Jay Briscoe of IATT “When something is a way of life for you sacrifices are an easy choice”

Philadelphia, PA’s progressive blackened death metal unit, IATT (I Am The Trireme) have signed with Swedish extreme metal label Black Lion Records! IATT will be releasing their forthcoming label debut in Spring of 2019. The band’s most recent release, an EP entitled ‘St. Vitus Dance,’ was self financed and self released by the band in April 2018. Produced and mixed by IATT’s own Joe Cantamessa and featuring artwork from the band’s resident graphic designer Alec Pezzano, the EP was made available in digital format via their official bandcamp page with a limited run of physical copies available mostly at the band’s live performances throughout the East Coast.

 

 

How did you first get into music?

To be honest I always had a deep rooted interest in music. I remember at a young age rumbling through my fathers cassette tapes and discovering Prince’s Purple Rain tape. The cover and the music pulled me in.

Who or what turned you onto metal?

I had some friends/roommates in my freshman year of college that really embraced me and showed me what metal was. The aggressive nature of metal really spoke to me and I haven’t turned back since.

What got you started playing music and how old were you?

I started playing music in Fifth grade (10) I played trumpet in my school band. From there I played throughout my school age years. At 16 I joined the Baltimore Ravens (NFL team) marching band and played in the Super Bowl.

How did you become a vocalist/bass player?

I was originally the vocalist in IATT and Joe Cantamessa (lead guitarist for IATT) taught me guitar theory on Guitar. About three years ago the band decided that we wanted to move on from our former bassist and I decided that I would like to take on bass and lead vocal duties. I tried out for the position and they welcomed me with open arms.

Are you proficient in any other instruments?

I am proficient in Trumpet and Trombone but my days are now consumed with my IATT duties.

Have you always been creative?

Yes for as long as I can remember my creativity has always been a part of me. I would compose full songs in my head with or without an instrument. Playing in a Jazz/Ragtime improvisational band really helped me translate my creativity to an actual instrument.

What was the local scene like where you’re from, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

When I first started going to local shows Metalcore was at the height of its existence. I was never really big into Metalcore I was more into the European bands. The local scene in our area was centered around cliques. I would have to say back then A Life Once Lost/Left to Vanish were coming along. My favorite band was The Blessed there sound was straight out of Gothenburg. My favorite local band is Windfaerer.

How did I Am The Trireme come about?

I am the Trireme formed in 2008 when Alec Pezzano and I decided to part ways with the two guitarist that we were jamming with at the time. We took an Oath and pledged to each other that we would give our all and remain dedicated to the well oiled machine known as IATT.

Where did you develop the name? Where is it derived from? What other band names were considered?

Alec Pezzano holds the credit for coming up with the name. It derived from a college course that studied ancient war ships. A Trireme is an ancient Greek warship with multiple long oars that would ram and dismantle other ships with a battering ram. I came up with the name Samsara but we chose I am the Trireme.

How would you best describe your sound?

Our sound has changed over the years but the one thing that has remained the same was the aggressive fast pace and tempo. A few constants that hold true epic riffs and dark haunting undertones. With the help of Joe Cantamessa (Lead Guitarist) IATT has implemented a Progressive approach adopting odd time signatures and a slightly different approach to achieving our sonic goals.

Who living or dead is in your dream 4 piece super group?

I would have to say that my dream 4 piece super group is an odd match but it would consist of Mike Smith (Suffocation) on drums, Paul Gilbert (Mr Big), Stanley Clark (Return to Forever) on bass and Russell Allen (Symphony X) on Vocals.

What kind of gear is bringing us the I Am The Trireme sound?

The driving percussive force and freight train behind IATT would be a 5 piece PDP concept series drum kit and Trick Dominator Pedals. The mid range haunting melodies are tone driven by Fox Bat and Red stone pickups courtesy of The Guitarmory where Joe and Alec are endorsed artist. Each guitarist sport multiple amps but for the convenience of show ready rigs Alec and Joe use the Line 6 Pod HD Pro X and the Orange CR120. Each guitarist has a collection of axes but Joe has chosen his Strandberg Boden 6 string as his recent weapon of choice and Alec uses his trusty Chapman ML3 Pro. Holding down the low rumblings of the band I use a Ibanez SR 1006 Prestige equipped with custom Bartolini pickups and punishing the crowd with my Peavey VB2 all tube bass head.

Name the one album that epitomizes your style of death metal over all others?

I would have to say that The Somberlain by Dissection epitomizes my style of Death Metal. It has every ingredient that I enjoy from progressions to aggressive melodies and it is a time less masterpiece.

Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months and/or all time?

Top 5 2018

  1. Obscura – Diluvium
  2. Beyond Creation – Algorythm

  3. Uada – Cult of a Dying Sun

  4. Gorod – Aethra

  5. The Breathing Process – Samsara

Honorable mention: Windfaerer – Alma

You’re on a desert island and only have three albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what are they and why?

If I was stuck on a desert island the three albums that I would listen to are Relayer by Yes, The Somberlain by Dissection and Scenes from a memory by Dream Theatre. I selected these three albums because they are some of my all time favorite albums.

What does metal mean to you?

To use the cliche term Metal is a way of life is an understatement. IATT is a very demanding and a time consuming entity but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are a very self sufficient band so a lot of the video footage, audio production, booking and artwork design comes from the band itself. This can be very taxing so it is important to know our limits because we also have to focus on writing and executing our music.

Outside of IATT going to shows and supporting others is a must to stay relevant in the local scene. Making connections is a key to success and opening up and becoming more social has become vital for IATT to take the next step. When something is a way of life for you sacrifices are an easy choice.

Nick of Awake For Days – “I’ve sold my PlayStation and bought my first electric guitar”

Sardinia’s Awake for Days are an alternative modern metal band of pure heart, unwavering talent and unrelenting drive on the bleeding edge of creativity and performance in the genre. Based out of the island paradise of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy Awake for Days bring a positivity and strength to their songwriting and lyrics that is desperately missing in the current status quo of bleakness in heavy music.

 

How did you first get into music? Who or what turned you onto metal?

Lukas: I was 13, and I listened for the first time “in the End” of Linkin Park, everything started at that time. Hybrid Theory became the starting point, the thing that definitely turned me onto metal. I remember that I melted that Album by listening to it.

Nick: I was 14 and i saw Marilyn Manson’s “The Dope Show” on TV. Followed by the live video of Antichrist Superstar. That, compared to what I’ve considered “music” until then, give me a very shocking and addictive effect

Nino: I’ve been into music by my family with a vast discography of old blues, rock reggae and funky music records. A old band mate introduced me into metal with Cowboys From Hell, this was love at first sight.

Mick: I started listening to music at the age of 12 buying a CD of Metallica that I had already heard on the radio, after I bought one of the Iron Maiden and then other dozens of metal groups.

What got you started playing music and how old were you?

Lukas: I started playing the electric guitar at 18, and singing at the age of 21.

Nick: I’ve sold my PlayStation, saved ANY cent for like one year and a half, and bought my first electric guitar, followed by my first bass guitar in order to play with some friend and form my very first band

Nino: I first started playing guitar thanks to Darrel and Chuck Shuldiner at 12.

Mick: The first time I played the drums it was 14 years old, I remember playing with some friends anthem part two of Blink-182, without ever having tried it and it came out fairly well, from there I realized I had to play the drums.

How did you become a player? Are you proficient in any other instruments? Have you always been creative?

Lukas: I began to sing when I realized that it was not easy to find a singer who dedicated himself to music as I did, and tired of wasting time trying out singers who did not have the same passion as me. Since I started taking up my first instrument, as soon as I began to play it well, I started writing tons of songs.

Nick: I’ve been inspired by Twiggy Ramirez, of wich i loved the style and the stage presence. So i decided to play the bass. I’ve played electric guitar with other bands and i often play acoustic guitar too.

Nino: Answer above, I also play bass and try to sing (laugh). I’ve always been creative and I always try new solution, I lately found my way of composing well and solid also thanks to Eddy the producer of the band who helped me a lot.

Mick: I decided to start studying drums at 20 years after experiences with different bands of my city and I studied with one of the best professionals in Italy: Giampaolo Conchedda. Unfortunately I can’t play other instruments except for the transverse flute!

What was the local scene like where your from, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

Lukas: The metal scene that I loved here was represented for me by two bands, and when I saw them playing I thought “I want to be like them” and they were “Grey Summer” from my hometown and “Skasiko” from Olbia. Now the scene in our city is non-existent, and in the rest of the island now there are no bands that excite me like them.

Nick: In Sardinia we had a strong punk scene. Also we had few metal bands, and until 10-15 years ago the rock scene was alive and for sure the best act was Kenze Neke, a Metallica-based sound with lyrics in Sardinian and a strong politic engagement. Right now the rock scene is very poor, kids are more into dj’ing or hip-hop and there are no great bands kicking up the stages. What a shame!

Nino: Nuoro had a great local scene in the first 2000, lot of bands and events. Politics ruined and destroyed everything, now there’s only few bands and less than ever youngsters playing an instrument, what a shame.. There was a band back then whom I followed and really appreciated, Grey Summer. Such great memories, thank to all the guys in that band forever.

Mick: The musical scene in our city was very active until 2005, after there was a generational change and unfortunately many guys have decided to follow other paths for which the scene has emptied a lot until it almost disappears. The most representative band were Grey Summer, with which today we are very friends.

How did Awake For Days come about? Where did you develop the name? Where is it derived from? What other band names were considered? How would you best describe your sound?

Lukas: The Awake for Days are born from the ashes of an old project created by Lukas (Anthems Of Steel), then after some years together with Nino they founded the Awake For Days after having developed a more refined sound.

The name Awake for Days comes from a non-sleeping month we had to face producing and promoting the first album Magnificent Disorder.

I define our new sound (Multiverse 2019) a well-balanced mix of Alternative modern metal, which induces to try many conflicting emotions: hardness, sense of liberation, sadness, happiness, anger & serenity. Enclosed in a final message of positivity.

Nino: This story is really simple, back in 2012 me and Lukas were composing “Magnificent Disorder”, and we lost literally nights of sleep to take to perfection that album. Obviously the story repeated again with the upcoming album, but now we were not alone in this task since Nicola and Michele joined the band. The sound.. Mmmh… I don’t know, I prefer others describe our sound, we have our vision but I think the listeners could better choose the right word to describe the sound, we just do what we feel.

What is the plan for recording new music, where, when and with who will be recording you? Will there be bonus tracks, cover songs, vinyl and cassette?

Lukas: The plan to record new songs for us is as always to treasure our stories and our emotions and bring them back to life in our notes, lyrics and music. As we did for the new album that will be released in April 2019. In the new record there will be no bonus tracks or cover, but we can tell you that we will publish soon in our social networks covers of songs that have struck and marked us. We have also planned to make vinyl versions of this latest album.

Nino: As usual the plan is: opening pro tools and letting the emotions come in, then we ship everything to our producer Eddy and we work together to shape the ideas. We are already evaluating many aspects of the final release, you’ll see.

Who are your original influences and who are your current inspirations and admiration’s local and or national?

Lukas: My main influence was Chester Bennington, Jonathan Davis and Corey Taylor for sure. Currently I found inspiration in Ivan Moody, I love the way he plays his songs (Five Finger Death Punch), I find it very personal and emotional

Nick: Marilyn Manson is my godfather! That said, i’m inspired by many musicians, from Pixies to Rancid, from Korn to Sigur Ros. In Sardinia we have a great genious named Paolo Angeli, he built a weird guitar, played like a cello, with pedals and distorsions. Go on YouTube and find him, he’s great!

Nino: My original influences are Pantera, Black Sabbath and Death, if this is the question. Now I look to what bands like Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Shinedown, Bring Me The Horizons, 5FDP and others do and I feel metal is more than ever at the top melting different sound and genres and innovating their sound. Surely Lacuna Coil is a band that have my admiration and respect for all the great things is doing.

Mick: I was inspired by different drummers of different genres, I do not have a favorite one, I have so many for example Gene Hoglan, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta , Chris Adler, Thomas Haake, Chris Coleman, Derek Roddy and many others. in Italy I like very much Federico Paulovich Christian Meyer and Giampaolo Conchedda.

Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?

Lukas: I think it was when we opened the “Testament” concert in Cagliari (Sardinia). Personally I never get nervous before a concert, I find it as a moment of pure joy where I can be myself

Nino: The opening for Testament in Cagliari was sure my biggest show, I always try to give my 100% so keeping high the level of my performance is something that gets me a bit nervous but it all disappears after the first song as the crowd goes apeshit (laugh).

Nick: I’m more scared by little audiences, maybe full of friends (or ex-girlfriends). With Lukas we often do acoustic shows in pubs and bars, and keep the attention of a small audience that is there for a drink with a friend is sometimes a way bigger challenge than play in front of 20,000 people in a gig where you are the rockstar.

Mick: I think the biggest show I played was the opening at the Testament here in Sardinia in 2014, and yes I get a little nervous but it goes right after the first song.

What makes a good Awake For Days song?

Lukas: The fact of throwing down all our emotions with passion and dedication.

Nick: Of course the best thing is the mixture of rage, emotion, riff control and groove!

Nino: Good question, I like most of the songs of the band so I really can’t say whats the right things, it’s more a matter of moods. If we are angry we compose straight and raw, if we feel that something needs to be smoother to help the lyrics come up we make songs like “With you”.

Mick: I think our songs are mainly focused on lyrics and this makes them unique.

What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?

Lukas: I love music production and the work of the producer. It may seem strange but I find inspiration in different Producers, which I consider the additional components of the bands, they are an integral part of the band. The records that we listen to not only have the imprint of the band but also of the producers. That’s why I find a great source of inspiration in Kevin Churko, Ross Robinson and Rick Rubin.

Nino: More or less we are inspired by the place that surrounds us, the facts we hear and see shapes the vision of a song and its lyrics. It’s always a matter of what we feel and want to communicate.

How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without? Which do you like and why?

Lukas: We spend too much time on social media, and I hate it, I’d rather just dedicate myself to play and create new music, but nowadays this is not possible. The social that I hate without a doubt is Facebook, but it is not possible not to use it since we all find ourselves in that platform and we use it as one of the main communication tools; instead I find very interesting Instagram, I find it less aggressive and friendly. And I noticed with pleasure that even for music it is much more effective than facebook.

Nick: Fuck that shit, let’s go rehearsal

Nino: I hate social media but it’s the world we live in, so I cannot underestimate the value of a communication through them to reach new listeners and help the music not to stink in our hard drives or a Youtube link. Facebook is surely my most hated.

Mick: I do not spend much time on social media center right now. I only watch the updates or when I publish something and certainly my favorite Instagram for how it is structured.

Who living or dead is in your dream 4 piece super group?

Lukas: David Silveria, DimeBag Darrel, Fieldy, Corey Taylor

Nick: Let’s make it weird! I’d say Dave Grohl/Twiggy Ramirez/Steven Wilson/Corey Taylor

Nino: Even if it’s not the perfect match I would say, Ronnie James Dio – Darrel – Steve Di Giorgio – Mario Duplantier. This would be sick to see!

Mick: In the band of my dreams unfortunately Chris Cornell, Buddy Rich and Jaco pastorius have died, but Tom Morello is still here!

What kind of gear is bringing us the Awake For Days sound?

Lukas: oh man….my vocal chords!

Nick: I’m playing a fine Warwick Dolphin II, 5-string setted with C tuning.

Nino: For the guitar part we made with Eddy the strange decision to use Vox AC-30 amps and they absolutely nailed the sound of the band. This is a hell of an amp. We used ESP guitars and Schecter Guitars. Now live I’m taking with me a Solar 7 strings that sounds amazing. Hey Ola 😉

Mick: i play a Ddrum reflex series and Istanbul agop cymbals Xist

Name the one album that epitomizes alternative modern metal over all others?

Lukas: Five Finger Death Punch – And Justice For None

Nick: I’m in love with Karnivool’s “Sound Awake”

Mick: Obviously “Multiverse” by Awake for Days.

Nino: Breaking Benjamin’s “Phobia”

Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months and/or all time?

Lukas: Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park / Iowa by Slipknot / Follow the leader by Korn / American Capitalist by FFDP / Phobia by Breaking Benjamin

Nick: I’ll name the albums that i listened more in my life, because in the last year there’s nothing i will remember forever.

Marilyn Manson – Mechanical Animals & Antichrist Superstar / Pearl Jam – No Code / Jeff Buckley – Grace / Pixies – Surfer Rosa / Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power

Mick: Iowa by Slipknot, Toxicity by SOAD, Meteora by Linkin Park, Masterplan by Dave Weckl, Chocolate Starfish by Limp Bizkit

Nino: Death – Human / Meshuggah – ObZen / Dream Theater – Images and Words / Fear Factory – Demanufacture / Ghost – Opus Eponymus

You’re on a desert island and only have three albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what are they and why?

Lukas: Hybrid Theory, Iowa and Follow the Leader because even today they did not tire me.

Nick: Well, i bet i will have time to think about and enjoy every single line of every single instrument, so that’s my choice:

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon

King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King

Opeth – Blackwater Park

Nino: Black Sabbath because is a masterpiece, Dark Side Of The Moon because why not, and I want to go completely out of the genre with Space Oddity.

Mick: definitely on a desert island I would take with me Follow The leader of Korn, Toxicity of the System of a Down and Meteora of Linkin Park, because these are the albums that I still listen with pleasure from beginning to end.

What does metal mean to you?

Lukas: For me, Metal has been an integral part of my life since I was a boy. Without I would not be the same person, and I’m grateful to metal for making me what I am.

Nick: It can be associate with so many words…i’ll tell you some: strongness, refuge, identity, power, will.

Nino: For me it’s a way to communicate things that has to be expressed in an aggressive ways, you will not leave the hall without listening to what I have to say and if it hurts good or bad I happily hit the target.

Mick: Metal is a way of expressing oneself and a way of interpreting emotions, on the contrary it also represents a way to be able to let off steam when I play and when I listen.

Awake for Days is:
Lukas – voice
Nino – guitar
Mike – drums
Nick – bass

Tuomas Rounakari of Korpiklaani – “We have a thing for vodka you know.”

In the video below watch Zoran Theodorovic of Capital Chaos TV chat with Tuomas Rounakari of Korpiklaani outside of Holy Diver in Sacramento, California

 

On liquor and beer preferences…..With these guys it would be lager. We have a thing for vodka you know, our bass player he enjoys whiskey and collects different kinds of whiskey so for him the answer would be different. We’ll never have colored liquor here (on the bus), we’re always with the clear ones.

On the most challenging instruments used….The most challenging instrument we used was the Hurdy Gurdy which we used on the Manala album to record Rauta. not maybe because of the hurdy gurdy as an instrument, but this typical instrument was made just for jonad, jonad hadn’t played it hardly at all, before and without sufficient knowledge of that instrument, there was some tuning things and some little things that the actual instrument needed, a little fine tuning from the makers side and figuring those things out were quite difficult and challenging, but the end results are really nice..

On playing festivals and clubs and favorite festivals……They are really worlds apart playing a festival and playing a tour. For myself I enjoy the most in playing in big clubs with lets say 1500 or 2500 people because you still have that intimacy. You still have that feeling that you can reach to the back of the crowd, whereas in a big festival where you play for 25.000 people, you don’t really feel what happening at the other side of the field anymore. When you play in a big stage, already the physical difference to your band mates can be very wide so its a different form of performing all together. I can’t decide which one I like the most because they both have their beautiful sides to it, the energy is special at both of them. From the European festivals, Hellfest is my absolute favorite in France. They have amazing food over there, the catering is always lovely and the actual festival is really well done. It really feels like as if you go to some parallel universe when you go there. They have all these open fires and lot of sculptures that have fire inside them, its just a beautifully done festival.

Psychostick Drummer Alex “Shmalex” Dontre – “It’s a black hole and a distraction machine.”

They’re back!!! The kings of comedy rock PSYCHOSTICK have a new album out now called “DO” and it only took four years to follow their extremely fan loved “IV: Revenge of The Vengeance”. And it wasn’t because they were lazy… NO! But because these geniuses of blending comedy, metal, heavy rock and the occasional spoof cover have been super busy releasing viral videos and touring the world.

How did you first get into music? Who or what turned you onto metal?

My caretakers, what you would call an “alien hive” were big on appropriating music from various planets. They would implement them into our own catalog, much like the Spotify database here on Earth, but far, far stranger. As for metal, we used metal and graphite alloys for our ships for a while, but now it’s mostly energy fields.

What got you started playing music and how old were you?

I started playing along to the sound on gravitational waves recorded over millennia and sped up to the 3:30 radio format. I was probably just hitting 3,000 by then…I think that translates to about 12 in Earth years.

How did you become a drummer? Are you proficient in any other instruments? Have you always been creative/destructive?

I first start drumming by flinging asteroids at uninhabited planets. It’s way more fun than using a wimpy slingshot.

Were you forced to go to church as a kids, if so were you altar boys or participate in some other ways?

My hive doesn’t worry about the whole Earthling “my god is better than your god” thing, so no. Thank goodness.

How did Psychostick come about? Where did you develop the name? Where is it derived from? What other band names were considered?

Psychostick was assigned to us in the Great Hive Name Assigning in the Earth year of 2000! Think the assignment in the book, The Giver, but with aliens.

Your new album DO has you once again as a free agent, were their restrictions placed on the band by Rock Ridge that are no more as an independent artist?

Nope. Rock Ridge was always great to us. We just wanted to try something new.

You recently wrapped up a tour with Downtown Brown, how do you like winter tours compared to the summer? Did you get to play and visit any strange new places on this run.

The tour itself with Downtown Brown and Danimal Cannon was great! But winter tour conditions inherently suck because it’s cold and often dangerous traversing the mountains in a big van.

What motivates you, to keep releasing new music in the age of sharing and stealing? Does it dampen your creativity at all knowing that all of your hard work will be just given away possibly weeks prior to its official release date?

You question is inherently biased by calling it “stealing.” The Internet allowed Psychostick to emerge and achieve success in a way that would have been impossible prior to 1999 and Napster. Just remember, religious leaders resisted the printing press because it took power away from the church. Composers resisted the phonograph because they assumed it would make live shows irrelevant. The movie industry hated VCRs and one rep compared them to the “Boston Strangler.” Instead, repeated rentals bring in more money than strictly movie tickets. Adapt or die.

How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without? Which do you like and why?

Ugh, as little as possible. It’s a black hole and a distraction machine. I like being able to see what bands are up to, but the increasing rate of obnoxious ads are quickly driving me away.

What are the plans for 2019 and beyond?

Visit my friends on Europa.

Dirty jokes, shout outs and final thoughts?

Be nice to your planet. The Hive won’t appreciate a pigsty when it finally gets here to enslave the humans.

Noah Bingaman of RepresA “I honestly love performing so much that i get too excited to be nervous!”

RepresA is an up and coming hard rock/metal trio that has quickly gained critical acclaim in Sacramento area for their unique style and powerful lyrics. RepresA was formed in 2011 in Newcastle, CA. After years of playing shows, lineup changes, and a hiatus, they reformed in 2017. They now have a solid following of old fans and new. With Tony Mena on Guitar/Lead Vocals, Chris Madga on Bass, and Noah Bingaman on Drums/Vocals, RepresA is better than ever! Experience there unique expression through sociopolitical lyrics and a fusion of multiple genres!

 

 

How did you first get into music? Who or what turned you onto metal?

Thanks so much for asking! My Dad first got me into music, he started taking me to concerts at a very young age to see some great classic rock bands. He’s not a musician but we share the same love for going to shows!
I’ve always been into Rock, but I got into metal when i discovered a Double Bass Pedal.

What got you started playing music and how old were you?

After going to my first concerts and hearing the power and energy of the crowd and volume, I knew right away I wanted to play music and the drums stood out to me. I always wanted to play drums but I lived in an apartment so I started with a guitar and bass at age 10.

How did you become a drummer? Are you proficient in any other instruments? Have you always been creative?

I finally got a chance to play drums like I had wanted to when my I got my first set at age 13. It was a great fit and I was able to pick it up a lot easier than bass or guitar. I still play bass, sing, and write my own acoustic songs on guitar, but drums will always be my first instrument. I just love to write and share my lyrics with people, so the guitar comes in handy for that! I actually just out of the studio working on my first professional drum cover that also features me playing bass and doing all the vocals, I’m really excited to release it!

What was the local scene like in 2011, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

For me I never had many friends and didn’t really know anyone in the music scene, so when I first started making music and trying to be heard in 2011, there was no one to listen to! I was pretty much at the bottom, looking up at other local bands that already have a lot of fans and friends, that pack the house, wondering how I could ever get popular like that when I don’t know anybody!?
One of my favorite band in 2011 was Ezera, they had some amazing dual guitar and always brought a huge crowd!

Now, I have so many favorite local bands and friends that work so hard I think are great, but one that really stands out to me right now is Apollo’s Key, these guys are brand new and have only played a few shows but they have sold out every single show so far! That impresses me a lot and there music is really good!
I do a small amount of events and I just booked a banger of as lineup for January 4th, 2019 at The Boardwalk with some of my favorite Sacramento bands including them.

How did RepresA come about? Where did you develop the name? Where is it derived from? What other band names were considered? How would you best describe your sound?

The name RepresA is simply based off of some cool local history. We originally started in Loomis, not far from Folsom, Ca. Some people don’t know but the historic Folsom State Prison is actually located in it’s own city, Represa, California. Not Folsom. It’s also the 2nd oldest active state prison in the U.S. so we thought it was interesting. It also fits our name as we sometimes write sociopolitical lyrics that sometimes have the message of Breaking Free, Not being A Prisoner or Slave, and Equality. We feel it was almost a perfect fit and made sense.

You recently hooked up with No Pants Records out of Portland, Oregon, what have they promised to do for you that you can’t do for yourself? What are you expectations of them? How did they find you? What are their expectations of you?

No Pants Records has already done a great job for us. We do all of our own work and push hard to promote and try to gain a following, but it’s not always easy and nice to have some help, they help us are willing to help us promote, get bigger shows, help with music distro, and point us in the right direction if we ever need advice. We want to expand and play out of town shows, but if we do we don’t know that anyone will be there, No Pants is able to find us shows all over the west coast with lineups that already bring a crowd, as well as Portland, OR area festivals. We have tried to reach out to companies, record labels, and festivals with little to no response, but when our label reaches out for us we almost always get a response. I think it helps being signed, otherwise your looked at a lot of times as just another “Unsolicited Band”.

I heard about No Pants Records through a friend in a local band, they were highly recommended. They accept open submission but do not sign just anyone, the label manager Matt showed a true interest in us and is always very helpful and encouraging. But at the same time not demanding at all, he lets us make the music we want to make because he believes in it and backs it 100%, we had no reason to even want to try to get on another label.

The band just secured some endorsements and sponsorship. What do these things entail exactly? Will you be going to NAMM in January?

No Pants also helped us get some awesome stuff that would have been hard to get on out own. I got a huge endorsement from Saluda Cymbal Company which includes all the cymbals I want for almost nothing, we get free guitar strings from Dean Markley Strings, and there is more that isn’t yet confirmed!
NAMM would be awesome if had the opportunity to go. Probably not this January but maybe 2020!

What is the plan for recording new music, where, when and with who will be recording you? Will there be bonus tracks, cover songs, vinyl and cassette?

Funds, funds, funds…. We’ve been writing music for years since 2011 but finally just recorded our debut EP and release it on 8/3/18. But, we actually have a whole albums worth of fire material waiting to be recorded once we can afford it. Our debut EP “United Slaves” was all self funded, but now that we are on our label we can save a lot of money recording the next CD cause they will help with the distro and we won’t have to do it all ourselves,.. But at the moment, we’re still trying to make our money back from the last recording, but soon! Early 2019 we will hit the studio with Bob Swanson from Mayhemeness Studios in Sacramento to record EP #2! This one will be released through our label and we will also have a ton of new merch to go with it! We just jumped up in popularity recently and hope to do big things in 2019, we want to pack the house at our shows! We jumped up in popularity recently, going from around 750 to over 6,500 likes on Facebook. We’ve always pushed to try to gain more followers and likes but they have found us lately which has felt so humbling!

Who are your original influences and who are your current inspirations and admiration’s local and or national?

So many greats so I’ll do a top 3, original influences would have to be REO Speedwagon, Boston, and RUSH,
But currently I would say Papa Roach, those guys are seriously always rising higher and doing huge things, never slowing down. There also fairly local and huge in Sacramento. Then Bullet For My Valentine and Story Of The Year!

Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?

The biggest show so far was Folsom Live Festival on September 22nd, which had a crowd of almost 8,000 people!! We went up against 14 other bands in a 98 Rock competition and won a spot on by bringing 86 people to Powerhouse Pub in Folsom!  I honestly love performing so much that i get too excited to be nervous!

What makes a good RepresA song?

A song that makes a statement. It really doesn’t matter your race, class, or gender, we are all human and that’s what really matters, if we can express that somehow in our songs we want to! But the uniqueness to our style really makes us stand out, a mix of melodic with heavy. One second it sounds pretty and vibes, the next you are banging your head and moving! We try to have a little something for everybody and not stick to one style.

What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?

I say Im most inspired by Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach, mainly because of his lyrics.. There are times where I thought he took the words out of me, took my thoughts and put them on paper. I’ve never been able to relate to lyrics the way I do his, and to see him come from so little and be where he is now is inspiring for sure! Born with Nothing, Die With Everything!

How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without? Which do you like and why?

I was actually never into social media before i was in a band, but realize it’s important for promoting! Now I run all the social media accounts and try to keep up but technology isn’t for me! Haha I’m old school, pen and paper. Rather than digitsl I still like to buy CD’s and hand out paper flyers. I hate the fact that I need Facebook and Instagram but wouldn’t go without them! I could live without Twitter tho..

Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months?

I haven’t listened to a whole lot of brand new stuff to be honest, but Story Of The Year recently released there Wolves album this year and it is probably my favorite album of all time by any band!

You’re on a desert island and only have three albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what are they and why?

Papa Roach – The Connection
Story of the Year – Wolves
Bullet For My Valentine – The Poison

My favorite albums, mainly for the lyrics, but I couldn’t live without the bad ass duel guitar solos BFMV has!
The Connection is an album I feel I relate to the most, Wolves makes me feel good and gives me a good energy I don’t normally feel with any music, and The Posion just rocks!!

What does metal mean to you?

Metal to me means having a bangover and having to let your body recover after a show. If your neck hurts and you can barely move, if you got bloody, sweaty, screamed, laughed, all in one night.. that’s metal! And every show that Capital Chaos TV puts on is always metal!!! \m/ \m/

 

“RepresA’s new album “United Slaves” is truly amazing & out now!” – No Pants Records, Portland, Oregon.

CHECK IT OUT HERE on ItunesSpotifyBandcamp

RepresA is:

Tony Mena – Guitar/ Vocals
Chris Madga – Bass
Noah Bingaman- Drums/ Vocals

FFO: System of A Down, Incubus, Deftones, NOFX, Rage Against The Machine

WITHERFALL – Confirmed as Special Guests on SONATA ARCTICA’s “Acoustic Adventures” European Tour!

  After releasing their much-celebrated second studio album “A Prelude To Sorrow” on November 2nd via Century Media Records, US dark melodic metal masters WITHERFALL now have been confirmed as special guest on SONATA ARCTICA’s “Acoustic Adventures” tour kicking off March 13th, 2019. This will the first chance to see WITHERFALL live in Europe!

“We are extremely pleased to finally announce our first European tour as support for the enigmatic SONATA ARCTICA. As with everything else WITHERFALL, this one will be a bit different. This tour will be featuring a special acoustic set to coincide with SONATA ARCTICA’s stripped down theme. There will be many surprises in store to make this a memorable tour. It is with pleasure that we can come bring “A Prelude to Sorrow” and “Nocturnes and Requiems” to the European audiences in this unique way.

WITHERFALL’s 2019 acoustic line-up will consist of:
Joseph Michael – Vocals/Guitar
Jake Dreyer – Guitar
Anthony Crawford – Bass
Steve Bolognese – Percussion
Alex Nasla – Keyboards

WITHERFALL In North America:
1/21/19: Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent W/Ensiferum and Septicflesh

SONATA ARCTICA
»Acoustic Adventures«
Presented by Rock Hard, Rocks, musix, Rock It!, metal.de
w/ WITHERFALL
13.03. N Oslo – Parkteatret
14.03. S Stockholm – Södra Teatern
15.03. S Malmö – Palladium
16.03. D Hamburg – Fabrik
17.03. NL Eindhoven – Effenaar
19.03. UK London – Islington Assembly Hall
20.03. NL Haarlem – Patronaat
21.03. D Aschaffenburg – Colos-Saal
22.03. F Paris – Le Trabendo
23.03. F Lyon – Ninkasi Kao
24.03. I Mailand – Teatro Dal Verme
26.03. CH Pratteln – Z7
27.03. D Nürnberg – Hirsch
28.03. CZ Prag – Roxy
29.03. D Stuttgart – Im Wizemann (Club)
30.03. D Bochum – Christuskirche

INTERVIEW: Joseph Michael and Jake Dreyer of Witherfall “We don’t receive anything, no direction at all.”

Today US dark melodic metal masters WITHERFALL have released “A Prelude to Sorrow”, the highly anticipated follow-up to 2017’s “Nocturnes and Requiems”.

On “A Prelude to Sorrow”, main songwriters Joseph Michael (vocals, Sanctuary – live) and Jake Dreyer (Iced Earth) succeeded in perfectly combining the group’s technical proficiency with an appropriate eerie and somber atmosphere, manifesting also in Kristian Wåhlin’s majestic cover painting. “A Prelude to Sorrow” was mixed and mastered by Chris “Zeuss” Harris. (Sanctuary, Queensryche, Iced Earth). Capital Chaos TV’s Zoran Theodorovic had the pleasure of chatting with Joseph Michael and Jake Dreyer of Witherfall earlier this week, enjoy below.

On working with Century Media and differences now they are owned by Sony
Jake Dreyer…We don’t receive anything, no direction at all. That was part of our contract, we didn’t want any creative input at all from the label, definitely when it cam time to writing music, that not even a thought. We also signed with Century when they were already bought by Sony, so it wasn’t as if we could see a difference, as far as them being their own independent entity versus going with a major label.
Joseph Michael….I think a lot of people saw that as a negative when CM got bought out by Sony, but its been actually really good. If you think about it, they still have all of their experienced metal guys over there in Europe and now they have the corporate backing with better budgets of Sony.

 

On working with session drummer Gergo Borlai

Jake Dreyer…  Just to be with a true musician like that is a real pleasure. He’s worked with some of the biggest, bad ass musicians out there, Al Di Meola being one of them. It was a true honor. He was the first drummer we played with outside of Adam and it turned out that we couldn’t use him in the band full time, but to be able to do the record with him was just great.

On what they learned while being in White Wizzard.
Jake Dreyer…..What not not to do, I love Jon as a person, we had a lot of fun times with him and everything. Unfortunately the running of that band, was just fucked in every way you can imagine, Joseph and I our goal was to do a complete opposite of that. It requires a ton of work, but I think its definitely a better way to go.
Joseph Michael….We actually formed Witherfall as that band (White Wizzard) was clashing while in the U.K.