1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?Chance: We're on the road right now with The Black Dahlia Murder, Nile, and Hour of Penance. Having fun, meeting lots of new people, drinking beer. Shows are great! Life in the van you know?!
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album which has been out for a few months and how it differs from the previous releases?Chance: I think "Forever Abomination" rocks out a little harder in general. Nate really let his rock n roll side come out writing this one in my opinion. It's rock, it's thrash, it's black metal, its death metal, it's classic metal. "Forever Abomination" is exactly the album i wanted it to be. Its a heavy metal record! Too many people these days want to micro-dissect shit and put it into some sub-genre of another sub-genre. Nothing can just be a "heavy metal" album these days it seems. In my head Skeletonwitch is a heavy metal band and we make heavy metal records.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release and how would you describe the progression you have made as songwriters over the years?Chance: I have really no interest in writing about the day to day trials of life. Example, I'm not going to write about politics, or oil prices. People are pounded into the ground with that stuff everyday already. I prefer more of an escape from that. A place where you can let your sick side out. Im pretty much writing short horror stories put to a heavy metal sound track I guess.
And as with anything you love to do, with time you'll get better at it. Not to say I don't get stuck looking for the perfect line, word, or song title. It's hard for me to get the song started, but once I start actually telling the story it flows pretty quick from there. Also I won't work on the writing of more than one song during a day either. I want to give the writing of each song my total attention. I can't see how I can do that if I'm all over, here and there. I finish one, then the next day start another. After they are all written I'll go back and tweak anything that needs it, so it's exactly what I want to say.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?Our friend Ted Riffe came up with the band name. He had heard the guys playing way back when the band was playing instrumentaly and had no name. I guess that's what the music put in his head; Skeletonwitch. Fits perfectly to me. Besides, the name "Hard Shocker" just wouldn't get the right point across. Thanks Ted!
5. Out of all of the tours or shows that you have done over the years which one did you enjoy the most?Chance: To be able to tour the world and play music as a career is the biggest joy in itself. It's really impossible to say "this tour" or "this show" was more enjoyable than another one because we just truly love being out on the road playing heavy metal. A shitty day on the road is always better than a great day at a job working for someone else punching a clock. But to give you more of the answer you're looking for, playing Wacken Open Air was unreal. I never thought I'd ever be able to go there, much less play there. So yeah, Wacken is way up there in my favorites!
6. What are the future touring plans?Chance: Well we're on this current tour until April 20. Then in June we head over to Europe to play a bunch of Spring festivals. We're working on putting together an extensive headlining tour of the U.S., also trying to get to Canada this year as well. Lots of irons in our fire tour wise, which is the way we like it!
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your new album by extreme metal fans?Chance: The feedback on "Forever Abomination" has been great. It debuted at #153 on the billboard top 200 chart, made Decible magazines top 40 of last year and was on a lot of top metal album lists of 2011. Yeah, lots of good feedback. I truly believe it's the best thing we've done as well.
8. What direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?Chance: We would really need to actually sit down and start writing new stuff and see where it's goin on it's own in order to truly know what the future is. One thing I do know is whatever we do next will be unmistakably Skeletonwitch! I don't think for a second we're going to throw a wrench in our sound and go off in some different direction. We do what we do. Things will progress, we'll become better players and writers, and the music will show these things. But like I said, it'll always be 100% Skeletonwitch.
9. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer material and also what are you listening to nowadays?Chance: We'd really have to ask Nate on this one. He is primary song writter. The riff master if you will. He demos the basic music to the rest of the guys and they put their spin on their parts. We love bands like Immortal, Satyricon, Overkill, and Cannibal Corpse, but when it comes time to write we don't put these albums on and say "let's do something like this on this album." I think "Forever Abomination" sounds the way it does simply because that's where we are in our career right now.
10. Outside of music what are some of your interests?Chance: Im into motorcycles, I love to ride when I'm home. I like dicking around in the woods, camping & hiking ect. Lately I've started to enjoy cooking as well. Probably because I'm sick of the available food while on tour!
11. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?Chance: I'd like to thank everyone that has made this heavy metal dream a reality! From the 4 other dudes on stage with me, to everyone that has picked up an album or has come out to a show! Thank all of you all for making this possible-