Post-metal isn’t by any means a new thing, but when a band takes it and does something different with it, it’s bound to turn some heads. The genre has seen a lot of mainstream attention in the last few years, with bands like Russian Circles, Deafheaven, and liturgy headlining articles across the internet. Quite possibly the next big staple in the underground post-metal scene is Lion Slicer, a band that blends the crescendoing structure of post-rock with the bass laden and heavy nature of metal. Lion Slicer is a four-piece from Savannah, Georgia. Their debut EP Pockets of Light is out this summer, and I am happy to debut the first track from the EP “Choking the Sun With Wooden Hands” right here on B.G.M. After turning heads with their live shows in Savannah, the band is now relocating to New York. I briefly talked to drummer Josian Soto and guitarist Alex Lang about the process of moving, song writing, and the future of the band.
Josian: I can’t speak personally for Marshall (our vocalist), but as far as listening and playing the songs, I would say yes there is a connection, because playing the tunes in order of the EP makes sense from beginning to end. Lyrically, melodically and rhythmically the songs find themselves moving into light and dark areas best described as Pockets of Light, hence the title of our EP. Personally I do find them connected even if it is not necessarily conceptual as a whole.
What’s the significance of the name “Lion Slicer”?
Alex: The name came from a Mastodon song called “Colony of Birchmen”. I actually wanted to use the name for a while, but it never stuck with previous bands. We are all big Mastodon fans so it finally stuck. I think it’s a badass name.
Josian: I hate Mastodon. Kidding.
What’s your favorite part about playing live?
Josian: There’s a few, I love getting to express what we have created in our rehearsal space out in the public, seeing what works and coming back in to tweak is also a favorite. But number one is just being on stage with Alex, Marshall, and Evan.
Alex: Its awesome just being able to rock out to your own songs that we have been slaving over. I really enjoy playing with other bands, being a part of a music scene that means so much to everyone, and seeing them all having a great time. We have a special bond as band members and I enjoy letting others join in on the fun.
What will you take from living and playing in Savannah, GA to NYC?
Alex: I moved to Savannah from Northern Virginia, which had a pretty fluctuating music scene with a lot of bands doing some great things. Savannah is a very intimate music scene where everyone is paying attention to what you are doing and releasing so that just made us try harder. I am going to go NYC with the same attitude.
Josian: I second what Alex says, but for the most part it is the work ethic. Bringing the same attitude up there with my brothers. That is truly how you keep moving, if not everyone is on the same page then its hard to get much done. It’s great to play and create with a team who all shares the same drive.
Josian: The band as a whole listens to a wide variety of tunes, for me personally, a lot of Opeth, Russian Circles, Porcupine Tree, Coheed and Cambria. Getting together with the 3 other band members helped me expand my music and inspirations as well, honestly they are probably the biggest musical influence. All the other bands I have been in have never been as intense as Lion Slicer, or “metal”, so I still apply what I know and also brought out new sides of drumming because of what the music called for.
Alex: I feel that being in Savannah really influenced the EP. There is a big hardcore and sludge metal scene here, and I felt that we could do something really special that would appeal to both scenes. There is definitely some Savannah on this EP. Some direct influences would be Darkest Hour, At the Gates, Gojira, The Safety Fire. Coheed is also a huge influence not just on this EP but on every music related thing in my life. Me and Josian actually met on the Coheed fan forums. We are huge nerds.
What’s the biggest difference between Lion Slicer and all of your previous projects?
Josian: This is really the first band that I separate from the others I have played in. The biggest difference is clearly the “heavy” aspect in the band, although thats not the only thing we have to offer. We are from different musical backgrounds so a lot of different styles are blended into the mix. The other musical projects I play or have played in were more rock/ alternative. Lion Slicer is definitely a big change from what I am used to, but just as fun and exciting for me.
Alex: I have always been in some sort of heavy band, but Lion Slicer is different in that we all come from varied backgrounds and have created something that is our own. I feel as if all my previous bands were just preparation for Lion Slicer.
If you had to pick one band as a band favorite, who would it be?
Josian: Me and Alex’s favorite band is Coheed and Cambria.
What can we expect from Lion Slicer in the future?
Alex: We are releasing our EP this summer, but expect some awesome tours to come up later in the year, we are definitely trying to hit the road and spread the music. We are also tossing around ideas for a full length album.
Feature photo by Emma Debany.