Interviews: Runescarred


On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Heavy Metal band Runescarred from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

We simply bought it off the rack at the Band Name Store! Haha, in all seriousness though, the band's name is the title of a song from the last EP of Dead Earth Politics, a band that Ven and I were members of prior to forming this one. The title comes from the Rune-Scarred Demon, a character from Magic: The Gathering (we have to maintain our Nerd Street Cred, you see) and the basic idea is that our past experiences, beliefs, etc. "scar" us but do not defeat us; rather, they help define us and make us stronger for the long haul. Ven may have a different answer but therein lies the beauty. I really like it: it's one word, it can be open to interpretation, although I must caution that it is not "Running Scared" or "Ruin Scarred", both of which we have heard before! Gotta set the record straight, you know?

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

It's funny. We often hear that metal is this ultra-conservative, puritanical genre that will eat its own should they dare to stray beyond the pale. I feel it's quite the opposite: metal is probably the most malleable style available to a musician. Other than the volume requirements, it really is in the eye of the beholder, to reference a fairly well-known metal band. Depending on one's taste, it can be fast, slow, short and compact, long and verbose, dissonant, melodic, primitive, sophisticated, catchy and inclusive, avant-garde and esoteric; whatever group of opposites you wish to use, the possibilities are endless. Personally, I have always been drawn to the aggression and excitement of metal, yet my favorite metal bands often temper that with a degree of musical sophistication, whether that comes from a jazz, classical, or other outside perspective. The songs, though, don't forget the songs! The songs keep you coming back; the songs are what give you eternal life, figuratively speaking.  

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Not in all cases. As mentioned before, Ven and I had been in Dead Earth Politics before forming Runescarred. We had known our other guitarist, Skunk Manhattan, from his work with local bands Quartershackle and A Good Rogering, and he also filled in on rhythm guitar for DEP's last tour before we disbanded. Our drummer, Payton Holekamp, had played with a band called Southern Front whom DEP shared many a show with earlier in the decade. Our bassist Josh Robins was somewhat of a mystery; he is best known for leading an amazing silent-film accompaniment group called the Invincible Czars who tour nationally on a regular basis. As he will readily tell you, he is the "least metal" member of the band but that is a good thing! We are a diverse bunch and I feel it shows in our music.

4. Each band member favorite band?

Ooof. Well, I can't or more accurately, don't want to speak for anyone else in the band, but for myself, I would have to name Dream Theater as my favorite. They can do just about anything they want to on their instruments; their music is dynamic, eclectic, even cinematic at times, and always manages to appeal to me on an intellectual, emotional, and visceral level.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

I would suppose the same things that inspire all musicians to write. Some inspiration is personal, other ideas may be more political or universal, and beyond that sometimes we just have an idea for a good story or character and we see where that takes us. I make a conscious effort not to endlessly rewrite the same two or three songs; I'm often most satisfied when I have finished a new song and I can say "well, this is something we haven't done before"; whatever that "something" happens to be.

6. Where was your last gig?

Our last gig was about three weeks ago at a place called Hanover's in a suburb just outside of our home base in Austin, Texas. It's a great little club with a fairly roomy stage and killer sound, and a typical crowd there definitely loves their heavy music! Our next gig will be in December opening up for the thrash legends Death Angel, and we have been looking forward to that for quite some time.

7. Where would you like to act?

We want to take this band as far as we possibly can. I don't know, is a main slot at Wacken too ambitious?

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Out of bands that are still alive and functioning, I would love to be able to open for Iron Maiden. I realize that's a bit of a "duhhhh" answer; I mean, who wouldn't want that? Other than Maiden, I would love to open for any band that is, like us, heavy but with some brainpower behind it; bands like Testament, Behemoth (who might have the best live metal show going these days), Megadeth, Revocation, any band from Sweden or Finland, you get the idea.

9. Whom not?

I'm not sure; I suppose any band with an inflated sense of itself; any band that makes their openers "kiss the ring" so to speak. At the end of the day, we're all just people. We all eat, sleep, shit, and will grow old and die some day. We're all equally special and not-so-special, if you take my meaning.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Speaking for myself, I have never experienced stage fright to the point of not being able to perform. Fortunately, I have always had a natural affinity for the stage. My tip for beginners is fairly straightforward: practice and prepare! The more you practice what it is you need to play, the better you will play it, simple as that. It also helps to practice as much as possible while standing, assuming you will be standing for your performance. Film yourself, play in front of the mirror! If you will be playing cover songs, watch live videos of the original artists to see how they perform it, and also to snake some of their stage moves, haha.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Oh man, here we go, it's a long list: Metallica, Megadeth, Guns N' Roses, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Radiohead, Dream Theater, Children of Bodom, Van Halen, Sepultura, Slayer, Nevermore, Symphony X, Machine Head, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Pink Floyd, Queensryche, Rage Against the Machine, U2, Muse, King's X, the Haunted, Yes, Tool, Extreme, Oasis, Meshuggah, Iron Maiden, Mastodon, Pantera, Queen, Ozzy Osbourne, Lamb of God, Behemoth, is that enough for now? 

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Tough to say, really. We haven't been together all that long to progress beyond the usual CD/autograph/setlist/guitar pick requests. Check back with us in a couple years and maybe we'll have a better story for ya!               

13. What do you think of your fans?

We can't say enough good things about our fans. Without them, we're just a tree falling in a forest. With them, we actually make a sound. I can't say it any better than that.

14. What do you think of our site?

I think it's great! You guys cover all the bases and then some; being an up-and-coming independent metal band, we need to work hand-in-hand with sites like yours to get our name and music out there, and we certainly appreciate the work that you and others like you do for independent bands everywhere. Thank you!

15. Something add?

We're excited to be releasing our first full-length album (titled The Distant Infinite) early next year, and we hope the singles we've released so far have whet everyone's appetite. 2020 promises to be a big year for Runescarred, and we want to thank everyone who has helped us reach this point thus far. It's only just begun!

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