MEET THE ATL FINALISTS: PALEOS
October 10, 2019
On Thursday, October 10th, four acts will perform at the AFROPUNK ATL Battle of the Bands Finals at The Basement.
Grand Prize at the Battle of the Bands is the once-in-a-lifetime chance to join the star-studded, line-up of the 2019 AFROPUNK Carnival of Consciousness in Atlanta, on October 12th and 13th. But the Battle of the Bands is not only an opportunity for a big break most musicians seek throughout their careers; it’s also an occasion for Atlanta and Southeast-based artists to showcase their music, their creative spirit and their artistry to the AFROPUNK audience. So this week, we’re spotlighting all the finalists, asking them questions about who they are and what this moment means to them.
Next up is Paleos (formerly: Sanctum of the Weary), an “aggressive, intellectual, beautiful, progressive” metal quintet from Stone Mountain, GA, who insist that they actually play “bops.” Read on and listen.
What are your names, ages, and the instruments that you play? And, where are you from?
Scar Sativa (Jamal, frontman vocals, 25); Malik (Quran, frontman vocals, 22); Silas (guitar and vocals, 23); Steven (guitar, 25); Chè (LaNise, drums, 29). The band originated in Stone Mountain, Georgia, but we all individually come from our own respective corners of Atlanta.
What are your favorite things about where you are from? (Especially when it comes to Black culture of where you are from.)
Freedom of expression. Atlanta has recently come to be known as the Hollywood of the South, but the plethora of underground scenes you’ll find in Atlanta is awe-inspiring. The creative energy of Atlanta is truly a beast that can’t be tamed, and when you’re here, you can feel it. From The Masquerade, a long-standing Atlanta venue that has become something of an Atlanta staple for music; to Tyler Perry Studios, THE first independently Black-owned movie studio. There’s opportunity all over Atlanta for creators to be their truest selves.
In your own words, give us a short description of the kind of music you make.
We create what we feel, there’s really no other way to explain it. I suppose one might categorize our specific genre to be “metalcore” but that’s mainly because that’s generally what we were all listening to in high school and growing up. However, with our music we like to push the envelope a bit and implement different styles every here and there.
Silas: “High energy, aggressive, intellectual, beautiful, progressive”
Steven: “In other words, bops”
If there was one or two core thoughts or ideas that you want your music to convey, what are they?
Each song expresses a different emotion or idea. At the end of the day we believe in staying true to yourself and what you believe in, and we want to inspire a sense of strength and unity in our community.
What are your musical dreams and aspirations? Not fame-wise, but creatively.
Malik: “I want to create meaningful stories in each song. I believe music can help people, i want to teach life lessons through my music.”
Scar: “I want to do much more than just music, but music-wise, I want to create expressive and emotion-evoking music. I wasn’t too work with and collaborate with all kinds of people in all kinds of genres all around the world. I believe one thing that nearly all cultures have in common is they have their own kinds of music. I want to explore as many of those avenues as i can, and create a platform where all creatives can express their truest artforms.”
Che: “My musical dream and aspiration is to inspire the youth. To be that representation that you don’t see very often and To break societal barriers”
Silas: “To have the freedom to be able to make whatever I want to make and never have to sacrifice creativity for revenue.”
What do you think you can do with music?
We can inspire with music, we can all do a lot of good with music. Be it telling meaningful stories or creating an environment where you can be among like minded people. Each song has a soul, and a purpose. What we try to do is implement something special into each song, something listeners wouldn’t forget. For a lot of people, music is what helps them begin their day, and what helps them sleep at night. Music can help you through tough spots, and even broaden your perspective on life. Tl;Dr We could do a lot with music.
Name one artist that you would like to collaborate with? What do you think that collaboration would sound like?
Scar: Serj Tankian (of System of a Down). It would be … Revolutionary. He’s without a doubt my biggest influence in metal. I believe my lyrics reflect that.
Malik: “Taylor Shelton of Traitors. He’s a complete monster of a vocalist. Just think we could bring a nice mix of vocal tones on a collab.”
Silas: “Killswitch Engage and their former vocalist Howard Jones (Scar: “Same”) They are one of my biggest influences. They are so masterful at adding color to the sound of their music, and I like to believe our work shares that trait in similarity. We could make one heavy, memorial masterpiece, full of unforgettable melodies, riffs, and tones.
Che: “Andre 3000. I think it would sound galactic.”
Steven: “Marc Okubo from Veil of Maya. Hands down. Words couldn’t begin to describe the things we’d create.”
What are you most looking forward to if you win the Battle of the Bands? What do you think winning could do for you?
Winning would mean a lot to us. It could open a lot of doors for us as a band, meaning we could meet, network, collaborate with, and learn from many more creative minds. It means we could begin performing on different stages and for different crowds than those we’ve become accustomed to over the years. It means, recognition for being who we are and doing what we do against all odds. And last but certainly not least, it would give us a great opportunity to build our brand and have our messages reach more and more people around the world. Some of us grew up feeling like our love for metal wasn’t going to take us anywhere. We were generally considered to be the weird kids, the rebels, and/or the outcasts of our communities growing up. We come from humble beginnings, and it’s exciting to think that if we win we could each be someone that the youth can look up to, as they’re finding themselves. Especially Black youth.
Anything else you want to say to the AFROPUNK audience as a way of introduction?
First and foremost, best of luck to all the other acts performing tonight. But we are Paleos from Stone Mountain, GA; formerly known as Sanctum of the Weary. We came to shut it down, and leave you wanting more. Greatest of thanks to AFROPUNK for this opportunity.