2015 Battlecross interview with Kyle “Gumby” Gunther
Michigan-based blue-collar thrash contingent, Battlecross, is currently tearing up the road with Gwar and Born of Osiris in support of the band’s third major label studio effort, Rise to Power. Notably absent is guitarist Tony Asta who is on paternity leave with a newborn child at home. Guitar tech Joe Cady is filling in while he’s on leave. Paternity leave in a metal band–How cool is that? This should tell you all you need to know about the guys in Battlecross and why they have become so popular among fans and fellow bands…plus there is the music.
Battlecross came to life in 2003 from the twisted teenage minds and speedy fingers of Asta and fellow guitarist Hiran Deraniyagala. The duo do much of the band’s songwriting along with bassist Don Slater. The group’s dynamic sound blends Asta’s thrashy riffing with Deraniygala’s death metal leanings and Slater’s melodic sensibilities to create a hybrid sound that vocalist Kyle “Gumby” Gunther brings to life with aggressive aplomb.
The band self-released Push Pull Destroy in 2010 with their former vocalist, and re-released the re-record album as Pursuit of Honor the following year after Gumby joined and Metal Blade records signed them. Battlecross took to the road playing numerous high-profile shows including the 2012 Trespass America Festival tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Trivium, Orion Music Festival, and a tour with In Flames. The band’s sophomore
album, War of Will, found the band on the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival with the likes of Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch,Mastodon and Amon Amarth. Tours with Hatebreed and later Death Angel would round out the year. More high-profile tours and shows would follow in 2014 including Graspop and Download, as well as replacing Megadeth for the 2014 Aerodrome Festivals. With the band’s third album, Battlecross is already out on Gwar’s 30th Anniversary tour with more dates lined-up that they cannot yet reveal. With each successive record, the album’s titles seem to reflect a stage of Battlecross‘ career, and Rise to Power should continue that trend.
This week Metalholic caught up with frontman Gumby Gunther for a quick chat about Rise to Power, his favorite TV shows to binge watch, and the band’s new drummer, Alex Bent. Check out the video below.
All photos © 2015 Katarzyna Cepek Photography