Quarantine Discusses New Music Video, Upcoming EP, And The "BackMask" Movie Soundtrack
Band Photo: Quarantine (?)
The California outfit Quarantine may just be getting started, having officially formed as early as 2011, but its already managed to grab the attention of rock queen Lita Ford and horror director Marcus Nispel.
Today we're premiering a new music video from the band for the track "Alive" (available here), and we also got ahold of Quarantine guitarist Von Allaman to get an inside look at this young band on the rise.
Check out the full interview below to find out about the group's beginning, the release of a new EP, and having Quarantine music appear in an upcoming horror flick.
xFiruath: Fill me in on the shooting for the “Alive” music video. Where did it take place and how did the shoot go?
Von: The video shoot took place in the Spring of 2013 at Ubiquity Studios in Irvine. It was a great experience and a fun crew to work with. It went very well and we had a great time. We just performed as we usually do during live performances. Nothing was choreographed!
xFiruath: I understand you guys met Lita Ford not too long ago – tell me about how that came about!
Von: I am endorsed by B.C. Rich, the same company Lita Ford is endorsed by. She heard about Quarantine and came by to check us out at the Whisky a Go Go on September 7th. It was an awesome experience performing in front of someone who has done it all. She was a great help and worked with the sound guy to give us the best sound possible while we were performing. After the show I sat and chatted with her backstage and asked her honest opinion about our performance and what she thought. She thought we killed it and would love to come by and see one of our rehearsals in the near future.
xFiruath: I see you have a new EP coming up. Can you reveal any details yet as far as title, track listing, etc?
Von: We do have a new EP coming out. A release date is unknown at this point since we are still in the recording stage. The direction we're going in with this EP is a bit darker but sticks to our melodic roots and harmonizing vocals. The title of the EP will be called "Evil."
xFiruath: Where are you recording and how is the studio time going so far?
Von: We are recording with a German metal producer, Max Jaeger. We have worked with him in the past and he always has excellent ideas for us and gets the sound we want. We are recording in three different locations for this EP. Guitars in one house, drums in a studio, and vocals and acoustic guitar in Max's house.
xFiruath: Can you give me a history lesson on Quarantine and how the band got together?
Von: Quarantine was formed in February 2011 by frontman Nick Ryan and drummer Mike Mahan. It started out as a project for a high school talent show, Nick and Mike wanted to start a metal band and perform at the show. I had been in a previous band with Mike so they called upon me to play guitar for the talent show but the lineup was not finished, we needed one more guitarist. So I brought in my high school friend, Michael Varona, to play guitar as well. We played our very first song called "Damage." The show went extremely well and we began rehearsing every day in Mike's studio. We eventually booked our first official gig at the Ventura Majestic Theater in June 2011 and really won over the crowd. It was an unforgettable experience and from henceforth we were determined to push forward with the band, Quarantine.
We soon recorded a demo tape with our earliest tracks. "Alive," "Damage," "Find You," "Suffer," and "Backmask." Not long after our first gig, the owner of the Majestic asked us to open for All That Remains that October, which was one of our favorite shows to date. My father, Eric Allaman, took interest in the band and began to manage us. He helped finance the mixing of our first demo tape and pitched it to Marcus Nispel, the director of Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Conan the Barbarian, who was in need of metal music for an upcoming horror film he was currently working on called Backmask. Hence one of our tracks being called "Backmask" in hopes it would possibly make it into the movie.
Marcus really liked our songs but didn't think we had quite the dark metal sound he was looking for. So Nick and I began writing a theme song that would fit Marcus's taste. We came up with a song called "Black Dawn." A dark composition that was unlike anything we've ever done but still had a Quarantine vibe to it. Marcus fell in love with the song and the deal was set. He was going to use the song as the theme for the film. Now that we had a demo of the theme song Marcus wanted to use, we needed to record it professionally. Eric Allaman called upon his old friend and producer, Jim Wirt, producer of Incubus and Hoobastank, to see if he was interested in working with Quarantine for a first album.
Jim was thrilled to start with us and we flew to Cleveland in the summer of 2012 to begin working with Jim Wirt where we finished our unreleased album "Deface the World.” It just so happened to be that Marcus was filming Backmask in Rhode Island at precisely the same time we were recording our album and invited us to be filmed in a party scene in Backmask. We finished the album and drove to Cleveland and were filmed in the scene. Marcus thus paid us back by directing a $60,000 music video production for the theme of the movie, "Black Dawn.”
After the experience of recording the album and being in a movie, we all went back to our normal lives and school. Finding gigs here and there. We finally landed a big gig opening for U.F.O. at the Canyon Club in November 2012. Michael Varona soon dropped out of the band and we were in need of a new guitarist. Tanner Xavier, was then invited to audition for the band and immediately won the band over by playing the solo in "Afterlife" by Avenged Sevenfold flawlessly. Needless to say, he got the job as lead guitarist. This summer in 2013 we have been gigging around the Los Angeles/Hollywood area but with the high priced pay to play tickets, it was becoming ridiculous. We needed a place to play regularly where we didn't need to pay. Eric set up a deal with Terrence Davis, the host of "Malibu Unplugged" at the Sunset Restaurant in Malibu to play every Thursday night. The only problem was that it was an acoustic only venue, so we adapted to the settings of the venue and transposed our songs into acoustic versions. We ended up becoming the main feature of the night every week and people started demanding we become an acoustic only band but we continued to stick to our roots playing hard rock/thrash metal with the versatility of being able to play acoustic. Just recently we were called by the Canyon Club and asked to open for Queensryche on November 9th. The date is set.
xFiruath: Other than your own music, have you heard any killer albums lately?
Von: The whole band is a fan of Avenged Sevenfold. We are very inspired by them and congratulate them on their new album that has reached the #1 spot in the US, Canada, and UK, "Hail to the King.”
Stay up-to-date on the latest happenings with Quarantine by heading over to the band's official Facebook profile here.
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