About The Torch: A monthly series, The Torch aims to help musicians of all ages and talent levels learn more about their respective instruments. Each issue features band members from around the world discussing their craft. They provide our readers with advice and insight towards their person experiences, as well as talking about the tool of their livelihood. Whether you’re an aspiring musician, beginner, fan, or expert, there’s something here for everyone. I truly believe it takes one generation to inspire another. With each issue, I hope we can motivate more and more readers to become the forces they admire.
Written & Produced by Meryl "LJ" DeWitt | Edited by Rachel Rosell | Additional Photos by Jeremy Saffer & Elizabeth Creasey
Typically The Torch can get rather... bland, for anyone who doesn't care too much about the technical side of the rock industry. As Halloween creeps closer, we've decided to take a break from a sage of strings to bring you stories of spirits. The ghouls featured in this article are no stranger to The Torch. Welcome back the new generation of Lost Boys, SKIVER, along with the modern day psychopaths of Attraction to Tragedy, and the whimsically beautiful Farewell, My Love.
Meryl “LJ” DeWitt: Since we’ve got a lotta different folks in here, please introduce yourself and your band. And, to keep this Halloween themed, give me your monster spirit animal (ex: werewolves, vampires, demons, fallen angels, Frankenstein’s Monster, Invisible Man, etc.)
Izzy Scott: Hi, I'm Izzy Scott. I play drums for Attraction To Tragedy and I would say I'm like a scarecrow.
Chad Kowal: My name is Chad Kowal and I sing for Farewell, My Love. I would say that Frankenstein would be the closest to my monster spirit animal because I have stitches tattooed around my wrists, haha.
LJ: Felix, I already know your answer to this, but go ahead anyways…
Felix Skiver: Who, me!? Felix Skiver, vocalist of SKIVER. I’m a forever beautiful vampire; but you already knew that.
BK: BK; Lead guitarist in SKIVER. Zombie.
Lock: Hey I'm Lock the drummer for SKIVER and my monster spirit animal is Godzilla.
LJ: Good or bad, what’s the most memorable Halloween story you’ve got?
Chad: When I was about 5 I got so hyped for Halloween. I went out and bought a Spider-Man costume that shot webs out of the wrists and everything. When the 31st actually came around I went outside and shot some webs but got scared of the other costumes and ran back inside my house. I hid there for the rest of the night, haha.
Izzy: I played a show with my old band on Halloween once and it was terrible. We all were so frustrated but hey, shit happens.
Felix: My boys and I (who will not be named) got pulled over and arrested (for reasons that will not be named) one Halloween. I think that’s all I’m allowed to say! *laughs*
Lock: Chasing trick or treaters with chainsaws at my old bandmates house.
LJ: Your favorite – or at least most entertaining to share – Halloween costume you’ve had so far?
Lock: Probably Elmo as a little kid or something
Chad: I was Scooby Doo once haha so probably that.
Izzy: I did a dead carnival host a few years back. I wish I could find a picture for it but I wore a top hat, a ripped up suit, and dead flowers in the pocket.
Felix: My friends and I made DIY whacky-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man costumes one year. I wish I could find any pictures of that.
LJ: Favorite candy to receive trick or treating as a kid?
Felix: King sized Twix! And Starbursts! (So I could eat all the lemon ones and trade the others for more chocolate). I hate candy corn and I was never really into Twizzlers.
Chad: Probably Twizzlers. They're still my favorite, haha.
Izzy: I LOVE Twizzlers and Starbursts.
BK: Love Crunch bars. Absolutely hate candy corn.
LJ: Any Halloween traditions? Anything from store hopping, haunted houses, putting out a certain decoration every year, or even just raiding the discount candy on November 1st.
Izzy: Brandon and I will grab a couple buddies and play in my towns Halloween parade every year.
Chad: I would always count down the days until Walgreens would start selling little Halloween toys. They had stretchy werewolves, it was sick haha.
Felix: Honestly, I do raid the discount candy when Halloween is over. But to be fair, I do that for lots of different holidays.
Lock: Haunted hayride and the Halloween parade in Manhattan!
LJ: Favorite horror movie to get you in the mood for Halloween?
Izzy: Saw has always been my favorite horror franchise! Love all the gore and stuff.
Chad: Nothing beats The Nightmare Before Christmas for me.
Felix: I’ve been in love with Sinister ever since I first watched it, so that would definitely be a go-to.
Lock: Favorite horror movie is Ringu for sure, the Japanese film that inspired The Ring.
LJ: Top three rock/metal songs that capture the Halloween spirit for you?
Chad: "Dig Up Her Bones" - The Misfits, "Wake The Dead" - The Used, "Halloween" (Cover) - AFI
Izzy: “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” - Korn, “The Nobodies” - Marilyn Manson, annnnnnd… So stereotypical, but “Dragula” - Rob Zombie.
LJ: Honestly Zombie’s entire discography could be included in this.
Felix: “Halloween Party” - The Halloween Junky Orchestra, “Thriller” - Michael Jackson, and “Spooky Scary Skeletons” - Andrew Gold. (yeah I know they’re not all rock songs get off my back.)
BK: "Zombie Dance" & "It's Just Me" - Escape The Fate; "Making Christmas (Cover)" - The Dead Rabbitts
Lock: "This is Halloween" cover from The Candy Spooky Theater, "Burn" - The Cure, "Beast of Blood" - Malice Mizer.
LJ: *cough cough* "Dead As Fuck" - MIW...
LJ: Would you ever dare to play a haunted venue? Consider the fact that you’re risking getting damaged equipment, having a live show ruined, or even being crushed by a falling speaker. That is, if you believe in spirits…
Chad: I played a haunted venue called The Rave in Milwaukee, WI and you could definitely feel a very different presence at all times.
LJ: (There's nothing NOT haunted in Wisconsin, BTW).
Izzy: I, myself, don't believe in spirits, but would totally be down to say I played in haunted venues.
Lock: I've probably already played a few haunted venues, that's what all of New Jersey is.
Felix: What Lock said. I mean when you live around venues with names like “The Meatlocker” you tend to get a bit suspicious.
LJ: Some artists feel as if they actually get possessed while playing. Whether it be on stage or off, have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Izzy: Sadly, no. I really would love to, because it'd be so cool for that stuff to be real, but I have nothing to share
Felix: Spooky stuff happens around me all the time. Interpret that however you want. *laughs*
Lock: I'm a different person on stage, so, yeah, kind of.
Chad: We recorded our first album in Cleveland, OH and stayed in a studio that was attached to The Agora, which is supposedly a very haunted venue. When we were staying in our room one night we heard footsteps on the stair case up to our room but we knew we were the only ones in the studio that day. Minutes later we swore we saw a white demonic looking figure creep up the stairs so we slammed the door shut. I got into my bunk and shut the curtain. Literally right after I did that, the air condition unit which you turn on manually turned on by itself. Definitely the creepiest encounter I've ever had.
LJ: Lastly, as always, any last words for your fans?
BK: New EP Gloss coming soon.
Chad: Be sure to check out our New Music Video for "Inside A Nightmare", it's our special Halloween treat for you. Also, catch us on The New Era Tour this fall!
Izzy: We’ve had an album out since October 14th called Passion Over Fashion. Go download, and come out and see us play new songs from it real soon. We really love seeing all our little spooky friends and fans get bloody with us!
Felix: Guys, ghouls, and spirits of all kinds; have a scary Halloween and keep your eyes on SKIVER! We’ve got spooky new music for you all and we can’t wait to see you all at our shows!
Farewell, My Love
"Inside A Nightmare"