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XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Drew: We are very proud to announce our new full length album Angels & Demons will be out September 22nd.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Drew: TOO LONG. Just kidding, officially in 2005. Justin and I started to play music together a few years before that.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Drew: To release music and play live shows with confidence to put in our full efforts in respect for our art.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Drew: We all hold music degrees from Musicians Institute, also where we met our drummer Diego Patino. We have extensive live performance experience because we used to throw house shows every weekend when we were teens. Before that we took music lessons and learned how to jam with my father who made us play blues riffs for hours on end while he improvised vocals and harmonic solos.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Drew: Probably conveys more of an intense image then we intend to. When I play live I let all my energy and emotions out and focus on making that energy translate into music and then into the fans which is way more energy than I would ever give off stage. It’s an amazing feeling. I also paint my face and wear a headdress with deer antlers sometimes. Native Americans believe when you wear an animal you take on its soul. Not sure what kind of message that conveys but it’s powerful one.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals?
Drew: To tour more and put out great music. That should always be the base, everything else is an off-shoot from that.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Drew: To make lasting music and play great tours and festivals. Some money would be nice too but the music is and always will be the main thing.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Drew: They are both totally different animals. For a long time I was purely live performance driven. But I’ve grown since then and I now realize all that matters is are you giving the music the attention it needs and deserves no matter what situation you are in and are you having fun? And both of those things rely on yourself and not anything else. I love spending hours in the studio and tweaking sounds and after a long day being able to press play and hear what you did. But nothing compares to the energy exchange between a band and an audience.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about?
Drew: The songs on Angels & Demons cover themes of death, religion, drug abuse, politics and persevering through it all.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Drew: You would think it would be stories of crazy sex, drugs & rock n roll (which it is sometimes but it’s never as cool as it sounds) but one time I can recall was pretty “crazy.” We were heading back to LA after a tour and we stopped at a pizza place in a small little town. I stepped outside to make a call and a girl takes my seat and starts hitting on my band members. I return and she’s still talking to them so I pulled up another chair. She’s going on and on and obviously a little crazy. Then about ten minutes later her dad comes and tells her she has to leave and she throws a fit and causes a small scene. We awkwardly eat our pizza and she leaves. Then we finish our food and head back to the van only to find the keys to the van are missing. The workers at the pizza place new right away that girl took the keys and they also knew her personally and got our keys back.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Drew: A bartender at the Rainbow Bar & Grill always used to yell to take out clothes off when we performed, so one time I did. Left the skimmys on for good taste.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Drew: Yes, my father was a musician and was very proud of me.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Drew: Angels & Demons is cool because we usually play to crowds that are into really heavy metal stuff so when we do the clean tone verses with singing harmonies its cool to see people’s reactions and they either love it or hate it. It also has a bitching solo that’s fun to play live.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Drew: Black Sabbath and Ozzy because they were so solid and crazy. Jimi Hendrix because he was so innovative. Slipknot because they are superbly entertaining.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Drew: Opening for someone like Metallica on tour would be amazing because it’s a band with so much history.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Drew: Opening Ozzfest Meets Knotfest 2016 was monumental, but it’s at times like those you come full circle and realize the greatest accomplishment we’ve achieved is writing good music.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Drew: Working with kids, animals or plants would be fulfilling. Grown adults can be so boring.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Drew: We are proudly endorsed by EMG Pickups, Reunion Blues, KACES, Soultone Cymbals and Pig Hog Cables. We use all kinds of guitars and amps. I usually play a baritone guitar and lately I have been playing an ESP Viper Baritone through a 1980’s Marshall JMP which I’ve fell in love with.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Drew: People need to stop caring about genres and sub-genres. Musicians need to go back to play music for the sake of playing music and the love of it. Once the foundation is rebuilt we can then worry about the state of the industry.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Drew: I’m a vegetarian for all the reasons. All of em.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Drew: Metal with rock and little bit of blues.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Drew: Please check out our new album Angels & Demons and come see us on tour. Reach out to us, we love talking to people and often give out free stickers and things.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!