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XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Blair – Tons of good things going on . First our debut album comes out on September 29th and will be available for sale at all digital outlets and in physical format by contacting us or stopping by a live show . Next …. shirts , we have Symetria tee shirts for sale so you can look good as you listen to the new album , watch for combo deals including the two ! Live shows …. we are out there , we are hitting the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas right now but we will be expanding out in the coming months . We will be doing 2 live podcast/broadcasts at the end of the month as well leading up to the album release . Our September 30th dance card is full as we will be playing on the Easton PA show of the Metal Alliance tour with the mighty Overkill !!
Fernando – well as of right now the debuted of our very first album, September 29 and the very next day opening for the greatest overkill, so yeah pretty hyped.
Kevin – First studio album “Symetria” comes out September 29th!!!
Vince – CD is out Sept 29th, were playing the last date of the Metal Alliance Tour with Overkill, Crowbar and Havok on Sept 30th. Couple interviews, some local scene shows, were starting to get around.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Blair – A little over a year
Fernando –we’ve been together for about a year. That being without our latest recruitment James Soto.
Kevin – A little over a year
Vince – About a year
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Blair – Bringing to life all of the ideas you hum in your head every day that are yours and you know others will enjoy .
Fernando -having a message to deliver to the masses at least for me doing something that is mostly possible to achieve to a professional level where I come from. I’ve written music since early in my life but never thought of it ever being recorded or being played on stage for others to listen.
James – I put my heart and soul into everything I write and I wanted to be in the company of of individuals who are just as passionate about making music and push each other to grow as musicians.
Kevin – I never had intentions of being in a band when I first started playing guitar. After seeing some live shows in my late teens/early 20’s, I knew I wanted to be in a band. First show I ever saw was the Goo Goo Dolls at PNC Bank Arts Center in NJ. I particularly liked their earlier stuff that was more punk rock than the songs they would later write in their career. Then one day one of my friends borrowed my car and left some Metallica cd’s in it by accident. After a few weeks of getting into those albums, I knew that I had to be in a metal band.
Vince – My earliest memory in life contains music, music is life, it’s what I was born to do.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Blair – I love the creative process, I love to create and write. There is something spiritual about taking nothing and creating a body of work . Recording it is a labor of love as this is how you present your creation to the world. Don’t get me wrong , seeing hands in the air and seeing and meeting new people is a joy beyond words as well.
Fernando –I enjoy both so damn much but I’ll go with live performance. Connecting with fans and seen them enjoy our work in the most honest way is priceless.
Kevin – That’s a really tough question. I guess it would depend on my mood as they are 2 totally different animals. Playing live is an amazing feeling. This is our fist album as band, and for me, this is the first time I have ever recorded anything. The process of writing and recording came amazingly fast with my band mates so that has been great as well. So I guess my answer is, there is no preference as long as I am musically doing something.
Vince – I love the thrill of writing a song you feel like you already know, like it should have existed all along, but, there is nothing like being on stage, seeing people enjoy what we are doing is the best feeling in the world
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Blair – Not that I can tell the world !!
Vince – Well there is a pizza place in Long Branch that I know Kevin will never eat at again…..
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Blair – Nothing quite odd from this band yet .
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Blair – My mother and father were amazingly supportive and I thank them every day for their love and support . My biggest regret is that my father will not be able to share this joy with me or see me play this music live .
Fernando –I joined my very first band when I was around 12 and mother help me getting my first bass a $75 crappy two ton 4-string bass. So yeah I would say she’s been supportive since then till now.
Kevin – My parents have been so supportive of whatever makes me happy. They see my passion to play music and they both told me to take a shot at it. Having that support behind me makes things so much easier!
Vince – Truthfully, no, my mom always tried her best, but it was tough when I was growing up, she is super supportive now, and that’s awesome. My dad still thinks it’s a big waste of time, and I’m wasting my life. Oh well.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Blair – Wakening because it has attitude …. kind of like punching someone’s mother on Christmas morning lol… and Flying High because it has such a good groove and people seem to connect with that .
Fernando -I got to say definitely Time, All The Same, and self title Symetria. Extremely fun to play. Too Late, my favorite song that I have written to date.
James –Venial Sin for the heaviness and All The Same for the thrash!
Kevin – Flying High, All the Same,Too late and Time. No particular order….
Vince – Flying High, that song has a strut that just gets me going. Too Late, my favorite song that I have written to date.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Blair -So so many .. Warrior Soul – taught me how to write kick ass music that was ahead of its time with lyrics that matter . Meshuggah- the way Tomas Haake and the band play with time and dynamics is something that inspires me to push to add that extra stroke or note . They are masters . Gojira- Heavy as hell , complex , and melodic, inspires everything I try to be. Deftones – groove groove groove . Pulls you in. Gene Hoglan – a machine who makes precision look easy. Dirk Verbeuren – teaches me that you can be a great person and still kick ass and be humble . Stewart Copeland – inspired me to think outside the box and be technical but still commercially viable
Fernando –it’s tough to say I grew up listening to punk rock and a hard core, that were my love for music I was born and also that incentive to pass messages to people through Music. I have to mention a few The Misfits, Los Muertos De Cristo, Eskorbuto, Cannibal Corpse, Iron Maiden, Muscaria. My main inspiration to pick up a bass specifically was seeing Steve Harris, Geezer, Luigi (Muscaria) and also upright-bass players from orchestras.
Kevin – I kind of answered this earlier but I will add to it. Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Rush, Iron Maiden, all of the Big 4 (Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer), Machine Head, Amon Amarth, Helloween, Avenged Sevenfold, Eddie Van Halen, and Rhandy Rhoads. I have many bands and players that I have found to be very influential, but these bands and players that are the most inspirational and speak to my soul the most.
Vince – I grew up around it, my Uncle had a doo wop cover band that I saw as a child, I wanted to be part of it at 6 years old. I was the kid in the shower who knew Kiss Alive 3 word for word at 9 years old, and recited Paul’s part. I’ve always known that music was a way to bring joy to people that would otherwise have nothing in common.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Blair – Wow .. tough one would like to be Gojira, Metallica , Symetria , and Megadeth
Fernando –It’d have to be a festival with a little of everything, punk rock, hard-core, thrash, death metal and even ska. So something like us, cannibal corpse, Iron Maiden, Ghost, Muscaria, Notoken, A.N.I.M.A.L, the misfits, the Ramones, El Retorno de Exxon Valdez and many many more.
James – I’m gonna be jumping across some metal “subgenres” but I’m going with Iron Maiden, Trivium, Amon Amarth and Unleash The Archers.
Kevin – There are way too many bands I would love to play to answer this! Any of those bands from the previous question would be a dream come true.
Vince – Easy one, Volbeat. Us touring with Volbeat would be legendary, our sounds both cover such a broad spectrum, it would completely bookend the Heavy Metal Rock & Roll genre. I would do it right, old school style, do some research and pick up local bands to play the opening slots without making them sell tickets or anything like that.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Blair – Learning not to care what others think of you . Sticking to your convictions and keep pushing on.
Fernando –to me it’s to have been able to record an album professionally, with professionals and with music that WE wrote.
Kevin – Definitely being able to put out an album because there is an immense amount of work that goes into it. I now realize why bands just don’t spit them out as quickly as the fans would like them to.
Vince – Getting to share the stage with Overkill
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Blair – Well.. I do have a career soooooo
Fernando –still figuring it out
Kevin – I would be a teacher.
Vince – I’m currently an Electrician, but my other dream beside music has always been to breed designer Boa Constrictors
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Blair – I am putting a new kit together but my go to is a 5 piece Yamaha Recording Custom Pro kit in black finish – 6.5×14 inch Dw rolled aluminum snare or 6.5×14 Acoutin brushed stainless steel and wenge hybrid snare ( depending on venue) -20 inch Zildjian Earth ride – 20 inch Zildjian K dark crash – 17 inch Zildjian Z custom rock crash – 20 inch Sabian AA medium crash – 18 inch Zildjian oriential crash – 14 inch Zildjian A custom mastersound hi hats – Yamaha and DW hardware – Tama Speed Cobra double pedals
Fernando –Ibanez bass guitars, either Di’Addario or Earnie Balls strings and Gallien-Krueger heads
James – Main guitar is a Jackson Pro King V with EMGs 57/66, love Jacksons, best metal guitars! I also use Blackstar amps, specifically the HT-Metal 100 head paired with an Orange 4×12 cab.
Kevin – AMPS – mesaboogie dual rectifier with a 4×12 rectifier cab: GUITARS – Jackson RRM24 – black with white bevels, Jackson RRXMG – white with black pinstripes, Jackson King V pro series – white with black bevels. All guitars have floyd rose and EMG active pickups.
Vince – Shure Beta 58 wireless
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Blair – It has changed a great deal since I started getting into bands and unfortunately not for the better in my opinion. Record labels no longer appear to be investing in artists they feel have promise . The advent of technology has allowed so many artists to emerge which is a blessing and a curse . Clubs seem to not really listen to the bands they book but seem to put dollars before entertainment. Mind you this is not all but it appears to be the industry in general . So many artists chasing the quickly disappearing brass rings of success. These days you need to be creative and unique . Keeping your band relevant and creative is harder than ever .
Fernando –well, the point of dying but maybe coming back to life. At least here in the US. Where I come from many people with different musical background tend to come out to shows where there are bands who they haven’t heard before and most likely will still support. Many people come mostly to have fun with friends and listen to something new. That’s how I see it was back in the 70s or 80s where people didn’t know bands but they’d go just want to have fun with friends and maybe listen to something they might like. I might be wrong though.
James – I think that there’s a lot of great bands out there making great music. I’m excited to see what’s gonna happen next and hopefully Symetria will play a part in the future of metal music!
Kevin – I think the music scene needs band to shake things up a little bit.
Vince – I think that it has changed, even in just the 15 years or so I’ve been in it. It’s more about how hard you work, and how much you put into it now then it ever was, anyone can put something together and release it nowadays, that’s good and bad, you get a lot of passing fads, and half-hit wonders that never would have gotten the light of day which is cool in its own way, but getting something out there that has real staying power and becomes engrained into society the way artists used too is much more difficult.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Blair – I am a huge geek ,scuba diver, and have a strong passion for animal welfare .
Fernando – as a band? We got music that music lovers from almost any genre would appreciate. – As an individual? I’m far beyond twisted but pretty down to earth guy. With many interests in the stuff “they” don’t want you to know. Hahaha
Kevin – In high schooI I was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and played professional baseball for a few years and my brother Jack played in the major Leagues with the Oakland A’s.
Vince – I’m an animal lover, and a family man. The parrot on my calf is a tribute to Jimmy Buffet, and I got it the day I got married in Key West.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Blair – The band ? A blend of everything from the past to present . A delicious musical jambalaya. – Me ? A mix of metal, hardcore, funk and jazz
Fernando –something new yet familiar just like going into the safe unknown.
Kevin – thrashy and melodic mainly, but different elements mixed in as well.
Vince – Little bits and pieces of all the greatest sounds in metal blended together and poured out into Symetria
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Blair – There is something here for all of you . The music you like is in what we do , if there is one song that you don’t care for , just wait for the next one . We welcome everyone at our shows and would like you to join us on our journey to be the next great band . We are more than a band , we are a philosophy, a journey and entertainment. Pick up the album look at the artwork , listen to the music , read the lyrics , come with us …. we would love if you would join us .
Fernando –Hell yes I have something to say. Support your local bands, why not pay 5 to 10 $ to have fun with friends, have a few brews with live entertainment. Who knows maybe the band that you went to see goes far and they’ll remember you from the small pub they were playing at when day started and hook you up with a VIP pass when they go to play sold out arenas. Who knows…..
Kevin – Our music definitely will stick in your head if you give it a listen. We have something for everybody on this album and please give it a shot. Hopefully we see you at a show in the near future!!!!
Vince – Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you. I love all of you.
Vince Santonastaso – Vocals
Kevin Cust – Guitar
Blair Smith – Drums
Fernando Carerra – Bass guitar
James Soto – Guitar