interview with Letallis

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What´s the name of your band? Letallis

How was the band formed? The band was formed in late 2005 by a couple a new high school friends. We had mutual interest in metal and playing music so we got to writing and performing.

Can you tell about your band?

Letallis is metal music thats all about the journey. We have two full albums out. “The World Awakened” (First) and the just released “Resonate”. Letallis started in late 2005/early 2006 in New Jersey. Founded by myself and some other high school class mates (around age 15). Had a full line up, and after playing a bunch of shows we released our first full length album "The World Awakened" in 2008. Throughout those shows we managed to open for Powerman 5000 and Candlemass and landed a day spot at Vans Warped Tour in New Jersey.

Upon graduating high school in 2009 other band members pursued other paths.

I (Jake) moved back to New York City (originally from here) to study Audio Engineering to continue my music/sound career. 

Where are all band members from?/Who does what in the band? The original line up consisted of myself (Jake) on Vocals and guitar, Andrew Stenvall on drums, Rob Bambalan on guitar and Gabe Araujo on bass. Since 2009 each member has gone their own way with the exception of myself continuing the band.

What was the ambitions of the band when you started? To melt faces and have fun doing it. Thats still the general goal.

Could you explain your music to someone that haven't heard you? Metal with a wide range of influences. The music keeps the listeners attention with many melodies along with the standard heavy parts. Each song has many dynamics that tell a story.

Where was your first gig? Hamilton Street Cafe in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Where was the latest gig? Starland Ballroom opening for Candlemass and Daylight Dies

Who writes your songs?/Who writes the music who writes lyrics? I (Jake) write everything.

What's good/bad with the band?/What genre do you feel you are?

Good: The latest album is out

Bad: Not bad really but I’m in the process of looking for members to start playing live again.

Since the release of Resonate theres been a lot of feedback as to what people feel the music is. Generally it seems to be melodic metal with hints of death and progressive.

Why did you pick that particular style?/What are your songs about? Thats what style just comes out. Listening to so many different things, its really my interpretation of all of it. The songs range from socio-political issues to the more recent style of internal psychological ones.

Do you write your own material or mainly covers? All original

Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they? The World Awakened (2008) and the just released Resonate (2014)

Do you have any clips on YouTube? We most definitely do http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFoN6HTbnLo

How old are you?/What got you started in music? I just turned 24. Mainly my dad listening to stuff like Led Zeppelin and gradually getting into heavier music.

At what age did you start playing? 7

How old were you guys when you first stood on stage? 15

What year was the band started? Late 2005

Best/worst gig you've played? Starland ballroom was a great show both times we played. Worst was playing a small bar with no one to watch and having the house DJ cut our set short cause no one wanted to hear metal in the particular bar.

Is it always the same songs live? We don’t have the biggest catalog to choose from just yet, but typically it’ll get switched up between all of our songs.

What has been the best/most promising gig so far? Probably playing at the Vans Warped Tour in NJ. A lot of other cool bands there and the crowds were pretty huge.

How big crowds do you usually play for? It can vary from small bar crowds to a few thousand.

What are the plans for the rest of the year? Find new members to start playing live again.

Where do you usually play? The tri state area in the north east U.S.

How do you get psyched up for a gig? Usually just joking around with friends and relaxing.

What are your goals with your music? To make great music and play for people who enjoy listening to it.

When did you decide to go all in for the music? Around the age of 15 after playing our first show. Been hooked ever since.

Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? Both really. Whatever strikes the mood.

What are your sources of inspiration? I love bands that have their own sound. Some big influences for me are Opeth, Mastodon, The Black Dahlia Murder. The best influences tend to not be the metal ones though. That usually helps keep it pretty fresh.

What's the first step when making a new song? Usually messing around with riffs. I’m a guitar player first so thats normally the first step. Although starting with just a concept and trying to describe it musically is fun too.

How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? Well since our latest album is free I’m ok with it. As long as the art is supported in one form or another I think its ok.

What would be your dreams for the band? International touring with some of our favorite artists. Also just collaborating with other great musicians.

Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? Lately its been Revocation and Skeletonwitch. Also a lot of world music, classical, even hip hop.

What would be your greatest fears for the future? Not having the music take off.

When you are on stage, what do you fear most then? Not usually anything. The only thing that might cross my mind is equipment failure.

Have you been part of any other projects? No

Have you been in any other bands? Besides small school projects and jamming with friends no.

What do you work with outside of the band and the music? Audio visual engineer.

What would you do if there was no music? Probably work in post production sound design for film.

How important are your fans? Their everything. Putting out music that is a reflection of yourself and having people say “Hey I like this” means the world.

What's the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you? Probably starting a conga line at one of our shows during a particularly heavy part in a song.

What do you feel is the best live band you've seen? Way too many bands to choose from. There have been a lot of super memorable ones. All fun at the time.

What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? The other options in life don’t really seem to entice me very much. And every time I’ve been on stage its been the most clear to me that thats what I want to do. And its just as fun to be here as it is being famous. If your only doing it to be famous then your in it for the wrong reasons.

Do you have any webpages?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/letallis

Bandcamp: https://letallis.bandcamp.com/

Twitter: @Letallis

Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there? DIY is a great way to go these days. Theres never been more possibility out there for independent artists.

How do you view the musicindurty of today? Its a great time for independent artists. There are so many tools to have a global reach for a small budget. It’s definitely harder in many ways but great music will still be made and survive.

What are the biggest obstacles for a band? It can be like a 4 way relationship (or even more if you have additional members) so keeping schedules consistent and getting that off the ground is tough. Also just making sure a budget is there is fairly tricky.

What is best/worst with playing the clubs?

Best: It can be a very intimate environment for a band and a good crowd which is always good.

Bad: We’ve played too many clubs where metal is just too loud for the space. Its normally too overpowering and ends up annoying everyone.

Whats your Pre-show ritual? Just goofing off and not trying to be too serious about it. It helps us play better when everyone is comfortable and can be themselves.

Do you have anything to add? Download a free copy of “Resonate” off bandcamp and crank it!

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