Thursday, July 21, 2011

Posted by Anonymous |
As you xStuck In The Pastx regulars no doubt already know, I (Andrew Jacobs) am quite a big fan of Chilean singer/frontman Philippe Arama's band Remission and have done quite a few posts for them because of that. What can I say? I've always been and always will be a sucker for hook-laden and catchy as hell hardcore. And naturally, I'm a big fan of Arama's indie rock band Invierno as well. Enjoy the interview. - Andrew Jacobs

Photo taken by Gary Go

How did you get into hardcore?

I first heard hardcore music through skateboarding videos. Bands like Minor Threat, Dag Nasty and 7 Seconds all sounded cool to me, though it took me a while to investigate and explore what they were all about. I liked classic heavy metal and it wasn't until I met two of my best friends that I made the switch to hardcore. They were punk rockers who had a light notion of hardcore and together, we started buying cassettes & CDs and checking out their thank you lists (to discover more bands) and all that kind of stuff. It was very exciting at the time and I've been hooked for 10 years now. Today's excitement comes in different forms but it's still there.

Although your band Remission has been around since 2008 and is quite prolific in terms of the number of records that you've either released or appear on, you have yet to tour either the United States or Europe. Why exactly is that?

Bad timing and money but we expect that to change. In September, we are going to the U.S. west coast to play as many shows as we can for two weeks' time. We wish to do the whole stretch, from San Diego to Seattle. This tour has been planned for almost a year now, so a lot of saving has been done and we couldn't be happier right now. I think travelling is any band's dream and soon, that'll become a reality. If we ever want to go to Europe (which we do), then we'd like to at least wait out another year to save up plane money for starters and secondly, we want to put out a new LP with React! Records.

What are some of your favorite Remission songs and why?

The song "Remission", because of it's pace and aggression; "Love" for it's words and guitar solo; "Burden Of Shame", because it defines us as a left-wing group; the entire Winds Of Promise 7", especially "Isolation" as it's the painful narration of what my father must have felt the three months he spent in prison. And finally, "Empty Glass", since it picks up on a heavier and angrier style of hardcore which we sort of drifted away from by throwing in so much melody on the latest songs.

As a singer and a frontman, who/what are some of your influences and why?

Who: Chris Jones, Dave Smalley, Ian MacKaye and Rob Pennington, to name a few.

What: feelings, observations, discontent and the need to express myself.

In addition to Remission, you also sing in a Texas Is The Reason-influenced indie rock band called Invierno. For the gringos like myself reading this, what does Invierno mean in English?

Invierno means winter in Spanish. It's the name we went for since that was the present season when looking for a name. Plus conceptually, it's pretty emo, right?

Does Invierno have any plans to record a full length? If so, please discuss. If not, why not?

We've been jamming all year to record an LP. We're finally done writing the songs, so I'm guessing it'll be out by October. 8 new songs we're very pleased with. I'm actually so glad it's almost over because since Invierno is made up of almost all of Remission's members, it has been the main reason for us being on hiatus. We never jam anymore unless it's for an hour and it’s the day before playing a show. This year, Remission has only played five times, which bums me out. I'm really hoping that after we record the Invierno LP and we return from the U.S. trip, we can get things moving much quicker than we have in the past.

How are you effectively able to juggle two bands and your personal & professional lives?

It works out fine because music has become a weekend thing from the shows we play. During the week, we jam sometimes but at night, after our more serious duties have been handled, like working or going to college. I no longer have a girlfriend who can get pissed off at me for having too many shows during the month, plus we don't take music very seriously and have learned to balance out everything.

How long have you been both Straight Edge and vegetarian?

Straight Edge for 10 years and vegetarian for 4 months.

Why have you chosen to be Straight Edge and vegetarian?

At first, Straight Edge was an ideal that appealed to me because it reinforces individual choices, free from pressure and tradition. Add to that being a teenager who disliked seeing his friends drunk and saying & doing things they normally wouldn't. Also, having divorced parents who would ocassionally fight and argue because of my father's heavy drinking for some years. I have no interest in alcohol or smoking as I feel that it would alter my natural condition and damage my health. Being Straight Edge makes me feel good and natural. Vegetarianism has been around me for a long time but I didn't make the choice until very recently. I guess it came from soul searching and it has everything to do with ethics. If you consider yourself to be compassionate and humane, then try to apply it to almost everything, including your food supply.

Living in South America, is it difficult to maintain a vegetarian diet? Why or why not?

Chile may not have as many vegan products sold in supermarkets but there are specialized stores where we can get our products. I think South American vegetarians stick more to lentils, beans and salads for that reason. The North and South Americas are pretty even on the cultural level since it remains a minority within the population and there's obesity and people into junk food & barbeques everywhere. I don't think it is difficult at all to maintain this ideal/diet, it just takes some figuring out, like what can I eat at what places? Simple as that.

Feel free to shameless plug any of your other musical or non-musical endeavors here.

Thank you for the questions Andrew and for doing this blog with your friends. You guys have been very supportive towards Remission by reposting our news and releases. Like I said before, look out for the U.S. west coast shows from mid to late September, primarily React! Records' Showcase on September 23rd and 24th. You can pick up our 7" EP from React! or our LP and split 7" with Police & Thieves from Amendment Records by checking out the sites I'll include in the bottom of this entry. I'll just say we love our closest friends and appreciate the support & interest from the global hardcore community. We'll keep the ball rolling and reactivate soon.


Fabio said...

Great interview, great bands, great guy!
Just had the chance to meet Philippe and get some Remission and Invierno records in Chile, in the beginning of July.
Keep it up!