E-mail interview with Will Rhodes, vocalist of Floodgates. Get to know this up-and-coming metal band from Alabama below.
First off, since you’ll be new to most of our readers, can you give a short back story of the band.
Well, we started in February of 2009. Me and our original drummer had just gotten out of a band and were wanting to start something up, so I brought my good friend, Jeremy Couch, over to his house and we jammed. We wrote a song on the spot and our good friends, Justin Lawson [who was our drummers room mate at the time] and Patrick Otterson [who was our next door neighbor], heard it and joined in.
Who are the various members of the band and what instruments do they play?
Jeremy Couch and Justin Lawson stayed in the band and are our guitarists, and recently we have been joined by Joseph Whitehead on bass and are proud to have Seth Powell, former drummer of Misery Chastain, as our new drummer! And I, Will Rhodes, am the vocalist of the band.
Is there any significance to the name Floodgates? Why did you guys pick it?
Yes there is! From the start we’ve wanted this band to be completely led by the Lord through His Holy Spirit, and we wanted our name to be no different. One night Jeremy, our original drummer and I were all at our church here in Florence and during the service our drummer felt like the Lord was moving us to start asking for a name. So the three of us just got in our own little places of worship and just started asking the Lord. When we felt we had heard from Him we came back to each other and shared what we had heard and all of us had heard stuff specifically about rain, a coming storm, and a flood. I shared the name Floodgates, with the spiritual meaning that we as the body of Christ are the Floodgates who need to open ourselves up and reach our full potential as His Bride so that we can make a way for His glory to pour out onto the world. It just felt right to us and immediately after i shared it the worship leader started singing the lyrics, “Open the floodgates of heaven! Let it rain!” so we knew we had been given a name!
You guys are from Florence, Alabama. How is the overall music scene there?
It used to be very alive and we had various venues and churches that would put on pretty regular shows back in 2006-mid 2008 and even before then it was pretty good. But it has pretty much died since then.
Describe your overall sound.
Well, we originally started as a Hardcore band. Playing circle pits and stompin around and such hahaha but the original drummer and I always had a passion for heavier music, death metal and deathcore kind of stuff, and so we just got our members and started in the direction of being as heavy as we could be without losing character or sight of our goal to worship the Lord.
Who are your bands biggest influences musically and lyrically?
hahaha there’s so much we could say about that. Musically we all have our own tastes, but have common grounds. There are honestly too many to list, but I guess you could say For Today, A Plea For Purging and Impending Doom have been some of our leading influences in forming what has become our band’s sound. As far as lyrics go, we do our best to speak from our spirit and our heart and to bless the name of the Lord. And I would definitely say that all of our lyrics are because of His influence!
I noticed you had a blog with the lyrics to your new EP. What is the name of the EP and is that available for purchase anywhere?
The EP doesn’t really have a name so I guess it’s just self-titled. And we are currently working on getting it put up on iTunes!
I was impressed with the sound quality on the track you had up. Where did you record the EP?
We were recorded by our good ol’ buddy Brian Hood, former drummer of MyChildren MyBride, at his recording studio in Athens, AL. 456 recordings!
Was that your first time recording? How did the recording process go?
We recorded a rough version of a song once, but recording our EP was definitely our first REAL recording experience. And the recording process went very smoothly thanks to Brian and his patience hahaha
Do you have any other material written that wasn’t recorded?
We have went through like 15 songs and ended up with just the 3 on our EP but are currently writing since we just got our new drummer about 2 weeks ago and we already have a little more than half of a new song.
Let’s talk about your songwriting process. Is there a main songwriter or is it a group effort? What about the lyrics?
Originally, our first drummer wrote almost all of the music guitar and drums wise. But now everyone pretty much writes their own parts. We all will suggest things to each other and help refine everything until we all feel right about it! And as far as lyrics go, I’m the only one who writes lyrics and vocal parts, but that is about all I write in the band.
I would assume that Floodgates is a part-time thing for you right now. Would you do this full-time if the opportunity presented itself?
You would be correct! We are just doing what we love alongside the things that we have to do such as work and schooling. But all of us will pursue anything the Lord lays before us, including full-time, as long as we know it is from Him and will further His Kingdom!
Pick 3 current bands that you’d really like to tour with.
Sleeping Giant, For Today, and CREED.
Do you consider Floodgates to be a ministry or just a band made up of Christians?
Ministry all the way. We don’t feel so much that we have to offer the music scene something that they’ve never heard before as far as a message or anything goes, as much as we feel that the combined praise, worship and passion of the kids in the music scene has to offer something that will minister to the heart of the Lord and offer Him something new! We firmly believe that God has a special place in His heart for the kids in the scene and that His great commission applies to them as well. “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.'” [Mark 16:15-18]
What are a few things that you would like to accomplish with the band?
First and foremost to bring God glory and worship Him. And to see people healed and set free by the love that He offers, and the body of Christ stand in unity. We would really like to be able to move the hearts of non believers as well. Not to “convert” them, but to have them listen and accept us [even if it’s just that they like the way our music sounds] , regardless of beliefs, and for us to do the same to them.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Yes! You all have power and destiny written all over your lives. Regardless of what you believe, or don’t believe, you are all human beings. You have great potential within your individuality, just as those around you do in their own ways, so let’s all just live in peace with each other and lift each other up!
Don’t forget to check out the exclusive free download of Floodgates’s song “Decadence” right here on IVM!