When a brand new band is working with the colossus of metal production that is Ross Robinson, you have to expect they have something about them. And that’s exactly the case with intriguing Los Angeles-based newcomers Repenter.
The Nashville hailing duo of Holly Winter and Thomas Scriven have honed a grungy sounding vibe that jumps between passages of atmospheric moodiness and delightfully edgy rockiness.
The band just released second single Skeletons, which starts off with Holly’s low-pitched vocals over a fuzzy guitar riff. Lighter, higher-pitched vocals come in “There is skeletons in everyone’s closet, They don’t go away when you lock it” then a big atmospheric hit of guitars and backing vocals.
A second chorus is followed by more intense, high-pitched wailed vocals over atmospheric instrumentals, before dropping into a final blast of the chorus. Give it a listen below:
That follows debut single So Sick, which opens up with a darting riff with Holly’s high, fast-paced vocals over the top. It picks up pace then drops back into another edgy little verse before a second chorus drops into intriguing atmospheric instrumentals. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with Holly to find out more about the band and working with Ross Robinson on their early music. Read on below…
GR: Who are Repenter?
“Repenter is a band formed by myself and Thomas’ songwriting and mutual passion for authentic rock n’ roll, with Ross’ fire-chasing, raw-nerve-poking production at the helm; then add blood, sweat, gear, and some of the best musicians on earth, and bake in the oven at 42.
“One day in Nashville I was wanderin’ around, throwin’ rocks and hittin’ guitar players. But wouldn’t you know it, every one I came across wanted to be a lead singer too! So I kept moseying, looking for one that would stick to pickin’, and let me do all the sangin’.
“Before I knew it, I was in Hollywood singing Stairway to Heaven drunk at a birthday party, and Thomas must’ve heard me from across the street and literally grabbed the guitar from the guy who was playing it and took over, I think at the time he was workin’ at a cat cafe. So we met, he sent me a song, I wrote a new melody/lyric, and we turned it into a song called Hum, which bonded us together in our craving for rock music with integrity and emotional depth. From then on, we knew where we wanted to go; deeper into this collaborative musical quest.”
GR: You just released your latest single Skeletons. What should people be expecting from the track?
H: “Honestly, we’ve got no idea how people will receive any of this music, but we’re thrilled to find out. This song, in particular, is a time-release capsule, I am touching and dealing with a tender conversation in Skeletons, so it was necessary to approach this song with more delicacy. I wanted to allow for the listener to enjoy a deeper introspective thought process when they are ready for that or need it, and I don’t assume that will be right away or every time they hear it.”
GR: You’ve been working on your debut album with Ross Robinson. What can you tell us about the album? And what did Ross bring to the Repenter sound?
H: “”Our debut album will be a place you can always go, where you can trust that the humans responsible were all in, balls out, “no fuck around!”
“Thomas and I took a beach walk one day and manifested working with the best rock producer on the planet. So Thomas sent an email to every version of Ross Robinson, and finally he replied saying he loved our demos! He invited us over to his house and we had a soul connection with him and his vicious guard dog, Carl.
“It is very hard to say only a little about working with Ross. He is the best at what he does, and his ear and process matched our musical approach with explosive and timeless results. There are some collaborations that challenge and teach you so profoundly, that they can never be replaced. This album will be our proof that we caught lightning in a bottle, and we had our engineer, Lightning, capturing it all live to tape. The ruthless love of intensity, passion, and pain is the core foundation of our work on Repenter 1 and our friendship.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
H: “To anyone who hasn’t heard Repenter, I would call our sound dark rock. The sonic melting pot of Thomas and I includes pretty much all of the different subgenres of rock. So we tailored and combined our ears to be tuned specific to each song and the overall honesty and simplicity we wanted for this project.
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
H: “Well, more than what I do, it’s just who I am. I feel my only purpose is music. It’s life or death. So if I’m not songwriting, I am dead.
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
H: “Always Led Zeppelin. For every meal. Robert Plant, Elvis, and CeeLo Green are the three most paramount vocalists for me, and were the most influential and relatable voices that I heard and felt connected with since I was very young. My daily life soundtrack the past few years has been a steady diet of ATCQ, Outkast, Madvillain, Bill Withers, James Brown, Black Sabbath, Royal Blood, and Chris Stapleton.
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019 and into 2020?
H: “We’ve started writing material for Repenter 2 now, and it’s already an eager journey right back into the studio, so we’ll be staying busy on all fronts; shows, writing, recording.
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
H: “We’re in it for the long haul and we have no life outside of music, so if you wanna know more, we’ll be around.”