Photo Credit: Harry Stokes
Each week, this column will feature a Q&A with a “next generation” death metal representative from the Lone Star State. Through a series of questions, we look to uncover what connects these death metal acts from various cities around the state. We dig into details about specific members musical upbringing, local inspirations, and the various characteristics that make up the spirit of Texas death metal. You can view our other featured guests here.
In our third installment of the Texas Takeover, we set our sights on Houston death metal act, Paingiver. Paingiver formed in 2019 and released their debut, four-track EP, Deorum Mortis in 2020 via Desert Wastelands Productions. Paingiver is HEAVY. Their EP flaunts an overall bulldozing and meaty production, colliding electrifying guitar riffs with towering grooves. They definitely showcase a wide variety of DM influence, but primarily grab from the old-school torchbearers.
We spoke with the band to find out more about how growing up in Texas inspired their heavy, groove-infested style of death.
What are some of the things you cherish about having grown up in Texas?
We all appreciate having grown up in a state with such amicable people. When things go wrong, folks down here look out for one another and that’s something to be proud of.
Was it common for a lot of you musicians to grow up in a household with music playing, if so, what sorts of music were you guys hearing at a young age, and what was the climate of music culture like in Texas overall growing up?
We were raised on many and various types of music, but mainly classic rock and hip hop. As for metal, early exposure was to bands like Pantera, Slayer, and Cannibal Corpse.
If you can recall, what were your parents’ reactions to the death metal style upon first hearing it?
I would say our parents had mixed reactions upon first hearing death metal, though they’re all supportive of our music. In a perfect world, we’d all listen to Deicide at family gatherings.
Has a community developed around some of the more recent death metal bands in Texas? Is it important to you guys to support the other bands from your home state?
A community has definitely developed around the more recent Texas death metal bands and will continue to do so. In my opinion, that’s mainly because people both in and out of bands down here really support the artists and support the scene.
If you were to think about it for a moment, what are the core elements that make up the collective spirit of the Texas death metal sound?
I would describe the Texas death metal sound as tenebrous, pulverizing, and diversiform. It’s groove-infested, flame-belching, bone-crushing carnage.
A lot of the bands I enjoy from Texas as of late are extremely heavy and in-your-face; what do you guys attribute that to?
I think the throwback groove element you mentioned is largely attributable to Pantera. As for death metal inspiration, we’re drawn to bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, and Entombed, just to name a few.
Who would you consider as local (hometown or statewide) trailblazers for the genre of death metal and was the fact that these bands were from your home state an inspiration for you to grow as a band?
Though they’re not a death metal band, I would have to give the “home state hero” title to Power Trip. Rest In Peace, Riley. Besides them, I would say Malignant Altar, Imprecation, and Creeping Death.
In what ways have you guys thrived or continued your mission as a band during the pandemic of 2020, and what are your hopes for the future of your band ahead?
We’ve been concentrating on writing new material for our next release. Also, like most bands, we’re eagerly awaiting the freedom to play shows and tour.