XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Daniel: We have a few local-ish dates coming up and are working on booking more. The biggest news is the album release on December 7th, we’re gearing up for that and working out details to hopefully get some physical copies ready for then!
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Daniel: The band originally started during Christmas 2010/2011 (I didn’t join until August of 2011).
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Daniel: We all knew each other from school and shared similar interest musically, so it was the natural thing to do really. Initially the band was conceived as basically a very stupid Anal Cunt rip-off with lots of short songs and dumb inside jokes. We still have the jokes but we take the music more seriously now.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Daniel: Well, my brother (Gabi, drums) and I started going to Jazz Music school when we were five. We both got into metal as teenagers, and at that point I kind of stopped paying a lot of attention to the jazz stuff; I regret it because I’d have a broader palette to create with now. My brother is a jazz and classically-trained pianist and jazz bassist aside from a self-taught proficient extreme metal drummer. Dani E. took guitar lessons at a rock-oriented music school and as far as I know Adrián and Omar don’t have any formal training other than loving music and wanting to create it.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Daniel: That’s a tough one, because in the end it’s really up to each individual listener to interpret it, whether it be sonically, lyrically or both. As long as it makes at least one person go “wow, this is cool and not terribly familiar”, I’m happy.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Daniel: Right now, to get our album to as many people as possible and play more to audiences outside of Spain.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Daniel: To continue to make music we all feel we can’t get anywhere else, and to make our name known to every underground metal fan.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Daniel: I really like performing live, and writing and jamming things out in the rehearsal space is satisfying, but personally I love recording the most even though I have absolutely no formal training. I recorded everything for this album, and the quality would have been better working with someone who knows what they’re doing, but I wanted to try and do it myself. It’s a very cool feeling when you get to hear the final product you put so many hours into perfecting.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Daniel: Omar writes the majority of the lyrics now, and from what he’s told us they’re mostly introspective and have to do with personal struggles and reflections. He also takes inspiration from Japanese literature, films and manga.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Daniel: Not many outrageous ones… we drove six hours to a show at the other end of Spain once to play in front of six people hahaha. The Grind Life.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Daniel: People ask Gabi for drum sticks a lot, and those things are expensive. He should start charging people for them considering they weigh more than when he buys them, they absorb his abundant sweat.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Daniel: My parents always have, and I can’t thank them enough for driving us to rehearsals every single weekend, and taking us to shows with all our gear when none of us had a driver’s license. I think they still don’t understand why we play the music we do, but they’ve always been very supportive.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Daniel: That changes all the time, but right now it’s a few of the newer songs we’ve written that I came up with ridiculous parts to. They’re the most challenging to play we’ve ever done, but also really fun.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Daniel: My main inspiration as a guitar player when I started getting into metal was John Petrucci (Dream Theater). I’m still nowhere near that level of playing, but he was definitely an inspiration in terms of wanting to better my technique. I know Gabi was originally very influenced by drummers like Brann Dailor (Mastodon) and Chris Pennie (The Dillinger Escape Plan).
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Daniel: I’d give my right arm to be able to open for Brutal Truth or Carcass in the early 90s. But if I did that I wouldn’t be able to play so that would suck. I’d give my appendix.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Daniel: We opened for Fuck the Facts and later booked, promoted and opened a show for Maruta. The second show especially was mind-blowing to be a part of, and the dudes from Maruta were mega nice on top of blowing the roof of the place when they played.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Daniel: I have one hahaha. I’m a telecom engineer working on a PhD, and Gabi and Dani E. are both computer engineers. I think none of us really expect to make a living playing the type of music we do, we just play because we love it. And if it turns into more than that, that would be very extra rad, but as of right now I’m happy enough creating cool music and scratching that itch I can’t get rid of any other way.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Daniel: It’s relatively simple, right now my main guitar is a Jackson soloist 7 string (I forget the exact model), which I run into an Amptweaker TightMetal Pro pre-amp pedal (which has its own noise gate) boosted with a Lone Wolf Audio Left Hand Wrath distortion pedal. That and a Boss TU-2 tuner, nothing else. It’s cool because I can take that, plug it into any amp with a clean channel and have my basic tone pretty much set. At practice I use a Randall 3003RG head with a Laney 4×12 cab.
Dani E. has a Charvelle tele-type 7 string, a Peavey 6505 amp, Boss tuner and noise gate and an original Taiwanese HM-2 pedal. Adrián uses an ESP left-handed 6 string bass, a Boss OD-2 overdrive pedal, compressor and pre-amp pedals, and a 100 Watt Warwick amp head. Gabi uses a pretty simple drum set up: one bass drum, three toms, one snare, hi-hat, ride, china, two crash cymbals and an ice bell. The cymbals are an assortment of brands, mainly Paiste and Zildjan; the basic drum set is a green Pearl kit with a 22” bass drum, Mapex Exterminator snare and a Pearl Demon Drive double kick pedal.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Daniel: The age of the Rock Star came and went. There will never be another Metallica, and that’s perfectly fine. The underground music scene isn’t the place to be if you want to be making bank, but it’s as thriving as it’s ever been creatively, especially underground metal. Modern recording technology and platforms like Spotify and especially Bandcamp are allowing independent artists to get their music out there without the need of a major label bankrolling them, and this levelling of the playing field has only increased the amount of quality music being released. As an artist it’s very difficult to make a living from just art, but there’s been no better time to be music fan.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Daniel: Me personally? I don’t drink, do drugs or eat a lot of meat. I’m basically your most boring coworker, the one that gets really hyped when he talks about music or guitars. My life’s pretty standard outside of being the dude “into the weird screamy music”.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Daniel: Uh, regressive avant-garde deathgrind? The best way to know if you’ll like us is to give us a listen!!
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Daniel: Yes! “Ernia” comes out in a few short months and you can pre-order it digitally at our Bandcamp page (erniatheband.bandcamp.com/
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
Daniel: Thank you for the questions! Grind it!!
Adrián Ruiz: Bass/
Daniel Espinosa.: Guitar, Vocals/
Daniel Valcázar.: Guitar/
Gabriel Valcázar: Drums