Everything Heavy Metal: Interview: Kyle Watt and Zach Rogers from Predecessor

Interview: Kyle Watt and Zach Rogers from Predecessor

Band: Predecessor
Genre: Metal
Year Formed: 2009
Location: Wilmington, NC
Members: Vocals - Kyle Watts
Drums - Mckenzie Bell
Bass - Chris Wood
Lead Guitar - Josh Snow
Lead Guitar - Zach Rogers

Interview Though Email with: Kyle Watts and Zach Rogers 
Your latest album is called "Learning to Suffer" how did you come up with that name? Does it have a meaning?
     (Kyle Watts - vocals) "The name actually just came from a song title. Wefelt it worked best for this specific body of work as a whole. The song isreally a kinda look in at I guess what I thought I was going through personallyat the time. My life had kinda done a 180 at the point I started working withZach and the fellaz.  It’s just a message to deal or of dealing with stuff/ life situations that could be viewed as negative or personal set backs andtry and push forward for a positive outcome. I think if you listen to the linessuch as “A slip through defeat, a crawl to victory. So take onexistence, you raise the bar and struggle no more. A win on the horizon."  You can tell that looking back on thoselyrics you can also maybe tell I’m seeing this music or this band as thepositive outcome. Or “winning” toquote the great Charlie Sheen."

What was the game plan going to record that album?
     (Zach Rogers – lead guitar) "When we started recording thesongs we weren’t even really thinking about an album. Kyle (vocals) and Chris(bass) had just started jamming with us, and we were recording demos of some ofthe songs at my house. The recordings started getting tighter and soundingbetter, and at a certain point we realized we could record an album this way.We tracked everything except for the vocals at my house. We weren’t workingwith the greatest gear so we had to make up for it by getting all the takes perfect.And we spent a lot of time setting up amps, mics, and using different guitarsto make it as heavy as possible.
    We knew that we needed a pro to put the whole thingtogether, so we took the raw tracks to Jamie King’s studio and did the vocalsand mixing/mastering there.  We also got really lucky and found a sickartist (Aaron Kerr) to do the album art. We’re all fans of old school metal andreally wanted to compliment the music with great album artwork. Jamie’s mix andAaron’s art really made the whole thing come together."

Your band is sorta new, started in 2009, what are some of the bands accomplishments?
     (Zach Rogers – lead guitar) "We’ve actually been playingin some shape or form since probably 2002. The whole time we’ve been a bandmost of the guys have been in school and working, so we haven’t been able totour. But just playing regionally we’ve been able to share the stage with abunch of great bands… Between the Buried and Me, Corrosion of Conformity,Darkest Hour, Soulfly, August Burns Red, and Periphery are just a few that cometo mind. But hopefully most of the notable accomplishments are still to come."

How you describe the overall sound of the band?
     (Zach Rogers – lead guitar)  "I think the overall sound is more evolved nowthan it’s ever been. We recently switched to 7-string guitars, and that hasallowed us to expand our range when writing riffs. We’ve also added a couplenew members since Learning to Suffer (Josh Snow – Lead Guitar and McKenzie Bell– Drums) and they’ve helped bring some new influences into the writing process.Our new singles Skin Deep and Bleed Out are perfect examples of the new soundand new material. We’re trying to find that perfect blend of intricate riffingand solid grooves. And I really like music that inspires me to hit the woodshedand get better as a guitar player, so we try to incorporate that element intoour material as well. Oh and I also like music that gets my adrenaline flowingand puts me into “berserker-mode”, so we try and make sure there are plenty ofpit-instigating mayhem in our material."

     (Kyle Watts – Vocals)  "If I had to use one word I’d sayheavy. I think I speak for most of us when I say we are really excited movingforward and writing new material with this new lineup to better define oursound which it seems we are with the newer stuff. I think the sound on Learningto Suffer you really only get a glimpse of what’s to come. We were a new lineupof dudes trying to figure out what our sound really was, and I think you cantell we were searching because there is a lot of ground covered on learning tosuffer. Having the newer lineup that we have now is very exciting and coolbecause there are 5 guitar players working to make this music… all of us areoriginally guitarists and (with the exception of me of course) all are rippersto the point we have now been dubbed "Shredecessor". Chris who has transitioned to bass (seamlessly I might add…) was the originalsecond guitarist for Predecessor (with Zach), so they were already masters ofthis ball court. Josh had previously played with El Dora and the originalDamona Waits lineup which was more progressive than what any of us had done. Sothat’s some really cool input coming into play. To me Josh has really helped inadding more textures and layers or depth to songs and I hope that continues tohappen even further with newer material. McKenzie played guitar for Bloodjinnand He is Legend so his name is carved well into the North Carolina metal tree. Having him ondrums really helps because it seems he goes into writing or constructingthinking like a guitarist. It’s almost like he asks himself "how would Iwant my drummer to play to that?". Plus he’s a freaking giant and hitslike Paul Bunion which is just what we were looking for. Lastly myself comingfresh out of the Hottness joining this band, I’d like to think while I know I’mnot near as technical of a player as most of these guys who come from wayheavier backgrounds, I try and offer help in the form construction suggestionsor shaping of material because song writing has always been more what I havefocused on as a player. Being a vocalist now, I look at everything I do and aim for what I would want from vocalist. So with all these different backgroundsand viewpoints coming into play and what we get to hear at rehearsal or whilejamming, it’s safe to say you've only just begun to actually hear the real Predecessor."


What is the message behind your music?
     (Kyle Watts – Vocals) "Destroy everything that gets in the way of living your life like the party it should be and have fun while doing so."

     (Zach Rogers – Guitar)"Ya…what he said."

What are the bands goals?
     (Zach Rogers) "We just want to keep refining ourselves as musicians and keep writing the bestsongs we can. We’re really excited about where things are going and are goingto keep putting out music as long as we can. We’re starting to release newsongs on our YouTube channel and are hoping to reach more people that way.Hopefully we can continue to expand our audience and we’ll see where that takesus."

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