This week’s featured Meet The Band artist is Serpent Of Gnosis, a new band with some veteran musicians. Their lineup includes members of Job For A Cowboy and the Black Dahlia Murder. Their debut album is As I Drink From The Infinite Well Of Inebriation. Vocalist Jonny Davy introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Serpent Of Gnosis.
Jonny Davy: The conception of Serpent of Gnosis started sometime nearly two years ago. Alan Glassman, Tony Sannicandro, and I have been on hiatus in regards to doing anything musically. Our focus for years on end was with Job For A Cowboy and I personally needed to take a step away from it. A couple of the guys stepped aside to work on getting college degrees and others jumped into other full-time music projects. Alan Glassman reunited with the previous drummer of his older band, Goratory, to work on a newer project from the ground up.
Alan essentially put together a whole death/grind album and needed other members to fill the gaps. Max Lavelle, who is the current bassist of The Black Dahlia Murder used to also be a member of Goratory in the early 2000’s. He took the job of playing bass for this record. In the end, he finally recruited me to do the vocals and Tony to play additional guitar parts. Clearly, an easy fit as he’s worked with all of us in some shape or form in the past.
Describe the songwriting process for As I Drink From The Infinite Well Of Inebriation.
As I mentioned in the previous question, Alan Glassman and Darren Cesca worked the foundation of the music. After completing their end of the record Tony, Max and I added our own contributions to top it off.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
My personal strongest memory is the fact that I recorded this record from home in a broom closet. I live in a two story home and the closet resides underneath the stairs to the second level. I stand at 6’2 and this closet roughly has a 4-foot ceiling. So, needless to say, it was a bit uncomfortable at times. I had a blast recording the record, as I sat cross-legged with a mic in hand and a laptop in my lap.
How would you describe its style/sound?
To not go too far off the rails and to keep it as simple as possible. It’s a deathgrind record. It clearly has other elements sprinkled in, but overall it’s a very fast and chaotic record in a niche genre. I feel Darren Cesca, who played drums on the record, also did a great job producing and mixing the album to capture the sound we were aiming for.
What lyrical subjects do you cover?
When it comes to lyrics, I usually tend to enjoy sticking to a particular theme for an entire record. The overall theme describes instances of addiction and the dependencies that align with it. The songs are portrayed through the eyes of someone who has hit the absolute rock-bottom due to addiction. The strange mindset of someone who has lost absolute control of their life, the decisions they make and how their body reacts to such ordeals.
How did you come to sign with 1126 Records?
Scott Lee, where do I start? We’ve been friends with him for years on end and he’s a guy that simply gets it. When you get to a particular level in the music industry you will find yourself working with people that are only in it for themselves. The industry can be cutthroat, it can be deceiving, it can be utterly exhausting to the point where you lose track as to why you started doing it in the first place. Unfortunately, with my time in Job For A Cowboy I’ve witnessed this sort of behavior countless times. Scott is the complete opposite of that. Scott is that type of guy who was brought up in the hardcore scene and as he got older he did a lot of great things as a promoter for the hardcore/metal scene in the Boston area and he’s helped all of us along the way. Needless to say, joining up with him and his new label was an easy fit.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
Goals are simple. Write a record that we enjoyed. To be completely honest, I’ve been surprised the band has received as much traction as it already has. I didn’t realize our past efforts in music would bring such a following into something new. It’s been really refreshing to witness and has sparked quite the fire amongst the members of the band.
Do you have any plans to play shows in support of the album?
Realistically, that’s a tough one. Max is a touring machine within the Black Dahlia Murder. Tony currently resides in Ireland. During the conception of the band, playing shows was never even genuinely discussed. However, due to the overwhelming response, those discussions might be made after the release of the record.
How did you get started in music?
Assuming you’re referring to how I got into playing music, it all started early in high school. Going over to my friend’s house, writing riffs and playing poorly written metal songs in his parent’s garage. That quickly turned into an obsession where we spent an ungodly amount of hours attempting to perfect what we were doing. In retrospect, I’ve never had as much discipline and intent to hustle in any other subject matter. That’s actually how Job For A Cowboy started. The reality is, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. But, I credit it all to being adamant on playing as many shows as possible outside of our local area. Weekend warriors, driving out of state almost every weekend to play in front of new audiences.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
I grew up with a single mother that was into metal. Tool, Pantera, Primus, Metallica, Megadeth, and Queensrÿch are the first batch of bands the spring to mind that I personally got introduced to from my mother. There were many more, but it’s safe to say those were the most commonly played in my home during my adolescence. I could see how one could easily paint the picture as to how more extreme genres entered my mental database as I grew older.
What was the first metal concert you attended?
I believe it was Metallica’s original Summer Sanitarium tour. I would have been 13 years old.
What’s the last thing you binge watched?
HBO’s Chernybol is a must watch for a historic drama that is borderline horror!
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Let’s whip out the old playlist here…. Recently, I’ve really enjoyed the following: Engulf – Gold and Rust, Dawn Of Nil – Culminating Ruins, Warforged – I:Voice, Suffering Hour – Dwell, DeathSpell Omega – The Furnaces of Palingenesia.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Check out Serpent of Gnosis!
(interview published June 15, 2019)
Listen To Serpent Of Gnosis – “The Colorless Capsules”