Keep it simple. Keep it metal.

FleshTorn – Interview With 16-yr-old Brannan Griffin Hayes


Yesterday I learned that today, November 11, is national metal day. Did you knew about the existence of this day? I didn’t. But it is kinda cool, isn’t it? Metal having it’s own (unofficial) national day – but can we make it official?
I though, what a better way to kick off The Blek Goat’s interview series than today. I am super excited to announce that today I present you our very first interview I did with young Brannan Hayes of FleshTorn. At the age of only 16, Brannan is a very busy kid. Besides going to school and to church every Sunday, he is keeping himself busy with his one-man-death-metak-band called FleshTorn.
Hayes told us that death metal scene in his home town is pretty much dead and that it’s odd for a metalhead to be Christian. It may sound kinda odd, but I think nothing is wrong with it, especially when you know Tom Araya of Slayer is Christian (and myself).


Interview with FleshTorn’s Brennan Hayes, 16

1. First introduce yourself. Tell us who you are, how old are you and where do you come from.
Well, my name is Brannan Griffin Hayes. I’m six-teen years old hailing from Zebulon, North Carolina.

2. What’s up with the name FleshTorn? What’s the origin of the name? Were there any other names for the band in the game?
I know your expecting some deep metaphorical meaning for the name, but the truth is that I was 14. I just had gotten into metal. So at gym class in school, I walked around the baseball field (being the loner I am) thinking of good names for a death metal band, and ended up with Fleshtorn. Mainly because there wasn’t another Fleshtorn in the metal archives. Plus the name Fleshtorn sounds pretty metal.

“I think you should believe what you want to believe.”

3. How does day in the life of FleshTorn / Brannan Hayes look like?
I put my pants on in the morning just like everyone else does. I wake up, look in the mirror and think to myself “I am one sexy beast” then I eat breakfast and go to school. I am a Christian which is very odd for metalheads, but hey, that’s me. So I go to church every Sunday. However I don’t go around writing songs about it, and shoving religion down people’s throats. I’m pretty open guy, and I think you should believe what you want to believe. Anyway, I usually get home from school and sleep, haha, get up, do homework and write music, then go to bed. I have to be accepting of when my family doesn’t feel like hearing me make satanic voices and a bunch of noise, but usually they are pretty acceptable and supportive of me. So I return the favor in that sense.

4. When did you get into meta music? For any specific reason?
I listened to a lot of rock bands originally, but then it happened. I saw Metalocalypse come on TV. It changed my world. I loved it. The growling and the intro. It all just clicked with me. Then I started listening to a bunch of death metal, and I went in the old-school death metal direction after a while. As far as reasoning goes, it just makes you feel good, and it’s pretty technical music. Most people over look that but death metal is pretty complicated. Which gives you a challenge when you start out writing it for the first time.

5. What is the number one reason you are making old-school death metal? What’s your opinion about the new-age death metal?
Well first off, I do write old-school metal, but the thing about Fleshtorn is you never know what you are gonna get. I’m a pretty impulsive person and musically I’ll probably do whatever I want. I may end up writing a nu-metal song for Fleshtorn, or a tech death song, maybe even a black metal song. I don’t want to constrict myself to one thing, there is no rule book. My opinion on new metal? I support it. There isn’t a lot of metalheads around, so we need to be accepting and stick together. How do you expect people to like older metal, if you constantly bash on their music? Especially in the emo scene they get the worst of it. They just don’t know that there’s heavier stuff out there. They just need to be introduced to it. And if death metal is gonna be kept alive, we have to cut the “your a poser” crap. If people like Asking Alexandria, introduce them to some death metal bands.

“I’m a stronger believer that if you put your mind to something it can be done.”

6. How strong is the death metal scene in Zabulon, North Carolina?
Zebulon has no death metal scene. At all. It is a little country town. But the city that’s near it (Raleigh) has a pretty decent local scene.

7. Why is FleshTorn a one-man-band? Will you keep it that way, or will you expand in the future?
Well, I’m a stronger believer that if you put your mind to something it can be done. You can find a way. Unfortunately with school and not having a car and living in a small town, a one man band was just more convenient. I knew I couldn’t get a band yet but I also knew I was still going to find a way to make this happen. I know a guitarist in Alabama who I’m going to meet up with and he’s gonna join Fleshtorn, as well as a drummer in Massachusetts, that will probably join. We just have to meet. Fleshtorn will be a full band one day, but it’s not the time for that yet.

8. I read that your influencers are Six Feet Under, Cannibal Corpse, Dyin Fetus, Morbid Angel, etc. If you would need to pick only one, which would you pick and why?
Haha, I made that list a while ago. I have a lot of new influences, picking just one is hard because they change so much. I guess currently it would have to be Edge of Sanity with the album “The Spectral Sorrows.”

9. What advice would FleshTorn give to fellow one-man-bands?
Don’t be a one man band because it’s different, definitely strive towards adding members eventually, with the same drive and motivation, so it multiplies your productivity promotion wise, music wise, and your stage presence.


10. What is the last album your bought and why you bought it?
I think it was Spawn of Possesion “Incurso.” I bought it at Maryland Deathfest. Why? Because it is awesome!!

11. What was the last video you watched on YouTube?
I don’t remember, haha.

12. What is your favorite cereal and why?
This is one of those deep meaningful life questions we will all get asked at least once. The answer is either Captain Crunch, or Trix. Because they are good for your soul.

13. Outside metal, what music do you like? (Bring out all your secrets)
I will listen to any music, I like some pop music. I dig Elton John, also Eye of the Tiger by Katy Perry (I have no idea why I like that song). I also love bluegrass and jazz. Country is good too, when it talks about deep meaningful life stories (not boobs, beer, and ‘merica).

14. What is your proudest achievement to date?
Probably going to get my debut album “Synopsis” recorder at the studio just before I turned 16!

15. Finish this sentence: If I were a mountain…
I would make boulders fall on hikers and cars.

16. What are your future plans? Any big projects in the works?
I have a second album on the way, and I’m recording demo versions of each song and putting them out one by one as I write them before I go to the studio and get it professionally recorded!

17. Any last words? Anyone special you’d like to thank?
Thank you for the interview and my parents for being so supportive.
And all my friends – family for being there!


Go follow young Brannan Hayes and his band FleshTorn on Facebook and Bandcamp.


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