Backstage with Message to Venus
Do you remember the first time you heard your music on the Radio and what was it like?
Jandre: It was a goose bumps
experience. That’s when I realized, this is what I have to do.
John: Yes, it was about a year
ago. A radio station in San Juan, Puerto Rico played “Cold &
Grey” on their Sunday rock show. It felt great, specially the
response we got from all the people that heard it. They were like,”I
heard you on the radio. You guys are awesome!!!”. To me that was
the best part of it.
JuanMa: Oh yes! Edgar and I were
going to the west side of Puerto Rico to see Jandre who was
recovering from an accident. At one point we were like, “Oh,
let’s see what’s on the radio, who knows, maybe they’re playing us on
the Local Noizz Show”. We were goofing around because we didn’t
have any confirmation that they were going to play us at all. When I
turned on the radio I found “Stripped” being played halfway
through! I honestly couldn’t believe it! After that the DJ talked a
bit about us and that was pretty unbelievable. We were like: “Oh
man this is for real!”. It felt really rewarding, and I don’t
know why but it’s not the same as getting played through the
internet. I think traditional radio still has some sort of mysticism.
You really do feel accomplished.
What musicians have inspired you?
John: I’m mostly inspired by
bands and musicians that have endured the test of time and have been
able to evolve. Some of those bands are Metallica, Sevendust,
Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones and Tool.
Edgar: For me it was most of the
80′s rock groups including The Police, Level 42, Tears for Fears,
JuanMa: Growing up I was always
surrounded by musicians. My first inspiration came from my mom and my
family. She plays guitar, and sings while the rest of my family has a
history of playing all sorts of instruments. One of my neighbors
played drums all the time so I really got into them because of him.
The turning point was when he threw into the trash a set of old
Slingerland drums and broken cymbals which I took home. When playing
in bands I always get inspired by my fellow band mates. I have been
blessed with being surrounded by great musicians and I am constantly
getting inspired by them. I think you can always learn something from
Who are some of the people you
have done studio work with?
Jandre: Leo Alvarez at Sound
Junkies Recording, Luis D. Cruz at High Noise Studio, Slimy Nuggetz,
both albums 4:20 and Equilibrium, 2 Sick Minds, Tributo a la
Mancha del Jardin, and a few other stuff for surfing and
John: Working with producer, Leo
Alvarez (Mattador / Tavú), has been by far the best experience.
We’ve learned and grown so much as musicians in the process of
working with him. He is very demanding and is not satisfied until a
part is done right, he doesn’t settle. Even though it’s painful,
that’s a great thing.
Edgar: Well, I have worked with
some divas *roll eyes*, but at the same time I’ve also worked with
amazing people such as my band mates, Leo Alvarez and Jensa.
JuanMa: In my life I haven’t
been all that much in the studio. I wish I could have though! My
first full studio experience was with Julio González from “El
Padrino Recording Studio“. I recorded some songs for my first
band, Zero. I remember doing the track “Lazaro” for local
band Dossis (which are very good friends). I then worked with Luis
Daniel Cruz in his studio for The Envelope EP. Currently I am doing
work with Leo Alvarez at Sound Junkies Recording Studios for the
Victims & Villains album.
How involved were you in the
making of Victims & Villains?
Jandre: This album has been a
challenge for me because the music was already recorded by John,
Edgar and JuanMa, so I had to adjust to this album and work
completely around it. This limits me but it pushes me at the same
time, and so far it’s working out great! Can’t wait to write new
music with the guys.
John: We have been involved in
every little detail. That is one of the advantages when a band is
taking the role of executive producer. We make sure that every one of
us agrees with the creative decisions that are taken.
Edgar: In every little detail.
JuanMa: For me, not as involved
as I would have liked. I was finishing up my Computer Science
Bachelor’s degree at the time and sometimes I couldn’t be with the
boys when they were doing some cool stuff. I would come one day and
they would already have some ultra cool part worked out, so I would
just go over it, get some rough edges out and work the rest out.
Do you have a favorite song that
Jandre: Leo Alvarez has really
been pushing me out of my comfort zone on this record… in a good
way I mean. From Victims & Villains, “The Unknown” and
“Cold & Grey” are my favorite thus far.
John: I personally really like
“Universal You” and “Cold & Grey”.
Edgar: “The Unknown”
is my favorite by far, can’t wait for everyone to hear it!
think one of my favorites that I recorded for Victims & Villains
is this song (still has no name) that has an AC/DC-ish interlude
that I really love. That song just brings a wicked smile to my face
Are there any new musicians
you’ve been listening to?
Jandre: I love Karnivool, and
The Mars Volta. I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic music too.
John: Some “newer”
bands I’ve been listening to are Art Of Dying, Pierce The Veil, Of
Mice & Men, among others.
Edgar: I have to say Karnivool
too, they are amazing.
JuanMa: Well you know, sometimes
what’s old for some is new to others… I have been listening to The
Mars Volta a LOT. It’s currently in my car’s CD player. I also have
been digging some August Burns Red, and a bit of Of Mice & Men.
you like for people to see your music?
Jandre: That’s the problem now a
days, people see music and don’t hear it. I’d love people to consider
my music “ear candy”.
John: Meaningful yet
Edgar: As mature and fresh as it
could be, I would like them to consider it as a whole new world or a
new story to tell.
JuanMa: This is what we love to
do. We all give the best of us in each song we make. These are songs
we feel we love not because we created them but because we really
like them. When we make songs we ask ourselves: would I listen to it?
Can you give an overview of the
album and when you think it will be released?
Jandre: This album is aggressive
yet melodic at the same time. Hopefully I’ll finish the next 4 songs
John: Victims & Villains
will be a powerful album. Very heavy on the guitars and more
technical than The Envelope EP. We don’t have a release date right
now, also we recently released The Envelope EP and we want to give
enough time to this release before we put out Victims & Villains.
Edgar: All of the songs in the
album are stories, our point of view of a short film.
JuanMa: This album is more aggressive all around when compared
to The Envelope EP. The Envelope EP sounds squeaky clean compared to
this one! There are some really catchy songs but we also have some
hard-end-of-the-world kind of songs. This album was made to be heard
in one volume setting: LOUD.
Official Site: http://www.messagetovenus.com (coming soon)
iTunes Links: http://www.bit.ly/iTunesTheEnvelope
Many thanks to Message to Venus for their interview with XR Volume!
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