Spirited metal act Saturday Night Preacher still on search for drummer

Saturday Night Preacher vocalist Scott Oxendine says the band is currentyl road-testing songs before committing them to an album.

Saturday Night Preacher vocalist Scott Oxendine says the band is currentyl road-testing songs before committing them to an album.

Saturday Night Preacher vocalist Scott Oxendine says the band is currentyl road-testing songs before committing them to an album.

Saturday Night Preacher vocalist Scott Oxendine says the band is currentyl road-testing songs before committing them to an album.

Saturday Night Preacher

  • What: Benefit for family of late Absolute Power frontman Kris Hawkins
  • With: Downslave, Pick Up the Snake, Livid and One vs. One
  • When: Saturday, June 13 (doors open at 5 p.m.)
  • Where: The Catalyst, 125 E. Jackson Ave., Old City
  • Cost: $5, show admits all ages
  • Also: Saturday Night Preacher will play Friday, June 19 at 4620 with Soundtrack Black and Sky Rocket Prophet. Show starts at 8 p.m. and costs $5.

True to its name, local Southern metal band Saturday Night Preacher is keeping the faith. Believing in the power of its work, the band has struggled to keep a full-time drummer but has not let the void hinder its progression into one of the city’s top metal acts. Taking a new, positive attitude toward the scene, the group is eager to release a full-length album this summer and expand its name recognition outward from Knoxville.

Almost since the band’s inception, Saturday Night Preacher has struggled to hold on to a fully committed drummer. Switching off quality stand-ins, including American Plague’s Todd Bryant and Lexington’s Garrett Marrion of Nashville, the group is never short on talent at local shows, but the absence of a full-timer does create obstacles for SNP’s plans to tour in the fall. Vocalist/guitarist Scott Oxendine explains that the revolving cast of percussionists proves a mixed blessing.

“I’ve been spoiled in having good drummers in the past,” Oxendine admits. “We’ve got a real good drummer in Nashville, and he comes back and forth. We practice with a loop track during the week and then with him on the weekends. Basically it makes us (much) better musicians because we’re able to hear and talk about our stuff during the week and then play it live.

“For the last year we’ve been trading through two different drummers and training another guy. Basically it’s become like a drummer university, and I’m teaching more people how to play drums than I’m able to get work done. We took the last six months and started writing new songs and figuring out a new direction to take, and we’ve gotten some of the best stuff we’ve ever done out of it.”

Having been assembled for around three years, Saturday Night Preacher has yet to release an album. Something of a perfectionist, the band asserts that its work should hold up to its own sharp criticisms for at least a year before deeming it worthy of recording. Having road-tested the material, the group is at last ready to self-record its first release tentatively dubbed “Alone in the Light.” SNP hopes to make the album available by summer’s end.

“When we write songs, sometimes it takes a whole year to complete one, because we’re thinking about a classic metal song,” explains Oxendine. “We want people to be able to listen to them 10 years from now. We don’t want to do what everyone else is doing right now just to get by. We don’t have to get by. We’re good enough to be the forerunners doing what we’re doing now.

“I don’t consider us a local band; we’re nationwide. I’d say we’re in pre-production right now. We’re out testing this stuff on the road, because we’re about to come out with an album, and we want to make sure it’s worthy. If you’re going to go play that (stuff) out of town on tour for a year, you better make sure you like that (stuff) before you go.”

Though Saturday Night Preacher has a number of big shows in the coming month, none will be as important to the band as Saturday’s Catalyst show. The event will serve as a benefit to the family of longtime friend Kris Hawkins, known for his work as frontman in Knoxville metal trio Absolute Power. Hawkins recently died tragically in a motorcycle accident, and proceeds for the show will go toward assisting the surviving Hawkins family.

“We played a lot of shows with (Hawkins),” recalls Oxendine. “He was a friend. He was a great dude and a great guitar player.”

Saturday Night Preacher will join Downslave, Pick Up the Snake, Livid and One vs. One at Saturday’s Hawkins benefit show at The Catalyst. The all-ages show costs $5 with doors opening at 5 p.m. Saturday Night Preacher will also perform Friday, June 19 at 4620 with Soundtrack Black and Sky Rocket Prophet. That show kicks off at 8 p.m. and costs $5.

A Pattern emerges: Tonight The Pilot Light hosts Pattern is Movement and Senryu. The show is set to start at 10 p.m. and costs $5.

Wail you’re waiting: Following The Wailers’ set at Sundown in the City Thursday night, The Square Room hosts an after-party featuring Toubab Krewe. Doors open at 9 p.m. and admission is $10 in advance and at the door.

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