What Sammy Duet Is Able to Do in Goatwhore That the Band Couldn’t Have Early in Their Career
Goatwhore guitarist Sammy Duet was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. The group released Angels Hung From the Arches of Heaven last year, marking their first new record in five years and a lot of that was thanks to being able to record in a manner not previously afforded to Goatwhore.
As we all did, the New Orleans extreme metal band had a lot of downtime amid the early stage of the pandemic and it was a refreshing break from their usual way of doing things, which is to tour relentlessly behind an album and then use a small chunk of time to get another record out and get back on tour.
For Duet, he was able to spend time really developing songs in ways he had only previously fantasized, the siren song of the road always beckoning.
A lot was different about this album — they utilized their front of house sound person Jarrett Pritchard as their engineer this time around and elected to experiment with songwriting more than in the past as well, all of which excites Duet.
Read the full interview below.
Like other albums written and recorded during the pandemic, you had unlimited time to work on Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven. What apprehension comes from the unfamiliarity of having unlimited time to craft songs?
Every time that we went to write a record it was always kind of a last minute thing. We like to tour as much as we possibly can and, in the past, it was always put out the record, go on tour for two years and come home, hurry up, write a record and put it out.
The good thing about this, which one of the only good things, was that the unlimited time to really sit down and not just pump out a record. You always come back and listen to the songs and think, "Well, if I had another month or two, I could have made this song so much better."
The future was very uncertain. Nobody knew what was going to happen the next day. All I had to do was just sit here, think about the songs, get them where I wanted them to be and listen to them thousands and thousands of times before we recorded them to make sure that everyone was happy with the final result.
Goatwhore, "Born of Satan's Flesh"
You are a well-established presence on the New Orleans metal scene. Going back to your days with Acid Bath, how is New Orleans unlike anywhere else in terms of nurturing musicians?
It's a very eclectic scene.
You have the metal scene and you have a very underground punk scene that a lot of people don't really realize what is happening there. You have all the stuff like the Funky Meters and Dr. John and all these different types of music.
As far as them supporting us here, it's fantastic — everybody supports everybody else.
As far as the influence on the music that makes it so different from every other metal scene is that there's a heavy blues vibe that's embedded in the soil. When you're born here, it kind of is injected into your spirit, for lack of a better term. All the music that comes from here, you don't really hear a whole lot of very melodic metal bands. It's all very dark and it all comes from the blues, I suppose.
The album was engineered by your live sound man Jarrett Pritchard. How does having a front of house guy enhance the studio recording?
Jarrett Pritchard engineered the record and Kurt Ballou produced and mixed it.
As far as what Jared did on the record, he's mixed us for 10 years, so he knows what Goatwhore should sound like. He did a fantastic job of capturing the performances and capturing what was coming out of the amps and the drums and the vocals, rather than some other guy who is familiar with us, but not as familiar as Jared is. Working with someone that is extremely familiar with you is essentially like a fifth member of the band and he probably knows what Goatwhore sounds like more than we do.
Goatwhore, "Angels Hung From the Arches of Heaven"
Appreciation of anything changes with age and maturity. What do you now recognize about Goatwhore that used to be taken for granted?
Nowadays, we're not really painted in a corner as much anymore, especially on this new record. We did a lot of experimentation and things that we really wouldn't have thought about messing with when we first started — the addition of some acoustic guitars and the addition of the piano and some of the layering of the guitars or melodic parts underneath.
It's something that we never really messed with a whole lot, especially back when we first started. The thing that I appreciate the most is that we are almost fearless in trying different things rather than just kind of sticking to the same old, same old.
Aprime example would be the song, "I Was Delivered From the Wound of Perdition," which is the last song on the album. I wrote that song with absolutely no intention of using it as a Goatwhore song. And we were going through some demos one day and the guys were here and we were listening to them and they were like, "What's that song?" And I pulled it up and played it for them. They were like, "Oh my God, this is great. We need to use this." So I didn't expect that song to be Goatwhore material, but it ended up being Goatwhore material.
Thanks to Sammy Duet for the interview. Get your copy of Goatwhore's latest album Angels Hung From the Arches of Heaven here and follow the band on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Spotify. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.