Friday, February 19, 2016

Hemotoxin Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

Right now we are preparing for the next shows we have coming up. We're rehearsing a 3 piece set for some of the Bay Area shows we have coming up, as our guitar player is in Europe at the moment. We will have help however from JC of Deceive when we play L.A. April 2nd and Riverside April 3rd.

2.In April you have a new album coming out, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

I think the only thing that’s changed is time, the recordings now compared to what we were doing a few years ago are a lot more mature and structured. The sound has been the same to me, violent progressive deathrash. And as time goes on my influences change, so that element along with the other four guys in the band will always bring a certain twist in the sound that hopefully can set us apart from everyone else, and make Hemotoxin something unique to the listener.

3.Some of your lyrics cover religion, the Illuminati, Lovecraft and Science Fiction, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?

All through high school I was obsessed with conspiracy theories, sci-fi and horror. Myself and the rest of the band along with our friends were really into the Lovecraft collections; his frantic writing style influenced the way I write lyrics. The Illuminati has always been an interesting concept and in some way, form or fashion I believe the world is run by a secret society of elite human beings who have a better understanding of the world we live in and what truth is, and from there you can choose to believe how deep that rabbit hole goes.  For me it’s a great subject to write about and explore. Some songs I've written have come true like "Postwar Civilization".

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hemotoxin'?

When I decided to use the name I chose it because of the sheer brutality of what hemotoxins do to your blood, and I couldn't find another band with the same name so I decided it was a perfect word to associate with the music we made. Plus when Stephen Grajeda sent me the logo he deisgned, I knew it was perfect for us in every way, so we've stuck with it.

5.Originally the band was a solo project, what was the decision behind hiring a full time line up?

At the time I had been playing shows for almost two years with my first band Aeon of Death (which included Nathan and Brandon at the time). After holding my guitar way too low on stage I developed a terrible shoulder problem that plagues me to this day, so I decided at the time I should stop playing live and spare myself the pain, but I couldn't deny how much I loved it and decided to buy a lighter guitar and make it happen. As far as going from a one man project to a full band, it was all circumstantial; my friend Joey Banducci wanted to jam when he found out I quit AOD, so we jammed and the rest of it kind of fell into place. When Joey quit we were just beginning to develop our sound and I had absolutely no plans on stopping, so recruiting Brandon was a no-brainer. Since our first band broke up, he and I still jammed during the time Joey was in Hemotoxin; we're very much like-minded, and he's one of my closest friends next to Nathan. So to sum it all up, this band is a result of four like-minded guys with the same goals in mind. I didn't really hire anyone.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

There have been a lot of great shows. A highlight will always be Slaughter by The Water 3 in 2012 which was our first big show. Lately it has to be playing with Belphegor and Kataklysm at the old Oakand Metro; we watched so many of our favorite bands play that stage, and everything from the sound to the crowd itself was perfect. The guys in Belphegor and Kataklym were very cool to us, fortunately we haven't had to deal with too many big egos. Our live show is stripped down, just the four of us playing as a unit, bringing whatever gimmick we don't have and presenting it within the music itself. We are very much in the crowd’s face almost every time, so although we're up on stage playing fast crazy thrash, we'll still get up in your face and make sure everyone has a great time.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

For now the closest we have to a tour is our two date run in Southern California. We are open to any tour offers, but just like any band all of us have full-time jobs, so in order for us to tour it requires us to have to make arrangements to make that happen. When we get a good tour offer we will hopefully make this happen and take our music to every end of this world.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of death and thrash metal?

Overall it’s been positive. I think people understand what we're trying to accomplish musically. We wanna bring back the 80's metal philosophy of going straight ahead and blasting you in the face with heavy music. At the same time we also want to bring a musical quality that gives what we do a little more credibility beyond being just metal, and the people who see that I think will appreciate that and hopefully like the music. The people who don't, won't.

9.Are any of the other band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

Brandon is currently involved with a project featuring Kyle Wallinger who played drums in bands like Archea and Dismembered Carnage. Michael Rohwer does session work from time to time, but I know right now he's doing some work for our friends in Obastra. Myself I've been involved with a Death cover band called "Voice of the Soul" featuring Adam from Ion, Justin from Warscythe and Skizzy from Repulsive Infestation; we've been playing together on and off for two years, and I play the role of the second guitar player on each album so getting to emulate guys like Masvidal, Kobel and Rozz is a blast. Other than that, Nathan and myself have joke bands and we exchange garbage recordings that hopefully will never see the light of day.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

It's always about creating the next evolution. Taking our old stuff and building on top of it, that’s where we will always head musically. Ballads aren't really our thing and I have no clean singing skill. I think our next album or EP will be a lot more technical, not in the amount of sweeps and blast beats we can fit in a song, but musically more technical, involving theory and structure in song arrangements. We will probably never let go of our death/thrash core in the music.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Anyone who listens to 30 seconds of our music can hear the influence from bands like Death, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Sabbath, Cynic, Forbidden, Obituary, Sadus, Dark Angel, Destruction, Exumer and Pestilence. From a personal standpoint, besides all those bands I take influence from bands like Pink Floyd, Camel, Naked City, Blowfly, Funkadelic, The Isley Brothers, Quincy Jones, Ron Jarzombek, Anvil Chorus, Sacrilege B.C., Ulysses Siren, Warning S.F., Bad Religion, Ice Cube and Brotha Lynch. I take inspiration for music even from movies like Miracle Mile, The Revenant and The Hobbit.

12.What are some of your non-musical interests?

Music is the center of my life, but pro wrestling is also a passion of mine. I'm a lifelong fan, as well as Nathan. I'm not sure how to justify my love for it, but pro wrestling is one of the most unique performance arts out there. I appreciate it almost the same way I appreciate music. I love everything from WWE to NJPW, Nathan and I attended Wrestlemania 31 in 2015. It will probably always be my second to music.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Just to send my gratitude to everyone who's helped us get to this point so far. We've been doing this for 5 years and it hasn't been without the help of a countless amount of people, and to all of you we say thank you and watch out for "Biological Enslavement" and much more.

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