Sigil (Band Interview)
Today we speak to Alex Citrone from Sigil.
Let’s start with this: What’s the history of your band?
I’m originally from Boston (So was my great grandmother. -Ed) and had played metal there for a decade and thus made some good connections. It just so happened when I got to Austin, there was another New Englander, Vincent Hausman, who played in a band back up north called Howl. I told him I had some material written and we got some guys together to start getting it hammered out. Since then there’s been various line ups. The start of the band was a rocky one. Now with Kingdom of the Grave I’ve got a solid crew who’s ready to get shit going.
What’s your musical history? (Trained or Amateur)?
I was trained at a very young age but didn’t stick with private instruction. I can’t listen to people tell me what to do. A majority of my skill comes from self taught technique.
So what can you tell us about your latest album? (Inspiration. Sound. Style.)
I’ve always loved classic Swede death like Entombed, Dismember, and Grave and how they had a sort of raw, punk like feel. Tragedy and other American crust is also an important part of my musical make up. I didn’t necessarily intend for it, but that just seemed to be the mixture that came to be when I started putting these songs to paper. The subject matter on the album is pretty personal stuff, dealing with substance abuse, my political leanings and the occult. I feel like too many death metal acts are scared of getting that deep and thus stray from it. It was cathartic to get that stuff out.
How did you go about making it?
Quite painstakingly. We started with the demo, which was a goddamn nightmare to record. I unearthed my ancient protools rig and had to deal with a shit ton of crashes and subsequent losses of recorded material. Eventually we got it done. It sounded like shit. We thus felt it immediately prudent to get to the studio. We went through a friend of a friend, Travis Bonner, who had recorded some other cool stuff like Mammoth Grinder and some other local acts like Widower. This time, things went a lot more smoothly. The records not too shabby for the time and cash we put into it.
Anything you’ve learnt as you’ve gone along? Or have you simply tried a bit of everything to see how it works?
Pay someone else to do your recordings. Even with a degree in audio engineering, it’s impossible to be objective about your material. Mixing your own record is an exercise in masochism I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemies; at least it is for me. Also, get a publicist. They are invaluable!
What sort of technology and instruments do you work with?
Aside from the Viola we used on the title track, we just used your standard shit. Bass, guitar, drums. Nothing flashy.
Anything you’re keen to use on your next album?
Thinking that far in advance makes my head spin, but I would love to get creative with some interludes of some kind to pull the songs together.
Any future plans for your solo work, or do you have other projects on the horizon?
I’m currently in a Motley Crue tribute band called Bois, Bois, Bois here in Austin and have a solo country act, no joke, that I’m working on.
Any plans for upcoming live shows?
We generally don’t focus too hard on local shows as I believe they should be played sparingly so as not to wear out your draw. We’re in talks for a summer tour that we’re super excited about.
Let’s have a few general questions now.
What do you see as a musicians role in society?
I think they’re the modern cynics. They take important messages and package them in a piece of music that makes it easier to digest. The energy and the catchiness of those songs are the vehicle for those messages. I’ve become aware of so many political issues and world events through music. I also think there’s a catharsis that’s provided that comes from merely listening to record or going to a show where you can congregate with like-minded souls in this global environment of chaos.
How’s the scene different in your country to what we’re familiar with? -Anything unique to your country?
The metal scene, at least here in Austin, is small but very strong and tight knit. Since I’ve lived here I’ve seen it blossom. It’s hard to make a generalized statement about the scene in the US as a whole. There are little pockets in so many different places churning out very different music.
Where do you stand on music videos? -Do you see their value in today’s world?
I think they’re fun to watch for sure. It’s nice to see what the musicians intended visual for the respective song is, but other than that, I see them as an unnecessary drain on a musicians finances.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I’d like to see labels, indie or otherwise, create a new financial model wherein the musician actually gets paid enough to make a living.
Any advice for new bands?
Don’t give up. Be VERY patient and make the right moves. Tour as much as you can while you’re young. When you’re older, it becomes far less pleasant an activity and takes a serious toll on your personal life.
Let’s have some generic questions.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Trek. TNG specifically. I’m a Trekkie to the bone. Love both though.
Sci-Fi or Fantasy?
Love 80’s horror. Early John Carpenter (Prince of Darkness, The Thing, They Live) is my jam. Put Sci-Fi and Horror together and you got my attention.
Books or Comics?
Can’t say I’ve read a comic in years. So books I guess?
Trump or Putin?
I hope they both end up in the vacuum of space for all eternity.
Anything you’d like to tell our readers?
GO LISTEN TO OUR STUFF AND BUY IT YA NERDS.
Any last words for our readers?
SEE ABOVE STATEMENT, POSERS!