Killing The Messenger Interview
1. How did you guys originate and come together as a band, and how would you classify your sound overall?
The band was originally started by Ahren and Willie with Kris joining shortly thereafter all during senior year of high school. Mainly it was just for fun, you know, pretending to be rockstars, but soon enough it started becoming more of a serious endeavor. After recording their first song with me, Jon, they needed a new guitarist and seeing the potential they had I decided to join up. We’ve not had the best of luck with bassists including our most recent loss of Robert from our lineup but that doesn’t hold us back from progressing further as a group. All of us come from a variety of tastes and individual styles so it makes it hard to classify one exact genre. Most would simply call us metalcore but we definitely add elements from a myriad of styles in the overall metal genre. I think it keeps the sound more fresh, adding a bit of spice from each of our influences. We, as most musicians, are growing in our artistic expression and like to progress our sound and abilities all the while not over complicating things and then sometimes just keeping it simple.
2. What are your overall influences as a band?
I, for one, grew up in a slightly different era than the rest of the band. I’m 8 years their senior. For me it was the thrash metal of the 80s and 90s that I began to love at an early age. Metallica, Pantera, Slayer and others were my biggest influences when learning the guitar. Of course my tastes also evolve with age and I’ve always tried to stay current in the scene. The band definitely sees eye to eye when it comes to groups like As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, August Burns Red, Avenged Sevenfold, etc. Most of us also have broader horizons and listen to a lot of hip hop, mainstream pop, electronic, and even classical.
3. What is your favorite song to play live for the band, and the favorite song you play live for your local fans?
There are a couple songs we wrote when first starting out that might not be considered that great but the local scene went crazy for them. One of them being ‘Captive’. It’s just a really heavy song and the crowd usually goes nuts for it. One of our favorites on the road is ‘Chosen Ones’. It’s just a quick, high energy song and it’s usually a great way to start our set. We’ve began to play a new song called ‘Fuel to the Fire’ that will be on our upcoming album and I know we can all agree that it’s an incredibly fun song to perform and also slightly difficult.
4. What has been your most memorable show and why, what bands are the most fun to play with locally?
We have had quite a few truly memorable shows but to narrow it down to one I think we would all agree on Valentines Day 2013 when we were direct support for Memphis May Fire. It was at Soma San Diego on their sidestage and the crowd was super into it. We had a nonstop barrage of crowd surfers and stage divers and the energy from that show just electrified us. It was unreal and extremely unforgettable.
5. What are guys focused on as a band the rest of this year?
We are currently finishing up writing our debut full length album and have already begun the recording process. We self produce and self record so it really enables us to take our time and perfect everything. We hope to complete everything before the end of the year and plan on releasing it early 2016.
6. What instruments and music products do you guys support and why?
I have been playing Schecter guitars for the past 10 years and I don’t know if I’ll ever switch brands. I’ve had nothing but great tones from them and the quality is just awesome. Kris is a recent convert to Schecter and he now understands why it’s my go to guitar brand. We both use Ernie Ball ‘Skinny Top, Heavy Bottom’ strings and swear by them. We still use 6 string guitars so to get that heavy sound when tuning down these strings really help out. Willie is an avid user of DW drums as well as Zildjian cymbals. There’s really no better fit for our sound and Willie’s playing style. Ahren refuses to use any mic other than his Shure SM58, not to mention, most of the mics we use in the recording studio are also Shure. They just make good quality, long lasting microphones that just sound great.
7. Who would you like to thank, and that supported you on the way?
Honestly the main people that we need to thank are the fans. Yes we love making music, but if it weren’t for all the awesome people that come out to shows, buy a shirt, or download our songs we wouldn’t still be doing this. Also, the venues in San Diego that gave us a chance and continue to support us and strive to see us succeed truly mean a lot to us and we owe them every bit of gratitude. Finally our friends and family who have motivated us, lent us money, or have just shown us love and continued to support us throughout the years, we can only hope to repay them in some way.