“This approach was very new and fresh for myself as well as the band” – interview with Skeletal Remains

Author Ingeborg Roos - 16.3.2024

Californian death metal band Skeletal Remains has just released their fifth full-lenght album “Fragments of The Ageless” March 8th. Chaoszine had a chat with drummer Pierce Williams about the new album and the slightly unusual way it came to be. 
Greetings from Finland! How has your year started? 

Pierce Williams: Hey thanks for having me. My year has been very productive so far and only seems to be getting busier. I started out the year tracking session drums for two different bands (Morkera’s 4th record, Lividus debut) and that kept me busy for the first six weeks of 2024. We’re just about to start a weekend string of shows to promote our upcoming record and I’m excited to play the new material live. 

“Fragments of The Ageless” will be released early March. I heard the cover art for the new album was done first and the album was then built around it to some degree. Is that correct? 

Pierce Williams: Yes, that is correct. We already had songs written, but due to heavy touring schedule it made it really difficult to keep consistent with writing. We had specific themes/elements we conveyed to Dan Seagrave; we wanted a sci-fi/horror type theme for the album and he executed it perfectly. The visual he created really set the tone for what we wanted musically. A few of the songs were spawned through the inspiration of the visuals he painted. 

Have you written an album before using this same method or was this a new thing for you? 

Pierce Williams: Myself personally, no. Every record I’ve been on, the artwork was always completed after the music. This approach was very new and fresh for myself as well as the band. Personally, I like to let the artist  just do what they’re good at.  I’ve found with some simple keywords and a little direction of basic ideas the band wants, the artwork always comes out killer if you just give the artist the freedom to do what they envision based of the details a band has given.  

How did you come up with the idea for it and how long did it take to write the album? 

Pierce Williams: I think the ideas for the cover art were just a collection of all of our love for sci-fi and horror movies. We wanted something more vibrant with more colors this time around to just do something different. I remember Malevolent Creation’s “Ten Commandments” being a point of reference for the creature at one point. The album took a while to write. As I mentioned earlier, after the Covid shutdown we were full force with touring. For the last 2 and a half years it seems like we’ve been on the road nonstop. I remember the band having written the first few riffs for some of the songs shortly after “The Entombment Of Chaos.” But, mainly Mike and Chris would write the riffs whenever we weren’t on the road. I would say it took us from about summer of 2021 til about May 2023 to have everything completely written.  

Will you be touring this year? 

Pierce Williams: Yes. Unfortunately, I can’t say much about the dates or bands because the tours we are doing are not yet announced.  

What do you enjoy most about performing live? 

Pierce Williams: I’d say the adrenaline and connection to the audience. Can’t really explain the feeling because there are no words to describe it.  

What is your favorite song to play live, or is it maybe a song you haven’t performed publicly (yet)? 

Pierce Williams: Tough question, they’re all pretty fun in their own way! Right now, I’m going to say “To Conquer The Devout” is my favorite to play. I just get a “high” from it when we play it. It’s also one of the more natural songs for me to play because I’m actually playing my own drum parts. The older songs are incredibly fun and great songs to play as well, but they don’t come as naturally to me due to the fact that someone else played and recorded those songs.  
If someone were about to listen to your band for the first time or introducing the band to someone who hasn’t heard you yet, what would you tell them to start with? 

Pierce Williams: I’d say go back to the very beginning and start there. Listen to the whole discography in sequential order and you will clearly hear the bands’ evolution and growth within each record.  

What kind of plans does Skeletal Remains have for the future? 

Pierce Williams: We plan to keep making death metal and continue touring.  

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! Anything you’d like to add? 

Pierce Williams: Thanks for the time, thanks to the people who bought the record and thanks to those who support the band!