Huelga's Mike Discusses New EP, Music, and Much More!

Solo artist Mike Fonseca known as Huelga will have his all new debut solo EP out this spring. His combination of heavy metal and instrumental music, will likely be a good fix for his styling, as he does all of the writing, guitar, bass, and drum work on this release, along with many other pieces of music that he has done, he himself goes into great discussion about all of this if not more so.

1. Let’s start off with an icebreaker. If you could describe your band in 3 words, what would they be?

Heavy Instrumental Math.

2. What are your names and what do you do in the band?

I am Mike Fonseca, and I do the writing, guitar, bass and drums.

3. You are a newer artist so many people might know about your history. Would you be able to delve into it a little?

Huelga is my first outing as a solo artist and it is also my first time in the Metal world. So far, I feel like I should have done this years ago.

4. Where does the name Huelga come from?

Huelga means "Strike" in Spanish. I fell in love with the name after I saw a photo of Dolores Huerta holding a sign that said Huelga during the Delano Grape Strike.

5. Who are some of your influences?

My influences on the Metal side are Meshuggah, Gorguts, The Big Four and Carnifex.  My influences as a composer would be Debussy, Frank Zappa, Charles Ives and Elliot Carter.

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

Mostly, I think what gives me inspiration to compose would be how minorities get scapegoated. Currently, the LatinX is under attack with all the talk of building a wall. My music expresses the anger that issues like that incite in me.

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

Yes, I do. The songs on this EP were written on piano because I wanted to write the music as though it was meant for a string quartet.  I later put it in MIDI with guitar sounds.  My first intention was to have someone learn and play these parts on guitar and bass but after a few tries I had to abandon that idea.  I bought a baritone guitar and started learning the parts I wrote. I currently have three guitars and a bass. Each guitar has an assigned role i.e. Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass.

8. What was the recording process like for this new EP of yours?

I had trouble securing a spot to record the drums. I started in the summer of 2017, but dates weren't lining up and I ended up finally recording the drums that winter around Christmas time. I started tracking guitars around January of 2018 and it took me until the end of the summer. Once I finished, I sent it to Mick Kenney of Annal Nathrakh for mixing and mastering.

9. Would you say that you have a favorite song off this album and which is it and why?

No Word for Blue part 1.  Somehow I came up with a melody that reminds me of a song that Bryn Terfel recorded called "Dunno a Heap About the What An'Why".

10. Why should people go forth and check out this album?

Huelga is all instrumentals which I think of as "Choose Your Own Adventure". Since there are no lyrics, the listener can insert any meaning they choose. It is heavy but melodic, experimental but catchy.

11. What would you say separates you from other bands in the scene?

I tend to gravitate towards heavier stuff like Deathcore and in that scene there are not a lot of one man bands that I know of.  My stuff is proggy and instrumental but not in a shreddy kind of way like most guitar-led projects out there.

12. How about this next year, what is in store from you?

I plan on writing a series of songs that I want to release in split 7 inches with other bands.

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