So many great performers have come out of Miami, but Message to Venus may be this musically diverse city’s best kept secret. I don’t blame them for trying to keep these hot rockers all to themselves but I have to spread the word. The guys of M2V were gracious enough to indulge my curiosities. Here’s what they had to say:
JJ: Thanks so much for giving me some of your time. Let’s tell the folks who Message to Venus is. In no particular order, we have Jandre Nadal, John Feliciano, Edgar Ramos and JuanMa Font. Give us a role call. Who plays what instruments?
|Photo by Chris Martin|
Jandre: I'm lead vocals and guitar.
John: I’m the guitar player.
JuanMa: I play drums.
JJ: Your new EP The Envelope is out on the scene and doing well with fans and critics. I tip my hat to you guys for creating such an awesome album all on your own. How has the indie experience been for you?
Jandre: Thanks so much for the compliment! It's has been so much work and so much more is left to do, the freedom of the indie experience feels so good not having a label or someone telling me what to sing and how to sing it or what to do and how to do it, how to dress and what type of hair product to use.
JuanMa: Since it's all DIY you really have to learn one way or the other how the industry works. There are a lot of things going on besides getting on stage and doing a great show. We really invest a lot of time. On the other hand it takes work and time that we could be using to write music, jam together, or just be better musicians. We don’t expect anything to fall from the sky, so it’s up to us to put things into motion.
Edgar: Being indie is all about how you manage yourself, how you do the marketing and how you connect with fans. For us, it has been a wild ride. We self finance everything so it’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice but it’s a wild ride I would never want to miss in my life! :)
JJ: Who are your biggest musical influences and why?
Jandre: I grew up listening to classic rock like Hendrix, Santana Led Zep, but I have always been a big fan of Deftones and Tool, and bands like that, not to mention the influence that my fellow musicians have given me, they’re the biggest inspiration.
John: I have to say Tool for how they build up a song and make it a masterpiece and Nirvana for how they made music fun.
Edgar: My influences are music from the 80′s, 90′s, and progressive metal.
JuanMa: I grew up with the whole grunge thing exploding over the radio. I was basically indifferent to music before that so it was a pretty big life changing moment. I suddenly wanted to play guitar and just rock out (it was much later that I actually learned to play drums)! All those great bands from that scene basically pushed my musical taste for a long time.
JJ: When you’re not neck deep in writing and recording, what do y’all do for fun?
|Photo by Chris Martin|
Jandre: I'm into any water sports, surfing, kayaking, diving snorkeling, fishing for lobsters, hanging out with my GF and my dog, Ricco, and an occasional BBQ.
John: I enjoy going out to watch a movie and traveling, exploring new places.
Edgar: Go out for a beer with friends and play video games.
JuanMa: I love playing video games but I try to limit that since it can be time consuming. Also, I spend a lot of time reading up on Database, SQL and Programming books. And being a beer lover, I try to go out to any good local micro-brewery or any place that serves micro-brews. Yum!
JJ: You all have a really active presence on the social media scene. How has Twitter and Facebook helped your exposure and built your fan base?
John: We are all about connecting with our fans. I really enjoy talking and building a relationship with them. Social media makes it possible for us to reach people and make fans all around the world, so we are taking advantage of this in any way possible. M2V is an interactive band, so we invite everyone to follow us on twitter! http://twitter.com/messagetovenus
JuanMa: All the online social sites are such great tools to communicate with fans and friends but for them to really shine you have to put a lot of effort into taking care of your online presence.
JJ: My favorite M2V track is Cold & Grey. Share with us what inspires your songwriting.
Jandre: For a while, I had a bad writer’s block. So, I just read some books and watched a lot of movies while getting ideas for lyrics.
John: I start by creating a riff, just playing the first thing that comes to mind and doing a “free play.” After I have something that catches my attention, then I start building a structure based on that. I have a bunch of ideas recorded for future use.
JuanMa: I just start with a nice pattern or groove and just build some sort of song structure but nothing solid. After the song has character or personality, we can start an iterative process over it. Sometimes what comes out might be really different from how it started.
JJ: What makes your music different?
JuanMa: I tend to write a lot of groove oriented patterns. Even though we might not do it in all of the songs or we try not to do it explicitly so it feels more natural with the song. You can hear a bit of this in the verse of Universal You. Also, at the end of Cold & Grey, the tempo slows down and goes into a ¾ groove with a nice cascara-inspired ride pattern. You will find more of those nice grooves on our next album, Victims & Villains.
JJ: I’ll be watching for the next album. Sounds like more great stuff! When and where can we expect to find you performing live?
John: We are currently working on booking some shows. Stay tuned...
JJ: Anything else you’d like to share with the masses?
John: Thank you so much for interviewing us and helping us get the word out about Message to Venus. :)
Lightning Round Favorites:
Drink: Mojitos with brown sugar and Puerto Rican rum
Color: Anything water related color
Season: We live in an endless summer island
Movie: Forrest Gump or any of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies
Band: Deftones, The Mars Volta, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, ohh man...
Movie: Star Wars
Drink: Medalla Light (Puerto Rican beer)
Flavor: Dulce de Leche
Band: Level 42
Drink: Indian Pale Ale
Season: It’s always summer in Puerto Rico ;)
Movie: Back to the Future 2
Band: August Burns Red
Thanks again. I really enjoyed getting to know y’all.
Pick up Message to Venus music on iTunes!
To keep up with the latest happenings of Message to Venus, follow them on Twitter @MessageToVenus, like them on Facebook http://facebook.com/messagetovenus and check out their website http://MessageToVenus.com.