Since the early 2000’s American metal has seen the rise and fall of many bands, but since forming in 2009 WITHIN OUR GATES from Harrisonburg has not only stood the test of time, but the band has continued to thrive in a scene inundated with more bands than any other genre, especially in Virginia. WITHIN OUR GATES includes lead vocalist Logan Strawderman, guitarist/vocalist Hunter Carter, drummer Grayson Newberry, guitarist Caleb Depaolis, and bassist Aaron Grey. One of the best metal bands in the Virginia heavy metal scene, and one of the newest members of the locally owned and operated Monarch Agency, WITHIN OUR GATES is ready to take the next step towards bringing true American metal to the rest of the country. We spoke with Carter about the band’s love for the World Cup and their hopes to perform at the Virginia Beach date of the Vans Warped Tour this summer, the significance of their new single “Sleepers Wake” and what it was like working with the legendary Jim Fogarty, as well as their upcoming tour and love for other local metal bands.

I saw on your Facebook page you guys are big fans of the World Cup. Do you plan to watch the rest of it now that USA is eliminated?

Yeah, our vocalist Logan and I are pretty big soccer fans. I really like Costa Rica and Columbia’s teams because they are the underdogs, so I hope they win.

Who is the biggest futbol fan in the band?

Neither of us are unless its for the World Cup or a qualifying match. I guess I would say myself because I like catching a game every once in a while.

Another thing I saw that you guys have been promoting heavily is the Battle of the Bands to play the Vans Warped Tour. Where do you guys stand in the competition?

As of now, we are 11th out of 100 bands for our region. It’s mu understanding that they pick four to five bands from each region, but our bassist Aaron has connections with a few bands that are currently playing the tour that said they would put in a good word for us.

What date are you trying to play?

Virginia Beach is the plan. They said that they would tell us three weeks in advance, but according to our our manager Gabe, who also plays in AUDIOSTROBELIGHT, when they won, they were given just three days notice. So we are hoping for as much notice as possible so we can spread the word.

Can you tell me about your new song “Sleepers Wake”?

That song means a lot to me. I wrote the lyrics and most of the riffs for it. In November, I saw an old friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time at a party, and we were catching up. After the party, he dropped me off at home, and I noticed he was really intoxicated but I didn’t say anything about it. That night, he was in a severe accident, and he was in a coma for four months, which he recently came out of. The song is a personal reflection of what I could have said to him. It’s basically me screaming at him while he is lying there.

Does he know that you wrote this song about him?

Not yet. I told his family, and they were very grateful. He is not cognitive enough yet to remember what happened, or who everyone is, but he is recovering each day.

What it was like working with Jim Fogarty, who has also worked with bands KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, on the mixing of this song?

It was really awesome to work with Jim. He has worked with some of my favorite bands, including SHADOWS FALL too, and he worked with us to get us exactly what we wanted.

When do you plan to release this song? I heard that you will also be releasing a lyric video with it?

We are waiting for the lyric video to be done, and we will be releasing that as soon as we get it. It should be done by early August. That’s in Gabe’s hands now. We are also happy to announce that we will be working with Lucas Borza of HONOUR CREST, who runs The Monarch Agency, and we will be booking our upcoming tour with him very soon.

Can you tell me any more details about your plans to tour and/or record a new record?

We will be doing a 10-day tour following the release of our single from New York to South Carolina or Tennessee. We have been really slow in the past with writing new music, but our management has encouraged us to release a new album by early next year.

Do you think the Virginia music scene is doing well or does it need saving?

It’s hard for me to say. I think it is working on the strengths it already has. Some of the best metal bands have come from Virginia, and I still believe that’s true.

Would you like to give a shout out to any other bands doing big things for the local scene?

Definitely I AM THE KID. Those dudes are a fuckin’ trip (laughs). They will always be homies of mine, and they are really transcending the hardcore scene. Also, EVISCERA, and of course BEYOND THE THRONE.

For more updates on WITHIN OUR GATES, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Reverbnation, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and download their album Kingdom of Mind on Bandcamp or iTunes.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Fairfax, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with his girlfriend Alex.

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