10 Quick Ones with ALL SOULS – January 2018

According to a recent press release: “All Souls, the Los Angeles-based band featuring former members of Totimoshi (Meg Castellanos and Tony Aguilar), The Desert Sessions/Fatso Jetson (Tony Tornay) and Black Elk (Erik Trammell), stream “Sadist/Servant” via Revolver. “’Sadist/Servant” never gets boring,” says Tornay of the track which features guest player, Danny Carey (Tool). “It’s always in your face and never falls back in the pocket. Danny killed it. He’s playing this really aggressive instrument on the quietest part of the song.” The song comes from the band’s forthcoming, self-titled debut, which arrives Feb. 9 via Sunyata Records.”  We get the band to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, their influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Antonio: If you listen to it backwards I think fans will hear some really interesting things. Secret messages? Secret recipes? Secrets?  I’m not giving it away

Tony T: There are all kinds of little percussion things hiding in the background. 2X4’s banging on cement. keychains being rattled in bongo drums, feet stomping.

Erik: In “The Ghost Is Flying Home”, the idea was to have a chromatically descending line in octaves while changing the root notes in a way that didn’t sound boring and obviously chromatic. The bass line implies different chords by changing it’s own root notes and when you have all the rad additions Tony, Meg and Antonio did, killer stuff happens! almost the entire song “Sadist/Servant” was written around Tony Tornay’s drum riff! Sometimes it just takes one thing to get the ball rolling.

Meg: Chris Cornell’s death hit me pretty hard. I am a HUGE Soundgarden fan and completely immersed myself back into their albums after his death. I was thinking of him when I wrote some of the lyrics in “Reveille”.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Antonio:  What gets anyone into music? Nature or Nurture?  I think it’s Nature and a lack of nurture.  I realized I was a musician the first time I heard “Machine Gun” by Jimi Hendrix.   It gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Tony T:  My parents got me into music. I grew up in a very musical household. I started playing drums because my pops was a drummer. He pulled out his old set for me after I would stop banging on everything else!

Erik: I remember seeing the Dead Kennedys when I was an 8 year old kid in San Francisco at Mabuhay Gardens…my oldest sister was dating the guitarist East Bay Ray. I was much too young to care about any of that but watching him make so many different sounds, really piqued my interest. I started playing the guitar a few years later and even though I was mostly into punk I would go to the library and get classical musical notation books and bring them home and transcribe them into tablature. It was a very long, tedious process but it made me realize all I really cared about was playing.

Meg:  I attended an early Pixies show in Boston in the late 80’s. I stood directly in front of Kim Deal and was completely enamored by her bass playing and voice. It was that night I told my friend I was moving to California to start a band. It took a few years for me to formerly get in to playing music, but it seemed like the next natural progression since I was already performing on stage as a dancer.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Antonio:  Jimi Hendrix, Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, David Bowie, Jimmy Page

Tony T.: Jimi Hendrix, Black Flag, The Beatles, Bad Brains, Lemmy Kilmister

Erik: My list definitely has more than 5 so here’s a list of a few of my favorite guitarists: East Bay Ray, Johnny Marr, Tony Iommi, Robert Smith, and David Gilmour.

Meg: The Doors, Pixies, QotSA, Jane’s Addiction, Soundgarden

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Antonio: A living breathing one?  I’d say Brittany Howard. I’d just hand her the microphone and sit in a corner and commence goose bumping.

Tony T.: Terry Reid

Erik: Jim Thirlwell, his discography is astonishing. It would be an honor to be part of that process.

Meg: Josh Homme. His song writing and harmonies are unmatched in today’s music.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Antonio:  Dark, Catchy, Moody, Breathing, Beautiful.

Tony T.: Gypsy Funk

Erik: Dark, expansive, heavy, rock with dense harmonies and powerful lyrics.

Meg: moody, thoughtful, exploratory, sexy.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Antonio: Living for that moment.  So much of life requires you to live in wait.  Wait in traffic, wait in line, wait for the restroom, wait to eat, etc… If you’re a musician you can slip out at any mundane moment and invite the music to come.

Tony T.: That it isn’t being a garbage man.

Erik: Simultaneously exorcising demons and having fun while giving fans a vehicle for reality escapism.

Meg: the process of creating something beautiful with friends. We all have individual talents that we bring forth, but the combination of what we all have to offer makes the music unique. Performing is great, especially when there is an enthusiastic audience that appreciates us. And I like to travel, so touring can be fun, especially overseas.

7. When the band is all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Erik: We’re lucky because everyone is a good cook! If there’s ever a guitar around, Antonio and I take turns playing it. If there are 2 guitars around, people might have trouble sleeping.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Antonio:  A revolutionary.  I’d have a huge Emiliano Zapata ‘stache,  a horse, a stoic disposition, and an excuse for my shitty attitude.

Tony T: Professional cat cuddler.

Erik: Librarian, I’m not kidding! If I can’t have a guitar in my hands I’d want it to be quiet and mellow. I’ve worked at bars and in retail and in the service industry for so long that if I can do something without random people all over the place all the time, I’d be stoked.

Meg: World travel guide

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

Antonio:  Not a goddamn thing.  My scars were earned.  I wear them with pride.

Tony T.: I always wish I could do everything over, but instead I’ll just keep making mistakes so I have things to regret later.

Erik: I still haven’t gotten one of those ‘No Regrets’ tattoos.

Meg: My former band took a tour with another band (which I will not mention the name). We were warned by friends that it would be bad, and it was a disaster. I almost had a nervous breakdown. Negative energy is like a poison and since we were in such close quarters for weeks, I felt like I was being tortured. It was hell.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for anyone record in history, which would you choose and what does that record mean to you?

Tony T.: Terry Reid, Seed Of Memory. I just want to watch him sing and play guitar at all times.

Erik: Electric Ladyland. Watching Jimi create and record those songs must’ve been unreal. Even though Noel Redding said it was more like a party in the studio, it was still a masterpiece. Hearing all of the outtakes and versions of songs that didn’t make the cut had to be crazy. To me, that record is a total visualization of Mr. Hendrix’s. He goes in so many different directions with the arrangements, instrumentation, different players and, obviously, his unparalleled guitar playing. 1983… “A Merman I Should Turn to Be” is one of my favorite songs ever, it’d be really cool to hear the harmonized interlude come together as each track was layered on the reels.

Meg: Jane’s Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking. When that record came out I remember hanging out at friends’ houses back in Boston; the energy of that album would always work everyone in the room into a frenzy. It was a crossover sound that hadn’t yet hit the mainstream; mixing metal, punk, and psychedelia. It was so fresh, exciting and weird and dangerous. Listening to it on headphones you can hear layers upon layers of guitar and vocal tracks… the production is pretty incredible and each song sounds different from the next. It’s totally artistic and something I hope to achieve with All Souls.

Antonio:  I’d go back in time to be a fly on the wall for the Bo Diddley/Bo Diddley Recording Sessions.  It was recorded over a period of years.  Those old Chess recordings are magical.  Every song on that record makes your ass shake. One of my biggest regrets in life was not going to see Bo Diddley when I had the chance.

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10 Quick Ones with ALL SOULS - January 2018

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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