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Interview - Alexia Rodriguez (Eyes Set To Kill)

Interview with Alexia Rodriguez from Eyes Set To Kill
by Bex "Hardcore" Tasker at 31 October 2013, 12:03 PM

Popular American Post-Hardcore band EYES SET TO KILL have thrilled their fans worldwide with the new release of their album, “Masks”, a darker and heavier release than anything EYES SET TO KILL has ever put out before. Vocalist and lead guitarist Alexia Rodriguez tells Bex “Hardcore” Tasker about the meaning behind certain songs and how the band’s music has shaped up over the years. 

Hi Alexia, how are you? Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview, I’m a huge fan of EYES SET TO KILL, and I’m loving the new album. Have you always wanted to be in a metal band, or was there a time you wanted to be a pop star?

When I was younger I wanted to be a pop star because all the music I listened to when I was in elementary school and middle school was pop, but I wanted to be more of an Alanis Morisette-type of pop singer. I wanted to be someone people could relate to, someone more real and raw in terms of lyrics. But when I started learning guitar in 8th grade I realized I wanted to be in Rock/ Metal because all my anger and frustration growing up was so much easier to channel through heavier/darker music.

What’s the meaning behind the name “Eyes Set to Kill”, and whose idea was it?

When I started EYES SET TO KILL in high school, I wanted our band name to reflect on our motives and our drive. I wrote a poem in my journal that I would always write in instead of focusing on school. It was about a criminal committing a crime whose "eyes were set to kill".

Both you and Anissa are obviously very into music. Did you come from a musical family?

We didn't have any family members that played music, but our mom listened to a lot of alternative rock when we were younger. We grew up listening to NIRVANA, HOLE, VERUCA SALT, SMASHING PUMPKINS, PEARL JAM, ALANIS MORISETTE, etc. I think listening to this music made us very mellow individuals. We love the 90s and I feel like it’s the last good thing that happened to music.

Some of the riffs you play are pretty intense. Do you find it difficult singing and playing guitar at the same time?

Yes, playing and singing at the same time is really hard especially with the leads and using effect pedals at the same time. I like it though and am a little proud that I pull it off because there aren't too many lead guitarist/front women out there who do it.

Who are your influences, as a musician or simply as a person?

Kurt Cobain is my idol at times because there aren't many artists like that anymore. I feel like nowadays, people are too star hungry and in your face. I will never be that way and I admired him for always being himself and no matter how negative people got, he never held back. He was inspiring to me because of how real he was.

What’s the best thing about being in EYES SET TO KILL?

The best thing about being in EYES SET TO KILL is meeting fans who really found sanctuary through our lyrics.

I’ve had at least 4 of the songs from Masks stuck in my head since I first listened to it. How do you make the songs so catchy?

I really love singing along to catchy songs so I wanted to make sure people can do the same with ours. I always listened to the radio growing up so maybe that has a little to do with why I write catchier melodies.

I heard you say in an interview that your previous album White Lotus represents EYES SET TO KILL evolving as a band. What’s the concept behind Masks?

White Lotus was the first step of us evolving as a band. We wanted to put something out on our own before trusting anyone else to because I feel like being independent and not relying on anyone else would be the best thing to do before committing to a relationship with a label. The second step of evolving was actually finding the right label. Century Media is perfect for us and I'm so happy we found a home with them.

White Lotus also had a few acoustic songs on it, but Masks is completely heavy. Was there a reason you guys decided to make it that way?

I always did acoustic stuff on the side and even released some of my songs through my solo project. Through White Lotus we just wanted to do something for the fans and a lot of the fans love my solo stuff so that’s why we tracked some more mellow tunes. Masks is a representation of who we are as a four piece and nothing else. I didn't want to put a slow song or anything this time around because that isn't what EYES SET TO KILL is.

“Secrets Between” and “Where I Want To Be” reappear on Masks, and they’re a lot heavier. What made you guys want to record them again?

We love those songs and didn't want to part with them. They were the two songs from our EP that we absolutely love.

Is there a song, or a few songs, on Masks that stand out for you, or have a particularly meaningful message?

My favorite song off Masks is "Killing in Your Name". It's the song that took the longest for me to write guitars to and hardest to track so I’m extremely proud of it. The guitar solo is my favorite part and also the fact that the song is about overthrowing authority.

The music video for “Infected” is really interesting and quite scary. What inspired its concept?

I wanted the video for “Infected” to reflect on what the track is actually about. “Infected” is about feeling like you are the wrong and crazy person in a relationship when in reality the other person in the relationship is just manipulating you into thinking you’re crazy.

Is there one song in particular, from any album, that’s your absolute favorite to play live?

My favorite song to play live is “Lost and Forgotten”. It’s the first song we released from the album so people really respond to it the most and there’s a ton of energy.

Have you had the opportunity to meet or go on tour with any of your favorite bands?

I was really excited that we got to play with HALESTORM because I really love Lzzys voice. As far as favorite bands, I'm pretty sure most of them don't tour anymore.

If you weren’t a singer, guitarist or songwriter, what do you think you’d be?

I would just be a painter I think. I always need an artistic way to release my feelings so I would have to channel it through painting or drawing if I couldn't write.

I just have one last question, and it’s the most important: are you guys planning on coming to New Zealand anytime soon? (If not, please do)

I would love to go to New Zealand we just haven't had the opportunity. I just saw a movie the other day called “Boy” that takes place there, and I fell in love with the place.

Awesome. Thank you so much for your time, Alexia. Do you have any last words or announcements for the fans?

Just want the fans to know we are excited about this new album, and I am thankful for them supporting us throughout the years. We will be touring the US for the rest of the fall and hope to see more familiar faces singing along.

Cool, on behalf of Metal Temple, thank you so much, and we wish EYES SET TO KILL the best for the future. Really looking forward to your next album!



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