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Five Points of the Pentagram: An interview with Season of Arrows Guitarist David Gates

When we threw The Pentagram at Nashville, Tennessee’s Season of Arrows, we expected it to be returned to us covered in rhinestones and faded denim. Thankfully, it came back to us safe and metal-as-fuck!



When we threw The Pentagram at Nashville, Tennessee’s Season of Arrows, we expected it to be returned to us covered in rhinestones and faded denim. Phew! We’re glad guitarist David Gates sent it back to us both safe, and metal-as-fuck. Check out what these heavy doom upstarts are doing in the country music capital of the world.

You folks are based in Nashville, Tennessee, a place the whole world thinks only churns out country music. So we have to ask this pointed question…Do people actually show up to your gigs, other than your friends and random drunks that want you to play “Rocky Top”? What’s the smallest crowd you’ve played for?
Gates: They do and there are several really great heavy bands from here such as Yaujta, Greywoods, Howling Giant, Sheep Shifter, Sea Witch, Rifft, among many others. Surprisingly, there is a thriving underground heavy music scene here in Nashville that doesn’t care about country music at all. We respect the great ones that did their thing, but that’s different. We are just blessed to be able to play so much and play shows, we try our best not to take that privilege for granted. It can be competitive, so some shows have larger turnouts than others. Like most cities, weekend shows typically draw more unless you’re playing with an established national act.

On your Facebook page it is written that your drummer likes to knit. What does he like to knit? And, are the rest of you guys sick of getting scarves for Christmas?
Gates: I am not sure about that one, none of us can knit! I don’t think any of us rock scarves. 🙂

I can’t help but notice that you guys have the appearance that you work at a Loves truck stop or possibly even at Waffle House. When you guys aren’t creating some of the tastiest new doom riffage I’ve heard in quite a while (Not even Candlemass can survive on their tasty licks alone…), what do you guys actually do for a living?
Gates: It’s funny you mention that, we all work at Denny’s. Nah, honestly, we tend to keep our personal lives as separate as possible from the band. Our daily jobs range from a product designer, a cook, office work and home contractors. We don’t focus on our looks, we try to take that energy and put it back into something more important to us like our music and let that define who we are. We never got into playing music for the looks or the cash. Ha!

You guys covered Slayer’s “Spill the Blood” so we have to assume that you’re a fan of them. What are the 5 worst Slayer songs of all time from least worst to fucking horrible?

Gates: Yeah, we like and respect Slayer, some more than others, especially while we were growing up. I think when you reach that pinnacle as a successful long-standing metal band, you deserve some slack. Obviously we are more into their older music than their recent albums. That being said, there are still some great signature Slayer riffs you can find in the new music. Losing Jeff Hanneman is a big loss and I am not sure if there is a downright terrible Slayer song.

Did you know that Tennessee is home to 3,800 caves? Do you think that Season of Arrows will eventually record an album, or possibly play a show in a cave during the band’s existence? That would some ultimate doom!
Gates: I didn’t know that, I personally have always loved to look at pictures of caves. On a scale of 1 to 10 in things that would be unreal to experience, that would have to rank as a 9 or 10! Not sure if something like that is possible to actually record in a cave, but just imagine that reverb you would get on the drums! It might give Dale Crover a run for his money!

BONUS 666 Question! You have a song called “Deep Graves” on your recently released, Give it to the Mountain album. If you could put any two people living today in those deep graves, who would you pick and why?
Gates: That song title is a more of a metaphor about how things used to be back when there were gods and rulers and many cities were completely devastated due to the abuse of power. We don’t actually want to kill anyone. We’re going to plead the 5th on that one. LOL!

Thanks so much for taking the time to get to know us today, we appreciate it. We do this because we love it and it’s more of a ritual thing for us. If people find that they can relate to our sound and what we’re about, then that’s amazing! Our newest album, Give it to the Mountain came out last week and you can stream/download it anywhere online or purchase the CD from Argonauta Records website too. We are very excited to work with this awesome doom/sludge/post metal label.

Check out the song “From The Wilderness We Return”