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Interview

Cultural Warfare Talks "Future Kill" EP, Politics On Facebook, And More

Bringing 80's Bay Area thrash back to the forefront of the metal scene, Cultural Warfare is made up of four seasoned musicians with one common goal - absolute mass destruction!

The band's latest release, a blistering 5 track mini-album titled "Future Kill," just dropped last month via M-Theory.

After that release we got in touch with new-ish vocalist Jacques Serrano, who joined the band in 2015 and made his first recorded appearance on "Future Kill."

In the full interview below, Jacques shares his thoughts about bands getting political on Facebook, how his new vocal work expands the range of Cultural Warfare's music, and teases when fans can expect a proper full-length album release.

xFiruath: It's been about five years now since the “Ratten Krieg” EP – what has Cultural Warfare been up into in that time and how has the band changed over the years?

Jacques: Hello, thank you for this great interview! Since the release of the "Ratten Krieg" EP there were several shows promoting that EP but the band has changed significantly. First of all is after the live support of that first EP the band parted ways with the singer and bassist. Once a band goes through a member change it takes some time to find replacements which is what they did when I stepped in to join and began singing for the band. The bassist came soon afterwards and ever since that time we have grown as a band as well as written the new EP "Future Kill." Lastly, we do have a full length CD in the works that should be released late 2017, early 2018.

xFiruath: Let's dive into the nuts and bolts of the “Future Kill” recording process – where did that go down, who did you work with, and where there any particular challenges to overcome to get this beast finished?

Jacques: As far as challenges, they were all normal and part of the process such as perfecting all aspects of the songs. From melodies, arrangements, individual parts, etc. We really focused on once we thought the songs were good, we need to make them the best they possibly can be with all our performances. The EP as recorded at Trident Studios with Juan Urteaga and it was mastered by Maor Appelbaum, both of which are highly respected in their fields.

xFiruath: I've been listening through a bit and I'm intrigued by your vocal work here, because your voice really straddles the line between thrash and power metal on the singing while the music is really focused more on the thrash side. What do you bring to the table in terms of defining the Cultural Warfare sound, and do you think there will ever be any more of the power metal side in the instrumentation in the future?

Jacques: Since I am the singer I will give my thoughts as well as what the band has stated many times. First of all in my long career I have sung metal of my inspirations. Obviously as long as I have been performing I started out with all the Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Helloween, King Diamond, etc. and those styles and inspirations are in my blood. I also have grown with the times and been inspired by thrash metal and their vocal styles. From the power of Chuck Billy to the intensity of Bobby Blitz. I also have appreciated singers such as Warrel Dane, Russ Anderson, and the way they used a very poweresque technique in the heavier side of metal.

The band has said that I have opened doors to different possibilities to write and perform any style of heavy metal that we enjoy. We could entertain doing some sort of power metal but it would always be surrounded in the music with real heavy thrashy type music since that is what we all love. Our potential is in many arenas and we are all lucky that we can pull different feathers from the cap.

xFiruath: Between the band name, EP title, and distinctive imagery on the cover, it seems clear what this release is about, but I'm wondering if you can share a little on the specifics of what's happening with the lyrical themes.

Jacques: I write all the lyrics at this point and they weigh heavy on war and related topics. All though war is a common theme we write about different eras of war in the history of the world and the war could also be a personal war within ones own life. I have always been a little on the dark side as well when I write lyrics but we are not limited to just WAR songs. The more we write the more different subject matters you will hear about and believe me, stay tuned because there are some real cool things were working on.

xFiruath: On a related note, a lot of bands these days – especially in metal – are getting directly involved in political activism and social causes on their social media accounts, but I noticed Cultural Warfare tends to stick solely to the music and upcoming live activity. Would you say the music is more your outlet for those sorts of opinions, and how do you feel about bands getting political or championing specific causes online?

Jacques: I believe every band should do what they think is right for them but Cultural Warfare believes social media should be to make friends and share our music to the world. I am more than willing to get political with people but in real life to where you can have real debates. When you get in deep discussions like that I like to not just hear the words but see the facial expressions so you truly get the feel of one's passion. If we really feel the need to talk about something in the lyrics it will always be an outlet and thank God artists have that outlet. For example, "Defy The Blade" off our current release is about defying the blade of ISIS or any terrorism. So I needed to get that topic off my chest and I did with that song.

xFiruath: You released a lyric video for “Future Kill” not too long ago. Are there plans for any other lyric clips or even full music videos off this release?

Jacques: We released a lyric video for "Defy The Blade" before we signed our record deal and soon after we released the "Future Kill" lyric video. We have talked about doing a real full blown video and it is in the cards but as a band we have to measure where our money goes and at what point that money can be spent. Right now were focusing on our stage set up and improving some technical toys to help our live show evolve. There are always ways to spend money in a smart way and right now we have some other things were doing with our cash flow.

xFiruath: What have you thought of the feedback to the release so far, and have you seen any reviews that seemed to really nail what the EP is about?

Jacques: I think we are very lucky to say that every review has been spot on! Every one is unbelievable and positive. When they compare us to certain bands it is very diverse in the thrash bands were mentioned with and ALL of them we are honored to be even thought of in the same breath.

xFiruath: Where have you guys been playing live recently and what's coming up on the touring front for supporting “Future Kill?”

Jacques: Our first show is February 24th San Jose Ca which will be our CD release show with Hatriot and Angerhead. We are also performing along side Warbringer, Witchhaven, and Tormentor March 8th in Fullerton, CA. There are several more dates coming to fruition.

xFiruath: Are any of the Cultural Warfare guys currently active with other bands or have any other projects cooking in the near future?

Jacques: No, Cultural Warfare soothes all our passions and takes all our efforts.

xFiruath: What was your personal favorite album of 2016 and what's coming out this year you are really looking forward to?

Jacques: I personally enjoyed the new Metal Church very much. Lots of bands had great releases. It was a good year for Metal.

xFiruath: Anything else you'd like to add?

Jacques: Just thank you and all the fans across the world. We expect to keep reaching new fans and we respect them more than you know. Also, please if you want to know what is up with us go to our website and you can keep up with all the social media sites and any news. Support the scene, and KEEP IT KILLER!!

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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