An Interview with Noah Carpenter of Skinless
Glens Falls, New York death metallers, Skinless, are preparing to release their first studio album since 2006’s “Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead”. The long overdue “Only the Ruthless Remain” will drop on June 2nd, and I was very fortunate to be granted an interview with founding guitarist, Noah Carpenter.
Derek: Hi Noah! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! When Skinless broke up in 2011 you stated that it was because the “fire” just wasn’t there anymore. You reformed in 2013. What changed during those two years to make the band want to give it another try?
Noah: We had been having trouble keeping a touring lineup together and it was hard replacing band members over and over. It was one step forward and 2 steps back for several years. I guess it took the wind out of my sails because who wants to spend most of the time going backwards to break in new members. The ‘classic’ Skinless lineup had reunited around 2010 and when it came time to talk about a new album a couple of the guys had no interest at all. I guess it seemed like the right time to lay the band to rest. A couple of years later Sherwood called me. He was putting together a fest out in Denver called Denver Black Sky. He thought it would be cool to get Skinless to play it, just for fun. I said that if we’re going to go through all the effort to rehearse we should do more than one show. We decided to get back together to write some new music and just play scattered fests. We wouldn’t be the road dogs we once were but we could still stay involved in the death metal world at a more leisurely pace. All in all I don’t really consider it a “breakup” any longer, but rather a hiatus. We just needed a chance to rekindle the fires of hell. Oh, and we added a second guitarist Dave to do some solos and double the bludgeoning. I had played with Dave in a thrash band Called Armor Column and brought him over to Skinless with me.
Derek: You have a new album, “Only the Ruthless Remain”, due out on June 2nd. Can you tell me a little about the recording sessions for the new release? How you would you compare it to the making of 2006’s “Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead”?
Noah: We went with a local guy named Tom Case He had recorded the first few Skinless demos back in the early 90’s and we have been impressed by the work he’s done with area bands recently. The drums were recorded at Edie Road studio in Argyle, NY. Guitars and bass captured at Doomsday Bunker Studio in Glens Falls, NY. Since our vocalist Sherwood lives in Denver he tracked with Dave Otero at Flatline Audio. It was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege in Portland, Oregon. Tom Case also mixed the recording. Almost everything about the sessions for “Ruthless” differs from “Trample”. We had done all our previous full length albums at Max Trax Studio in Albany, NY, but it no longer exists. It was time to go down a new road and we love the way the album turned out.
Derek: You posted a comment on Facebook warning fans to beware of a fake “Only the Ruthless Remain” download being circulated that contains older Skinless songs with titles from the new album. I just don’t understand why anyone would want to do this. It has to be frustrating for the band.
Noah: The ‘leak’ was posted on the internet on April 1 so it seems it’s an April Fool’s joke. We want people to hear our new album and it’s a bit frustrating if they get our stuff from 2003 instead. But I guess that’s what can happen when you steal music.
Derek: Skinless will be performing at this year’s Maryland Deathfest. It’s a killer festival that just keeps getting better with each year. Are you excited to be in the 2015 line-up?
Noah: Of course. This will be our 4th or 5th time playing MDF and it’s always a great time. It’s the premier extreme metal fest in the USA. The line-up is always solid. Suffocation, Obituary, Napalm Death and on and on from there…..
Derek: Will there be a world tour in support of the new album?
Noah: We are unable to tour anymore. When we got back together we all agreed that we would just play scattered shows/fests that everyone in the band was able to do. Otherwise we’d still be disbanded. Maryland Deathfest and Hellfest in France are 2 events we’ll be hitting, along with a few other shows to be announced.
Derek: Now it’s time for The Marvelous Three Round of Questions! What’s your favorite breakfast cereal? Most metalheads have large concert t-shirt collections. What’s your favorite band t-shirt? And last but not least, are you a cat person or a dog person?
Noah: Cinnamon Toast Crunch. How could I choose a favorite metal shirt? It’s like picking a favorite child. I have so many shirts I can’t even think of them all right now. I’m a dog person and my wife is a cat person. We have 2 dogs and 3 cats.
Derek: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview! I can’t wait to get my hands on “Only the Ruthless Remain” and I hope you’ll be coming the Kansas City are very soon!
Noah: Thanks Derek. Everyone can keep up with the latest Skinless news on our Facebook page.
Check out the trailer for “Only the Ruthless Remain”, due out June 2nd