Formerly known as FAITH IN FALLACY, SERPENT BEARER came into being in early 2014 eager to create heavy, dark deathcore. Along with a slew of other metalcore bands, SERPENT BEARER is bringing the Virginia metalcore scene back into its prime, reminiscent of the late-1990s to early 2000s. The band currently consists of vocalist Braeden Branch, guitarists Aaron Carnes and Johnny Cruz, drummer Scott Booth, and bassist Damon Keneipp. Earlier this month (September), the band released their debut EP Dark Matter, which features six originals that leave the crowd craving more. We spoke with Carnes regarding the band’s new EP and how they plan to promote it, their place in the Virginia metalcore scene, and their aspirations to take their band to the next level by 2015.

Earlier this month, you guys released your debut EP Dark Matter. How has the response been to it so far?

So far the response has been really good. Everyone has really been about it. Everyone that I have talked to has really liked it. We have a track on there called “Shipwrecked” that diversifies the EP itself, and we have actually gotten a lot of good feedback from that song. We, as a band, don’t like playing it too much live because it’s from when we were FAITH IN FALLACY, and a lot of the newer stuff is from now as SERPENT BEARER. But everybody still loves “Shipwrecked”.

Can you tell me what “Shipwrecked” is about?

It’s basically about being an outcast because everybody in the band has, at some point, been a misfit. We have all not been part of the societal “norm,” and it’s about not caring about being a part of the societal “norm”. It’s about being yourself, and even though we are outcasted from [different] cliques and groups, and whatnot, we are still individuals. Everybody like that should just join together . To anyone has ever been alone, [we want you to know that] you’re not alone.



Personally, I feel like the Virginia metalcore scene has improved significantly in the last few years in terms of the quality of bands, and I definitely think that you guys are included in that. Do you think that is the case?

I do, actually. I think that the metalcore scene in terms of the quality of bands has become a lot better. I’ve also noticed that a lot of other scenes, including the deathcore scene and hardcore scene, have been really making a huge impact as well.

How do you think your band stands out from the rest of Virginia’s metal and deathcore bands?

We’re constantly trying to push the “norm”. We like to try out a lot of different things. We like to have breakdowns and the typical stuff you would hear, but we also like to throw in some technical [elements], whether it is a different time signature, a different key, and things of that nature. We just like throwing everything that we like into one set. We mess with lots of different sounds.

Why is your song “Earth Shaker” also known as “The Flutter Song”?

It’s called “The Flutter Song” because when I play the song, there is a part where you hear these high frequencies that shift up and down, and that is because I have a tremolo on my guitar. I learned that if I had a harmonic on the guitar and I slap the tremolo [while I am playing it], it creates an effect called the flutter effect, and that’s because the tremolo is vibrating up and down, making different tonal sounds.

Do you have anything new in the works, such as a music video, to help promote your new album?

We are hoping to have a music video [soon]. We might be working on another lyric video. I’m not 100 percent sure yet. Damon [Keneipp] usually works on all that stuff. He is the huge computer tech guy in the band. But we are working on a new song, and we are playing a show on October 14 with THE ACACIA STRAIN on their CD release show. What we are doing is when we sell the tickets, that also has a free digital download of THE ACACIA STRAIN’s new album, we are including our EP in that sale to help us promote our music as well.


Do you have anything special planned for your performance at that show with THE ACACIA STRAIN?

I think we are going to stick with the set that we normally play. We might take out a song or two because I believe our set is going to be 20 minutes long. We are definitely, without a doubt opening up with “Bad News”. That’s one of our favorite songs, as far as our fan base goes. Everybody loves “Bad News”, and it’s just a great opener. It gets everything going. For “Bad News”, we are probably gonna go into “Earth Shaker”. After that, we’ll probably go into “Mt. Dewm” and finish off with “Oni”.

What do you hope for this band to achieve by the end of the year?

Personally, I would like to have probably a bit more of the recognition that we have now because I truly believe that with the release of this EP, it has sparked the interest in other people about us. With THE ACACIA STRAIN show, [we are really looking forward to] playing in Richmond, which we haven’t done in a while. It’s gonna really put us a ”on the map” as far as showing people that we are extremely serious about what we are doing, and that we are making a name for ourselves and trying to get up to the next level. At the end of the year, I would like to be somewhere close to that next level or already there.

For more updates on SERPENT BEARER, be sure to “like” their Facebook page and check out their music on Bandcamp.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

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

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