XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news?
Petey: We are getting closer to finishing up the mixing process of our new album entitled, Humanatti with Josh Johnson at Great Interstellar Studios. We just acquired a new member on guitar, Cameron Murrell, and we are excited to have him in the band, he has helped with this new album and will be on it too. We just released our newest music video for our single, Nuclear Hollywood. It was shot, produced, and directed by Todd Jenkins, which you can find him on the MacGyver TV show. Todd Jenkins also wrote, produced, acted, and directed in the movie Cherokee Creek (found on most digital video outlets) which features two of our songs, Sick Smile and of course Nuclear Hollywood.
XS ROCK: Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Petey: We just released our newest music video for our single, Nuclear Hollywood, and it has been getting a lot of attention recently. Facebook even banned the video due to graphic content. We have our new album, Humanatti, maybe being released sometime March or April this year. We have some great shows coming up including, March 9th in Houston at Acadia Bar and Grill with Rivethead and our good friends from there, Torrid Complex. We got April 13th in Oklahoma at the State Theater outside of Oklahoma City with more good friends in Outside the Shadows. Then we hit up Main at South Side in Fort Worth on May 11th with Within Chaos and then May 18th at Rob’s Billiards in Arlington with Torrid Complex.
Biggs: Besides the Video, we’ve finished tracking a new album. And we are very excited about it! We really took some time to work on each part of these songs, to make them sound the best they could be. Josh Johnson (Great Interstellar Studios) is doing the project again and he’s just been great. We feel we have taken a major step forward in our song writing and change to a different type of band now.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Petey: I think 4 or 5 years, I came into the band March of 2016 when the band was already established with past members
Biggs: We had our first show in May of 14… but to me it really started in 16 when we got Petey to join us on drums. Since then we’ve had to replace guitarists a few times but now we just added Cameron.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Petey: My main motivation was to escape from the crazy thoughts in my head of deception, anger, and agony. Playing in a band helps keep my mind off of some things including life. I always liked being a part of a team too, and that’s how I feel a band is, a team.
Biggs: To me this was a way to release a lot of issues I’ve dealt with. Pain loss and anger. It’s been the greatest therapy I could of ever gotten. And I’ve always had the dream to do a band.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Petey: That’s hard, but I think we have to write new songs in order to keep an audience going after every show. We want them to keep coming back and if we play the same songs over and over again, it will sound like a broken record or people will start to get tired of some songs. So, I would say I prefer writing new songs and recording because it brings out our creativity more than playing for a live audience. We are always trying something different when we write and record too so it becomes a lot of fun. Plus, the songs are always fresh when we write and gives the live audience something different to hear every time.
Biggs: Great question. I really do love creating new music. Really like the whole process of taking a song and building it. But then again playing live is magical. It’s a high I can’t find anywhere else. When people sing the words back to you, man, it’s a tremendous feeling.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Petey: I’d have to say I have one from New Orleans last year in August. It was a fun trip and I will always remember going to sleep with my wife at the hotel she was staying at around 6 AM and having to get up within the next hour to catch an uber to the hotel the band was staying at to make it back home in time after a long night on Bourbon Street. The ride there was great but the ride back we almost died! As we were crossing the Mississippi river, 3 cars right in front of us ran into each and one of the cars front completely busted and debris flew everywhere. We just made it through the chaos in time and that was craziest thing I’ve ever seen on the road.
Biggs: Rather keep those secret… protect the innocent.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Petey: I can’t think of one right now. I know we probably had a lot, but I wasn’t a part of any of them. Hahaha.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Petey: Yes, they very much involved in almost everything I’ve done with a rock band and they still do. They are almost at every show, even road shows. My father, a.k.a. Pepe, actually drove us for longest time in a Mercedez Benz Sprinter van that we borrowed from my work from time to time to get to our road shows. My first two drum kits actually were bought by parents because they believed so much in me and the bands I was trying to get in.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Petey: I love to play all of them, but my main favorites are Devils and Snakes, Wolves of War, Zodiac, Sick Smile, Burn It Down, Nuclear Hollywood, DMW, Exciter, and Shell Shocked.
Biggs: I love them all lol… but right now I’m digging Shell Shocked, Nuclear Hollywood and Sick Smile.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Petey: In the beginning, it was actually Linkin Park. I was about 9 years old when I heard In The End on the radio. Once I discovered Linkin Park and couldn’t stop listening to In The End, my parents bought me my first CD, Hybrid Theory. That is where it all started, I wanted to be like them or be in a band like them. Have a good mix of hip hop/rap with heavy metal and also at the same time, have experimental sounds with mellow riffs and have songs that remind me of the New Wave era.
Biggs: To many to list, but for getting me into heavier metal I would say Demon Hunter and In Flames. Both helped me to sing better and their lyrics are amazing.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Petey: Godsmack, Sevendust, Rivethead, and of course us. Another tour I dream I have is Fear Factory, Static-X, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Rivethead, and us.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Petey: As a band, I feel our greatest accomplishment so far would have to be either selling out Gas Monkey Bar n’ Grill in Dallas as an opener for the return of Buckcherry. That was amazing being able to play on the same stage as one of the bands I use to listen to 10 years before I joined BlackStar Republic. Not only that, but it was sold out. I couldn’t see the floor or an empty space on the VIP balcony, plus I had a lot of people shouting my name when I was on stage but I couldn’t find them with so many people in the crowd.
Biggs: Loved what Petey shared. The Buckcherry show had almost 500 people there. Amazing night. But that and knowing we’ve had our music played in France, Germany, UK and South Africa and having our song Nuclear Hollywood in a movie. Damn, it’s been a hell of a ride. And really we are just getting started.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Petey: Well, back in high school I had to make a decision, be in band or continue with football. I chose band because I can escape better with music than sports. So, I would have to say probably make a career in football if I continued in high school. If I stopped performing in a band today, I would seek out a career in Information Technology or Web Programming.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Petey: Right now, I use my acoustic drums, Tama Rockstar series, with PDP equipment for my drum rack. I use Sabian B8 Pro cymbals right now, that is probably going to change soon, need to upgrade to something better. For drumsticks, I use Diamondback Drumsticks and am currently endorsed too. I also run backtracks, sample tracks using my phone hooked up to the PA.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Biggs: I think there’s a come back coming. I know everyone has said rock is dead, and it’s on life support. But I think it’s on its way back. It’s a subject that we could talk about for hours and what happened and why? But rock and roll has always been about attitude and rebellion. And being honest about what you’re talking about. I think it got to generic and cookie cutter. And it lost its soul.
Petey: The current music scene is full of so many bands. You could go walk into a bar and hear jazz/funk and then walk across the street to another bar and hear rock/metal especially in the Deep Ellum Dallas music scene.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Petey: That I play the drums left handed. I have a lot of people who don’t know me that don’t expect that when they come to see us play live. It really surprises them how I do it and how well I can do it.
Biggs: I can’t sing, it’s all auto tuned hahaha
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Petey: Just listen to bands like Alice in Chains, Type O Negative, Godsmack, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Metallica, Pantera, Rob Zombie, Static-X, Marilyn Manson, and System of a Down. We are pretty much a great fusion of all those bands. Some songs are in your face metal, some are mellow, some are hip-hoppish, and some are industrial dance metal.
Biggs: Petey described it well… we draw from so many influences and genres, we joke about it being comfort metal… stuff a lot of people like. We can mold a live show to the setting we are in. We can get heavier or more main stream metal.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Petey: We love you and thank you for everything you have done for us, spreading the word, sharing our posts, helping with moving gear for shows (you know who you are), and showing up to shows. Our fan base is growing and hope everyone loves the new album, you are in for a treat!
Biggs: Bass and Lead Vocals
Petey Deathgroove: Drums