Interview With Hostile Takeover's Kevin Raposo
Boston's HOSTILE TAKEOVER is one of beantown's more talented upcoming metal acts that features in its skilled lineup Ricardo Matos on vocals, Kevin Raposo on drums, Matthew Freeman on lead Guitar, Dustin LaRose on guitar and Serg on bass guitar. They cite Pantera, Lamb Of God, Shadows Fall and Unearth as their primary influences and it shows. They pay a direct homage to the bands before them without watering their sound down with pop sensibilities to try and land on the next cover of "Hey, I wear makeup and bracelets' rock magazine. These guys are committed to planting the true metal flag back in the soil it sprouted from and based off the unrelenting and heavy as hell songs they're dropping on everyone right now, they look to be one of the brightest acts rising from out of the east. I tracked down their drummer, Kevin Raposo for this Q&A session.
Rocket: So are you originally from Boston?
Kevin: Well actually I was born and raised in Cambridge which is a city right beside Boston. So the answer is yes I am originally from Boston, Home to the 3 time super bowl champs the New England Patriots and home to the 2004 World Series Champions the Boston Red Sox! As you can see we are very big into our sports especially baseball! Oh yeah, Yankees Suck!
Rocket: Haha. Remember now, the Yanks just happen to be the winningest sports franchise in the history of man. Alright, let's rock this interview out, Kevin. When did you start playing the drums?
Kevin: Well, I started playing the drums ever since I could move my hands! Growing up I remember being very intrigued with music and drums. When I was 3-4 years old I used get my mother pots and pans and set them up like it was a drumset, and use wooden spoons like they were drum sticks! I would pop in a Metallica tape and I would just jam out to the music! I am 22 now and officially started playing drums when I was 8 so it’s been 14 years! A glorious 14 year if I might add.
Rocket: Did you ever take any formal drumming lessons?
Kevin: Yeah, when I was about 8 my father took me to a school where I could learn music theory, how to read music, and how to actually play music. Then when I was in high school I was taking lessons there also. That taught me alot because I learned so many different styles of music. I played in the marching band, jazz band, concert band and drum line. So I learned alot of different playing styles and many different techniques. It was a very good stepping stone. On my summer breaks I would attend Berklee's School of Music summer programs and would take lessons there. This is all before I had ever played drums in a metal band.
Rocket: Who are some of your biggest playing influences? Past or present?
Kevin: I would have to say Chris Adler from Lamb of God. I would say that Chris and I have very similar techniques. He's been reinventing the drum fill with a pretty cool technique. Instead of using toms and bass he has incorporated tom, bass and cymbals. This sounds really cool. So I have been using those in my fills. (Thanks Chris!) Some of my other influences would be Lars Ulrich. He's the one who got me into drumming. Another important drumming influence would have to be Vinnie Paul of Pantera, and Damaged Plan. He has influenced most of my hard hitting groves in most of the songs we have written. Great drummer and a great guy!
Rocket: What kind of kit are you playing on? Please give us the specs.
Kevin: Right now I am playing with a basic 5 piece Pearl Export. My cymbals are mostly Zildjian except for my 2 china cymbals..
16" Zildjian crash
14" Zildjian crash
18" Zildjian crash/ride
8" Zildjian splash
10" Zildjian splash
12" Zildjian high hats
10" Wuhan china
12" Wuhan china
Alesis DM5 Drum Module
DW 5000 Double Pedals
Rocket: Let's talk about how Hostile TakeOver formed initially. What year did you guys all get together? And how did you meet up exactly?
Kevin:Well officially Hostile Takeover was formed in 2003. At first Ricardo(Vocals) and I used to just jam out in a practice space we rented out each month. Eventually that got really boring with just 2 people u know? So eventually I started looking for a new guitarist. You know everyone says its easy finding a guitarist, which is true. Now finding a good guitarist is a different story! So basically all I did was post messages in forums, on our first audition we met Matthew Freeman the current lead guitarist in the band now! He had the same views I had in a band. He also had the same dedication I had also so it was a perfect fit! Then we got a bassist and starting playing shows and recorded a demo. Things were going good until our bass player left the band for personal reasons. So now we were stuck! So after 6 months of auditioning bassists we found Serg. Serg impressed us because he didn’t use a pick, he just played with his fingers. He learned the songs very quickly and was now a part of Hostile Takeover. We were back up on our feet again! We starting playing shows again and decided we needed a rhythm guitarist and again on our first audition we met Dustin Larose! Again he was the right choice for the band for his dedication and chops on the guitar! He could actually match Freeman with the squeals!! So that’s how we formed and met all of each other.
Rocket: When does this band intend on releasing its debut full-length?
Kevin: We actually just released our EP about 4 weeks ago. We are actually in the recording studio right now recording the rest of our full-length album. I would say the recording process will take about 3-4 months, mixing and mastering should be another month. So I would say expect to see our Full-Length in the early summer or late summer. It’s going to be something that no one has ever heard before!
Rocket: What can we expect from the new material?
Kevin: Well I can say the new material is gonna be a big improvement from what you heard in the past. As the years gone by we have grew as musicians and took our songwriting very seriously. The new songs are going to sound more epic, there gonna be more dive-bombs from the guitars, and some insane guitar solo's. Expect heavier riffs, and heavier breakdowns. Extreme double bass, Shrilling squeals, Some crazy ass technical rhythms, pounding basslines, and some crazy ass vocals! I also do alot more backup vocals on the album than what I did on the EP. So all in all it should sound really fucking sick!
Rocket: I like to have fun with this next one. What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you while performing?
Kevin: The funniest thing thats happened to me while i've performed was this one time we were at a show and we just finished a song and were getting ready to play the next song, So I click my sticks to start the song and when the song was supposed to start pretty much everyone in the band was playing a different song! The look on every members face was speechless! We actually have funnier moments when we are off stage!
Rocket: Hell yeah. So who are some of the other local Boston metal acts that have impressed you?
Kevin: You know theres alot of metal acts out here in Boston, and alot of good ones! Just to name a few, We love playing shows with the guys from One-Less! Those guys are really good and a bunch of cool guys to hang out with! There's Hostile Ground, Downplay, Graveyard BBQ, Breath and just way too much to list! There's a lot of great metal bands in Boston though.
Rocket: It seems like that. I have heard a bunch of them this year for sure. So, listen, it's been a great year for metal. What's been your personal favorite for 2006?
Kevin: My personal favorite this year was Lamb Of God! The new cd was Great!! These guys are one of the hardest working musicians in metal today! These guys just get better and better! It justs get Heavier and Heavier! All That Remains has been another favorite! Some hometown boys!
Rocket: I know you guys have a show coming up in December, right? Tell us about that.
Kevin: Yes, Dec 1st we will be playing with Otep supporting their First Ever User-Generated Tour! The show is being held at Marks Showplace in Bedford, New Hampshire. This is actually at a strip club too! Thats a good mix: Tits, metal, and boobs! Some of the other bands on the bill are gonna be Genuflect(featuring members of Reville), Haloburn, Mongrel and of course Hostile Takeover. So it should be a great night!
Rocket: Good luck with that gig! Sounds like a major throwdown event for sure. Thanks for taking the time out on this with me. Give a shout out to your biggest supporters.
Kevin: Well first of I wanna give a shout out to the Disciples of Doom. That's the fans of Hostile Takeover! I wanna give a shoutout to The Metal Den of course and another shout out to you Rocket! Shit I cant forget about the Hostile Hotties either! Gotta love them. And another shout out to all my friends and fans who believe in Hostile Takeover! Thank you!
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