WITH PASSION - Label Interview online


Earache möchten ihre Metal Recken von WITH PASSION mal ein wenig genauer vorstellen. Hier das Frage und Antwort Spiel vom Label:

Who is WITH PASSION – currently?

Fidel Campos – Lead Vocals
Gregory Donnelly - Guitar
Jeffrey Morgan – Drums
Michael Nordeen – Bass
John Abernathy - Guitar

How would you describe your sound? What sets you apart from other bands in the genre?

Fidel: Technical melodic metal. We try to come across as original as possible and try not to be as off the wall as most bands are trying to do these days.

Jeff: I guess I would call it fairly technical, melodic death metal-core-ish. You can definitely hear influence from other bands in our music, but I can’t think of any other band that puts it all together in quite the same style that we do.

Mike: I would definitely say technical melodic metal. I believe what sets us apart is that we don’t try to go for just any one thing as far as our sound or crowd. We love music, and we love to play music. I think that translates well from how we write our music to how we perform live.

John: We basically write what we want to write, with a focus on technicality and high energy in every song. I think part of what sets us apart from other bands in the genre is we put a bit of video game music influence in our songs.

How would you describe a With Passion live show?

Fidel: Very raw and energetic. Lots of interaction with the listeners and fans. So that we don’t forget what we are there for, which is to entertain.

Jeff: From my perspective… very sweaty and lots of fun.

Mike: Head twirls, screaming, always sweat, sometimes blood, mosh pits, dance floors, flying guitars, metal fingers, the claw and brutality. They get pretty intense.

John: We just try to go as crazy as possible and have fun. The last few shows I've even done some somersaults with my guitar on stage. The music has a lot of intensity to it and I think it really reflects on our stage performance. A lot of metal bands act very serious on stage but we just try and have a good time and make people laugh.

The music is continuously tight! What is the band’s musical background?

Fidel: It really varies from all spectrums of music.

Jeff: I think pretty much every member comes from a completely different musical background. We all share some similar musical interests, but I think the diversity helps add more dynamics to our sound.

Mike: Everyone listens to everything. And we really mean it. I’m not even going to attempt to list the bands and artists that we all listen to. On the road the tour van is like a listening station at a record store.

John: Well as far as our musical taste, yes we all listen to a variety of music. If you are asking about the background of our music training, we are all self taught musicians pretty much. I personally just grew up learning Pantera, Slayer and Metallica riffs and solos on my own, then just kind of progressed from there to learning sweeps and other more technical shredding skills.

Why have there been so many lineup changes? Are the current members here to stay?

Fidel: Being an outsider of the band situation at the time I could not honestly answer that, but from my experience it is always lack of commitment. As far as the current members, I believe we are very committed and ready to take this as far as it will allow us to.

Jeff: I believe almost all of the line-up changes happened because of members’ inabilities to tour frequently. I left the band once a few years ago, but now I’m back and I’m here to stay. I really do think this line-up is solid and won’t suffer any losses any time soon. We all get along great and we’re all super motivated.

Mike: The life of a touring musician playing heavy music is not for everyone. There is to be an expected high turnover rate for anything that only gives little to no return. The current lineup is the hardest working group of guys and best friends I have ever seen. I have more faith in them than I can express.

John: Some people just aren't in a position to tour full time due to other commitments in life such as work and bills and relationships. All the current members however are all ready to get on the road almost all of next year and work our asses off even if it means sacrificing many other aspects of life. Plus I think there may have been minor personality conflicts with previous members whereas the five of us now are best friends and getting along on the road has never been a problem for us. Many other bands have had much more line up changes than us and still recovered and achieved success, so I really don't think it’s as big of an issue as a lot of people make it out to be.

What do you think the current state of music is? How do you plan to bring your sophomore album to the masses in such an oversaturated market?

Fidel: The state of music is more image than the satisfaction of making good music. We plan on touring and promoting are asses off with the help of you fine people. Make people listen.

Jeff: I think there is definitely a trend in metal and hardcore right now and I think we teeter on the edge of it. I just hope that our music has a unique enough angle to it to make it stand out. As far as getting our album to the masses, I guess we just plan to tour as much as possible and get our music out to anyone and everyone who will give us a chance.

Mike: The current state of music is the same as it always is. It moves in cycles and waves. Right now, the type of music we play is marketable. I believe that this good timing for our music to be getting out there. We plan on being on the road in support of this album as much as we can. I think that the owner of Relapse Records said it best in regards to Mastodon. I don’t remember the exact phrase, but something along the lines of there is a direct correlation between bands that tour the most and successful bands. Saturated market or not - we are going to tour often, and we are going to get your attention.

John: Yeah, basically what the other guys said, we are just going to tour as much as humanly possible. We love touring. It’s like hanging out with your best friends and partying 24/7, and playing music, so fuck it, why not stay on the road forever especially with a new album to promote.

What do you guys do in your spare time?

Fidel: I like to hang out with my family. That is what is important to me

Jeff: I work a lot so that I can cover my bills while we’re on the road. I’ve also been a full-time student for a long time, but recently finished my degree.

Mike: I love to collect music. I love to search out and find new music. I guess I also drink, get on Myspace too often, watch too much MTV, read not nearly as often as I would like, sleep too little and talk too much. Oh, and I drive more than I care to.

John: I drink like a fish and hang out with my friends and girlfriend. I try to hustle and scrape by without having a 9-5 job. I play video games, go to parties, bars, and shows, and I too will admit to lurking on Myspace a bit too often.

Where are you from? How did the band begin and describe the current state?

Fidel: Sacramento, CA.

Jeff: I’m from Sacramento, CA just like most of the other guys. The band originally began in ’02 when Shaun (ex-guitarist), Jacob (ex-drummer) and I all quit a band we had previously in search of a more creative musical outlet. With Passion was the result. The band has come a long way since then. Currently, I think the band has finally settled into a more permanent state. Now we’re just anxiously awaiting whatever the future holds for us.

Mike: I’m from Vallejo, California. The rest of the guys, and all of the previous members are all from Sacramento, California. The band began in the July of 2002 because Jeff and previous members of the band wanted to start a metal project where they could play more technical music on their own terms. The current state of the band really really really ridiculously good!

John: Yeah, the band started in 02, and shared a practice spot room with my old band. Even the newer members of this band (Greg, Fedi and I) all were good friends with most all the previous members, so when most of the band members quit it just fit for us to join, especially since Greg, Jeff and I since we were in a band together already that was seeking to replace members. The current state is great we are all working together very well and we all have the same level of commitment.

Who were you most excited to play with? Who would be a dream band to play with?

Fidel: I can’t say if I was ever excited to play with a certain band. It depends on the band members. I’m a fan of lots of bands but I’m more excited in playing in front of crowds of people that enjoy what we are doing.

Jeff: I was personally most excited for the Nile, Hypocrisy tour we did last winter. It wasn’t exactly a fitting line-up for us, but it was a great opportunity all the same.

Mike: Bands I was most excited to play with are: As Hope Dies, Misery Signals, The Red Chord, Deicide, Soilent Green, From A Second Story Window, Into The Moat, I Burn Your Diary, Between the Buried and Me, Decapitated, Cyanide Era, The Concubine, Into Eternity, Hypocrisy, Neuraxis, um I think a ton more but I can’t remember. A dream band to play with? Hmmm, maybe End This Day or Coma Eternal. Hell, I really don’t care. It’s a dream to play any night with any band.

John: Touring with Nile was nuts, but I get more excited just to play with our friends such as bands like the Concubine. Also I get really excited any time a local band blows my mind, for example in El Paso we played with a band called I Burn Your Diary whom were ridiculous live. It would be a dream just to play with any bands as long as we are on tour and not at home!

What are your plans for 2007?

Fidel: Tour, tour, tour. Maybe work in between those, but hopefully not.

Jeff: Tour, tour, tour!

Mike: What Fedi said!

John: Exactly. Tour – tour - tour.

Fidel – what is your background in the music scene? What are your thoughts on being one of the few Filipino front men in the metal scene? How do you feel about being in With Passion?

Fidel: Well I started out as a DJ, just doing house parties, clubs and big events. Then eventually I started experimenting with live bands just mainly doing sounds effects and samples. One of my first bands that I actually started making a name for myself was a band called Severance which oddly enough featured the original vocalist of With Passion, Sam McLeod. We were a "rap metal" band. We made an appearance on MTV’s TRL and won a nationwide battle of the bands competition. Then later on I joined another band called Beatofficers which I started doing back up vocals as well. Eventually I teamed up with Spencer Daly (member of Beatofficers) and Flint Marshall to form CYANIDE ERA in which I became an actual front man for a metal band. Then finally, I was recruited into WITH PASSION. I feel very privileged as being a Filipino front-man in a metal band. Not very many minorities are very much involved in this genre of music, but that just brings more people from my background and nationality to be interested in this genre of music even if they never were. I enjoy being a part of With Passion and I am here to stay.

Name your top 5 albums of all time – in any genre.

Ice Cube - Amerikkas Most Wanted
Pantera - Cowboys From Hell
Radiohead - OK Computer
NWA -Straight Out of Compton
Slayer -Reign in Blood

The Get Up Kids – Four Minute Mile
Cave In – Beyond Hypothermia
Rilo Kiley – More Adventurous
Into Eternity – Buried in Oblivion
Rocky Votolato - Makers

Mike: (I know it’s not five, but I can’t decide!):
Dredg – Leitmotif/To Catch Without Arms
Misery Signals – Of Malice And The Magnum Heart/Mirrors
As Hope Dies – Legions Bow To A Faceless God
Panic! At The Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
Dr. Dre – The Chronic
White Zombie – Astro Creep 2000

Brand New - Deja Entendu
Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power
Bone Thugz-n-Harmony - E 1999 Eternal
Immortal Technique - Revolutionary Vol 2
Into Eternity - Buried in Oblivion