Venezuelan-American progressive metal outfit SIFTING have given a direct response to President Trump's Administration's proposed Raise Act, with their new video for newest and latest single "Not From Here". Directed by Abelardo Malpica at LH FILM, "Not From Here", happens to be the title track off their upcoming full-length album, that was produced by Ryan Williams and is due out via Eclipse Records this fall! That said, the band got together to discuss this single and accompanying album. Find out whose who, by their name and initials below.
1. How did your band form?
E: In 2008 I (Eduardo, singer and guitarist), went through a really tough personal experience caused by the tragic loss of my family in a plane crash. I set my mind into retaking my lifetime dream called Sifting. While originally living in Caracas, Venezuela, I began writing original material and then gathered some friends from the local music scene and soon entered the studio to record our debut album. The band quickly gained popularity throughout Venezuela. That’s when I decided I wanted to get the band recognized on a worldwide level. I relocated to the United States of America and after three years looking for the right members, I invited founding member Abelardo Bolaño (also from Caracas, Venezuela) to rejoin the band along with two LA locals, Wins Jarquin on bass, and Richard Garcia on guitar, to complete the current line-up.
2. What accomplishments are you most and least proud of as a band?
E: I think the best accomplishments for Sifting is being lucky enough to attain a record deal, have a bunch of world-class endorsements like ESP Guitars and Engl Amps, to have toured all around the states, and to have recorded with such talented producers as Ryan Williams and Steve Evetts, being active only for the past 3 years in this country. Even friends from local bands have asked us how we did it in such a short time. We’re really grateful for this. And I don’t think there’s any accomplishment we wouldn’t be proud of. I truly believe that everything that has happened to us, helped us in our evolution.
3. How has being in a band impacted your life?
R: Being in a band has been like having another family. You go through all the ups and downs together. It has lifted me tremendously to always be around people that have the same vision as me. It gives me hope.
4. How do you describe your sound to people who ask you what your band sounds like?
W: We are lucky to have members open to experimenting with different genres and bringing our influences together. So I say we're fairly open. We play metal, but we bring the best things of metal together. From the fast shredding solos, to heavy rhythmic lines, to soft passages full of dynamics and more.
5. Do you have any major goals for your band?
R: We want to make a huge contribution to the genre we love, and also make a huge dent in today's music trends!
6. Who are some of your biggest influences music wise?
E: I would say Metallica, Dream Theater, Marty Friedman and Green Day.
7. How about when it comes to the song writing, what are your songs about and how is the song writing process laid out?
E: My inspiration has always been the lack of justice, compassion, and genuineness in society. These traits are especially prevalent in leaders and powerful people. So my lyrics always gravitate toward the awareness and rejection of the system we’re living in. I believe that these elements always represented rebellion, and bring to life the angst within us all. And when I write the music, I always think about dynamics and the very nature of human being, duality. I don’t believe there’s such thing as people liking only one kind thing or style of music. We need both ends of the rope, so I always incorporate heavy metal with sweet melodies, epic passages with catchy choruses, ballads or upbeat songs. That being said, I don’t mind the lighter side of music either; there’s always ballads on our albums.
8. "Not From Here", was released as a video/single, why this song in particular? Will you be releasing anymore singles off this album?
E: We chose this song in particular because it truly describes the nature of Sifting. Tons of melodies, heavy riffs, progressive breaks, catchy choruses, huge solos and thundering rhythm section. And we also believe that the lyrics for Not From Here line-up very well with what’s going on in this country right now regarding racism and intolerance toward immigrants. And yes, we will be releasing four more singles! We definitely love a bunch of songs from this album. :)
9. Why go with a title like "Not From Here"? What does it actually mean for the album's sake?
E: When I wrote the songs for this album, I was having a hard time with moving to a different country and blending in. But then I realized the great beauty of this land and its multicultural richness, making immigrants an essential part of it. And that’s when the name of the album came to my mind. And it made perfect sense to me for the album’s sake, because the concept and sound we’re engaging on this album is really different from the current trend of metal, which almost gives the impression that is actually not from here.
10. Can you describe to me the story behind the artwork for "Not From Here”?
E: We had several options to choose from for the “Not From Here” album cover. All of them were unbelievably good. Our artist, Jimmy Leon, did an awesome job. We chose this cover because it's full of details, but at the same time is minimal and it beautifully correlates evolution, survival, naivety, darkness, fear, hope and illusion at the same time. Elements which had a big role and meaning on the album writing process.
11. How would you say that "Not From Here", compares, differs, and is equal to your previous releases?
A: Not From Here is a more elaborated and personal album. From the content of the lyrics to, sound and melodies. Both have the same conceptual roots in terms of writing style. It has complex guitar arrangements with epic melodies harmonized between accents, huge bass and drums and energy in each word. It definitely sounds more mature in all aspects, especially in composition, than All The Hated.
12. What's your take on "Not From Here" as a whole?
R: The "Not From Here" album is very interesting! It's all our favorite styles of music combined together, which to me makes it very unique. It's not only thrash, or progressive, or hard rock, or slow songs, or even shredding instrumentals. It is all these styles together. A friend once put it very simply to me. Organized chaos! Haha. Every song has something to say that many people can relate with in their own lives. Some are very personal, and some talk about situations that occur in life.
13. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Not From Here"?
E: Haha…this is a great question…I guess I would say Nicolas Cage’s “Knowing”. A great piece of art, meaningful content meticulously created. If it resonates with you it could become one of your favorites, but if it doesn’t you could hate it.
14. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs off this album?
W: Definitively! Our music speaks for itself, but having visual depictions adds to the content and meaning of the songs. In the end of the day we are doing art, just sonically. So having any sort of visuals reinforces and gives more ways to interpret our songs.
15. Do you feel any aspects of the album were overlooked?
E: Maybe we could’ve had more groovy heavy riffs and sections, but that’s great because there’s a lot of terrain to cover and explore for the next album!
16. Describe your relationship with your fans in one word?
W: I want to say personal. We want to treat all of our fans with the same respect we treat each other with and include them as much as possible in the growth of the band. The reality is without them, we wouldn't have that extra motivation to keep creating music or play shows and tour. They're a part of the band as much as we are!
17. What is in the future for SIFTING?
W: We have some things lined up. We'll be on the Dante Night Show this month. On the 27th, we'll be shooting, "Blowing Fire", which will be our third video for this album. And most importantly September 29th Eclipse Records will be releasing the album, and we'll be following up with a tour for that as well. Musically, I can definitely say that we are looking to keep expanding. We want to be heavier, faster, more technical, more beautiful on the ballads, and more shredding and more harmonies.
18. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
E: Firstly, thank you very much for having us! It was a very fun interview! And for everyone else, make sure you keep your eyes peeled because we have lots of news coming. Things happen everyday behind the Sifting curtains and we have so much in store that soon will be released! For all the latest info, please visit our website and like us on Facebook!