Q & A With Fear Is Dead

Q & A With Fear Is Dead

XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?

Skila – We’re working on a few things: new album, singles and videos that will be included as bonus tracks. We’re very excited about the new material and look forward to sharing it. Our next show is Jan 25th, Skila’s B-day Party, the day after the release of our new single “Assimilation.” We’ll be celebrating it at Lucky 13 Saloon in Brooklyn, where the line up includes Chuggernaut, Winterwolf, Paragnosis, and recently signed Red Right Recording artists Rebelmatic.

XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?

Skila – Fear Is Dead has been around for 8 years and luckily we’ve only gone through two line-up changes. The cool thing is everyone is still very good friends, and we still collaborate from time to time. Usually, if you become an official F.I.D. member, it’s for life.

Ish – I’ve been the drummer since the beginning of 2019.

David – I’ve been the guitarist for F.I.D. since Eleutherophobia.

XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?

Skila – We were looking for a change, a challenge, something genuine. I used to rap, and I still do on some side projects, but I stepped away at the time (2010) because I didn’t feel my subject matter was well received by listeners. I was never much of a party guy; my stuff was more related to life, and I didn’t talk about the same things other artists were talking about at that time. Jax, my co-producer and an amazing guitarist, suggested that we start a Metal band together. And so that’s just what we did, and it was one of the best decisions of my life.

Ish – I was a fan of the band for a couple of years already, so I knew the members and the music quite well. Little did I know Skila was scouting me way back when I used to play in another band. One day Skila texted me saying that he had an offer for me. I jokingly asked if it was an offer I couldn’t refuse, and it turns out it was.

David – Having fun. Writing music and entertaining an audience with our performances and original work is enough motivation, but to put the cherry on top, we’ve become a brotherhood.


XS ROCK: What is your music background?

Skila- I’m a mutt! I grew up listening to Classic Rock, Punk, Pop, Rock, Grunge, Rap, R&B, Metal, Jazz, and Classical. At home when I was young, my mom played a lot of different Spanish music, mostly ballads and she had a thing for powerful vocalists. I got into DJing as a teen, Hip Hop, some House, and Dance music, which lead to rapping and then Beat Making which lead to Music Production. I experimented with many different genres of music prior to Fear Is Dead, and still do from time to time.

Ish – Oh man, that’s a lot of genres, haha! My mom is a metalhead so I got into rock, metal, punk, and hardcore from her. My aunt was old school hip hop, R&B, and soul. Both of them loved jazz. Then I got into fusion, prog, mathcore/math rock, ambient stuff, death, and black metal. Man, I just love music!

David – I used to listen to a lot of hip hop and r&b, mostly DMX and Usher. That switched in the early 2000s once I heard bands like Nirvana, Papa Roach, Staind, Korn, Slipknot, etc. It didn’t take long for me to pick up a guitar. I was almost a drummer, but we didn’t have that kind of money.

XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?

Skila – I think it conveys the idea of “anti-image”. We’re 4 individuals constantly growing and changing, I’d say if anything our philosophy is “don’t be afraid to be genuine, don’t be afraid to think, feel, express”.

XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)

Skila – At the moment we’re finishing up our 1st full-length album, as well as releasing singles and videos of the bonus tracks leading up the release of the album. It’s been a singles market for a while, so we’ve released EPs almost every year. We wanted to challenge ourselves and silence any doubts by doing an album. We definitely want to tour again and expect to be by Summer 2020.

XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?

Skila – Nothing fancy, make an insane amount of music, learn as much as possible, and help upcoming artists. It’s that simple; I make music because I can’t not make music. It’s my therapy, my scream into the darkness saying I exist.

Q & A With Fear Is DeadXS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?

Ish – Writing is always fun ‘cause you’re constantly growing as a band and as musicians together. That being said, there’s nothing better than being on stage kicking ass and getting that energy from the crowd. It’s the best feeling in the world.

David – Performing has always been one of the main reasons I wanted to be in a band. Writing and recording is cool, but it doesn’t provide that same kind of adrenaline rush as performing for an audience.

Skila – That’s a tough choice, When we create something and capture the moment and emotion that best represent the reasons for this song, it feels pretty amazing. While performing is being able to connect with others through that representation, which is incredible as well, I guess I’ll be the odd man out and go with the first, writing. Egg before the chicken and all that.

XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Skila – My writing has usually been inspired by the search for my truth, things that capture or demand my attention at the moment. I guess you can say the songs are about the different aspects of my life and the world around me.

Ish – I think Skila writes about what it’s like to be a vampire.

David – There’s lyrics?!?!

XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.

Skila – We almost ran out of gas in Death Valley on one of the hottest days last summer and David and I almost died hiking

XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?

Skila – A fan asked me to spit in her mouth

Ish – A drum solo? Pssh, I know right? The nerve of some people.

David – No comment.

XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?

Skila – By the time I started a band I was an adult. I’ve been an artist since I was a kid. From what I’ve observed, good parents usually have an ideal or practical goal in mind. There lies the conflict; being an artist of any sort usually is neither of those 2.

Ish – Oh hell yeah, wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for my mom. I owe it all to her, she’s the best mom in the universe!

David – My family is very supportive. I’ve had more guitars than most kids at a young age and been to plenty of shows since I was nine. It was only a matter of time.

XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?

Skila – Fecal Mastication, Bliss, Omnicidal, I’m Slow, the new stuff. Come to a show and find out!

Ish – I love playing the new stuff, so Dirtnap, Strange Times, and Fecal Mastication

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?

Skila – Soundgarden and Nirvana, I connected with many of their songs. My guitarist David’s inspirations were Korn, Slipknot, and Staind. My drummer, Ish was inspired by his mom, who put him onto Metal growing up.

XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?

Ish – Meshuggah, Slipknot and Solemn Vision

XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?

Skila – Being happy with the music we’re making

Ish – BLASTBEATS!!!!!!

XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?

Skila – I’m already doing both! I own a graphic installation company, it helps pay the bills

Ish – Professional Skateboarder.

XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?

Ibanez or PRS guitars

D’addario strings

Dunlop picks

Mesa boogie or Marshall amps

Zildjian cymbals

Promark sticks

Porkpie snare

Axis pedals

Evans heads



XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?

Skila – There’s a lot of talent out there, but there isn’t much support. People seem very “cliquey” and the promoters are in it with the venues to make a buck. There isn’t a sense of “community”.

Ish – I agree with Skila. There’s loads of talent, but very cliquey, especially if you’re not in the same genre.

XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?

Skila – I’m completely deaf in my right ear and about 1/4 deaf in my left ear. I also have Meniere’s Disease. It’s a fluid imbalance. When I first got the disease it made me deaf for almost a year because the doctors couldn’t figure it out.

Ish – I can’t snap my fingers at all and I’ve had a fair share of paranormal experiences.

XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?

Skila – That’s kind of a difficult question to answer considering how many times we’ve heard ourselves, I’d say loud, heavy, introspective, cathartic

Ish – Hmm… I guess I’d say that we’re very heavy, but still groove-driven with elements of “in your face” attitude.

XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?

Skila – Yes, check out our new single “Assimilation” and if you like it, we have more where that came from at www.fearisdead.com. To our fans, thank you for believing in us, thank you for your support and your time. You are appreciated.


Fear Is Dead:

Matt Pompeii
David English
Carlos Crowcell


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