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Interview

Burning The Masses Guitarist Chris Valenzuela Discusses New Album "Offspring Of Time"

San Diego's Burning the Masses is about to hit the road in support of the band's sophomore effort "Offspring of Time," which dropped in November through Mediaskare Records. The band snagged Cameron "Big Chocolate" Argon for the vocal work on the album before recruiting new vocalist Brian Kulikoff. Burning the Masses guitarist Chris Valenzuela recently spoke with me about the band swapping out members, the recording of the new album, and his interest in reggae music.

xFiruath: Let’s dive into the history of Burning the Masses and how the band got together.

Chris: Me and my guitarist Arde started jamming out when we were about 15 years old. We had another band that was kind of metalcore. We were jamming out with a couple of old members and as time went by we got a little more serious so we did some member changes and found Jake, our current bass player. We went through a couple other drummers and singers and then we came across Chason, our drummer, after a few years went by. Singer-wise, we’ve gone through so many. Currently we’ve got Brian, and we’ve had him for about five or six months now, and that’s pretty much how we all met each other. It was all through networking on MySpace pretty much.

xFiruath: Did your new vocalist provide the recordings for the latest Burning the Masses album, or was he not on that release?

Chris: No, on the new album was Cameron Argon, people call him “Big Chocolate” on YouTube. He did the vocals on our new CD. He only did one tour with us, that was our European tour, but he hasn’t done any U.S. tours with us.

xFiruath: What does Burning the Masses sound like and how would you describe the band’s style to a new fan?

Chris: I’d say that we are more extreme. I don’t know if there’s a genre called “extreme metal,” but I’d call us extreme metal. It’s more on the technical, melodic side. I’d say where a little bit more diverse. On our last album we came out with a mariachi acoustic song, so we like to mix it up. There’s some progressive metal, to death metal, and the extreme metal, so that’s pretty much what I would say.

xFiruath: Tell me about the new album “Offspring of Time" and how it's different from "Mind Control."

Chris: We recorded In Portland, Oregon with the same guy who recorded our first CD. We went there for a month and tracked 11 tracks. I’d say it’s more mature than the first album we released. On our first album, we were 18, and I would say we had more of a grip song-structure wise on this one than on “Mind Control.” We are all happy with it, so I hope everyone enjoys it.

xFiruath: Who writes the lyrics and what do they deal with?

Chris: Cameron wrote all the lyrics for this album. He pretty much came up with it right there in the studio. I couldn’t say what the meanings are behind them. There’s no theme to the album. A lot of the things are about the world ending and stuff like that, godly entities and stuff, but that’s a question more for him.

xFiruath: That’s some pretty interesting cover art for “Offspring of Time.” Who did that?

Chris: That’s Pär Olofsson, he’s from Sweden. He did our first CD cover too. We pretty much like to go to him. He’s done stuff like Psycroptic and other death metal bands.

xFiruath: You guys are heading out on tour at the beginning of December. Who are you touring with and where are going?

Chris: The tour starts in the west, goes to the south and the Midwest, and then back west. It’s with As Blood Runs Black, As Thick as Blood, and probably a few other bands on the bill. I know King Conquer is on there, they are our label mates.

xFiruath: How’s your local metal scene there in San Diego and do you guys play local shows often?

Chris: We played here one time like a month ago, but it was a smaller venue and a last minute show. The scene here ranges. Lately there’s been a lot of shows going on with more diverse music, not really metal. Not that much metal comes through here, and when it does its big fest type shows. People come out for that.

xFiruath: Are you guys only with Burning the Masses or do you have any other projects coming up?

Chris: No one is really in any other projects, we’ve been sticking to this, but we’ve been talking about starting a reggae type band just for fun on the side. We’d just play local shows. We’re just talking about it, nothing’s happened yet.

xFiruath: What’s on your playlist right now?

Chris: I’ve been listening to a lot of types of music actually from reggae, a little bit of jazz and hip hop and stuff. I like to range my music. I like to play all types of music on guitar. It’s the same for everyone else, everyone in the band listens to all types of music.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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1 Comment on "Burning The Masses Discusses 'Offspring Of Time'"

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1. gripper writes:

this is a killer young band that needs some attention
their new album is the deal
just ran across this interview
it is appreciated

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