čtvrtek 16. července 2020

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Interview - SHED THE SKIN - With new album The Forbidden Arts we keep a consistent dark vibe and feeling.

Interview with death metal band from USA - SHED THE SKIN.

Answered Kyle Severn (drums), thank you!

Translated Petra, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Ave SHED THE SKIN! Greetings to catacombs! First, let me express my appreciation to you. I follow your band since 2014 since you released your first EP “Rebirth Through Brimstone” and you belong to my most favorite bands. Here in the Czech Republic, you are not very known, but this is a very small country with a tiny underground community. How exactly the SHED THE SKIN was founded? 

Kyle - Hello Jakub thank you for your continued support and this interview. To make a long story short, I was helping Matt Sorg ( who was a member of Cleveland’s Blood Of Christ in the early 90’s) by playing drums for a tribute show for our fallen friend which was the founder of Blood Of Christ, and after the show the two of us realized we had a chemistry and enjoyed playing together, so within weeks we formed what is known as Shed The Skin, which the name comes from a Blood Of Christ song. We had then asked friends Ed Stephens and Ash Thomas to be a part of it, and now here we are 6 years later promoting our 3rd length record.

Recently you released the new record "The Forbidden Arts", which is again full of pure real death metal. With which feelings did you enter to the studio? For example, did you have a plan, where and how do you want to move from the last album? In my opinion, the new record seems to be darker and at the same time colder. I have to admit that the atmosphere of the whole album literally captivated me. 

Kyle - Thanks man, that’s great to hear. Not really a plan per say, but I think Matt ( who writes 99.9% of the riffs) has found the Shed The Skin sound and style. First 2 records were kinda all over the place ( which I have no problem with that) and I think with ‘Forbidden Arts” we keep a consistent dark vibe and feeling. 

Dan Swano, the "metal guru" took care of the mix and mastering of the album again. Why exactly him? Personally, I like his handwriting, which really fits your music, but didn’t you want to try someone else? Generally, the sound is great, it reminds me of the old records from the nineties. Was this a purpose? 

Kyle - Yes we wanted Swano for that reason. Since Shed The Skin is inspired from Blood of Christ and BOC always had that dark Swedish mix, we thought who better than Dan. 

I pay a lot of attention to the graphical part of the CD and I like your black and white cover arts. Who is the author of the monster on the new record "The Forbidden Arts" and what is it supposed to express? I had to order a T-shirt immediately, I really like the motif, just please tell us how it relates to the music, how they are thematically interconnected?

Kyle - Yea man the artwork is outstanding. That’s James “Human Furnace” Bulloch. He has done all 3 record covers and our logo. We asked James to be a part of the band, since he also did the artwork for BOC back in the 90’s, so its one big metal family. We pretty much had the idea from the first record that if we were able to keep recording records we would keep the same theme going and have the art tell a story from record to record. Simply put , The Priest has Shed His Skin!! ‘Forbidden Arts” is a continuation of “We of Scorn”, if you put the two records top and bottom its one big piece of artwork. 

I would be interested in the process of how the new songs of the SHED THE SKIN are created. Are you like traditional musicians who are closed in a rehearsal room and simply play, or do you use modern technology and send ideas to each other on the internet? Do you go for a beer together? 

Kyle - Unfortunately we live a few hours from one another, so Matt writes the riffs, sends them to me, I work on the drums, then we get together a couple times, jam them out, then record them. I have a home studio so we track allot it here. Ash also has a home studio so he’s able to do vokils and his guitars at home as well. 

All members of the band are also members of other metal groups. I believe, SHED THE SKIN is important to you, but how do you deal with it when you have duties with your main bands? Especially, Kyle Severn has to be very busy with INCANTATION. Is SHED THE SKIN a classic band or only a side project for you? 

Kyle - Shed the Skin is certainly a band, we don’t consider it a side project, but in reality, all the bands we play in are projects. Yes, we are all in touring bands , so its all about scheduling properly. Shed The Skin unfortunately doesn’t play allot of live shows, so we can usually make time for them when we do.

When I look at Metal Archives, the number of bands, where you play or you played in the past is really impressive. But do you earn your living? Or do you have to have a classic job? And can you tell us what fields you work in? 

Kyle - Thanks man, just shows how old I am..hahah…. Yea I have a small construction business, I’ve never been able to live off of Metal, some of the guys can, but I have a family, mortgage, and shit like that, and have always had a construction job, and with being the owner I have always been able to leave for touring when need be. I did however recently retire from long touring, it was just getting to be too much for me to juggle everything. With no touring however it does allow me to play in a few more bands though, more studio work and weekend warrior gigs. I am still fulltime Incantation drummer, we just have a young man playing on the tours, and besides Shed The Skin, I have been playing with Estuary live and Studio, and recently just started a new band in the Discharge style called “Hell Is Here”.

You are old experienced dogs who play in their own way. You have your own handwriting, which is something that is sometimes forgotten today. A lot of bands just sound like copies of others. I am sure that you had some idols. Who influenced you as a musician and who was your main idol? When and how did you actually start to play? What was the first impulse to grab the musical instrument? 

Kyle - Yes I’ll be 50 next year, so I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, so all my early inspirations come from John Bonham, Bill Ward, Cozy Powell, ect.., then once I started to actually understand drums and started playing them it was the early 80’s and discovered Dave Lombardo it changed my life!!! hahah 

I think the biggest reward for each band is the reaction of the fans. I like smaller clubs, where musicians and fans are close to each other. How often does SHED THE SKIN perform? Do you go on tour sometimes, for example? I made a search on the internet and I didn't find too many live videos from your performance. How about SHED THE SKIN and concerts? How about a tour in Europe with INCANTATION? I would love that. 

Kyle - As I previously mentioned we don’t get to play allot of shows, its not that we don’t want to, we would love to, but between Incantation and Ringworm touring ( Which now Incantation touring doesn’t affect our scheduling, like it did a couple years ago) its hard to make the time. We usually only end up playing a handful of shows a year. We did play our very first show at Maryland Death Fest, so that was cool. We haven’t played out of the USA yet, so we would love to do a small tour of Europe. Maybe once we get through this COVID we can hit the road for some small gigs.

I've always wondered which kind of music do musicians actually listen to. Do you have any albums that you like to listen to again and again? And what about some new records from recent years? Did some record impress you enough to buy a CD? 

Kyle - I usually listen to old Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, but I always gravitate to Autopsy, Immolation, Candlemass when I need something more modern. Couple new bands in the last few years like Undergang and Necrot I really enjoy. Lots of friends bands keep putting of amazing music like Faithxtractor, Kurnagia, Vadiat and Primitive. Check them out.

Death metal is my favorite musical style. I am mainly fascinated by its darkness, or by a dusty smell from old graves. However, strength and pressure are also important. When I listen to a good record, I'm literally full of energy. What does death metal mean for you? How does it affect your life, your view of the world, how do you perceive death metal as a musician/composer/author? 

Kyle - Yes there are definitely bands and riffs ( especially in the bands I list earlier) that just move me when I hear them, it doesn’t have to be ultra fast, but just that dark feeling , usually a slower riff for me, its so sick I can’t handle it… That’s why I enjoy playing Death Metal, I can release all that through pounding on drums, especially if I’m playing to sick ass riffs. 

Thank you very much for the interview! I wish not only to the new album "The Forbidden Arts", but also to the whole band SHED THE SKIN a lot of success. I'm going to listen to the album again! It's really great. Additionally, I wish you good luck also in your personal lives. 

Kyle - Cool man, thanks allot again for the support. I hope your readers can check out “The Forbidden Arts” as ell as our previous works, and we hope to play some shows out your way soon…. 666

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