In recent years, Chicago has been home to all sorts of experimental and off-the-path metal. Lest you forget it’s also the hometown of Paul Speckmann of Master, scads of restaurants that serve large racks of meat and tons of old-school goodness.
On that note, Decibel is happy to provide an exclusive stream of Scythe’s “Leather Aggressor,” from their upcoming album Subterranean Steel. R.I.P. Records will release the record on September 11 — learn more on the band’s Facebook page.
Check out the song below. A quick interview with guitarist and vocalist Rick Scythe follows. Happy Friday!
Can you give us a history of the band?
I was the founder and primary songwriter for the band Usurper from 1992-2007. Usurper broke up in 2007 and it seemed like the band was buried and forgotten. In 2009, Usurper was getting a lot of good offers to get back together. We got offers to play fests and to some live shows. I wanted to do this. It felt like enough time had passed. There was a new breed of metal fans discovering Usurper. I thought this was a good time for a Usurper reunion but a few of the other past members did not want to do it. So it never happened.
So instead of re-forming a new version of Usurper, I decided to form my own band where I could carry on the traditions of Usurper, but also explore new territories. I didn’t want to do what most old bands do when they reform — have one original guy and then the rest new members. I figured I would form a new band and start from the ground up. It wasn’t the easy way, but it felt like the right way.
Since Scythe formed we released our debut album Beware the Scythe in 2012 and now we are ready to release our new album Subterranean Steel.
How did you come up with the name Scythe?
I’ve used the name Scythe in songwriting credits for Usurper since 1993. Scythe was going to be my solo band after Usurper, but once I got the lineup situated, Scythe simply became the name of the band. Scythe is a power trio and (also features) Dan Geist on bass/vocals and Joey Contreras on drums.
How did the new album come together?
After our first album, I kept writing songs. I reworked some old songs that I never recorded over the years, wrote some new music and collaborated with Dan on some new songs. The result is nine-song homage to all underground metal warriors. The only criteria when writing this album was that all songs must be 100 percent headbangable and fistbangable.
What can you tell us about the track we’re premiering today?
The song is called “Leather Aggressor.” It’s a metal anthem about the age-old struggle between barbarians and tyrants. Inspired by the sack of Rome, but also about rising up, banding together and taking a stand against the corrupt powers that be.
What’s your favorite part of the Chicago metal scene?
Playing in front of some of the most die-hard fans in the country.