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Interview With Fire & Flesh

This is an interview with the lead singer Justin Nieto of the band Fire & Flesh.

  1. Tell us about your band and how it all got started?

The short version; Fire & Flesh was initially intended to be a solo project after I parted ways with my band at the time that I wrote and played guitar in. I left my band because I felt that I was being held back musically. When I write music I like to challenge and push myself, so that I always improve because I think that it makes for great art. My old band was not on the same page as I, and I eventually said fuck it, and made my departure. The months that followed, I just locked myself in my apartment for months and just wrote. I eventually picked the strongest songs that I had, and booked some dates at the recording studio. It was never my intention to record vocals though. My experience at the time was nothing, except for backup shouts that I’ve done in past recordings with my old bands. My plan was to hire a vocalist to scream my written lyrics…. After chatting with my producer about it, I figured I’d just give it a shot. I spent some time trying to figure it out and learn the craft, and then I went in and executed it. I sounded decent and decided to form a band around it. I was fortunate enough to meet our bassist Gabe Villela after he responded to an ad that I had put out. After we met for a drink, he introduced me to our guitarist Alex Menendez, and F&F was officially born.

  1. What bands are you influenced by and why?

Fundamentally, we take influence from bands from the older generation of metal. With bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Anthrax, Iron Maiden etc,  there was a certain level of creativity, gracefulness, rawness, and even an authentic anger that fueled the music. Slipknot is actually a great example of that authentic anger I’m talking about. Corey Taylor is a great lyricist when it comes to capturing that inner anger. Bands that set themselves apart, we respect that so much. I think that even lyrically, shit was more poetic once upon a time. Sometimes I find myself wondering whether or not some vocalists even mean what they actually scream into a mic, or their just putting on an act. Personally, I really mean the shit that I say in my lyrics, unless of course I’m telling a story and painting a picture. For instance, we have a song on the new album that talks about massacring our corrupt government officials. I’ll quote the following lyrics:

Go forth and slay them down, slice them up and make them suffer. Feed them their own bullshit through the holes that you carve into their necks

Those lyrics are not a joke. Corruption must be dealt with. It’s gone on far too long without proper consequence, and it’s a result of big government and people being way too comfortable with being slaves. Real change only comes when heads roll.  If you are reading this, I bet that you feel the same fucking way, and deep down inside you know it’s true.

On our new album, ‘IN BLOOD WE TRUST’, we really got back to fundamentals. Fast and shreddy, with pissed off angry lyrics. We think too many bands nowadays get away with just following a certain formula, instead of really putting thought into the writing process. Mostly it’s the fault of the record labels though. It’s seems that they are grasping at straws nowadays since they are becoming less and less relevant due to the spike in bands/artists keeping it independent. They’ll take anyone, and most hungry bands will bend over and allow these labels to fuck them. But then again, if a band or artist has no self-respect and allow these labels fuck them, can we really feel sorry for them for shooting themselves in the foot by agreeing to a shit deal…? Nope.

  1. What is your favorite venue for live shows that you have played or attended shows at?

Most of my favorite local venues that I’ve played in the past are shut down. On a grander scale, I’ve played at Ace Of Spades in Sacramento a couple times with my old band and playing there was definitely a highlight. I’d love to be on that stage with Fire & Flesh sometime in the future. But honestly, house parties and backyard shows were always my favorite.

  1. Where do you see the future of metalcore music is going in 2016 and beyond?

It’s going to go wherever the fuck it wants to go. Music is a loose cannon, as it should be. Although, hopefully they’ll cut it out with the electronic shit.

  1. Who are your favorite bands to play with live?

We don’t have favorites; however, we played a show in San Jose once with a band called, One Vote For Violence. These dudes were so welcoming to us and they play hard. We’d be stoked to share a stage with them again. Sick band out of San Jose, CA. Check them out. Another local band that I’d like to shout out, is a band called, Decades In. They are just one of those bands that you can hear their passion in the music that they put out. I’ve shared the stage with them back in the day when they were called, Dennis Is Dead. Look them up!