The excited mixed chatter from the concertgoers died down as soon as the overhead lights dimmed, hinting it was All Hail the Yeti’s time to rock the stage. The music playing above quietly turned into a swamp-sounding ambience, the lights shined blue, red, and a forest like green to set the heavy mood. One by one, the band members emerged from the shadows, Connor Garritty (vocals), Craw NeQuent (guitar), Nick Diltz (bass), and Steve White (drums). As soon as the band started to perform their first song, “Deep Creek”, Garritty unleashed an almighty, bone-chilling scream, one that would make the neck hairs stand up. Following was “When the Sky Falls” filled with intense beats provided by White, Garritty’s screams intensifying, and Craw released his killer guitar skills. By the third song, “Suicide Woods”, the crowd definitely got into the band enough to heighten their head banging. The band continued with the last few heavy songs “After the Great Fire”, “Bloodguilt” and “The Art of Mourning”.
Hearing their set brought Upstate Metal’s Kate Drexel back to when she interviewed Nick Diltz and Craw NeQuent on March 30th, when the band opened for In This Moment at Upstate Concert Hall, during sound check. To say the least, it ended up being an entertaining interview. “The band used to be called just ‘Yeti’, there was just the single word for a long time and we ended up having to change it a couple years ago ‘cause of some legal issues, there was another band called ‘Yeti’. So All Hail the Yeti was sort of like our battle cry anyway, we had it on a lot of our promotional stuff and all our URLs were ‘/AllHailTheYeti’ so it was kind of a pretty natural change,” said Diltz when asked about the history of the band name. He then proceeded to explain that a yeti is the Himalayan Nepalese term for “bigfoot.” “The singer and I are like real enthusiasts of all that kind of stuff…cryptozoology and bigfoot and all that kind of folklore and stuff and also we thought it fit the sound, just kind of heavy, slow moving, crushing kind of persona,” he continued. “Backwoods,” chimed in NeQuent. “Yeah, backwoods…mythical, larger than life all of that stuff we feel like applies to the sound and the band also.”
The description of the band’s sound that Diltz and NeQuent provided can be heard throughout the set as well as the band’s influences including Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed, Robert Johnson, Dimes, Zakk Wylde, BB King, John Lee Hooker, Down, Crowbar, and many more. “I think that one of the greatest things about this band is that we all have kind of an eclectic musical taste; we’re all kind of different in what we listen to. We listen to so many different things, like there are so many metal bands that they listen to just metal and they live that metal life and they wear metal t-shirts and they go to metal shows…we’re just, I feel like we’re kind of…we just go so much further beyond that with our influences.” As for what their music reflects about the band, the answer to that question was briefly interrupted by banging drums. “Someone’s banging on the door let me go answer it…Hold on a minute!” shouted Craw. A moment of laughter was shared between the three before Nick proceeded to answer. “It’s the reason why I play metal, it’s so much more of the fact that I like it, obviously there’s more to my lifestyle than just making metal music but I choose to make metal because it’s fun, there’s something about it, just that energy, that pounding rush that you get from making it and the crowd response from the fan base so it’s…it’s such a unique style, it lets you get so much energy, you get to be all aggressive,” said Diltz. “It’s not formulated, we don’t go inside the studio and go ‘ok, we’re gonna sound just like this.’ It is what it is, whatever you feel that day. If you’re pissed off, cool…” added NeQuent. Before the next question could escape Drexel, the heavy banging of the drums commenced yet again. “I’ll be right there, girl! Shit!” shouted Craw, causing all three to bust out with laughter.
Apparently, this tour with Hollywood Undead wasn’t All Hail the Yeti’s first cycle with them; previously, they did a Canadian tour with the rap/metal band. “We’re actually surprised at the fans, how they reacted to us because they’re kind of a metal hip-hop band, or whatever you wanna call them but their audiences go from like literally ten years old to the parents to everywhere in between, but honestly by the second or third song, you know, hitting the gas, everybody started moshing so it’s pretty damn cool to see that,” said Nick before the guitar riffs from the tech crew began to interfere with the interview plus the heavy banging of the drums. “I don’t know if you can hear us now! There’s a little bit of construction going on! It’s Van Halen, they’re fixing my yard!” yelled Craw over the noise. “Goddammit Eddie!” Both Drexel and Diltz got into a pretty big laughing fit before she could ask the last question as well as her favorite one: what does music mean to you? “Everything. I was born living and breathing and feeling music and from an early age, I was always just like this is something I need to do, it speaks to me and I understand it. Not everybody gets to do this and so I shouldn’t take it for granted. We’re all here for the same reason, we’re hear to make music because we love it and because this is something we’ve always dreamed of.” As for Craw’s response: “Absolutely everything! Sacrifice and adaptation are two words that I live by, because you have to sacrifice everything to do this and you have to adapt to whatever comes your way, and I’ve been doing this for a little while now and I love what I do. You have to love it.”
Be sure to check out All Hail the Yeti’s self-titled album, available for digital download and check their Facebook for upcoming tour dates. This band can put on one HELL of a show.