XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Nick: Hey, thanks for taking an interest in us. Regarding upcoming news, we have a two song EP entitled “Ex Nihilo” being released on our Totenhaus Recordings label on December 7th, 2018. Soon after, we will begin pre-production on our third full length album. We have a few shows in LA coming up in (October 19 and December 2) so, if anyone’s interested, they can check out facebook.com/deathkingsmusic for details.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Nick: We formed in the second half of 2011, so roughly seven years.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Nick: For starting this band, I was looking to find a new way to express the thoughts and ideas swirling in my head. I’ve been in several other bands before but, ultimately, this one became the most personal.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Nick: Our drummer, Sam, was in Drum Line and Marching Band early in his life and has played in several rock and punk bands in his home state of Pennsylvania. Daryl, our guitarist, has studied guitar from an early age and received a master’s degree in classical guitar. He’s played in several metal and hardcore bands here in Los Angeles. As for myself, I have taken a few music course here and there but am primarily self-taught.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Nick: Probably one of bleakness, loneliness, and depression. Being the unfortunate witness of a multitude of beautiful and amazing events that tragically do not include you.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Nick: To be more consistent with the music we release and to play as many shows as we possibly can.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Nick: To create an incredibly diverse discography that people can look at and find something worthwhile to listen to.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Nick: Both, there are different energies involved in either scenario. Writing certainly lets all of our creative ideas find their place in our music and playing live shows allows us to interpret these ideas in a variety of ways
XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Nick: A lot of introspection, finding yourself in the grand scheme of the universe and allowing your spirituality to help you work within this scheme.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Nick: Not really, we try to be pretty mindful and respectful, the craziest things we really explore in different cities are their record stores and restaurants.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Nick: Nothing comes to mind so far with this band, but we are always open to suggestions!
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Nick: Yeah, I feel all our parents have been supportive of our musical goals.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Nick: All of them, but it really depends on the type of crowd we are playing for. The crowd’s energy determines what songs we end up playing.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Nick: For Daryl, mostly Tony Iommi/Black Sabbath and Randy Rhoads. Sam’s biggest influence is the band Failure and I am a gigantic fan of everything Tangerine Dream and Neurosis.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Nick: Ourselves opening for YOB and Neurosis.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Nick: As a band, being able to work on our own schedule and release music that we enjoy playing. Being able to release our first album on vinyl, which is a huge milestone for us. Having the ability to play shows with close friends and bands we really look up to. Personally, overcoming a series of health issues that took my sight but did not take my motivation or love for music.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Nick: I would probably be an anthropology teacher, I love that shit.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Nick: Sam uses an early model Yamaha tour kit with Paiste cymbals. Daryl plays out of a Verellen amp with Marshall cabinets and an assortment of guitars. I play out of an Ampeg/Sunn rig with various basses.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Nick: It’s very much alive here in Los Angeles. We are pretty spoiled in that, at any given time, there are always tons of great shows happening.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Nick: I think people would be surprised to know what we are incredibly geeky about all sorts of things not just music, for example horror movies, video games, and books.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Nick: Loud, aggressive, a bit melancholy, and atmospheric.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Nick: Thanks for the support, hope you guys enjoy listening to what we’ve been doing so far and remember to visit us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and check out our upcoming EP “Ex Nihilo”
Guitars: Daryl Hernandez
Drums: Sam Sherwood
Bass/vocals: Nicolas Rocha