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Interview - Chance Garnette (Skeletonwitch)

Interview with Chance Garnette from Skeletonwitch
by Eldad "Blacknasa" Stainbook at 09 December 2013, 1:52 AM

2013 marks the 10-year anniversary of SKELETONWITCH, one of Thrash Metal’s fiercest runners in this modern age. To mark this as one hell of an eventful year, they have released a new album, Serpents Unleashed, and have tons of tour dates scheduled with big names. Vocalist Chance Garnette spoke to Blacknasa about this great year, and also shared his very poignant philosophy on the everlasting nature of Thrash Metal.

Hi there Chance, how are you? Thanks for taking the time for this interview for Metal Temple.

Things are good. I'm well. Thanks for having me do this interview.

First of all let me congratulate you for the release of your new album. It’s a real kickass Metal masterpiece!

Thanks for that. We're really proud of it. Stoked you like it! Masterpiece, huh? Thanks man.

Before lunging into the album, let’s talk about the past for a bit. Can you shed a little light onto the band’s past and how it came to be? What brought you all together?

Nate and Scott went to college together at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Drinking beer and partying turned into them jamming together. Our first drummer, Mullet Chad, lived in Athens and started playing with them along with bassist Jimi Britches, another cool kid from town. They played a few instrumental gigs and started a search for a vocalist. After a few less than desirable auditions I asked my brother Nate about me giving it a shot. Looks like that worked out!

Do you approve of the album? Do you think it met your and the band’s standards?

Absolutely yes on both questions! I think Serpents Unleashed is the best group of songs we've ever written as well as has the most energetic production to date. So yes, we all approve of the final outcome.

As one of the band's founders, how do you see SKELETONWITCH in the present? Do you miss your past ventures? Do you feel that you have matured enough both in music and yourselves as musicians?

We're five guys that love what we do. It's truly incredible to get to travel the world playing our music, meeting new people and seeing new places. I don't see any of us wanting to stop anytime soon. This year marks 10 years of SKELETONWITCH so I’d say we're definitely in it 100% for the long haul. SKELETONWITCH has been my top priority since day one, so no, I don't miss any past ventures what so ever. SKELETONWITCH has my full attention and I'm not interested in digging up the past or looking to do anything else. I do feel we have matured both as song writers and musicians over the years, most definitely. I think that's the goal, to get better at what we do with each release and grow as writers and players. I feel we have achieved exactly that.

Any songs that you like better in the album that made an impact on you?

I love every song on the record. But I guess "Beneath Dead Leaves" is the most personal and means the most to me lyrically. It's not just simply a song about suicide but more of a "die by your own rules" type of statement. Knowing when it's your time, cheating death and ending it when you want to and not laying around alive, rotting and useless as a burden to anyone.

It has been known that the recording/production process of a release can be stressful. How did you guys feel while doing so?

We went into Godcity Studios to record Serpents Unleashed more prepared, familiar and confident with the material than ever before. There is absolutely a level of stress I have to endure while creating the lyrics and this time was no different. I wrote about half of the lyrics before going into the studio and the other half while we were there. I think having the choice of not writing removed and being "under the gun" so to speak helps me create my best work. I guess I work best under pressure

How about supporting the album? Anything planned?

Well we're on the road right now supporting THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER. We're at the halfway point and just crossed the border back into the USA after spending two weeks in Canada. In Jan/Feb we will support AMON AMARTH and ENSLAVED across the states which will be great. We have Euro/UK dates with OVERKILL in March. We're looking at different options for summer 2014 as well.  So yeah, we definitely have things planned!

Are you planning for a video clip anytime soon?

There are new music videos out now for the songs "I Am Of Death (Hell Has Arrived)" as well as the title track "Serpents Unleashed." Both can be viewed on YouTube of course.

It might be early to talk about, but anything new on the material front for the next album?

The thoughts of the next record have crossed my mind but that's about it. We have two solid years of supporting Serpents Unleashed to look forward to so the next record is pretty far out of our heads at the moment.

Here is something general. What do you think about the degradation process of Thrash Metal right through the 90’s? Do you feel that there is a renaissance for this genre?

Well it's not like I ever put down my TESTAMENT, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, DEMOLITION HAMMER or OVERKILL records and traded them in for GREEN DAY or PEARL JAM! I think for the true fans of the genre, it never went anywhere. I know it's always been there in my heart and in my ears and I believe it's the same for a ton of other fans as well. Take a look, OVERKILL is still putting out not only killer music but some of their best material to date. Where's Grunge and what's Pearl Jam up to right now? Right, not much.

Do you use social network to keep in touch with your fans? Do you feel that it is important for artists, no matter the caliber, to keep a certain line of relations with their fans?

Sure. We monitor and post from all our social media pages ourselves. I do think it's important for us to have that genuine or personal relationship with fans for sure.

Chance, I wish to thank you for your time in this interview. On behalf of Metal Temple and myself I wish to congratulate you guys for making such an amazing record. Any last words for the readers?

I just want to say thank you all for the amazing response to our new record Serpents Unleashed! It's truly appreciated, guys. We have a lot of ground to cover and tons of shows to play coming up and I hope to see all you guys out there on the road in the near future. Thanks again!   


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