing. Have a great ass time; been getting drunk, smoking weed. Thanks for sharing, everybody; that’s awesome. I hope to do both those things tonight in this non-drinking, non-weed-smoking venue. I’ll see if I can get away with it. Thanks a lot. New album “Breathing the Fire” out now. Thanks a lot.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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