Richie Londres Of Sol Invicto
Anthony: So what have you been up to the past week man?
Richie: We’re just cutting our teeth on the next EP really. Just kinda focused on that. Now we’ve obviously, it’s been nice to see how, the first one was a nice experiment to see what kind of reception it was getting. It was nice to put out an official bit of music for once because obviously we hadn’t put anything out officially before. So yeah that was nice to watch how everything was being pushed around and seeing what everyone was seeing about it. We just kinda got straight back into the studio. And started working on the next batch of stuff which will be ready pretty soon man. It’s all shaping up quite nicely.
Anthony: Awesome. Well I want to ask about, I’m assuming it’s going to be Initium 2 but I want to ask you about specifically how far as reception goes the whole Dose of Metal deal [This is a reference to a review of Sol Invicto that was less than sparkling]. What was up with that guy?
Richie: Nah it was brilliant. I don’t know my humor is quite like that. I like that kinda humor. When I read it I knew it wasn’t, with stuff like that I knew, people shouldn’t take themselves too seriously because obviously everyone in the world’s got opinions about you know everything. And at the end of the day you can only make it and if people like it that’s cool, if they don’t then it’s the same deal. And personally I wouldn’t want to make something that everyone liked because that would mean you are doing something wrong really. So um it’s nice to do something that has got a specific audience. But I just saw a review they did of the remix for the Diamond Eyes and I could obviously tell it was quite tongue in cheek and I checked out the website and it was, and that’s the way they do it and it’s quite funny. And I just read their review and it really mad e me laugh, and the new EP, the Initium EP and I just hit the guy up and I said I’m going to send this to Steph. And the guy was like no, no, no don’t send it to Steph. So it was cool and I was like no, it’s no problem man, the review actually made me laugh. And don’t worry about it man, it’s all good and thanks. At the end of the day anyone who takes the time to review something even if they hate it, it’s still a review. So um, that’s the way I see it. The guy said do you want to do an interview. And I said yeah so he sent some questions over and it went down like that. So, but that’s kinda how I like to handle that. I think I do, I’ve been following the EP cause we do it directly so I get to kinda follow where it goes so I track it for a little while just to see how it’s kind of moving around. So I think people are quite surprised when you hit them up directly. I did that to a few websites. I was like hey man, how’s it going? They were like oh, uh, oh you’re from the band. And I’m like yeah, yeah. So it’s fun, I put people on the spot. But it’s good I’ve got no problem with, I don’t get upset with stuff like that. It normally works out well.
Anthony: And I have to say that the fact that you do kind of track it and see where it’s going and contact people, I really respect that. I feel like as far as musicians go it feels like a lot of, even small musicians are really hard to reach sometimes.
Richie: Absolutely man. I think there’s that whole, you know because when I started doing music I didn’t really have the business side of it in my mind too much. I started playing guitar and I used to play in a few metal bands, you know nothing serious, just jamming stuff. And I just had an idea that one day it would all kind of work you know and I think most people do. And then um, yeah early on when I realized it wasn’t just going to happen out of nowhere so I kind of took the frame of mind, if I treat this like a, sounds really cold but if you treat it like a business, even though it’s not a business, you have to add that element into it as well. And in the previous band I was working on which was this kinda Spanish hip hop Motown sort of project I kinda did a lot of hands on stuff with that. So I basically managed it, produced it, did all the driving, promotion, basically everything. So I got to learn a lot behind closed doors about how it all worked. I actually really enjoy this side of it as well especially you know it feels really good talking to people who are into the stuff not just kinda selling yourself going check this out what do you think. If people keep coming and going oh yeah I really liked it, do you want to speak about how you did this and I really like that kind of aspect of it. I think it’s important. I think a lot of musicians would probably benefit from it if they, it’s almost kind of like if you hold back your ego a little bit, not really like oh I’m unreachable. You’ve got to be approachable these days I think. A bit of a mix of the 2 I think so.
Anthony: So as far as that goes do you think that it should be the job of the musician to essentially promote themselves and take a step back away from record labels or what do you think of that in particular?
Richie: In my opinion it’s more of a case of you’ve got to do what it takes if you really want to get somewhere. I think because of the way the industry has gone there is no development anymore with the major labels, they are not interested in you know, and I’ve experienced it first hand, I know people who’ve experienced it firsthand. You can’t turn up to a major label with a project, with an idea even if you’ve done quite a bit of work. They want to see the finished product so unless you’re prepared to either sign away everything, you know sign away all your rights to your music and all your kind of ideas and let them deal with it, they’ll be happy with that. Or they want a finished product with a fan base; they want everything taken care of. So I think that the position that you are put in now is you have to do that for yourself, it’s not a case of, ideally all I want to do ideally is just make music and send it to people that’s pretty much it. By the way it’s worked is I’ve got a lot more results by going out there myself than, like I said I think you have to enjoy it as well. Either you have to have someone that, in your kind of group that enjoys it or if you can find someone that’s happy to help you promote your stuff. I think it’s very important that these days not so much in the past but I think now people have got to take that on board especially with the internet you can basically reach all their fans instantly. So it’s not a problem anymore I think.
Anthony: Well I know that the current lineup is yourself, Ajay, Bobo and Steph correct?
Richie: Yeah that’s correct.
Anthony: How do you guys find that time, especially with, you know you’ve got altered beats going and stuff like that, how do you find time? Are you having to do like scratch tracks and then come in and come over it with something? Or how does that dynamic work in your guys’ work, on how you guys create?
Richie: It kinda varies. And I think that’s why it has taken a little bit of time to get going because initially when we got started I was just starting to work with Steph and trading stuff backwards and forwards, seeing what works best. Because obviously people work differently in different situations. Some people like to have a full track to listen to that they can play along to. Some people like to have just a bare drum track and then backwards and forwards. Once we worked out a system, it’s just a case of keep sending each other music backwards and forwards. Steph might have an idea for a guitar bit so he’ll upload something. Ajay might have something for a bass line that he sends to Steph and we just keep trading stuff and it seems to work really well. When we get the time to, me and Ajay have been out to LA to go do some tracking with Steph for a couple of weeks. The Deftones were just here 2 weeks ago so we got Steph in the studio for 3 or 4 days. And we just kind of jammed out and chilled out. There’s no real, the best way to do it for us is to get together and not really think about anything, just throw some ideas down. And then myself and Ajay will get in the studio and start arranging stuff and see what we’ve got from the sessions and send it back to Steph, then send it over to Eric. Yeah that’s kind of all, but its kinda free form stuff at the minute but I would like to, when we do the album I really want to get everyone together in the same place for like a good 3 or 4 weeks and have that album sound. Because at the minute, you know it is kinda difficult with the Deftones touring a lot, Cypress Hill tour a lot as well. Alex has got his own thing going on, I’ve got my other projects going on but this is quite a main focus for me and Alex over here so every chance we get we’ll put some sound into it.
Anthony: I’m sure it’s gotta be nice to not have any specific commitments to it either. I mean obviously you’re committed to it in the fact that you’ve invested your personal time, but you don’t have a label breathing down your neck for something to get done. It’s like you said more organic.
Richie: It’s nice I mean, it is good to have, I mean sometimes in the past I’ve set deadlines or I’ve made the mistake of saying oh we’re going to release something by this date. And it’s more just to kind of get us going and then you’ll find something happen and you can’t reach that date. So I’ve kinda learned from that lesson before so I don’t, we just kinda make it and when it’s ready we’re just going to put it out. So there are benefits to not dealing with a label at the minute. A label is obviously, there are some good labels out there like um Ipecac is a great label for good independent music and stuff like metal. And there are a lot of independent labels and they kinda act like the old labels used to. But these days I think there’s a lot of pressure and I see a lot of bands get signed and then they’re pushed into this kind of schedule and then they never get a chance to actually sit in the studio and write a lot of music. It’s oh we’ve got to get the single out by this date to hit this target and blah blah blah. So it does turn it into more of a job than a passion. So we’re gonna try, like I said the main thing for us is to get the music out to the people really. And then just go from there and if the right label wanted to work with us and they understood what we wanted to do then that wouldn’t be a problem. So we’ll see what happens.
Anthony: So you guys, you had mentioned before that you were working on Initium 2. Obviously you guys have just started working on it but can you reveal any sort of feel that this one is going to have versus the first one, which was obviously a little bit more electronic, industrial, guitar riff throughout the whole thing? But is the sound going to shift or change that you foresee or how’s it going to sound?
Richie: We are going to try and basically evolve it over the next 2 EP’s into the sound that we’ve got in our minds for the project. The first EP, Initium, was quite experimental really. We had a bunch of stuff and it didn’t really fit together too well cause it was all recorded at different times. So it was getting to the point where we, we didn’t want to release something that didn’t sound coherent. So we just threw it into the studio and just kind of butchered it, chopped it up and went crazy and didn’t think about anything. And it really came together. And it wasn’t, that literally was meant for the fans, it was the case of get the music out, it’s an introduction to what we’re doing. But we’ve got for the next EP it’s going to be a lot more riff based. We got a lot more from the library to pull from like guitar wise. And the tracks are actually built around the guitars and for the first EP it was built around the drums. So this is a different kind of feel. So this one will be a lot more lead by Steph’s stuff and then we’ll bring in the electronics around it. And that will progress the third EP which is a lot more, I mean it’s got Dan Ford from Sic in it and there’s a lot more kind of straight forward metal sound. So we’re going to gradually just let it evolve and take its own path but definitely bring in more guitars. Um because that’s a big part of the project and it’s just getting everything to mesh well together. The last thing we wanted to do was just put something out that just sounded like we just got a drum and bass track and then put guitars in it and then the other way around, we got a metal track and put some electronic stuff. It needs to sound like its own thing. So it was quite important for all of us.
Anthony: So I’ve read your feelings on dubstep in ag nauseum in this last interview that came out in September and I’m not going to ask you about ? even though I really want to, what you think about that guy but…
Richie: I’ve spoken to him a few times, sent him some emails and stuff and he’s a cool guy. But that, I don’t know what it is. It’s just the frequencies they use, or the sounds that they use, me personally I just can’t relate to it, I don’t really , there’s no question it sounds amazing in a club as far as the sort of presence of it but the kind of dub I like is like stuff like Scorn, Techno Animal, that more kind of industrial stuff. It’s got a bit more grit to it. It just seems that the mainstream dubstep is very cut and paste it’s just like they’ve thrown it together really quickly and a lot of it, a lot of the tracks just don’t work. They just kind of jump from one bass ? to the next and I, that’s my opinion. I think it could be done a lot better but it sounds like it’s all a bit rushed. You know? They are just trying to get it out as fast as possible.
Anthony: I definitely agree with that. Specifically with that guy Skrillex, I think is what it is. It just seems like he takes a bit of a song and then just like puts some wobbles over it and messes with the drums and the pitch and then puts it out and it’s like, this is garbage. This is absolute garbage.
Richie: I think there’s a, it seems to tie in well with the times really cause dubstep is probably, I think it’s the first genre that’s really tied into the whole technology side of things. It’s very instant, very quick and I think it’s born out of that kind of feeling these days where everyone needs to know everything immediately without space or time. It’s right where, let’s play that, let me hear this and it kind of goes well with that kind of vibe at the minute and I prefer the whole thing where you discover something slowly and sit down and listen to something and don’t skip through the tracks. That sort of thing. And I think dubstep is representative of the times for the youth at the minute, especially like teens and stuff like that. I think it will evolve eventually but at the minute it sounds like no one has really got a handle on it. And every one is just trying to get a piece of the pie. That’s what it sounds like to me.
Anthony: So for you personally, when you are making music what do you pull in for inspiration or do you just kind of do it in that organic mode or do you have different things that you pull ideas from around your environment and stuff like that?
Richie: Yeah. I’d say for this project in particular I’m really into like riffs. As in, if I find a riff that I’m really into, that I could listen to on loop for like an hour, that kind of riff. And when Steph gives us a bunch of stuff I’ll spend, you know, there’s been times when he’s just recorded an hour’s worth of riffs. Just starts with something completely different and ends up with something else, and I’ll be happy to just sit there for a good couple of weeks just picking out all the different bits. Just picking out my favorite bits and they kind of inspire you to make something else. You might end up with, even a drum beat, if we get a loop going it will put a bass line in your mind. I let it kind of dictate itself. If it sort of evolves that way. And I’m also working with Ajay who kinda helps. Because I’ll do something and then I’ll get kind of stuck so I’ll give it to Ajay and then he’ll have a mess around with it, send it back. You know exchange tracks like that. And it seems to work quite well.
Anthony: Alright. So we’ve already touched on the fact that you guys have just started working on 2 and there is not really a date. Do you have like a region of time that it’s possibly coming out that you know of?
Richie: Yeah sure. I’d like to get it out; at least we are going to try to get it out, by the end of the month if we can. And if not, then the first week in October. So it’ll be pretty soon. The tracks are already built kinda shaped in the way that songs go but we’ve just got to deconstruct them and then add in the electronic side of things and really mess around with it production wise. So there’s a lot more foundation to go from on this EP than the last one. The last one was just kind of a crazy, we had like 20 minutes of crazy drums which we wanted to make sense of and then bring in different elements of recordings we had previously. So this one’s a lot more structured but we are gonna take it apart and then rebuild it to one thing again. And the same with the next one as well. We’ve actually written both EP’s they just haven’t been finished. It just sounds like a bands demo at the minute. It’s just drums and guitars and it’s cool. It’s got a vibe there. So we are just going to take that apart and rebuild it to get it out within the next weeks. And then once we’ve done that one the same thing with the next one. And that will be out about 4 weeks later. So we’re hopefully going to have all these out by November that Is the plan. It’s good, I think we’ve kept people waiting for long enough so. I think it will make me feel, I think all of us just want to get the music out there and let it kinda sink in. And once we get those 3 EP’s out there it will give us a good idea of where we want to go with the album. And then I think from the album it will be, that will be the sound of such. So with these EP’s we are quite sort of carefree, there’s no plan. We just want to put them out. I think it’s quite funny how a lot of people expected it to sound a certain way. And I knew as soon as we finished the EP I knew everyone was going to be all like, where are the riffs and there’s not enough of this. But that made me want to release it more. We don’t want to do the expected. I didn’t want to come out and just do the things that people expect. I’d rather it evolved with the people we’ve got following the band now. They’re the people that have built up a nice foundation for the music. It’s just a case of it builds slowly over time and then when the album’s ready we’ll look to, that’s when the live stuff comes into it.
Anthony: Well you had said that there are different guest drummers on each of the EP’s. Do you guys plan on bringing in a permanent drummer once you start working on the album?
Richie: Yeah definitely. I think that’s another way that these EP’s are going to be good for us because it will give us a good idea of what, because obviously every drummer’s got his own vibe and there are advantages and disadvantages of using different ones. But yeah we’ve got a fix on one at the moment but we’ve got a problem because we are a studio project so it’s quite nice that we can work with different people because you get the different inspirations from that kind of thing. For live reasons it would just make a lot more sense, and we’d be a lot more focused if we had just one, we were even toying with the idea of having 2 drummers. We could do that as well. The guys that we are using right now Dan is like, he’s a great drummer to work with cause he’s really focused and we’ll give him a piece of music and he’ll go away and write an entire song on the drums just based on what we’ve given him and he’ll come back in and we’ll mess with it. He’s ridiculously on point. He’s like a robot. And that’s the sort of person for if you played festivals; you’d want someone like that driving the bad cause in my opinion the band’s weakest point is their drummer. So if you’ve got a really good drummer you’re kind of half way there to putting on a good show. So that’s really important to us. But we really like working with Dan so I think he’s got the versatility for us to push it where we want to go with it. Especially with, we want to bring in a lot more of the timing elements and sort of Meshuggah style sort of stuff. So he’s probably the man to go with. At the minute it’s quite open. We’ll just see what happens.
Anthony: Ok. I’ve got 2 more questions for you man.
Richie: Yeah, got for it man. No Problems.
Anthony: Any guest vocalist or anything lined up for these EP’s or even the album so far at this point?
Richie: I’d say definitely not in the EP’s. Possibly on the album but, obviously by bringing in a vocalist is changing the sound quite a lot. So that’s something that we are quite aware of, cause that can take it in a different direction. So we are quite happy at the moment to run instrumentals, but that’s not to say we can’t, with the stuff we’re using, we can trigger sounds and mess around with stuff on stage as well so we can do that. The focus at the minute is on the music so as soon as you bring in a front man that kind of goes to the side really. So we’re kinda happy where we’re at. Like I said the same thing about the label, if the right person presents themselves, and it works then cool but our priority is to make sure the vibe is there with the band. It wouldn’t be right just to chuck a singer on there and then the focus goes away from the music a little bit.