Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Sunday Conversation With. . .Oscar (Guitar and Vox), Joey(Bass) and Hernan(Drums) from The Rare Breed

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments? 

JC: first time i heard sabbath bloody sabbath, it was my pre-teen angst and ever asking questions answered in one album.
OD: Hearing War Pigs opening chords while the siren weeping in the background before I ever even knew who Sabbath was. That was game over for me.
HR: Funny enough, it was actually when I first learned my first "hard" song. And Oscar was learning the same one. King Diamond's "Invisible Guest" broke countless stick, bloody blisters and just frustration. But finally getting it down and actually playing it together with Oscar, was that moment when I thought... Man, that was good.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

JC: Most cases it all starts with a riff that Oscar comes up with, presents it to us and we usually just jam it out. That's kinda how the music is written but the lyrics are drawn from moments in time. We usually have a word or a lyric and I just write around that. It can be anything from love, witches and uh... out there shit. 

Who has influenced you the most?

JC: For oscar and I, it's the obvious BLACK SABBATH. It's always been our go too when it comes to how to jam, write and overall structural feel.
HR: I kinda grew up with more of a heavier background, so my influences are similar but very different at the same time. For me, it was more Mikkey Dee from King D and Motorhead, Nicko McBrain from Maiden and Ian Paice from Deep Purple.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

JC: Anything that motivates us to write the gnarliest shit. But also not to stray too far away from the original stuff that inspired us, because it's kinda the DNA of our musical beings.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

OD: Hometown is Los Angeles, we're all kids from immigrants, born and raised here. So it all kinda feels like we have to find our own identity in the cultures that are presented around us. There's a lot of gang cultures, a lot of gritty street happenings. In seeing that, it's not something we wanted to be part of but it was definitely something we witnessed everyday. So that makes the music aggressive in a  laid back way and also pretty in the ugliest way.

Where'd the band name come from?

JC: So I was reading the back of a cereal box when it hit me... haha
It's a secret that's not so secret so let me let you in. The band that Geezer and Ozzy met was called "Rare Breed". Half of that band met up wit a band called "Mythology" (Tony and Bill) and that obviously little band called "Earth" haha so it's just a homage to that.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

JC: The movie of our lives.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

JC: For me probably sabbath bloody sabbath. It has a lot of lyrical meaning not just to the events of their (sabbath) lives but it just always said a lot to me, like they understood me and my thoughts. So like any great song it makes you feel like you aren't alone... kinda back to that beautiful disaster mind set.
HR: For me it's simple, King Diamond's "Puppet Master". I would just word for word plagiarize that.
OD: It'll be between Achilles last Stand, Ten Years Gone, and the Rain Song what does songs represents to me and what they mean to me a kind go on writing a book about. 
Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

JC: I guess nothing ever goes as planned. We've had strings snap, sticks break, dropped sticks, off tune, getting to the venues... Always some crazy shit. But it's Rock n Roll, gotta roll with the punches. Nothing to hilarious, yet...  

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans? 

JC: We've always felt that we're more of a live band than anything else. Meaning, we' go hard, nothing goes as planned, we enjoy the unpredictability of not just the jam but the crowd reaction, cus sometimes there's only three people in the crowd but those three people is all we need sometimes. It's all recycled energy, kinda like a big spirit bomb. haha

What makes a great song?

OD: In the sense of music writing, hooks and jams. But at the end of the day, feel. What it makes you feel, what it makes us feel.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

HR: The first song we wrote as a band, is surprisingly the one that gets talked about the most. We say surprisingly because we feel we've grown a lot in our song writing process. Not that the song doesn't rule. Oscar had the bare bones and Joe and I brought that bitch up, gave it some life. 

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

JC: The controlled chaos of our jams.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

JC: Uncle Acid. I think we can all agree, that's a main reason The Rare Breed got triggered to hop on the happening music scene. The killer hooks, something eerie and different but somehow very familiar.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

JC: Hernan and I both agree that CD is for us. Though we love the vinyl sound more than anything, we're always out and about, driving somewhere, a good CD you can just take anywhere with intimacy. Cus how many times, on a long drive do you get stuck with that one CD and you find new appreciations. Just you and a CD.
OD: Vinyl man. That warm sound.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

TRB: BEER! Cuts we're a bunch of alcoholics but we like to party all night. And usually gotta be up in the morning. At least with beer, we got a chance of waking up.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

TRB: Obviously the big boy, the last major one standing Amoeba. But we actually have a good one right around the corner from where we live called Atomic Records.
What's next for the band? 

HR: Try and take over the world.
JC: Jam
OD: Always writing, always new music.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

TRB: To quote the immortal words of the blessed Neil Young... Keep on rockin' in the free world!

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