Your new album “earthquake” has just been released, can you share with us any crazy/funny behind-the-scene?
Well we have a great deal of inside jokes that come and go on the fly.
You’ll just have to stay tuned in to our social media and YouTube to pick up the trends.
Got a new tour coming up with Javier Reyes in May so be on the lookout for much more personality from the band then!
How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
There’s a technique that I learned from a friend where you sign phonetically through each section. This helps the words come out and you can always go back and rephrase things to make more sense to the song later.
Other than that I just take pen to paper as soon as I have an idea.
What is the best verse you ever wrote?
Probably the verses written on our title track “Earthquake” to me. The constant theme of rocks and ground shaking. Anytime I sit down to write a song and the lyrics come flying out is a great sign of a great tune for me.
Another example from and instrumental point of view would have to be “Great Divide” from the record.
I’m a big fan of instrumental stuff but even more so groovy instrumental parts. The overall texture of that song really lifts me.
I just love playing it. That groove and the tone of the guitars really paint the story I’m trying to tell there.
What was the soundtrack to your childhood?
There are way too many of those for me but for the sake of my current nostalgic state, it’d have to be Glasgow Kiss by John Petrucci. As a kid, the only times I was allowed to be a guitar nerd and bask in guitar glory was on weekends.
Friday’s after school it was the same thing; Pop in “G3 Live in Tokyo” and blast the first tune.
Glasgow Kiss was it!
What has your journey in the music industry been like up to now?
Surfing With The Alien. My father always had ALL the music so I never had to buy any music until I let my buddy borrow Surfing.
He lost it or broke it or something.
So I had to go out and buy it again since it wasn’t mine in the first place. But all my Dad’s CDs eventually became mine LOL.
My musical journey truly started with that album.
Not to necessarily become the best but to experience the absolute best music has to offer.
That’s being said, the music industry has been rough LOL. It’s been a great deal of work and dedication and I’m only now starting to see the fruits of it thanks to my team. It’s the experience of music that keeps me afloat.
No matter how hard life gets, you can always pop in that cd and lose yourself in the music.
What inspired “Shogun”?
Shogun was originally an instrumental tune of mine. I wanted I really really heavy Rammstein type of vibe in this tune.
I was originally going to call it the showroom but ended up going with shogun.
About a year later after the release of my second solo album by Manager convinced me to write lyrics over it and what you hear today is the final product.
I am really pleased with the outcome and I have to say that Shogun is now 100% what it was meant to be.
It’s a fierce, angry, and empowering tune. It’s meant to stir up, rev up, and awaken the soul.
That’s my whole vibe.
Do you remember the day you wrote “Fire Escape”?
Yes. I was actually composing music for a DVD I was constructing with my brothers. It was going to be based on groove writing.
So I decided to use Afro Cuban grooves in this tutorial. The grooves I chose were Partido Alto which is a Brazilian groove, Songo which is Cuban, and Candombe a Uruguayan groove.
But the tune is mainly a Partido Alto.
Later on my brother and I were writing for another project and that’s where I came up with the main riff over all the grooves.
We ended up not using that tune for that project and when I started writing “Earthquake” I immediately decided to use that tune and it later became Fire Escape. That’s was a fun time because it was the first time Chris (Joseph) and I actually collaborated together.
Are you ever scared of revealing, aspects of your personal experience, to strangers through your music?
Not really. To honest, I, like most deal with a great deal of struggle and anger.
This style of music allows me to convey and get out all that frustration and indignation.
On the flip side I have a great deal of love and patience for people and that comes out as well. I hope to become even more vulnerable in our music.
The tighter the connection to my fans the better within reason of course.
What inspired “Great Divide”?
Wow perfect timing. Great Divide was an opportunity to flex my fictional writing skills.
It’s about the comic book character Galactus. In short it’s my own take on how life would be for him a millennia later.
At this point he’s a God and praised by millions of galaxies. But for whatever reason his heralds are coming to finish him off “once and for all” for all the crimes and sins he’s committed in the process of “finally ruling the universe.”
So he’s lamenting throughout the tune as he loves his “children” but understands he’s been quite and asshole LOL.
He feels he deserves it but toward the end he wins the battle because after all, he is fucking Galactus. He lets them all go at the end. It’s like a father-children story really. And that’s all. I literally wrote the lyrics AS I was tracking the vocals.
On the fly as we say.
What is the best show you ever played?
Well thy say your best show is your last show and I have to say this last show we played with Intervals at the Slidebar really answered a great deal of questions for us. It went so well. It just felt right.
Now I just can’t wait to get on tour in May.
What are your plans for 2018?
Well our first show is at the Viper Room come April 1st.
Then we have a west coast tour with Mestís which is Javier Reyes’ (Animals as Leaders) solo project in May.
After that we come out with our EP, plan some more tours, and release our second full length record in time for the new year.
So a lot of rehearsing and just getting it done ahead!