ZT INTERROGATION: SKINLESS ARE BACK AS SAVAGE AS EVER
New York death metal crew Skinless are back on the scene with a new album and frontman Sherwood Webber is eager to tell ZT all about it.
ZT: Congratulations on the new album Only the Ruthless Remain. It’s a seven-song slab of brutality! It’s been a long time coming – eight years – why the long wait?
You know, life…. Sometimes you have to wait for the stars to align and fortunately they did for this record and it slays. My favourite Skinless record to make, the band was on hiatus for a while, yet it just fuels the flames of madness and helped us create this record.
ZT: During that time had you at any point drawn a line under Skinless or were you always confident the band had a future?
Yeah, I thought the band was done, so the fact that we are back is as much as a delight for me than anyone.
ZT: How many of the current five band members have been there since the start?
All except for Dave have been here since the formation of the classic line-up. There were a lot of other members previously, but Progression was our first full length, so that’s when the band became active touring. So this is the classic line-up, on steroids with Dave. We all came up in the same scene, he’s a certified NY scumbag like the rest of us. Fully qualified, although I’m finding out he doesn’t drink as hard as the rest of us.
ZT: What did it feel like back in the studio together after such a long gap?
The best, tons of fun and makes me really anticipate getting back in there, hopefully it will go as well on the next one. I’m always the optimist.
ZT: Where was the studio and how smoothly did the recording process go?
Edie Road Studio is in Upstate, NY (where we tracked the drums). It’s a lot of fun there and an amazing sounding drum room. It has a full apartment to hang out and make food, very killer atmosphere to drink beers and make music. We will definitely return there for the next one.
ZT: Is there any particular theme with Only the Ruthless Remain or is it just classic old school gore-fisting DM?
I don’t like to overthink it too much, we just wanted to make a true to form death metal record, do what we do best. We know who we are and aren’t trying to impress anyone or win awards, we’re just content to make some grimy death metal for ourselves and for our fans. If we pick up some new fans cool, more people for our beer party.
ZT: How do you feel the new material compares to some of your earlier work?
I feel like it’s most in line with our first two records. That’s what we wanted, the classic sound. I’d like to interject some more elements from the Trampled record on the next one (that’s the record I wasn’t on). That record has some sick riffs and is really aggressive. Hopefully we can work some of that in for the next one.
ZT: Can you just tell us something about the superbly sick artwork for the new album?
It was Noah’s concept nailed home by Ken Sarafin, I think it’s killer, very death metal, that’s what we want, again. We’re not trying to prove anything to anyone, just make sick death metal and honour the genre we grew up on and love. That’s what it’s about for me.
ZT: Coming from the Big Apple, I guess the likes of Suffocation would have been early influences?
Without a doubt, they are still the reigning champions, nothing but respect for those guys.
ZT: Anyone currently involved with any other bands or side projects?
Noah plays in Armor Column with Dave but I think they are currently inactive because Skinless is busy. I play in a band called Annul, also not very active right now. Joe plays in a band called Street Sweeper and Gunther Weezul. Bobby is always playing too, but we’re all focused on Skinless now.
ZT: I hear your recent appearance at Maryland Death Fest went down a storm?
The show was killer, totally heavy, great line-up, awesome crowd, best ever.
ZT: What tour schedule have you got for the rest of the year? Any plans to visit Europe?
Hellfest will be the only trip to Europe for 2015. Probably won’t make it back until another record, our ability to tour is limited, but we love to do what we can do!!!
ZT: Congratulations on Only the Ruthless Remain. It’s great to have you guys back on the scene. Any final message for Zero Tolerance readers?
Thanks so much, and everyone who has every supported Skinless. We’re fortunate to have so many good folks buying shirts and spreading the word throughout the underground, it keeps our boat afloat.