Death of Uriah was formed in 2015 in Jacksonville, NC with founding members Chris Vance (lead guitarist) and George Barrows (vocals). Over the past few years, final changes were made bringing in Matt Johnson (bass) and Brian Gibbs (drums), and the most recent addition during the pandemic, Seth Huntt (rhythm guitar).
The woes of the 2020 pandemic have not stopped this five piece juggernaut from preparing to unleash a barrage of heavy music, with hints of melodic beauty, out into the masses.
"I really just hope all this crap dies down and we can get back to personal connections and that energy transference that we all know and love from the stage. "
By Kreig Marks, August 2020
TRR: Tell me a bit about the band. Who was the one to get the band together?
DOU: Our lead guitarist, Chris Vance, knew his singer was leaving in Fates Embrace and told the drummer he wanted to get me out there to see what we could do together. He called me up as I was still on hiatus from becoming a first time father. We’ve been playing together ever since. Eventually we added Matt Johnson on bass (whom I had played with in several bands) and Brian Gibbs on drums. Also during this pandemic we have added Seth Huntt on rhythm guitar, and we’re having an absolute blast writing and practicing now!
TRR: How did all of you meet?
DOU: Well, Matt and I have been friends since we met at our community college back in 2001, and he was a big reason that I even got into playing music.
TRR: How so? How did Matt play a part of you getting into music?
DOU: We met in college and he saw me with a Mudvayne LD50 cd. Asked me if I wanted to jam, and I was like, "I don’t play any instruments." Then he asked if I sing and I told him, "Only in my car and in the shower." For whatever reason, up until that moment, I had never really thought of the fact that I could do something like that. Told my dad about it, and he immediately helped me get a PA system and now I’ve been doing it ever since.
So anyway, here's how it all came together. My father knew Chris from work. Chris had his band at the time, "Release Upon Execution", play with my band, "The Dayglow Crazies", for his birthday several years ago. Dayglow eventually became a band called "Third World Citizen" with Matt joining, and we were invited to play with Release at an awesome Halloween show. I assume that that led to Chris wanting to work with Matt and me. Brian is actually Chris’s wife's cousin and has been friends with him for many years, even sometimes filling in for his drummer in Release at times. He had been out of the game for a little while whenever he joined with us, but it didn’t take long for him to get back to firing on all cylinders. We became friends with Seth, as he was in another band in our local scene, and practiced in the same location where we did. We always enjoyed hanging with him, and knew he would fit right in if we ever decided to add a rhythm player.
TRR: Are there any personality conflicts within the band that sometimes make it difficult to write songs or get through a rehearsal?
DOU: Not at all. We all are pretty like-minded when it comes to playing, so to speak. Chris comes in with some riffs, and usually within 20-30 minutes we have a foundation built. And then sometimes we throw every bit of that away because we start jamming something random, and next thing you know it’s our new song. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes haha.
TRR: What is first song you ever wrote as a band, and where were you? What was going on?
DOU: As far as the beginning of the band it would be 'Attrition', which we are finally going to record on our next EP. Pretty much that was us seeing how we could work together and figure out our sound, and that song has stood the test of time.
TRR: You guys also recorded a cool cover of "Tears for Fears" 'Mad World?' Who's idea was that? I don't think I've ever heard a cover of that?
DOU: I had the idea of doing this version of it because I’ve always been a fan because of Finch doing the acoustic version. Felt like it was one of those songs you could make your own and give the full spectrum of soft and violent. I brought the idea out at band practice the day it popped into my head to try it. Not gonna lie, I was having a hard time at first describing my vision of it and how I wanted everybody to approach it. But Chris wouldn’t let me me quit working on the cover when I got frustrated, and it ended up coming out even better!
TRR: It's a very cool version. Definitely very dark. Did it turn out as you envisioned it?
DOU: Yes, more than what I envisioned to be honest. And we’ve been playing it long before the pandemic hit. Who knew when we recorded in January that it would be so fitting?
TRR: That is pretty prophetic.
DOU: No doubt.
TRR: What do you think makes a musician write a song? Let's get your thought on this.
DOU: Well, a lot of things really depending on the musician. It could be anything from wanting to make people feel a certain way, to getting out their own anger or frustration or whatever feeling they are wanting to transcribe into music.
TRR: If you could write a song virtually, online, (which may be the case with you guys due to the pandemic), no getting into a room together, what would be the toughest thing for you guys about that?
DOU: I would have to say everything. HAHA I don’t even know how crazy that would be. I would like to think we would figure it out though.
TRR: Worst online virtual story so far?
DOU: Well we did have a guy hit us up upset over our name. Apparently, he knew somebody who had a little boy named Uriah who was dying. He pretty much accused us of naming the band because of that kid.
TRR: Whoa, tough one. So, maybe that kid was named after the band "Uriah Heep?" Did you mention that? The guys seems to be a bit unstable. Maybe he's a drummer himself!
DOU: Ha! That incident led me to become the voice of our online presence. (laughing)
TRR: So, how did you respond to this guy? Did you even respond to him?
DOU: Yeah. I explained to him that I was very sorry to hear about that poor boy, but had honestly never heard of his situation. Chris actually came up with the name getting Uriah from biblical text.
TRR: Does your family support your desire to make Death of Uriah your career?
DOU: Absolutely, all of us are very fortunate to have amazing friends and family surrounding us.
TRR: How do you explain to naysayers, people who doubt your band can stand out, or anyone in the family giving you a lack of support, what do you say to them if that comes up? Does that happen to you ever?
DOU: The only time we have experienced blatant disrespect of that nature, was when they canceled the Warped Tour in Wilmington, NC. A local venue in our town, Hooligans Pub and Music Hall, stepped in and snatched up Beartooth, Silverstein and a few others and let us kick off the show. A band we hadn’t even heard of from the region started posting in the event, running their mouths, calling us “sweaty, old, fat fucks” out of jealousy that they weren’t playing the show.
TRR: That is how it goes. There's always going to be some bands who get jealous but more often, you'll get those who are fans to support you.
DOU: Yeah, It was pretty crazy and random as hell. But you know what? We threw the hell down with our old, fat, sweaty asses haha.
TRR: Good music has no age limits. Do you think studios may adapt a sort of international virtual thing more so now?
DOU: I honestly don’t know. I really just hope all this crap dies down and we can get back to personal connections and that energy transference that we all know and love from the stage.
TRR: Since the pandemic started around March, have you guys been doing any virtual gigs?
DOU: I think we have gone live on Facebook once since this began. We’ve mainly been concentrating on getting Seth up to speed since he joined, and writing new material.
TRR: What’s the plan for the rest of 2020?
DOU: Well, we are going to continue to push our recently released EP, 'Terminal Vices', and keep writing and practicing to be at the ready for when shows come back.
TRR: Worst case scenario here, If you weren’t able to do a show for another year, what would you guys do?
DOU: Just like the last answer, continue to write, improve, record, and be ready to bash in some skulls in the pit, whenever we get our next chance!
TRR: Words of wisdom from an old, fat sweaty rocker!
TRR: Anyone you all want to thank or give a shout out to?
DOU: I would have to say first and foremost our amazing spouses/family and friends. Without their support, all of this would be pointless. All the homies in the music scene around here. But most importantly any haters, whether out in the open or quietly behind closed doors. You guys make crushing it just that much more worth while!
For further information about Death of Uriah, visit their Facebook page or on Bandivious.