An explosion of sheer sonic intensity, Scent Of Remains present their own dynamic brand of groove metal destined to pummel the senses. Based out of Knoxville, TN, the collective recently unleashed Under A Blackened Sky, their thrilling debut recording through Pavement Entertainment. Here is a recent interview we conducted with lead guitarist Herb Himes to find out more about this exhilarating band on the rise. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Scent Of Remains, and how long the band has been together.
Scent of Remains is: Paul Shippers: Drums, Jeremy Powers: Bass and Vocals, Herb Himes: Lead Guitar, Brian P. Leemings: Lead Guitar, Michael Yates: Lead Vocals. We’ve been together since late in 2009.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal scene like there?
We are based out of Knoxville, TN. The metal scene here is pretty tight-knit and there are lots of really good local bands, however, there really aren’t that many venues open to booking metal. It’s definitely improved over the last year or so, and having bands like Whitechapel, Straight Line Stitch and 10 Years coming out of Knoxville has really helped the town get a pretty solid metal reputation.
How did you wind up signing with Pavement?
It was a total cold call. We saw that they were looking for new talent and sent our press kit their way. They must’ve liked what they heard and saw, because they contacted us pretty quickly and the rest just happened. We’re really excited to be part of a label that has such a rich history and has, and has worked with, so many amazing bands.
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Under A Blackened Sky?
Sure is. The basic theme is dealing with the inner turmoil and uncontrollable outside inﬂuences that loom every day like dark clouds over our heads. The album essentially delves into the depression, anger, and violence that often occur as release is sought.!
Select two songs from Under A Blackened Sky and what inspired the lyrics.
Well, we’ll start with our ﬁrst single “From Ash We Rise” which is where we got the name for the CD. It’s about rising up and overcoming the inner darkness that oppresses us, whether is chemically inﬂuenced, depression, etc.! ! Then there’s a song like “BTK” that takes sort of an over the top look at the inner mind of a serial killer. The song was inspired by reading about the actual BTK killer, but the song is in no way factual to the historical details of the case. It’s just about the depravity and brutality that a warped mind like that might be thinking.
Who did the artwork for Under A Blackened Sky and how much input did you have on it?
Kakak Lung Design, and he did an amazing job. We definitely had a great deal of input into the art and design. We basically described our concept and he riffed off of that, working with us to reﬁne the artwork. The entire design was sketched out on a whiteboard and, as a band, we all input out concepts. From there we sent it out to Kakak Lung.!
What could one expect from a live Scent Of Remains show?
Lots of energy and emotion, a little humor and a performance that is very true to the recorded material, but with that live energy pumping through it. We have fun doing what we do and it shows.
Has Scent Of Remains ever played in the Los Angeles area or plan to do so in future days?
Unfortunately, we haven’t made it out that far west yet, but we plan as we tour in support of UABS. We’d love to get out to LA and the rest of the west coast.
You have opened for quite a few notable bands. Is there any band or show that really stands out to you?
We got the opportunity to play Fubar Metal Fest X in St. Louis this year, and shared the stage with Death Angel, Battlecross and Three Inches of Blood to name a few. That was an amazing lineup. Also, being able to play with legends like Fear Factory and DevilDriver was super cool and very humbling.
If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
That’s a really hard question. Metallica would have to be up there for us as a band. For me (Herb) personally, it’d have to be Sabbath – they stated the whole thing, and still do it better than just about anybody out there.! !
When you look back on your previous album Mind.Thought.Fear, what do you think of it now? Any plans to re-release it?
We’re really proud of that record, but we’ve definitely evolved as a band since then – in both lineup and direction. We feel we’ve matured a great deal since that release and are certainly heavier. You know, we actually re-recorded a version of Jaundiced Eye off that record for UABS, but it didn’t make it into the ﬁnal track list. My guess is that you’ll see that song available as a download before too long. It’s a really cool track.
What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most after hearing Under A Blackened Sky for the very ﬁrst time?
The hooks, so they keep singing the songs in their heads over and over again and want to keep listening to it. Also we’d like the listeners to feel the emotion we put into the songs.
What’s up next for Scent Of Remains?
Well, we’re already writing material for the next release, so there’s that. But for 2014, its touring. We want to get out in front of as many people in as many markets as we can and Spread The Scent all over.
Any ﬁnal words of wisdom?
CATCH THE SCENT. SPREAD THE SCENT.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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