Spitting out brutal vocals over a distinctive sound, Texas heavy metal band, Sons Of Texas, are back for another round over their sledgehammer-to-the-noggin sophomore album, ‘Forged By Fortitude’. With the debut album, ‘Baptized In The Rio Grande’, under their belt, fans worldwide are currently catching a glimpse of their rage-infused roots live on tour with fellow rockers, Seether.
I caught up with Sons Of Texas bassist, Nick Villarreal, to discuss the upcoming release of ‘Forged By Fortitude’, his perceptions of the artistic benefit of tattoos within society, the band's favorite podcast and more.
Is there a follow-up to ‘Baptized In The Rio Grande’ or any new material in the works? Fill us in.
Of course! We've got a new album coming out in just a couple of days, actually. It's our sophomore album entitled, ‘Forged By Fortitude’. Produced and engineered by the same gentleman who did ‘Baptized In The Rio Grande’ — Mr. Josh Wilbur. And we couldn't be more excited for its release.
Are there any certain Metal/Rock magazines or podcasts that you follow?
We're all pretty fond of Jamey Jasta's podcast, The Jasta Show. I think it's very insightful for aspiring musicians who want a glimpse of the life of a traveling musician. And we all grew up ripping pages out of REVOLVER magazine of our favorite artists and tacking them on our walls. Probably just those two that I can think of off the top of my head.
What has been the most important dose of wisdom that you have received throughout your career as a musician that you have carried with you along the way?
Pretty early in our career, we were given the advice to be equitable within the band. Keep everything fair and equal. A band is a company and we're five equal partners in it. Everything we do is collaborative — our music, creative direction, and art design, so we split everything equally. I've heard it's what keeps bands together longest, so everything we do, we keep it fair and make sure all five members of the band are level with one another. And of course to stay humble and work hard no matter what.
Any upcoming tour or festival appearance plans that you can fill us in about?
We're on tour with Seether in Europe right now! We're five days in and it's been rad as hell. Super stoked to keep going. We'll be out here until late October and there's definitely stuff in the works for when we go back home, but nothing confirmed yet. As previously mentioned, our record is just about to drop so we'll be touring the hell out of it nonstop for the next couple years for sure. We like to keep busy.
Touchy subject, yet what has recently happened in Houston has affected the state in which you were brought up in, have you had any direct family members or friends affected by this tragedy? What are some of the greatest methods of healing that you have witnessed or have been involved in?
Hurricane Harvey was just devastating for the coastal communities. There are schools in Rockport that have been permanently closed just days into the school year due to irreparable damage. It was terrible to see the effect such a disaster can have on people in Texas. But there has been a load of relief efforts and help from people not just in other cities in Texas but the entire country and that's always very uplifting and encouraging to see. I have an aunt and uncle who live in a western suburb of Houston who had terrible flood damage to their home. They had to sleep in the third-grade hall of a public elementary school on camp cots for several days while they figured out what to do next. But they're totally fine and are well into the process of rebuilding and repairing their home. Just like with any disaster, we learn to move forward stronger than we were before and help others the best we can along the way.
Let’s talk tattoos. What is the most memorable tattoo you’ve created and what does it personally mean to you.
My very first tattoo was a text tattoo on my inner arm. It says ‘Stay Positive’. I guess I could say it's the most memorable because it was my first and it's just a constant reminder to stay positive. A positive attitude can do wonders for yourself and everyone around you. Sure, it sounds cliche, but I didn't get this far by being a miserable a**hole. It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, but you learn from the hard times and you stay positive no matter what.
What artists/musicians do you desire to work with, in a creative capacity, over the years to come?
Dave Grohl. That's all! The dude's an icon and just seems like a regular guy who's rad to hang out and work with. Wouldn't mind picking his brain as much as I'm allowed to.
Is there anything that you’d like your fans to know about yourself or the band that they may not have already known prior?
Before inking our record deal with Razor & Tie in 2013, with this current lineup, all of us had been in five different bands over a span of ten years. Some of us played in bands together while others played in other bands and somehow we ended up together and wrote some bitchin' tunes that turned heads.
What is your perception of the benefit of tattoos as means of artistic expression within society?
I think it's great! The tattoo industry is probably one of the fastest growing in the world. At this point, it's weird if you DON’T have a tattoo by the time you're 19 or 20. But that's not a bad thing. Art is a crucial part of life and a valuable outlet to express yourself and your personality. Whether you're the one getting tattoos or giving tattoos, there's meaning behind the desire to partake. There's talent, skill, and emotion involved in the whole process and it's a beautiful thing you've gotta appreciate. And those who don't are just close-minded jerk-offs who put Trump in office. Our tour manager, Gabriel, is actually a very talented tattoo artist who has done a lot of the work on all of us members of the band. We also have other friends who own shops and are just trying to make a living doing what they love; making art. So we support and give 'em business as much as we can.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
Keep up with us on all our social media platforms! Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all that. Just search Sons of Texas. We're on there and we run all accounts ourselves so drop us a line, say what up, keep up with tour dates and come hang out at a show! Other than that I guess just stay cool, drink eight glasses of water a day, take your vitamins, and keep your hands to yourself, dammit. Thanks!
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