SKINWEAVER is a really cool name for a band. So cool that I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-The name comes from our vocalist. He was searching for a name which gave something gore, oldschool and artistic. He was inspired by lyrics and imagery from the early Cannibal Corpse records mixed with the “artistic” aspect of sculpting with human skin inspired by the acts if Ed Gein and Leatherface.

As I am sure of we are quite a few that are rather new to you guys could you give us a short introduction to the band?*
-Well as mentioned, we are Skinweaver! We play a form of old-school death metal mixed with some other stuff as well. A lot of black metal riffs, doom even some prog here and there. I guess we don’t really have a concrete style of death metal we play. If you listen to our album you still hear a lot of old school but with a lot of twists. While in our newer songs we mix it up even way more. We try to keep it as interesting as possible for us and the listener, but with oldschool Death Metal as main theme.

We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-We have influences ranging from all over the spectrum. When it’s from a Death Metal point of view we are really influenced by the oldschool bands (Sinister, Benediction, Entombed, Obituary… you name it!) Each of our members come from other backgrounds so that is also a nice mix of influences of the music we write now. Our vocalist has a history in Black Metal bands, the drummer played some Thrash and Black/Thrash, me myself (lead guitarist) played in a technical thrash band with our bassist and our latest member, our second guitarist, played in some diverse bands as well.

What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-It’s always been a difficult matter to maintain a good and solid scene back here in Flanders (Dutch speaking part of Belgium). While the mainstream festivals are growing each year we aren’t able to maintain stable local scenes. We are such a small region and country that the amount of bands isn’t that big in each different genre. So after a while it’s always the same set of bands that you see playing together. And people just aren’t willing to travel to see the same bands over and over again.
Luckily there are some promotors and organizers who maintain a realy good underground scene with a lot of awesome bands in my opinion, but that’s mostly in little clubs and bars with not much people. Especially for Black and Death metal bands It’s hard to develop here. I think the more classic metal like thrash/speed/heavy are doing fine here right now, thanks to bands like Evil Invaders, Ostrogoth,…. But it’s still possible to grow as a Death Metal band, look at bands like Carnation, Kosmokrator, Fractured Insanity, Carrion and Predatoria to name a few (look them up they rule!), who even manage to play internationally some times. Talent is not the problem as there is plenty here. It’s just hard to get yourself out there when almost nobody supports the local shows and prefer to go to the big festivals with international bands.

Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-I think each generation has the feeling it wants to be a part of a bigger picture. And in a way we are. Not in a political kind of way, since we don’t express our political views in our music since Skinweaver isn’t about that. But pure the fact that we need to keep music and other forms of entertainment alive, especially now in these times of terror. The moment we stop living our lives and hide scared is the moment the terrorism wins. And you never know when and what will happen, look at Paris during the show in the Bataclan. But we need to keep playing, partying, entertaining,… At least that’s the mentality we have in the band. We all feel music is such an important factor in our lives and we don’t know what we would do without it. Just as we go and get excited to watch bands perform live, we hope we can have the same effect on people. Forget about all the shit for a minute and enjoy some music we all love.

When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-Haha yes, a good album cover is a good first impression! I think Death Metal albums always have had the sickest covers out of all the extreme genres. All these oldschool albums have these dark, gore, evil and sometimes epic covers. You are so intrigued by only looking at the cover you HAVE to listen to the music that goes with it. Thinking of albums like: Dismember’s Like An Ever Flowing Stream, Obituary’s Cause of Death, Autopsy’s Severed Survival, Benediction’s Transcend the Rubicon and the list goes on and on! I also think albums that have classical art as cover are sick, Bolt Thrower’s The IVth Crusade, Morbid Angel’s Blessed Are the Sick and Candlemass’s Nightfall to name a few.

What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-While I think the internet and digital platforms and formats can help to give exposure to bands all over the world, which is good thing. Without it there are a lot of sick bands nobody would hear of. We also need to preserve also our physical formats of music, it’s always cool to support a band you didn’t know after a show by buying their merch and music. Also waiting for the newest release of your favorite band and getting the disc or LP after waiting for so long is so much more satisfying than just clicking a link.

What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-As I said earlier there is a scene, and a lot of cool bands. But our country/region is just too small to keep it diverse enough. After some time people don’t travel too far to see a band the already saw a dozen of times. So it’s not always that easy to get a decent crowd at a show. The more mainstream festivals are doing okay, they keep growing each year but that’s mostly thanks to the international bands.

When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-We always give the best of ourselves at shows. We try to create an atmosphere and give the crowd an experience instead of just a party.

What would you like to see the future bring?
-We’d love to play some bigger shows and some of the many cool underground festivals in Europe. But we’d also like to help create a more stable Death Metal scene here in Belgium. As far as the band is concerned, we are going to have a small line-up change in the near future, because our drummer is leaving the band. But we are working with him as we speak to get a replacement ready to keep playing shows and write music. At this moment we are closing in on finishing songs for the next album and we are super excited about that. This line-up right now is not the same that recorded the first album so we are sure we can add some exciting new elements to our next album! We also matured a lot in our songwriting so we can’t wait to share all that with the world. Hopefully next year!

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