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Interview with Xehanort!

Band: Xehanort
Genre: Technical Deathcore / Death Metal
Q: Where did your band name “Xehanort” originate from?

From my favorite video game series, Kingdom Hearts! Xehanort is the name of the main villain in the series so far.

Q: Why did you start Xehanort, when you already produce music for Oscillator?

Well, my good friend Brett Ruch is the one who writes music for Oscillator. I just write lyrics, do vocals, and mix/master stuff. So I started Xehanort to write my own music!

Q: What was the majority feedback of your first EP Birth (2012)? Positive or negative?

Well, there generally wasn’t a large response. But what I did see was almost all positive.

Q: One particular band that inspired you to start producing music, instead of pursuing the normal type of career?

Well, I am pursuing a normal career as well. I’ll be studying Psychology soon in college! But no, no particular bands. The closest thing to an inspiration to start producing music would, I guess, be all my favorite bands. Between the Buried and Me, Periphery, The Contortionist, etc.

Q: Why is the video game series Kingdom Hearts an influence for you? Why not other similar video games, like Final Fantasy?

Well, I haven’t done too much yet with Xehanort. I plan to include lots of other influences as well. Shinigami, for example, was kind of a reference to an anime called Death Note. And my upcoming LP, Awaken in a Different Dimension, features a story that was majorly inspired by the video game Shadow of the Colossus! I’m definitely going to be covering some Final Fantasy ground before too long, as well! Kingdom Hearts is the predominant theme, though, because it’s my favorite game! It definitely had a big part of my adolescence and its themes are really apparent in how I express myself creatively, I think.

Q: Will there be any major differences between your 2012 release Birth and your upcoming album Secret Reports?

Well, I wouldn’t really call Secret Reports an LP. I guess that’s what I posted it as though, haha! Secret Reports will be an ongoing album containing miscellaneous songs that I write separately from LPs and EPs. As such, I’d like to think that songs will be “unlocked” as time progresses–it sort of reminds me of the way a video game works, haha. So far, I have two tracks written for Secret Reports. I definitely want to do more songs with Kingdom Hearts orchestrations infused, so some of the songs from Secret Reports will be like Birth, and others will not!

Q: Do you ever plan on doing a split album (or EP) for both of your bands, Xehanort and Oscillator?

No plans, but that’s a cool idea!

Q: Any plans on doing a live show, or a music video?

God, I hope so. As of right now, playing live or filming a music video are both a bit impractical [since I’m alone in the “band”] but it would be really fun to do so!

Q: For your upcoming album Secret Reports, do you plan on having any guest vocals? If you have any in mind, who would that be?

I may have guest vocalists on those songs, but since all the songs will be written and released as time progresses, it’s hard to make plans. As for Awaken in a Different Dimension, I did have a few in mind. I wanted to get Dan Thompkins for at least one track, because that guy has an incredible voice and seems very open to collaboration! Other than that, maybe the Volumes and/or Vildhjarta vocalists or Jonathan from The Contortionist. I doubt any of that’ll happen though, but I will definitely be contacting these people about it when the time comes, haha.

Q: Any shout outs you would like to give?

Yeah, I’d like to thank Josh Oxendine and Brett Ruch. They’re my guitarist friends who record my music for me! I really wouldn’t be doing any of this without them, since I don’t play guitar, haha! Also, to my new best friend Bayleaf, “hai d00d!”

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Interview with Shores of Acheron!

 Band: Shores of Acheron
Genre: Deathcore

 Q: Where does the band name “Shores of Acheron” come from?

The name Shores Of Acheron was thought of by our vocalist. He is really into Dante’s Inferno and so he figured since Shores Of Acheron was in the game and that it sounded cool, we would go with it. Reluctantly our current line up all agreed that that was the best name among many others.

Q: What lead you to play the style of music that you do?

The style of music stems from our personal backgrounds, as well as our beliefs.

Q: Any bands that influenced your decision to be in a band?

There are hundreds of bands that influenced me to be in a band, ranging from all genres of music. One band in particular I take a huge influence from would be In The Midst Of Lions.

Q: You’re new into the scene, why did you guys just start being a band and making music in 2012? Why not earlier?

We have all been in bands prior to 2012. We just have never been able to get such a serious lineup ever before probably due to our ages and the fact that it was difficult for us to get a steady job.

Q: What does it feel like to play live for the first time? Scary or exciting?

I remember playing live for the first time, I wasn’t scared but it was as if I my fingers wouldn’t cooperate correctly. It may have been a mixture of both.

Q: Does your family or friends support the music you make?

My family strongly supports the music I make, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. In all honesty, it would be a lot more difficult without them.

Q: What do you do besides making music? College? Work?

I personally, work and are a full time student on top of managing our band. It is quite stressful at times, however, I feel like every minute of stress is highly worth it.

Q: What is your all time favorite band or musician?

I think that is the hardest question to answer and really do not have one set answer. As I said earlier I listen to all kinds of music and truly believe that each genre of music has its pros and cons that I try to incorporate in our music.

Q: If you could play with any band, broken up or not, what band would that be?

If I could play with any band right now it would probably be The Red Shore. They are broken up, but I really enjoyed the musicality of the band from all aspects. I am not to partial to their lyrics. It seems as if too many bands today write about the same negative message.

Q: Do you have any shout outs to give?

I would first like to give a big thank you too Pig Squeals And Breakdowns for giving us the opportunity to be interviewed. We really appreciate it. We would also like to shout out to all of the big supporters of Shores Of Acheron as well as our endorsement, Ascendant Apparel.

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Interview with Enemy AC-130 Above!

Band: Enemy AC-130 Above
Genre: Instrumental Deathcore / Metalcore
Q: What influenced your decision to start producing music by yourself, instead of forming the normal kind of band?

Well I had been in a lot of bands before and I was actually in one when I started recording my own music. I guess I just got sick of my bands never following through and always breaking up. Being a musician is what I’ve always wanted to do and I want it more than anything. Sometimes you just have to do it all yourself if you want it bad enough.

Q: Why have you not used vocals of your own in your songs? Do you prefer instrumental songs more?

To be honest I’m not comfortable doing vocals. There was a time where I practiced a while and was ok at them, but it’s just not me. Not only that but I found that a lot of people love the instrumentals. I would like to find a good vocalist that I think fits my music though. I can always upload both instrumental and vocal versions of my songs.
 

Q: If you could have your music used for one band, any band at all, what band would that be?

Oh man that’s a tough one. Well probably by one of my two favorite bands at the moment, either Northlane or Like Moths To Flames.
 

Q: What was your favorite person to work with thus far?

I enjoy working with everyone. I do a lot of work with my fans and I like to get them involved if possible. As for known musicians I’ve been working with Shawn O’Brien from Above This for a while and I’ve done some stuff with Zach Norman from Beyond Our Eyes. Both are great guys and have a lot of talent.

Q: Will there be any major differences your fans will notice between your first EP Enemy AC-130 Above (2011), and your upcoming new album Illusionist (2012)?

Oh yes, for sure. My old stuff was… well not very good haha. The structure of the songs was all over the place and the quality was kinda awful. My new stuff is more technical and sounds a million times better. The music style has changed a bit too. Some people have said that my music sounds like deathcore mixed with metalcore elements, and a bit of djent influence here and there. I guess I agree haha.  I’m trying to create the best music I can for my fans.

Q: Are you more excited to release your new album now, than what you were for  your first EP?

Definitely. This feels more like an official release and I also have a way bigger fan base now. I’m usually not the one to brag but I think everyone will be blown away. Like I said I’m not rushing this. I’m taking my time and making it sound as good as possible, while trying to add some unique stuff as well. I hope everyone is excited for it!

Q: Why have you chosen, up until now, to release your music for free?

I feel like you have to sacrifice some things if you want to make it far as a musician. For me money really isn’t  important. I started making music by myself just for fun and the quality was pretty bad so obviously I wasn’t going to make people buy it. Since then I have progressed to a point where people say my recordings sound pretty professional. 

 
There has to be point where I start making a little money off of it if I want to continue making music. I’m not expecting to make a lot of money, just enough to help me keep recording and such. But at the same time I just like making music and giving it away and hopefully making every ones day a little better. My dream is to make music, not to make millions doing it.

Q: Can we expect new and free downloadable singles in 2013?

Yes for sure! I already have some cool new things in the works for next year! I can’t wait to show everyone!

Q: What are your plans, musically wise, after Illusionist is released? Work on a new EP for 2013?

Well, I’ll probably take a short break then go back to my usual style of releasing a new single every once in a while. Then possibly at the end of 2013 start a new EP depending on where my life is at the point.

Q: Any persons, companies, or bands you would like to give a shout out to?

I’d like to say thank you to my mom for supporting what I do. Also thank you to anyone that has shared my music and helped me get to where I am now. I am truly thankful to have such awesome fans and people supporting what I do. I love you all.

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Interview with Thy Art Is Murder!

Band: Thy Art Is Murder
Genre: Deathcore
Q: Where does your band originate from?

Western Sydney

Q: Why did you decide to play the style of music that you do?

I guess because I enjoy the energy it brings and the heavy low tuned fast riffing really does it for me.

Q: What bands did you listen to growing up, and did some of those bands influence your music now?

Got into a fairly wide range of metal and rock acts such as AC/DC, Metallica, ect, but bands like Children of Bodom and Hatebreed really drew me down the road of heavier music. I still listen to them these days and they still see to inspire me to write.

Q: What bands, that may be surprising to your fans, that you enjoy?

Dredg, might seem a bit weird to some. Amazing band.

Q: What do you think the major difference is between your first released album The Hole Isn’t Deep Enough (2005), and your newly released album Hate (2012)?

The band matured a lot since then with our structuring songs and as players individually.

Q: If you had a chance to bring back one band, which band would that be?

Despised Icon

Q: Are there any instruments that would you like to learn to play, that are not already played in your band?

Saxaphone

Q: Favorite album of all time?

Perseverance by Hatebreed

Q: How do you feel about fans illegally downloading your album?

I don’t care… but a band on CD sounds so much better!

Q: Any particular persons, companies, or bands that you would like to give a shout out to?

Halfcut records crew, everyone at the machine shop and everyone who has bought our music.

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Interview with AngelMaker!

Band: AngelMaker
Genre: Deathcore
Q: Where did you guys get the name “Angelmaker” from?

Casey: We used to be called The Human Condition, before we even broke into the deathcore scene. We had to change our name because a band already got signed under that name, and we chose from a list of names that we all thought were fairly bad ass. We couldn’t decide, so we gave up and somehow AngelMaker just happened.

Q: Why did you choose to play the style of music that you do?

Jesse: We chose to play a brutal style of music, because every member of the band has been heavily influenced by much more intense acts. Our influences are numerous but we all have an appreciation for death metal, deathcore, hardcore and the like.

Q: What were your favorite bands growing up, and do any of those bands influence your music now?

Jesse and Casey: We both began with much “lighter” styles of music, with bands such as Billy Talent and Atreyu really breaking us in to the scene. We slowly progressed to heavier and heavier stuff, like Carnifex and Lamb of God. At a certain point, every last one of the band members was obsessed with the Black Dahlia Murder, and bands like Thy Art is Murder, I Declare War, Wretched, and Suicide Silence all played a huge role in shaping the music we create.

Q: Favorite artist that is not in the same genre?

Jesse: Well I love Being As An Ocean right now, and their latest release Dear G-D is has definitely established a spot in my top 10 of all time. They’re not TOO far from being in different genre’s, but they have a distinct feel 

nonetheless.

Casey: System of a Down.

Q: Have you had the chance to play live? If so, how did it compare to playing in the studio?

Casey and Jesse: We play live too much for just local shows. Our latest show, “Let’s Get Weird Fest” had an incredible turnout, and the crowd reception was unbelievable. The studio however was a great experience; working with Curtis Buckoll at Rain City Recorders was an absolute dream! He took every last input from every member into account and he truly made it “our” album. Compartively, the studio doesn’t quite live up to a chanting and moshing crowd, but we will be going back sometime next year.

Q: Does your family or friends support the style of music you play?

Jesse: Well I quit every other commitment in my life (basketball) to play in the band, and my father essentially threw the basketball budget towards studio time.

Q: How was working with Galactic Pegasus?

Casey: Playing live with them is sick and they’re all really great dude, but we’re not really involved with them on the internet scene apart from Mike tearing it up in his vocal covers.

Q: Do you do anything else besides playing music? School? Job? Hobbies?

Casey: Yea, Jesse and I are both in school; grade 12, and the rest of them are working up a storm, fresh out of high school.

Q: Opinions on illegally downloading music?

Jesse: Well Mike and I personally both purchase the music/merch from bands that we really appreciate, but we know that our EP will be spread online and downloaded if enough blogs get to it. We’re not very disturbed by this however, it just means our music is reaching a greater audience.


Casey: If there is one song from a band that I like and not too fond of the rest, I’ll illegally download it, but I know the struggle of selling music and with deathcore and all the genres around it, it’s a whore and a half to make money.

Any bands, companies, or individuals you would like to give a shout out to?

We’ll throw some shout outs to our local boys in Argent Strand, Icosian, Galactic Pegasus, Dawning of the Inferno, and the rest of all the awesome bands we’ve played with over our last few years. Shout outs to Suicide Silence and every last family member, friend or fan of Mitchel Lucker, RIP. Gotta love Pig Squeals and Breakdowns for bein’ a bro ;), BeheadingTheTraitor, Drew for hookin us up fattay style, and Total Deathcore for showin us love.

Thank you for the interview!

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