Tuesday, October 15, 2013
INTERVIEW WITH ANGEL C. FUENTES
1-What's up Angel? Let's start this interview already.
How did you form Mercynary back in the day?
I had been playing in metal bands since high school and was successful in the local scene. I decided that I wanted to start something with a more extreme sound that would go national, possibly international. I auditioned 80+ musicians before I finally found what I was searching for and then formed Mercynary.
2-What were some of the things about Thrash metal that made you play that kind of style in such a brutal way, with that voice? I'm talking about the demo "Plagues Of Death"?
A lot of my style came from musical influences such as King Diamond, Rob Haford, Geoff Tate, Bobby Blitz, Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, too many to name. When I write and perform, that creative brutality just naturally flows. "Plagues of Death" was born from that same brutal creativity and energy. The support of the band members and the way they flowed together was also what made that demo possible.
3-What's been your best live experience, in your opinion? Playing live is still the best way to get the band's name on people's lips, do you agree?
There have been so many remarkable experiences like opening for Obituary and Fear Factory in 1994. That show produced monstrous mosh pits that transformed into hurricanes before my eyes. The coolest moment is looking into the audience and seeing the fans singing your songs word for word. But this was just one of many awesome experiences.
Playing live has always been the best way to develop a fan base and allow the audience to experience that brutal energy we spoke of earlier. Sometimes recordings just don't do a band justice.
4-Did you play outside the states with Mercynary?
Yes, we did a tour in Germany and other parts of Europe in the 1990's, a reunion put together by promoters but by then the line-up had changed except for myself.
5-How was your local Metal scene? Would you say it was pretty healthy compared with today's scene? Are there some new Thrash metal bands that are seriously working on getting somewhere?
In those days the local metal scene was very strong. However, today we have lost a lot of musicians to other genres of music . It has weaken over the years. There is still a local scene and I'm sure there are new bands that are seriously working hard on their careers. I've just been very caught up in my own projects and haven't networked locally in recent months. I am focusing my efforts in other directions beyond San Antonio
6-Tell me about your musical career after Mercynary broke-up.
After Mercynary, I joined a band called IBM, which was a grind/death metal band. For many years I stopped singing and just played lead guitar. After that, I joined a black/death metal band called Devoured Existence and simultaneously formed SA Sanctuary, which opened and toured with bands like Judas Priest, Budgee, Saxon, Lynch Mob, Flotsen and Jetsen, Exciter, Exodus, Overkill, Y&T, Queensryche, and others. I'm also the vocalist for a new melodic, experimental metal band called Sinthetic. Recently, I have started writing a lot of music with a new personal project but haven't found the right musicians to bring it to life yet.
7-If you had to name other bands from your area, what they would be?
The only local bands that really influenced me are Watchtower, SA Slayer, and Karion. There are a lot of new death metal bands that play well but I've noticed not much creativity to be unique. Most of the bands sound the same.
8-The lyrics of the demo deal with violence and torture. What drew you to this subject matter?
The lyrics and messages in the songs were basically about the human condition through my eyes. We were all born to die and in the meantime we experience an array of emotions and suffering. Most of the lyrics were written based on personal feelings and experiences...they just flowed out naturally.
9-Have you had a chance to reunite with the members of Mercynary?
Yes, we have attempted to reunite several years ago but unfortunately, the reunion did not go well. There were a lot of old wounds that hadn't healed yet. Basically, they just couldn't get along anymore.
10-Are there any current bands you like to listen to?
I've always been diverse listener but I naturally prefer metal and some rock. If I had to name a few they would be Dimmu Borgir, Mudvayne, new stuff from Death Angel, Exodus, Testament.
11-Do you get a lot of requests for the old material and does that bother you or are you comfortable with the band's past?
Yes, that was the most memorable band I have ever played with. I am always getting request for reunion shows and a new album. I loved Mercynary, that was my baby. I just need musicians that can back me up and I can start the monster rolling again.
12-What are some of the lessons you've learned during your time in the music, specifically heavy metal business? What things would you pass on to young bands starting out?
Find talented, dedicated musicians. Make sure you can get along with them and have all the same goals so you can make music for many years to come. Don't waste time on nonsense, life is short. Just go for your dreams!!!
13-Thanks for your time in answering this interview. It's cool to have the chance to interview one of the members of the most underrated band in the underground thrash metal scene. Please tell the readers of Soulgrinder Zine, what are your future plans as a musician. Maybe a reunion tour with Mercynary? a new album? This space is for you.
I am currently working on a new project, writing new songs. You can find sample of this project on www.reverbnation.com/angelcfuentescom . It's amazing...I have made it all the way to #1 on the charts in San Antonio and I don't even have vocals yet. The fans and supporters have been great.
My biggest obstacle at this point is finding dedicated, talented musicians that are interested in pursing a serious project and have the ability to play that brutal. I have also put together a website that combines samples of all my past and present projects in one place: www.angelcfuentes.com
I just look forward to continuing my dream and KEEPING METAL ALIVE!!!
Interview by Paul Caravasi