EMQ’s with FIREWALKWITHME
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Austin, TX Indie Rock band FireWalkWithMe! Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist Ricardo Mendez for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Ricardo Mendez. My primary instrument and job in my band, FireWalkWithMe is guitars, vocals and writer.
The band started in 2012. Some of the songs on our debut album are songs I’d written as far back as 2012 and some are as recent as December of 2018. There’s been a revolving line-up of musicians in my band which is fine and has never really been an issue since my band has primarily consisted of close friends only and myself. I’m blessed and grateful for having my friends play in my projects. It’s very validating. The people I jam with are totally into my ideas and direction. There’s 100% mutual respect between all the members within my band and the current line-up seems to be as solid as it has ever been and I’m satisfied with everyone’s performance so far. We’ll see what happens.
How did you come up with your band name?
Originally the band was called The History of Future Cities. Then I shortened it to Future Cities. Then I moved back to San Jose, CA briefly in 2014 which turned out to be a living nightmare so I changed the name of the band to FireWalkWithMe to reflect the way I was feeling at the time which was very much like a surreal sci-fi nightmare. My friend Conrad Keely from the band …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead created the font style and created album art for “Eternal Black Rainbow”. Not too soon after it was added it to his art book he released that year. As a result I was sorta stuck with the name FireWalkWithMe and here we are. This is fine with me, I suppose. I’m just waiting for the cease and desist letter from David Lynch since he is known for his fierce and over protective nature regarding his Twin Peaks empire and legacy.
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I keep forgetting I hired a metal PR dude!!! I love our guy, he’s awesome. Anyways we aren’t really a metal band but I am metal till I die SO… We are from Austin Texas. Austin is located in the middle of the country towards the bottom of the map. The metal scene here in Austin I would say is decent. Not as awesome as it could be or has been. There was a time when the metal scene here DOMINATED. I believe San Antonio has a better metal scene than Austin does (and some might argue always has). I used to have a metal/rock band here in Austin called High-Watt Crucifixers. THAT was a heavy heavy rock band. Nearly Metal at some points. HWC punished the rock scene in Austin. There weren’t very many bands at that time that could fuck with our musicianship or stage presence. The metal scene back then (2008-2011) I’d say was better then than it is now.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)?
Our latest album “The Eternal Black Rainbow” will be released August 20th 2019. Our record release show will be August 29th. A friend of ours named Joe Salinas is currently working on a video for us. Joe Salinas is a well-known and extremely talented film maker and videographer who’s worked with such act as Dinosaur Jr, The Big Boys, Alejandro Escovedo and many others. I’m not sure which song he’s going to use since I sorta left it up to him with the direction and ideas. He’s a pro. I’m sure it will be amazing. No singles at the moment but our radio campaign began July 20th and the choice cuts off the album are ‘Before I Disappear’ ‘A Tired God Looks On’ and ‘Song About Death’
Who have been your greatest influences?
Immediate and obvious influences would have to be Trail of Dead. Everything else is basically all me I suppose. I listen to a lot of rap music. Electronic down tempo music is within my regular rotation throughout my daily routine as well as a lot of R n’ B. Drum n’ Bass is a particular favourite of mine as well as 90’s House music. The music I listen to doesn’t necessarily reflect or influence the music I create so I’d have to say I don’t really know where it comes from. The universe speaks through me as it does all of us.
What first got you into music?
Black Sabbath! Black Sabbath was literally the first music I remember listening to. I distinctly remember being obsessed with their song Electric Funeral. I’ve been a Sabbath fan nearly my entire life. My mother was then, as she is now, a devote Christian. My dad was then a bass player in a blues band. He turned me onto Sabbath. When I asked my parents how old I was when this all happened they both verified I was 2 years old. So there you have it.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Being in other people’s bands or writing alongside others is not for me. We all need to carve our own path when it comes to creating. I’ve been asked to help others with their albums and music which is fine with me. But if I’m being hired to write with or for a band it’s usually because they want a certain element or mood added to the ensemble of which can only be provided by me. In those situations I’m fine.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
HA!!! I love this question. I would love to play the Glastonbury Open Air Festival. Mainly because there’s always an amazing line-up of bands I’ve always wanted to see.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Someone once drew a picture of me and gave it to me which was very nice.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Please be kind to yourself and others. Stop judging people and assuming everyone is an enemy.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
WOW. So many come to mind! Immediately I thought of Amy Winehouse. Then I thought of Kirk Cobain and Jimi Hendrix. I’d have to go with Jimi Hendrix. I often think of bands Hendrix would be into. I think about Hendrix often actually. He was everything.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
As a musician I enjoy being able to write music that really speaks to me. Writing music is very therapeutic for me. It helps me get through my thoughts. Music has always been my best friend. Music was always there with me in very dark times. What I hate about being a musician is being able to create problems. When one is blessed with being creative inevitably you can create problems for yourself. Whether its music, painting, poetry or whatever the person blessed with the ability to create beauty easily has the power to destroy it. Creative people are often cursed with the ability to destroy themselves. As artists we must remember that.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I don’t know. I hear people complain about the music industry but I’ve never really been involved to that point. And if I ever do I already have a ton of friends who’ve already been through the fire and fucked 6 ways to Sunday. They would be happy to give me advice along the way to avoid any pitfalls.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Ride The Lightning” by Metallica. It takes me back to middle school days where I was a complete out of control metal head.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl! I like cassettes as well. CD’s are annoying and downloads are just lazy.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
We played a gig at a festival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia called The Watlangka Golden Street Festival. It was AWESOME.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I can’t even imagine. Being sad probably!
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
I don’t really do dinner parties. Only parties!
What’s next for the band?
We are going to work on a 5 song EP this fall which will be released on my Velvet Coffin label. After that I’m working on another project called Wave Trauma with the drummer from my previous rock outfit High Watt Crucifixers. I’m just staying busy and keeping my options open and looking to challenge myself.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I’m not sure what those are.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Yes. Please be kind to yourself and others.
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