Burn The Gates Interview

By Monica Redwine

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to be writing about BURN THE GATES!!!! They are a 4-man metal band from Kansas City, MO, and I hope like hell they will be shredding people’s faces off nation-wide… no, WORLD-WIDE very soon!

If you are a member of Metalheads Forever that visits daily then I have no doubt that at some point in the past couple weeks you’ve seen me posting about them—I’ve been fucking obsessed since I first heard/saw the video they posted of “Ashes from the Grave”. I can’t get enough, and I definitely can’t say enough about how intense their sound is. Luckily for me you can find them on Spotify and I already added them to my main playlist and have been blasting them since.

If you live in Kansas City, you MUST make it a point to go see them—if I lived there I’d be at every fucking show, no doubt! I am hoping it won’t be long before they’re coming to a city near me so I can have the honor!

You can catch them July 6- Westport at The Riot Room.

Fortunately, I have been able to speak with a couple guys from the band and learn a little more about them which is shared below. Let me just tell you that as amazing as they are in music, they have one member that is an amazing artist as well, doing both graphic and fine art work. These men are greatly talented and I sincerely wish them nothing but success moving forward!

The Band:

Jesse Thompson- vocals

Jeff Doelling- guitar

Brandon Baxley-drums

W2- bass


You guys are from Kansas City, MO

You have 2 songs on Spotify: “Unconfirmed Hope” and “Virgo


When will there be an album/CD we can get our hands on!? Is there a release date in mind?

That’s a great question. If things go well, we will start tracking the rest of the album this month. We definitely want to make it right, so we aren’t going to rush it or settle, but we are very anxious. If I were to try and guess, I’d say ideally, we would be wrapped up by the end of the summer and looking at a mid/late fall release. We are working with Dave Johnson, also known as Damage. He’s been doing sound and engineering for a long time and is fantastic to work with and really helps us not just capture the sound we want, but the energy, and that’s key, balancing a great performance with the right energy with quality recording.


How did you guys meet up and decide to start playing music together?

All of us have been around the KC music scene for a while and all been a part of our fair share of bands over the years, hell, decades I guess lol. Before Burn the Gates, there was another project that never really got off the ground, that our former singer and myself (W2) were a part of. Some time passed (a few months) between the two projects and then Jeff and Brandon were pulled together to get things going. Eventually I got the call, and it all clicked.

Our first year (2016) was a bit rough and rocky, but the music from day one has always been solid and moving in a great direction. We all are huge fans of a variety of metal, but musically we all come from a very wide variety of backgrounds. Rock, Hard Rock, Metal, and probably a little of everything in between. I think that’s what has made us unique. The collective and variant of influences allow us to try different things and move in a not so conventional directions.

Just over a year ago, we found ourselves in need of a singer, someone to put a voice to what we were doing, bring something new and unique to what we were trying to accomplish. Someone who would embrace a different approach and be open to new things, not settling for the same ole. Jesse has jumped in with both feet and giving us what we wanted. Someone who could take the music to a heavier place, even when it might not make sense. Someone with an energy level that commands a crowd and gets everyone moving. And more important, someone who is the right fit. This past year has been a time for us to rebuild, hone our sound and write. Now it’s time to put it all together.

The music and vocals are so fucking powerful– what influences you guys? Is it mostly music, or are there other things that influence you as well?

I think we all bring a lot of different influences to the table. Life and experiences definitely play a big role in bringing out the intensity and passion that goes into the creative process. We all do a lot of listening to music and pulling different elements as inspiration into what we do. We’ll be working on a new song, and musically think it’s not heavy at all, then Jesse gets a hold of it and the whole becomes quite the brutal collaboration.

Jesse joined the band last spring, with less than 3 weeks before we had an already scheduled show. We cut a song and maybe did one instrumental, but He showed up to his first practice prepared and already a notebook full of ideas to put to the music. We hit the ground running with him and have not slowed down yet. It’s so refreshing having a band where everyone is on the same page and everyone drives and works just as hard as each other. It helps push the band as a whole forward that much faster and with ease.


Tell me about the music scene where you are– I’m starting to see there’s a good bit of metal action going on in your area.

Kansas City for a long time now has had a rich music scene with a lot of talent. In particular the metal scene is huge. Lot of great bands, and more importantly a lot of great people that build friendships and a network of fans and family. For me the biggest thing that makes KC’s music scene great, is the level of support each band has for one another. Bands do a really good job supporting one another. I think it helps the overall climate and it also helps push each band to be better.

What can fans do to help ensure your success? Aside from putting asses in seats and buying merch (is there merch available online)? Is there someone we can petition to make you instant-famous?

Asses in seats always help. lol We did just get some new merch – tees and tanks. We’ve done 2 different tee designs up till this point. We want to keep it going and do a new design for every run. We have a long way to go still, but honestly. we really just want people to pass it forward and share our music and links with others. Help us spread the word and continue grow the fan base.


But seriously, are you in talks with or working with a label or anything or just going it your own?

No talks, just doing our thing. Pushing forward make things happen on our own. I don’t think we are opposed to working with a label or promoters, if the opportunity would come along, we’d definitely take a look, but we know what we want, and are going to accomplish those goals our way.


“Ashes from the Grave”– is this song going to be on the album? It’s pretty fucking great so I hope so!!! And “Demon Twist”!

Yes, both will be on the album. Even as we resume tracking for our album, I think we will continue to write and create. Ultimately, we’ll have to draw a line, but I think at this point there is no reason not to keep throwing as many ideas in the ring as possible. It will allow us to be more selective with the final track list. I feel like both of those songs, Ashes from the Grave, and Demon Twist, not only are our newest songs, but they are the two songs that turn the tide of the direction we are headed. They not only help round out our sound with a new heaviness, but I think they are also the beginning, the starting point for what is still to come.

Any upcoming shows?

We do have a couple shows currently in the works. This Friday (May 18) at Aftershock in Merriam, KS. Lots and lots of metal during this 2-day Metalfest. Then later on Friday, July 6 we are in Westport at The Riot Room. We are not booking anything for June in hopes of getting as much tracking done as possible.


Is there anything you want to add? Anything you want to say to your fans? Anything about yourselves you’d like to add?

We are all so grateful for the support we get and love it when we get to meet new fans from show to show. We’re doing this purely because we love making music. We do this for ourselves. We do this to share with others. We appreciate any feedback we can get. So, I guess we’d just like to say thank you to all, and if you like what we are doing, please give it a share and pass it along.



MHF Magazine/Monica Redwine


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