It feels like we’ve been waiting longer then December with anticipation to hear the debut EP Osculum Est Mortis ("The Kiss of Death") from Deathcore/Death Metal band Revenant. Founded in 2016, the group consists of former members of quiet a few well known acts such as Fit For An Autopsy, A Night At The Chalet and I Killed Everyone. The band has recently been hard at work promoting their upcoming EP, from releasing some killer shirt designs on their Bigcartel, having a presale through Itunes and with the help of the Chugcore promotional company, released a badass lyric video for their song “The Devil and I”. Now with only about a couple weeks left until the official release (March 31st), we reached out to the band for an interview and were able to discuss with Tom Salazar (Drums) and Cody Harmon (Vocals) about everything that is Revenant.
"With the distance between members, how did the band form?"
"The band formed during stagnant times with all our other endeavors. Some of us already were in bands at the time yet some of us had no projects going on.
After months of talking back and forth via social media we decided to come together and write music that would bring a sort of “old school” deathcore vibe back to the table."
"How did you come up with the name “Revenant”?"
"The name Revenant came about due to the exact definition of the word. a person who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead. We feel as if we are all “resurrected” from the dead in terms of our music careers."
"You’ve all for the most part have been in bands before, have toured etc. What’s so different about being in Revenant compared to your past bands?"
"The pace of writing and getting material such as music, merch and other things is WAY faster and efficient than before.
Everybody literally does their part no questions asked, as well as the reliability of each member."
"What are some of the band’s influences, from when you started as musicians to now?"
"We are all pretty eclectic, out influences range from Hip-Hop - Death Metal."
"How has the music industry changed over the years that you have seen or experienced?"
"It seems that Physical Copies of albums seem to be back in the market again, which is an amazing thing to see. The call for merch from various bands is on the rise, as well as the new and improved ways to become a marketable band."
"What is the band’s writing process like?"
"Literally the easiest we have ever dealt with. Once Ian or John finish a song (via guitar pro) it’s sent off to Tom to track drums on. After the drums are finished it is then sent back to Ian/John for them to start tracking guitars. Once guitars have been tracked Robbie then gets ahold of the pre-pro and starts tracking is bass parts. Finally once all is said and done, Cody gets sent a final “Rough” mix to figure out all his vocal work."
"How did recording work for the EP?"
"Pretty much the same as the above question! After all the takes for each member are what they want then it gets sent off for mixing & mastering!"
"What was the most difficult part/favorite part?"
"The most difficult part of the band has not arose upon us yet! Our favorite part would have to be: No one carries any weight from anyone else.. It is honestly an equally structured monster."
"There has been so much anticipation for the upcoming release, was that any pressure for you guys when you were finishing up recording? And how does it feel to be done?"
"Absolutely not, we have all been in this situation before. Trying to release the debut ep from a brand new band. All we have to say is we are happy with the way it turned out yet, the full length is going to be disgusting."
"The artwork for Osculum Est Mortis is sick. Who created that for you?"
"Thank you, Logo was done by Antonio of Grind Brothers Art. Album Art was done by Caelan Stokkermans."
"You have said on your facebook page that your goal was to create angry music, with tracks titled “The Devil And I” (which you also have a lyric video out for) and “Sermon Of Misery”, what are the songs about?"
"Plain and simple, these songs are a creative way to go against organized religion."
"What is your favorite song on the EP and why?"
"“Culling the Herd” is the for sure the stand out track of this EP. Everyone holds true to what they did on this track and it never lets up."
"What has been the biggest challenge in being in a band together?"
"The only challenge that we face is the fact that we all live in different states."
"Is this a project that you hope will play shows together or is it an online project only?"
"What can we look forward to with the band upcoming for this year?"
"The writing process of our full length, potential tours, more merch."
We would like to thank Tom and Cody for taking some time to respond to our inquiring questions. We've been glued to their facebook page as continue to update teasers of the EP Osculum Est Mortis. Be sure to grab a copy during their Pre-Order on Itunes or buy it when it releases March 31st. We cannot wait to see where their band goes from here and hope that we can catch them playing Chicago in the very near future.
Tom Salazar (Drums) Ex - I Killed Everyone
Cody Harmon (Vocals) Ex - The Breathing Process
John LaVar (Guitars) Ex - A Night at the Chalet
Ian VanDenbergh (Guitars) Ex - Fit For An Autopsy
Robert Phillips (Bass) Legends Shall Fall
Also Find The Band At These Links:
"Sean here representing The Metal Experience Radio, taking the opportunity to catch up with progressive speed metal act, Zephaniah, out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Zephaniah draws elements from heavy, thrash and power metal to create an assaulting sound, filled with sensational string work and persistent percussion. Having just released their second full length album titled, Reforged, Zephaniah have plans to invade live stages and share their music with the world.
Zephaniah is: Vocals - Logan Detwiler Guitars - Justin Zych Guitars - Shaun Cothron Bass - Ian Bender Drums - Cody Johns
"In what year did Zephaniah form? How did you guys all come together with the idea to form this band?"
Justin Zych: "We formed back in 2005. I had a group of friends involved in the beginning, but I wanted serious musicians that had that passion to play as well. I always adored metal and bands like Iron Maiden, Manowar, Hammerfall, Dream Theater and I wanted to create music like that. When we formed in the beginning and got to the lineup that would release Stories from the Book of Metal, I had written most of the songs and we had become more of a power metal band with some thrash elements. Logan came in at least a year before we released that record and Ian had become involved before that."
"After listening to you guys, clearly you are all competent musicians. The guitar, bass and drum work you guys produce is very skilled and full of chemistry, how long have you guys been playing your instruments?"
Justin Zych: "Thank you! I have been playing guitar for about 17 years now and have picked up bass and piano along the way."
Ian Bender: "I’ve played bass for about 12 years and drums/percussion for much longer. I have actually been back and forth between the two in this band several times."
Shaun Cothorn: "I’ve been playing guitar about 15 years now."
"This question is directed towards Logan (vocals) specifically, I am a huge fan of the power behind those soaring vocals, at what age did you realize you had such a powerhouse of a voice? Did you ever take any singing lessons?"
Logan Detwiler: "First of all, thank you! I'm usually overly critical of everything I record, so knowing it's liked is a huge weight off my shoulders. Haha. I've been singing since I was a little kid. It started in the car with my grandma when I was probably about 5 or 6. From there, I stuck with it throughout school from choir classes to musical theater. Once I began high school, I was given the opportunity to take lessons in classical Opera under the tutelage of Joe Khari. I took lessons throughout the entirety of my high school career. It was in those lessons I really learnt the true extent of my vocal capabilities. Near the end of high school, I auditioned for Zephaniah and the rest is history!"
"Congratulations to you guys on the release of your second full length album, Reforged, I think it is a spectacular record! How has the people’s response to the new material been since the release of this album?"
Justin Zych: "I have only received positive feedback so far and we have sold a decent amount of albums. I really enjoy hearing new and old fans asking us to play their favorite song off the album at live shows. Cool part about that is that everyone has a completely different favorite song off that album! But I would have to say the Mad Max trilogy seems to be everyone's favorite."
Ian Bender: "Most people seem to really dig it. We’ve actually had pretty decent comments about it online, where people tend to be pretty brutal with their critiques, so that’s a good sign."
Shaun Cothron: "So far the response has been overwhelming. There really isn’t much power metal in the midwest so hopefully we’re offering a breath of fresh air."
"This album seems to have a bit more dynamic then your debut album, Stories from the Book of Metal (excellent work),” also, the production value has upgraded tremendously. How long did it take to write and record the songs for this record?"
Justin Zych: "The writing process was easy. We had been on hiatus for about four years so I had some songs that were written that needed some adjusting. This album features not just songs I wrote but a collection of songs that all the members wrote so I think that makes this album way more dynamic and interesting to listen to. We were able to spend a lot of time in the studio and make everything sound perfect and natural like you hear in all your favorite 80s records. Also due to studio changes, producer changes and other fun computer problems, this took over a year to get recorded. We are hoping our next album takes a lot less time but we will never let time or money be a factor in making our album sound the best it can."
"I love the classic thrash metal sound that can be heard throughout this album, but more evidently on tracks like “Thunderdome,” who would you guys say some of your biggest influences were on this album? Who are some of your biggest influences as a band?"
Justin Zych: "I was listening to a lot of Carcass and Kreator around the time I wrote Thunderdome. Depending on the song, I have a lot of influence from all sorts of music. Anywhere from listening to metal, classical or even just hearing things in my daily life. Definitely my biggest influences are Jason Becker, Al Di Meola, Manowar."
Logan Detwiler: "MANOWAR. Iron Maiden, specifically Bruce Dickinson. But vocally, my influences span into a lot of weird things. I listen to pretty much anything but gospel, and even then I still appreciate the vocal styling. Haha."
Ian Bender: "I don’t typically have a particular band or style in mind when writing a song. I’ll usually start with a basic melody or rhythmic pattern and just roll with it. As far as general metal influences - King Diamond, Angra, Heavenly, and Hammerfall are some of my favorites. I’m also a big fan of funk and old R&B stuff."
Shaun Cothron: "I think we all have different personal influences, but as a band it’s really just about coming together and putting our ideas in a melting pot and seeing what comes out. Everything influences songwriting, just being in a room together allows for ideas to flow freely."
"Reforged introduces some added heavy elements in songs such as, “Mad Max” and “Quest for the Royal Crown,” would you guys say that you wanted this album to be heavier then your previous work?"
Justin Zych: "Absolutely, we have the powerhouse drummer, Cody Johns on board and he hits hard. We decided that we wanted to be the power thrash band that shreds harder than anyone else. I love powerful vocals, shredding and extremely fast tempos. People can feel that intensity on this album!"
Logan Detwiler: "Definitely. Personally, I will always have a soft spot for the epic ballad and would love to do another one akin to Deep Breath from our first album, but the energy and intensity of REFORGED is a force to be reckoned with and I don't think I'd have it any other way."
Ian Bender: "I don’t know that heavier was the intent initially, but the more focused and tighter sound definitely creates that vibe. Thematically, the stories also ended up being a little darker on this album."
"I admire the art work for the new album, the man sort of reminds me of Dwalin, one of the dwarf’s from The Hobbit. Was there any LOTR influence involved in the making of this artwork?"
Justin Zych: "You'll have to ask the artist. We just wanted an epic Blacksmith on the cover."
Logan Detwiler: "Oddly enough, I got the same idea when I saw it, so I feel like he may have been an influence. At least I'll claim it is!"
Ian Bender: "Kip Ayers was the artist. He does a lot of fantasy work, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he has some LOTR influences in his repertoire."
"With a brand new album out now, what are the band’s plans for the rest of 2016?"
Justin Zych: "We have a couple of awesome opening gigs for some larger names but we plan on doing a couple of small tours for the public around the midwest and for next year eventually branching out. We plan on getting some good management to take us to that next level, so we can play music full time and have the privilege of creating more awesome music."
Ian Bender: "We’ll also be working on some fun things to market and promote the album!"
Shaun Cothron: "Well since the new album is out, i suppose it’s about time to start writing for the next one, lol. Really just continually trying to find ways to push the band's name and the music onto fresh ears and think up some new tasty dance moves for the stage."
"I want to thank you guys for taking the time to answer these questions, I am very honored to be talking to such a talented group of musicians keeping metal music alive and well. I hope that you guy’s will be able to come to Chicago to play a show in the near future, but until then, keep up the great work!"
- Sean McLennan
Also Find The Band At These Links: