Mexican Ape-Lord's Steve Talks Latest Music and New Music

Why Mexican Ape-Lord? The howler monkey is the loudest wild animal on the face of the earth. Ancient Mayans worshipped howler monkey gods as deities of music and art. Thus Mexican Ape-Lord was the name that suited these guys the best. Allowing them to write and record material for their latest release "The Late Heavy Bombardment", play showcases, tour, and continue to create the music that is monkey driven all the way! Drummer Steve Fry discusses that release, plans for new music, and show playing chances!

1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Steve: Well, Tony was the founding member of Meliah Rage and has been going strong with that since the 80's. A couple years ago he had a bunch of ideas for a project that was still metal, but with no real boundaries. He’d known Jon (vocals) for years and always thought his voice and unique approach to vocals/lyrics would be a great fit for the project. Once Tony had an album’s worth of music written, he approached Dan about playing lead guitar, and asked me to play drums on it. I had known Tony for years and always thought he was a great guitarist and songwriter, so I knew it’d be a cool project.

2. Who is this so called Mexican Ape-Lord?

Steve: Howler monkeys. From Mexico. It’s believed that ancient Mayas worshiped howler monkey gods as deities of arts and music. We’re just doing our best not to anger them.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Steve: We’re based out of Massachusetts, just outside of Boston.  There’s a really strong rock/metal scene here….you can go to a show almost any night of the week and discover a new great band.

4. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Steve: Each of us have really varied influences that we bring to the table…which I’d say is pretty obvious on our debut. Everything from early Metallica to 70s-era Alice Cooper…King Diamond to System of a Down… Metal Church to Rammstein. It’s all over the place, and you definitely hear it in our music.

5. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Steve: The message of the howler monkey gods... No, honestly….I’m not even sure what most of the songs are about haha. Jon just let’s loose and does his thing. I've seen some of the lyrics and I honestly would rather not know what it’s all about. I dig the mystery.

6. Why did you see "The Late Heavy Bombardment" to be a good fit as a title for this album?

Steve: The term describes a period about 4 billion years ago where the earth and moon were thought to have been intensely bombarded by comets and asteroids. Personally, I just think it’s a cool album title! It fits!

7. Who produced the album? What did they bring to the table to make this album the way it is?

Steve: Pete Rutcho. He obviously made the album sound massive, but he really brings all these ideas and details to the table that the rest of us would never think of. All that “extra” stuff that brings things to the next level…the intros, samples, etc. You can hear his touch all over the vocals especially. I don’t think any other producer/engineer could have brought Jon’s crazy style to life the way Pete did. He also played a lot of the keyboard parts you hear on the album. Dude’s brilliant.

8. What was the recording process like this time around? Was there anything different that happened or was it the same old studio thing?

Steve: It’s interesting because most of us hadn't even met when tracking started. Tony wrote all the music and recorded rough guitar demos that he gave to the rest of us so we could come up with our parts, which we each did on our own. There were no band rehearsals, writing sessions, album demos or anything like that....none of us had any idea what the finished product would actually sound like. We just wrote and recorded our parts the best way we thought they’d compliment the music that Tony came up with.

We recorded all of our parts separately in various locations and studios, then Pete took it to his own studio and mixed it.  So literally, the first time we heard what Mexican Ape-Lord sounded like as a band was when Pete delivered the final album mix to us!

9. What can we expect when listening to it and what is the message behind it?

Steve: Expect something that isn’t typical. It’s metal rooted in old school thrash, but with a ton of mood, attitude, humor, musicality, taunting vocals. It’s just super unique and fun.

10. How would you say that album's artwork relate's to the music on the album?

Steve: There’s a lot of parts on the album that have a very melancholy feel and mood, and with the vocals and lyrics having so many layers, the cover kind of echoes that - everything seems OK on the surface, but look a little harder and you’re going to find something that isn’t quite right.

11. What's your favorite song on the album right now?

Steve: Probably “The Misadventures of Black Jesus”. That song’s got it all, and it was the sort of song I’d waited my whole career to play!

12. What does "The Late Heavy Bombardment" mean to you all?

Steve: For me personally, it’s one of the coolest and most refreshing albums I've been a part of. There were no rules, just do what works best for the song…which is my whole outlook as a musician. When I look back on my music career, this album is always going to be a big highlight.

13. How about shows and touring, how has the live activity been thus far?

Steve: No activity there yet. Tony actually broke his wrist right when the album was released – like, full-on shattered his wrist. It was actually unknown whether or not he’d be able to play guitar again… really bad. But after 2+ years of surgeries and recovery, he’s doing better now…and he’s been able to play a bit, so we’ll see what the future holds in that regard.

14. What other plans do you have for this year?

Steve: A video is in the works for “The Misadventures of Black Jesus”, so that should be out soon. And now that Tony is able to play again, he and I have started working on ideas for the next album. It’s moving fast, so I expect recording will be underway in no time. Can’t wait!

15. Any last words for the friends and fans out there?

Steve: Be on the lookout for the new video! Follow Mexican Ape-Lord on all of our social media pages, and if dig what you hear – get the album. Don’t anger the howler monkey gods! Thanks for the support!

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