Interviews: DESCENT

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Metal band DESCENT 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 plan it or come out just like that?

A: The band name, haha well that’s a two-era question really; In the very early years, I mean back in 1997 high school days we were more of a punk band that went by Pen15... until the real pen15 contacted us to let us know they already had a claim to that name haha so we switched it to K.A.P.; which we told people meant Kitties, animals, Pets; when it really was a jab at our highschool bullies/popular kids and stood for Kill All Preps; you know cause we were the outcasts back in the clique days of teenage angst. As we evolved into more of a thrash metal band and got away from the high school politics we decided we needed a stronger more distinguished badass worded name like our heroes in Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Anthrax.. and seeing the logo of the video game DESCENT, we decided to make it our own brand, so I drew up a design and there it was!

Now, the second era reboot of the band had a choice to start fresh or keep the name from the old days.. well, we did some checking around and saw that in our absence there were now a couple of Descents floating around out there so we tried out a couple alternatives eventually settling on “inside us All”.... But after a little while we just never felt it was really us, so we said fuck, if there's already a couple Descents, one more ain’t gonna hurt; we just gotta be the best one! Plus, technically we had the name in 97, soooo .... Haha I guess long story short, yeah a video game we thought had a cool logo would be a cool name for the band, DESCENT.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

A: Honestly we aren’t even sure what “genre” people think we are!! We don’t even know anymore!! We just wanted to be fun, rebellious and party all night and smash stuff... and as we became more established musicians we took the raw simplicity of punk and pushed the limits until we landed on metal... almost the way Metal evolved originally but within our little timespan from loving Green Day, offsetting and nirvana, to finding Metallica black album then going backward to the more extreme kill. em all sound. That was just the music of our youth and probably some of the greatest years of music ever!

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

A: Brian, the drummer, and I (Mike) have been friends since we were little kids from the same neighborhood. We picked up our instruments together and after that, everything revolved around the band; Dylan and I (Mike) worked at House of Blues together for about 5 years until Covid gave us the free time to start playing guitars and jamming through songs with our friends Kevin Rynders (ex original drummer for drowning pool) and Joseph Kuban (bassist for Serosia). Unfortunately and unexpectedly Kevin passed away and Brian agreed to fill in for a memorial show which kinda turned permanent. Joseph had to eventually get back to Serosia full time, and as luck would have it, Jamie was in attendance at our first official show which we played sans bass and was impressed by what he saw enough to mention us on social media. Upon seeing the positive mention, Mike reached out after learning Jamie was a bass player who just moved to Dallas from El Paso asking if he had any interest in trying out for the bass duties, which he did!! A couple weeks later Jamie totally nailed the tunes right out the gate and fit right into the group completing the Descent lineup we have today!

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Mike: I’d say I have more of a favorite “period of bands” Metallica and Pantera will always be in my top 5, but I gravitate towards the Lamb of God, Killswitch, Unearth, and All That Remains heyday of metal bands... but also on my all-time staples is Sevendust, White Zombie, Megadeth, Iced Earth, COC, Tool, NiN, Pink Floyd, Rush, Eminem, 50 cent, tech n9ne, .... Most recently I’ve been digging of mice and men, after the burial, alpha wolf

Dylan: Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, Parkway Drive, Ozzy Osbourne, Scar Symmetry, Killswitch Engage, Trivium

Brian: Metallica

Jamie: That's a tough question! There are so many bands that I really love for totally different reasons but if I could condense it down to just a few it would have to be Metallica, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Type O Negative, The Misfits, and Joy Division

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Mike: that’s a hard one to say specifically... sometimes after hearing another bands song it fires me up to write something better or in that vein, sometimes I’ll just be fiddling around and accidentally play a riff I’m like oooh that sounded cool let’s see where I can take this, and sometimes if I haven’t come up with anything new in a long time I just have this internal clock that goes off that tells me I need to create something ... I have noticed no matter how much I think I NEED to finish it right then, that I can’t ever force it, even if I really really want to; if it’s just not unfolding in a way that’s cool or gets to be redundant I’ve learned to just put it on the back burner until later and when the right time comes I’ll get some sort of que from the universe reminding me of my tucked away projects and pull it back out and try again! On top of that, the most important thing I’ve learned and experienced in terms of writing material is 90% of the time, the best stuff writes itself and may not seem so at the time, so never assume something is bad or good based on how hard you worked at it or how long it took you... magic comes when magic comes I just try to be open to seeing it and capturing the moment in the present while always looking at the future possibilities of where a song could go.

Brian: There is a buzz you get from writing music. When you come up with the perfect riff/groove/lyric, it’s a great feeling.

Jamie: A good solid heavy riff or a cool melody line. It can come from anywhere but once I hear it I feel the need to complete it!

6. Where was your last gig?

Our last gig was supposed to be at a place called Renos Chop shop in Deep Ellum (Dallas, TX) but it was cancelled last minute and we ended up lucky enough to find ourselves playing instead one street over at the legendary venue TREES opening the Genitorturers show! And it went amazing! footage of it is on our YouTube page.

7. Where would you like to act?

Mike: not sure what this question is asking... if by the act you mean what venue would we like to play, my answer would be all of them. Nothings are too small or too big to say we’ve been there and we rocked that shit.

Dylan: House of Blues Dallas and way out in the future Rupp Arena in Lexington Kentucky

Brian: I don’t want to act... 

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Mike: I think it would be cool to work with Trent Reznor; he always has amazing collabs with all kinds of out-of-the-box artists and I’d love to just experience the process with him and the intricacies he puts into his songs; I would say Metallica but I don’t think that’d be a very smooth experience; I’m pretty hard-headed and I know they are too! Corey Taylor would be cool to work with, and tech n9ne does a lot of genre-mixed tracks that would be right up our lane.

Dylan: I personally would love to collaborate with Synister Gates and or Corey Taylor, Howard Jones, Frank Hannon 

Jamie: I wouldn't mind featuring with any artists in the goth/post-punk realm. I've always been heavily into that music, especially industrial music.

9. Whom not?

Mike: There’s no one I can say I really would just turn down... I’m always down to try something unorthodox or unexpected and see how it goes, as long as it doesn’t misrepresent the band or go against our fans I’ll write with whoever! 

Dylan: anyone doing a brown-eyed girl cover

Jamie: I can't think of anybody I wouldn't want to feature or collaborate with... I guess it would be more personal. If the artist is difficult to work with then that would just suck the fun out of creating I guess.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

Mike: stage fright? No not really... do I get nervous, absolutely. Not because I’m scared but more because I’ve already built up expectations in my head so when the time comes I’m usually stressing out double-checking everything so there’s no time to be scared. Plus, I know before I walk onstage that I’m about to put my all into it and I’ve prepared to the best of my ability to be ready. And if something doesn’t go as planned, roll with the punches, and don’t get upset at things you can’t control. That stage becomes my world to express my art for that 30 minutes so I try to own it as much as I can to give the best show possible for the fans and for the venue owners allowing me the opportunity and platform to be who I want to be and do what I love. In the old days, we were little hellions always drunk so that helped with nerves, nowadays I just think about how badass it’s going to be and how impressed people will be so I can't wait to go out there and blow their minds. 

Brian: Not really

Jamie: Surprisingly no! I've never suffered from stage fright which is odd because I'm usually the most quiet and reserved. As far as offering tips on how to overcome stagefright?... I guess just focus on the music and how it makes you feel when you're onstage and don't think about anything else.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Mike: same as my favorites... Metallica mostly from the beginning, but every band I meet or listen to adds a new perspective or adds little tips here and there of inspiration

Dylan: same as 4 but so many more from Sinatra and Dean Martin to Eminem and lil wayne to Five Finger Death Punch and children of bodom also projects like Eden and Celldweller too many to list lol

Brian: From Metallica & Pantera to Van Morrison, Sam Cooke, Elton John & The Beatles.

Jamie: Joy Division... hands down. When I was younger my world got completely flipped upside down when I first heard their music. I loved that their music was so dark and gloomy and how timeless they sounded even though the music was written in the late 70's.

12. What do you think of your fans? What's the weirdest thing a fan ever asked you for?

We really haven’t had much interaction with fans yet because we are kinda brand new again to the scene so we haven’t had the chance to have any weird fan experiences yet!! Once we start gaining more of a fan base and playing more live shows hopefully we can better answer that question! Social media has been a barrier I think in terms of actually knowing who your fans are because everything is just so anonymous we never know who’s listening and who likes what unless they take the time to specifically reach out and comment. But the fans are the reason we make music that we make, obviously, and we aren't about specific molds of fans. Anyone of any shape color gender size who enjoys what we do has my respect my attention and gratitude which I hope to personally share soon with a lot of y’all in the future!

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