Interview – Alexia Rodriguez of Eyes Set To Kill

Interview – Alexia Rodriguez of Eyes Set To Kill

EyesSetToKill2013-CreditJeremySaffer

Photo credit Jeremy Saffer

We are sometimes faced with unforeseen situations in life. It’s up to the individual to persevere and make the most of the situation. Eyes Set To Kill did just that in 2007. Upon the departure of their lead singer Lindsey Vogt band leader Alexia Rodriguez took on the task of fronting the band. Finding herself in a place she never thought she’d be, this ended up being a blessing in disguise for Eyes Set To Kill. With 4 successful full length albums under their belt, a dedicated growing fan base, and extensive touring you can say things worked out just fine for the Rodriguez sisters in the past 6 years. The band is now ready to take the world by storm and make a statement with their newest offering Masks . Recently we sat down with Alexia Rodriguez for an in depth look at her vision behind the music, the making of Masks, movies, and much more.

Crypticrock.com – Eyes Set To Kill has a decade as a band under its belt now. The band’s line-up has changed some early on and started to take shape around when your Debut album Reach (2008) came out. Tell me what was it like for you early on with all the line-up changes?

Alexia Rodriguez – It was really frustrating because I felt like I was the one who had the bigger vision of the band. When we had other guitarists and singers I felt like they wanted to bring the band into a different direction. It’s my band and I never wanted that, I felt like they just parted ways for the wrong reasons. It was really hard making the transition because I didn’t always sing in the band. I am a singer but at first the only time I would sing was when I was alone because I have stage fright. That was the hardest part about when Lindsey quit. I started a band to write music and not be the center of attention. For some reason the universe put me in that position (laughs). It all worked out.

BreakSilence Records

BreakSilence Records

 

BreakSilence Records

BreakSilence Records

Crypticrock.com – It all worked out in the end because the band has morphed into what it is today. Now the core of the band being yourself, your sister Anissa,Caleb, and then Cisko joined the fold in 2010. Tell me briefly about the dynamic writing music and being in a band with your sister.

Alexia Rodriguez – It’s fun writing with her. Whenever I’ve written with people in the past I have butted heads more with them because I’m really passionate about writing. With Anissa she is really open, she is already my best friend, I’ve known her for her whole life, and it just makes things easier. We don’t take stuff personally. If I just think a bass line she wrote is retarded she will say ok I guess it’s kind of weird and let’s try something else. We are never really defensive with each other like most bands are. It’s cool having my sister and someone that I trust and respect their opinion about things to write with.

Crypticrock.com –Now that you mention that, it has to be more of a level of comfort being open about the music with your own sister. Your newest album Masks will be released September 17th. From what I’ve heard it further exemplifies the progression of the band’s music. What was the writing and recording process like for this record?

Alexia Rodriguez – It was a lot easier this time around because in the past we had always been rushed with writing. We usually have to write, record, and tour right after. You are kind of stressed out about writing because you know all these things are coming up after. With Masks we knew we had a break after recording. It was a lot easier to have our heads clear and not be thinking about anything else. I think that is really the only different part about the writing part this time around. Also, we got to work with Steve Evetts who I respect a lot. It was awesome to work with someone who mixed and produced records that I really like.

Eyes-Set-to-Kill-Masks-620x620

Century Media

Crypticrock.com – I’m looking forward to hearing the entire record. It sounds great from what I have heard. At this point in your career 5 records deep, do you feel most comfortable in your skin as an artist now then say 8-10 years ago?

Alexia Rodriguez – Yes definitely. Even a part of me wishes this was just our first album. All the other records written with other people, member changes, where we were in our lives, we were just kind of lost and never really knowing what we wanted to be. For this record all of our heads were clear and everything worked out perfectly. Almost for me, I feel like it’s my first real record. Even our older records on Suburban Noise, I felt it was very confusing to people. They would say wait you guys are on the same label as Kottonmouth Kings, that’s bizarre. Our genres are completely different. Everyone had a weird idea of what we were because of the bands that were on our label.

Crypticrock.com – I can understand that but now you are Century Media which fits the band well. I understand that many times as a musician you can get into the world of that you need to please your fans and you don’t want to alienate your dedicated fan base. At the same time you want to progress as an artist. Is that something the band has struggled with, and if so, how do you deal with that task at hand?

Alexia Rodriguez – Yes in the past when we started writing we would always bring that up. We would say ok we have to write another record that our fans are going to love. It worked out for the fans but not really for us. For this time around I wanted to write something that I would actually listen to. I think a lot of bands are afraid to do that stuff now. They are afraid of losing fans. I think the more true you stay to yourself, the more you see who your real fans are.

Crypticrock.com – In the end you have to make music you are satisfied with as an artist. The real fans will understand that, respect it, and be open minded. With you set to release Masks, can fans expect to see a set of tour dates announced in support of the album?

Alexia Rodriguez – We are going to be touring in the fall and hopefully touring the rest of the year.

Crypticrock.com – It will be great to see you guys hit the road and play the new material. With that said how excited are you about getting out and playing songs off Masks?

Alexia Rodriguez – I’m really excited about it. We’ve already played some shows with our new songs. We’ve already played 2 of our newest songs on the tour in Europe a year ago. We had a good response and everyone loved the new stuff. That made me even more excited to write more material because at the time we only had those two songs. There is always going to be our songs that have all singing on them, some people think that is selling out, but every record we’ve done we’ve always had those few singing songs. I like singing and so does Cisko because before he was screaming he was singing. We’ve gotten a good response so far. I think especially with all the newer stuff people will like it and won’t mind a set with only newer songs.

Crypticrock.com – Yes and it sounds like an exciting time for the band. Beside Eyes Set To Kill you also branched out and did a side project in 2010 under the name Lexia releasing a full length album Underground Sounds. It’s quite beautifully composed music. Do you have any intentions of releasing a follow up to that album and what inspired the work?

Alexia Rodriguez – I tend to write a lot. If you’ve listened to that whole record, some of those songs will never be Eyes Set To Kill songs. I didn’t know what to do because I had all these bundles of songs that I was really personally connected to but had nothing to do with them. I could play them at acoustic shows but it just wasn’t enough. I’ve had fans say they liked hearing our acoustic stuff so I thought it would be a cool thing for even our fans to pick up. I don’t think I will be doing anything with it anytime soon because I feel I need to focus on our band right now.

Crypticrock.com – That makes sense that you want to focus on Eyes Set To Kill. Definitely don’t give up on the solo material though because it was very enjoyable to fans and a good extra outlet to go to.

Alexia Rodriguez –Yes it was good for me too because on tour I don’t want to be drinking all day so I just jammed in the van or venue. I actually had a good outlet and was able to write a song about what I was feeling and not have to bottle it up all tour. That is what would end up driving me more crazy. It was cool to know I could write stuff and feel better right after it.

BreakSilence Records

BreakSilence Records

Crypticrock.com –That is the whole point of writing music. Getting those feelings out. It’s like therapy. What are some of your musical influences?

Alexia Rodriguez – It’s really weird because I listen to all types of music. When I was growing up I listened to more Alanis Morissette stuff. Like angry woman music (laughs). When I got to high school I started to listening to rock like Thrice, Blink-182, Used, Gojiria, Thursday, and all those types of bands. I started listening to Death Cab For Cutie when I graduated. I guess that explains why some of our songs are heavy and some of them are more progressive. Then you have my solo album which is the complete opposite. I listen to a bunch of types of music. My favorite band is Radiohead and my band sounds nothing like that.

Crypticrock.com –That’s ok because it is all influence and it all bleeds through in one way or another. It’s good to keep an open mind with music I always say. With all that said the band has progressed over the years as any band does. You always change as you get older, your musical tastes change and your song writing changes. What do you see for the future of Eyes Set To Kill?

Alexia Rodriguez – I think it’s hard to say. I think for sure we are going to have Cisko singing a lot more. He’s a really good singer, he’s a good screamer too, but that is where his heart is with singing. On this last record we tried it out but we didn’t want to do too drastic of a change. We just had him do all the harmonies which is really cool because he has a lot of body to his voice. My voice is more high pitched so they complement each other really well. I think we are going to have him sing a lot more on the next record.

Crypticrock.com – That sounds great and it’s good to make a gradual change. My last question for you is regarding films. Crypticrock.com is a rock/metal and horror news site so we like to focus on all genres. Are you a fan of horror films and if so what are some of your favorite horror films?

Alexia Rodriguez – For me, I like Carrie (1976) a lot. I don’t agree with the remake, I think it’s kind of weird they are doing a remake of it already. Evil Dead (1981) is another one. It’s harder to think of the newer ones, minus The Conjuring (2013) that was pretty good. It wasn’t really scary, it was more of a thriller because you would jump out of your seat a bunch. I have my ticket stub from that movie and I chewed on it so half of is missing because I was so nervous during the whole movie (laughs). I like Psycho (1960) as well.

Crypticrock.com – Psycho was a classic movie. You mentioned a lot of older movies and you can’t think of many of the new ones. I tend to agree with you because most of the new movies are remakes. What do you think of the way horror movies have gone?

Alexia Rodriguez –I think people are just missing originality. I think that’s the main thing. I think a lot of films are that way though. They are too scared to do something because they see other movies doing well. That is why they always keep the same plot with different characters. I think they are just playing it safe because different movies can’t always be expected to do well. Most people, when they buy something they don’t want to buy something they never tried out. They want to buy a version of something they know that they already liked, so they buy the thing that is just like it. That is what I think.

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1Comment
  • jerry echevarria
    Posted at 00:08h, 26 September Reply

    I seen you guys about 4 times, and more recently in Hollywood for the album release for butcher babies. You guys killed it! No lie. The new stuff was real good. A change. But a good change. Keep that sh*t up!

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