Student-run heavy metal punk band breaks into music scene


Nathan Palsey

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Sophomore Mercer Chandler rests his vocal chords while senior Cosmo Norman, junior Ethan Vail, and senior Eyan McCullars rehearse the set list.

Nathan Palsey, Digital Staff

“Violent intentions” is a student-run heavy metal punk band breaking into the underground music scene in Austin these past months. They express themselves through the music they create and play live together as a band. 

The band members are sophomore Mercer Chandler as frontman, senior Eyan McCullars on guitar, junior Ethan Vail on bass, and senior Cosmo Norman on the drums. 

“The band was founded around the summer of last year,” Chandler said. ”But core members just us, probably like early December.”

Chandler was in need of a drummer for the band he was starting called “Violent Intentions” and found one through a mutual friend who was Cosmo Norman. Since then Chandler and Norman have been playing since the band was founded

“I started to play music in fifth grade,” Norman said. “I started with the cello in orchestra and then during my freshman year, I quit because the director sucked. And then I picked up the drums my junior year around the summer so it’s been about a year now.”

Later on, McCullars joined the band as a guitarist.

 “I’ve been playing music my whole life,” McCullers said. “Before I learned guitar I was in orchestra in sixth grade while also learning electric bass in sixth grade. And then in seventh grade, I got my first electric guitar. And I only really started learning it in eighth grade and just slowly been getting better and playing in different bands and getting all sorts of experience.”

After finding a guitarist for the band they still needed to replace their bass player, and that’s when Ethan Vail joined the band. 

“I heard Cosmo over culinary,” Vail said. “He’s like, Yeah, our bass player sucks for a band. I was like I play bass.”

Vail has been playing seriously since the beginning of 2020 after learning how to play guitar he then began to learn the bass guitar. He had found a very cheap bass guitar on the internet and overtime learned how to play the bass guitar. He had stopped playing for a little while but began to pick up the bass guitar and play again recently.  The band has only played two shows so far, one at the tunnels of Austin High School and another on top of the Montopolis Bridge.

“I was playing a band beforehand at the first one,” Chandler said. “I was just full of fear, like, oh, no, we’re gonna mess it up. We’re not prepared. But by the end of that, I was just pumped with adrenaline. So I’d say for when Violent Intentions came on. I wasn’t as nervous. And then when people like it we’re really getting into the music. I started to also kind of get into it and I think our show elevated from there.”

The band members are considering writing and recording songs for online streaming. 

“We were planning on having a practice where we basically just like to sit down and write a bunch of songs,” Chandler said. “Then once we had like three or four more like songs we were really proud of we would sit down and record.”

The band just coming off their second show are very excited to play more in the future. In fact, they have another show coming up on Feb. 24 at the Austin High tunnels once more. This time they will be selling t-shirts with the band’s name screen painted pressed on them.

“We have two t-shirts for sale, a tie-dye one that’s twenty dollars and a black one with blood stains that’s twenty-five dollars,” Vail said. “I hope lots of people will show up and enjoy moshing to our music.”