Interview: S.W.W.A.A.T.S. brings political death metal to Owensboro

SWWAATS2 

John Paul Collett II, vocalist for Success Will Write Apocalypse Across The Sky, is fan of the old-school death metal that originated in his home state of Florida. Musically, the band blends traditional death metal with technical precision and elements of grind to create a vicious assault.

But Collett said he hopes fans do more than simply bang their heads to the music.

“The ultimate response would be to just open your eyes to what we believe is really going on with this global society we’ve set up,” Collett said. “There’s a small percentage (of the population) that has control and I think that’s scary. We have to wake up here. We can’t allow this 1 percent to (control) the future.”

Success Will Write Apocalypse Across The Sky, Abigail Williams, Abysmal Dawn, Kilarus and Giddy Up Gangsta will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, June 19 at The Brothers, 624 Emery Dr. in Owensboro. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Collett said the band doesn’t use political themes as a gimmick. Instead, the hope is that people will use the band’s music as a starting point to learn about world affairs, he said.

“You can just read. It’s just a matter of doing your own research and seeing how history is repeating itself over,” Collett said. “ … I believe any outlet (including music) can make a change.

“I believe 98 percent of us can think for ourselves,” he said. “Why not use our outlets and talents and make them our tools to straight up better ourselves?”

Although S.W.W.A.A.T.S. was born in the Floridian cradle of death metal, the band members draw on a variety of metal influences, Collett said.

“Most of the early Relapse (Records) stuff from the early 1990s and early 2000s, and a lot of that stuff, was just madness,” he said. “… But we also go back to the great songwriters. With all that combined, we were able to put ourselves together.

“We were able to combine that crazy (early grind metal) we listened to as kids with the classics,” Collett said. “… It was very important for us to have our roots show, but in a cohesive way. We wanted to make it as brutal as possible, but make it tangible for the listener.”

The release of the band’s first album on Nuclear Blast led them eventually overseas, for their first major European tour. In eastern Europe, where the ghosts of Communist domination still linger, the political aspects of the band’s music seemed to strike a chord, Collett said.

“You could see whole-heartedly people in eastern Europe take this music seriously. They take it to heart,” he said. “… Being in East Germany was amazing, because they’re still coming out of it, they’re still trying to work their way out of that hell they were living in.

“They go crazy” for metal music, Collett said. “That’s what we’re looking for … People were really into it and feeling what we were talking about, and it’s amazing to feel we could touch someone like that across the world.”

Collett said he hopes people leave the band’s shows with something to think about.

“I just want to be a messenger,” he said. “I want to be a messenger of a good cause.”

You can hear full tracks on the SW.W.A.A.T.S. MySpace Page.

Live video, including this one, can also be viewed on the band’s YouTube channel.

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1 Comment

  1. John’s not the only political voice of the band. Aaron can talk (to great lengths) about the ills (and strengths) of the political system in the States. Their views steer aside of the cliche’d left / right arguments, and more to the arguments of personal freedoms / de-facto indentured servitude.

    That, and they’re pretty cool to hang out with too. 😉


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