-Interview- Skull Archer (4/17/23)

Skull Archer talks about dealing with the pandemic, the Texas Metal scene and much more.


From: Texas
Sounds like: Thrash Metal

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name "Skull Archer" and is there any meaning behind it?

My father is where I get my love of Heavy Metal from. I knew the likes of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, etc. from a very young age. He would always have it cranked in the living room on his speaker system while he worked in his office. He listened to a bunch of hair metal though, and that was never my taste. I discovered thrash as a young teenager, and I just went down the rabbit hole, discovering bands beyond the big four like Artillery, Onslaught, etc. As a vocalist, I had no prior experience with it. I never took a vocal lesson in my life. With Skull Archer, I learned on the job! I loved performing in front of people when I was a drama student in high school and college. That combined with my love for thrash is what made me want to start Skull Archer. To entertain like minded people and make new friends! In regards to the sound, our sound has changed over the seven years we have been performing. We originally went for a classic 80s thrash vibe, but as members changed, so did the dynamic. We dropped our tuning, and incorporated more crossover riffs and crunchier breakdowns, to match the current influence I feel metal in general is steering towards. I got the name of the band off a Metallica documentary. Apparently when Lars and one of the original guitar techs were talking about possible names for the bands, the guitar tech had "Skull Archer" as one of the possible names. I loved the sound of it, and just took it!

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

What I would want people to take away from Skull Archer is that we're just a bunch of fun loving dudes who love doing what we do! and I want that love and passion to be shown in our performances and everything we do. I'm always thankful for anyone who gives us a chance, or supports us in any way! It truly means the world.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

I would describe Skull Archer's sound as a love child between S.O.D. and Exodus. I have been told more recently that we give off D.R.I. and Power Trip vibes! I'll take those compliments anyday. So if you like thrashing riffs, crunchy breakdowns, and in your face aggression, we're the band for you!

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Picking three bands to tour with is beyond hard. Gun to my head, I would say D.R.I. , Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste. Toxic and Waste are killing the game right now and are super nice people. D.R.I. is a Texas staple and is not credited enough for their contributions to heavy music! We've opened shows for both Toxic and D.R.I. already, but to go on tour with them would be a dream!

5. How has Covid affected what you do?

Covid happening was a major bummer to us. We had to cancel our CD release show for our first album and we didn't play for a while. We would still practice, but our morale was low. We slowly started to get back into the swing of things as everything slowly started coming back. Thankfully, that chapter is behind us all and things are largely back to normal. Turnout for shows isn't as consistent as it used to be, but there's always someone willing to come out and watch!

6. What’s your take on the current state of Thrash Metal?

I would say the current state of Trash metal is in a good place, though it could be better. Bands like Municipal Waste, Toxic Holocaust, Havok, etc. are killing the game right now, and have spearheaded the thrash movement in my opinion. Power Trip was an absolute force and I feel like they really made their peers step their game up. It just makes Riley's passing the more upsetting. However from the ashes of Power Trip came Fugitive, who has former members of Power Trip and Creeping Death. Those guys have endless potential and they sound great. Even some of the older thrash bands like Testament are putting out sick material to this day! I say it could be better because outside of Fugitive, there aren't many up and coming new thrash bands breaking out. Metal currently is seeing more of a Death Metal renaissance, especially out here in Texas! As a death metal fan, I love it! It inspires me to try and make those same moves with Skull Archer and help elevate thrash metal!

7. What's the current music scene like there in Texas?

The Texas metal scene is huge! There are so many bands, covering so many sub genres, that you'll find your fix! Currently, Texas is riding a massive death metal wave. Bands like Frozen Soul, Creeping Death, I Am, Tribal Gaze Gutricyde, etc. are really pushing the envelope and finding great success. Some of the shows these bands put on, get massively packed. There's so many options and so many gems hidden in plain sight. Many other Death Metal bands like Kombat, Astyanax, Torture Tomb, Demonseed, Architectural Genocide, Flesh Hoarder, etc. are all criminally underrated and deserve more love. Black Metal fan? Wyrm Chasm, Blasphemous Goat Vomit, High Fells, Sparrows are all great. When it comes to Thrash Metal sadly it seems like there aren't as many of them in Texas that they used to be. A number of them split up or are on a hiatus. Chemicaust is a thrash band from Dallas and they're monsters! and another thrash band, Maldevera recently dropped a new single! The issue with the massive amount of bands is that sometimes there's a lot of competition on show nights and sometimes turnouts aren't the best. Covid only affected that more so, with the closing of a number of venes. Even post lockdown, we have lost the likes of Wits End and Amplified. The current state of the scene isn't as good as before the lockdowns, but I know it will bounce back!

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

Streaming services are all about getting as much revenue as they can, without spreading it to those that make their platform possible. You either are so big, that you can't be denied by them, or you don't matter at all I feel. It's a joke.

9. What's next for Skull Archer?

On April 29th, we will have our EP release show at Club Dada in Dallas and will be released on all streaming platforms soon after! From this release, we hope to do at least a small tour of some big Texas cities. We haven't really been out of town outside of Texarkana, so we're foaming at the mouth to spread the word of the archer as far and wide as we can!

10. Any shoutouts?

First and foremost, I want to shout out the men that make this project possible. The guitarists Carlos Avila and Mark Marquez, the bassist Reed Mills, and the drummer Shannon Dozzi. These guys have put so much hard work into Skull Archer. Without them, there would be no Archer. They're all like my family and I love them so much. Shoutout to Cody Casillas and Clay Schroeder of Black Oil Recordings for mixing and mastering our upcoming EP and making it sound amazing. Shoutout to the promoters in the area who always had our backs and believed in us. Joseph Cabrera, Justin Mills, Christan Wilson, Matt Adkins. Shoutout to the badass bands in the area we always ham it up with at shows! you'll meet some of the nicest people in some of these bands, and it's always a pleasure to play amongst our peers. And finally, shoutout to the DFW music community at large. I've met some of my closest friends at shows I have attended and performed. To anyone who's ever come out to a show, bought merch, showed love and have been there for us in the good times and bad, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Skull Archer has helped fill a massive void in my life that was going nowhere. I have you all to thank for that. Here's to our next chapter!!!