Antagonist's Duo of Carlos and Lond Talk Self-Titled EP, the Past and the Future


In the music scene no matter the music genre at hand, artists and bands come and go in the every changing world of evolving music. In the case of metal and it's scene of go getters like Antagonist, who have been around for quite sometime as it is. Have been doing their thing for a while now and have most recently been writing and recording for a Self-Titled EP release out soon. Plans to follow of course with shows and perhaps touring as well. Frontman vocalist/guitarist Carlos Garcia and drummer Orlando Garcia or "Lond" discusses the band's past, present, and future.


1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Lond: We started in my garage in Whittier, CA early November 1998, Carlos had been jamming with Marcus Hill (bass) and David Zamora (guitar) so when I came in the picture the original line up was solidified. Shortly after David was no longer in the band and it wouldn't be until late 2002 we would fill the 2nd guitar slot with Matt Lopez, not long after Marcus was replaced by Paul Salem, we recorded 2 albums together and in 2009 Roland Leonard and Nick Reyes joined us on guitar and bass, respectively.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Lond: Our original guitarist David suggested the name, it was one of his vocabulary words for English class, we dug it, sounded punk, sounded metal, it just sounded perfect.

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

Lond: We are based out of Whittier, CA east of downtown Los Angeles, when we started in '98 there was no local scene we knew of, eventually enough bands came around and we had a strong scene in Whittier during the peak of Skateland a local skating rink that would host local bands, they tore it down sometime around 2004 or 2005, after that we never had a solid venue (Red Cross, Moose Lodge, Studio Danza, Green Tuetle, Fenix 5-4 RIP) but plenty of amazing bands are from the area: Exmortus, Infinite Death, Plague Vendor, Unscarred, Zombie Eating Horse just to name a few.

4. How would you describe your style?

Lond: We have always been a metal based band, that's what brought us together, Carlos and I have lots of roots in punk and hardcore, so naturally we are directly influenced by both styles, we've been called "Metalcore" but I would say hardcore influenced metal is more accurate.

5. Who are your musical influences?

Carlos: Anything before the year 2002, seriously.  I grew up with all types of music playing in my house, from traditional Mexican to early 90s alternative to gangsta rap, and then discovered punk rock and metal with the help of some older neighborhood kids when I was like, 9 and 10 years old. You can't limit yourself.  But at the same time, there is tons of music out there that is pure shit.

6. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Carlos: They've always been about social issues, social injustice, racism, questioning our leadership, calling out institutions like law enforcement, politicians, Christianity, religion in general.  Of course there are a lot of personal themes, inner turmoil, personal demons, stuff like that.  Especially on the new EP, we've really focused on the social aspect.  There's still some really personal stuff in there, I'm actually calling myself out a lot, being as blatantly honest about myself and the stuff I struggle with daily.  But the social aspect is what we're focused on the most.

7. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Carlos We've always been an original band, since day one we've been writing our own songs, and even now we're already writing new music (besides the EP we just finished).  The process is different every time around, but usually Roland and I will come up with some riffs or a sort of skeleton of the song, bring it into the rehearsal space and just jam it out with the others.  Lond and Nick throw in their suggestions, we tweak the songs, continue playing them and they just naturally evolve.  We'll try them out live before we've recorded them, and they get tweaked even more after that.  

8. Why are you no longer signed with Prosthetic Records? Are you in search of a new label or will you be taking the DIY approach?

Carlos: I'm actually not exactly sure why. We got dropped but I think it was due to our inactivity after our last release "World in Decline".  We were still booking tours on our own, and we just weren't making enough money to live and pay bills so we had to come home, get full time jobs.  And of course once that happened, we couldn't really tour anymore.  It happens, some bands could make a living off this life, a majority can't.  But we still love writing and playing music and we'll continue doing it until we can't anymore.  Whether it's DIY or if another label wants to put out the new EP, we haven't really decided yet. We definitely wouldn't be opposed to a label helping us release it, though.
9. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

Carlos: Well, we could only hope they dig us or are interested in us.  We've always been pretty selfish in the sense that we write music for ourselves and we just hope other people dig it, too.  Not to be too big headed, but I think we've always been a solid band.  We're hard workers and we never take anything for granted.  If you offer us a show, we'll probably play it.  We just love playing music, getting up on stage and giving it our all every time, whether it's in front of 10 people or 1000 people. We wouldn't still be a band after 16 years if we didn't love doing it.  We're like roaches, we'll never go away!  And I think we've always been really honest, we're just music fans that got lucky enough to play music ourselves.  We've made tons of friends with fans, promoters, people in the scene just because we've always been no bullshit. I think that mutual respect is so important and has really helped us throughout the years.

10. How would you say the mixing and studio time went for this EP?

Carlos: We decided to record our new EP with an old friend of ours, Rollie Ulug.  He did our "Samsara" EP and "An Envy of Innocence" album years ago, and we always had a great time recording with him.  When we decided we were going in a new direction with the music, he was the first person that came to mind.  We wanted to really strip everything down, much shorter songs, less melody and more riffing, simpler songs in terms of structure.  Basically, we wanted to take it back to our punk rock/hardcore roots.  We wanted it to be really fast and aggressive and in your face, and Rollie is a guy who really gets that.  So when we got in the studio and he heard the songs for the first time, he was immediately as stoked as we were to record.  This time we spent a bit more time on tracking vocals, which is something we've never done before.  As far as mixing, we trusted Rollie to make it sound rad.  He sent us various mixes over a few weeks, we'd send him notes and he'd tweak the mix according to that.  After about 3 mixes, it was done, and now we just want to put it out there!

11. It's been five years since the release of "World in Decline". Why such a long time period between releases?

Carlos: Like I said before, we were a bit inactive after we released World in Decline.  We did a long tour with Wretched and Diskreet, and we came home and realized we weren't making ends meet. And we were burnt out, which doesn't help.  So we've been home, working our jobs, one of us had a baby.  I went back to school, and that program took about 2 years.  We were still playing shows, writing a little bit.  But finally around a year or so ago, we buckled down and started coming up with ideas, then the writing came, and now we have the EP.  I hate to keep bringing it up, but after being in a band for 16 years, sometimes the spark isn't always super bright.  We did our own things for a while, but the spark really came back and we're really proud of the music that's come from it.

12. How would you say the new EP compares to your previous records?

Carlos: We really stripped things down a bit.  Took away the melodic side and just wrote a lot of riffs.  Again, we were trying to keep it simple and go back to our roots.  We didn't have to try so hard to make it pissed off, there's enough going on in the world and in our communities.  So lyrically, the songs pretty much wrote themselves.  If you've followed us for a while, you'll definitely be able to tell the difference.

13. Can you say how many songs will be on it?

Lond: 6 songs total.

14. Are there any surprises or any collaborations on the EP?

Lond: I think the whole EP is a surprise to all our friends and followers that have stuck by us over the last few years since we've done anything relevant, we actually have my good friend and Zombie Eating Horse band mate on a guest vocal spot and our buddy Rollie who produced the EP rips a chaotic little piece of shred on a track also, I'm stoked on it.

15. What will this EP be called and will there be a concept to go with it or is there a concept to deal with it's title?

Carlos: The EP is self-titled, "Antagonist".  We tried to stay away from the self-titled thing before, but I think this time around it's very fitting thematically.  And actually, there is a loose concept to the EP.  Basically, when I first started coming up with rough ideas about what I wanted the EP to be about, I thought of the idea of a man writing various journal entries about things in his life that led him to where he is now.  At the end of it, you realize he's been institutionalized and he's writing these entries in his cell, room, whatever you want to call it.  Then I realized that's pretty much the plot to "Catcher in the Rye," hahaha.  Which makes sense, it's one of my favorite books.  I even threw in a JD Salinger quote or two in there, haha.  So I went that route, started writing about issues that really affect me, that make me livid, but also issues that we as a band feel are important.  And there are some personal demons I talk about in there, too.  So, it's not a "proper" concept album, but it's the closest we've gotten so far.

16. Could you describe the EP's artwork and who designed it?

Lond: We have yet to touch on artwork, we have a few ideas and a few people in mind to help us, create what it may be but nothing official at this moment.

17. Have you been road testing any of the new material? If so, how have audiences reacted to the new material?

Lond: Definitely, after 5 years without any new material, we took the songs to the stage almost immediately. At our most recent show we played the whole EP front to back and it was one of the best reactions we've had in a really long time, especially for our new material, the songs are meant for a live setting, lots of energy and aggression.

18. When can we expect the new EP to be released?

Carlos: We're not exactly sure when we're going to put it out.  We have a few things to handle first, and then we'll probably put a song online.  We haven't decided whether to release it ourselves or to have a label put it out, so we'll see what happens.  Either way, we hope to post a track within the next month.  We'll keep everyone posted on social media (facebook, twitter, instagram).

19. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

Carlos: We're just going to continue to play shows as often as possible, get all our ducks in a row for the release of the new EP, and we'll see what happens. We're already writing new songs, so the writing will continue as well.  It's been a while but we want to get the ball rolling again, and I think we still have a lot left in the tank.

20. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Anywhere heavy metal albums are sold should have Antagonist in stock (i.e. iTunes, Google play, Pandora). Make sure to follow us on social media (facebook.com/antagonistmetal, instagram.com/antagonistmetal, twitter.com/antagonistmetal), where we'll be updating frequently about the release of our upcoming EP!

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