Second Death is a metal band at its core, but they’ve got much more to them on a musical level. Formed from the ashes of Valdosta-based band Beware The Neverending, the group has made artistic authenticity its mission since making the transition between the two projects.
They’re currently on the road with Canadian heavyweights Falsifier, and the two bands will be at the Sentient Bean on Fri., Nov. 15 alongside The Machinist, Watch Them Burn, and Vacant Flesh, presented by AURA Fest. Ahead of the gig, we caught up with Second Death’s Clark Gargan.
Are y’all originally from Valdosta?
It’s funny—originally, the band was based out of Valdosta. Over time, we started losing members that were from the original band. Before Second Death, part of us were in a band called Beware The Neverending. They were all based out of Valdosta, and over time so many member changes happened and we weren’t happy with the direction the band was going with the label we were on.
We decided to fulfill the contract and then call it quits as Beware, and then rebrand as Second Death. Then our guitar player moved to Tallahassee, and one of our guitar players now lives in Savannah. He moved in with another guitar players who was initially from Philly. So we had a member in Philly, a member in Savannah, a member in Tallahassee, and two members in Valdosta. Now we’re just primarily Savannah and Valdosta [laughs].
There seem to be a lot of heavier bands in Valdosta. Is there a culture there that nurtures the kind of music y’all make?
Well, there’s a guy named Alan who started Valdosta DIY House. That venue has been a thing for a little while, and it actually used to be called the Hardcore Mansio years and years ago. It’s been known for house shows for so long.
We were very fortunate when I moved to Valdosta; I was 20 or 21. There was this awesome production company, and there was a venue called Vito’s Pizzeria. Pretty much any name, big or small, played there during that time frame. Underoath, Through The Eyes Of The Dead— everybody and anybody that you can think of. When Vito’s closed down, all we had were house shows for a long time.
Now there are three main bands from Valdosta now. One being ours, the other one being a band called Machinist, and the other being Dying Whale. We’re the three touring bands out of Valdosta that have been taking it seriously—until the Valdosta DIY House started. It’s been a chance for younger bands to start playing music, because there was nowhere for them to play within an hour radius. I’m hoping that younger bands will want to start getting their feet wet, because I want to start seeing the younger generation.
You mentioned Second Death being a rebranding of your previous band. Would you categorize it as being completely different from Beware The Neverending, or is it more of an evolution?
When we decided to call it quits, we wanted to put that type of music to rest. We got on a label, got on some good tours and got a decent booking agent, but we were so worried about the success. We were looking at what other bands were doing and wanted to be just like them. We kind of got caught up in the grind of being one step above everyone else in the industry. So we decided to put it down and start Second Death.
With Second Death it’s like, “Fuck you. This is for us, by us.” What we put out could drastically different, and we truthfully don’t care. If someone along the line wants to sign us, that’s totally fine. We’re all older, and we’ve all been there and done that. I would rather enjoy doing what I want to do.
Rather than being caught in the machine and stuck doing things you don’t want to do out of contractual obligation.
Exactly. And right now, we’re in the middle of writing for our next full-length record. We’re doing half of this tour with Falsifier, and then we’ll go home for a few months and write and record. Maybe then we’ll shop things out and hop into the industry thing the right way, rather than biting the first thing that comes our way.