EMQ’s with SIFTING
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Los Angeles, CA based Progressive Metal band Sifting. Huge thanks to them 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?
Eduardo: My name is Eduardo Gil; I sing and play guitar for Sifting. I formed this band in Venezuela in 2001. We accomplished really good things back there, like playing great tours and huge concerts, one of them was opening for Bullet For My Valentine in 2011. In 2013, we were invited to play at the SXSW in Austin, TX and a year after that, I decided on moving to the US. I had to start over, with no members, no contacts, broken English but lots of will. But in the process of these past 6 years we’ve been fortunate enough to play shows and tours with great bands like Sons Of Apollo, Prong, Tarja; sign a record deal; be on the charts of Sirius XM Liquid Metal for 5 weeks; and landed many great endorsements with our favourite gear brands. We can’t complain!
How did you come up with your band name?
Edu: It’s funny because I was actually talking about it last week with one of the founding members of the band. The truth is we just spent a whole afternoon looking for cool words on an English dictionary, and we thought “Sift” was a cool word with a cool meaning. So, we just added the “ing” and that’s it. However, I don’t believe in coincidences, because this name represents exactly what this band does with its music: Sifting through our favourite genres of music, which are VERY diverse between each member, and creating a unique sound. So, 20 years ago, I’m sure I was connected to the purpose of this band already.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Edu: I am originally from Caracas, Venezuela but now I live in Los Angeles, CA, where the band is based. Back in Venezuela the Metal scene is very active, but due to the terrible things my country is going through economically, socially and politically, people can’t really support bands how they would like.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Edu: Our latest album release was “The Infinite Loop” in September 2019. We’ve been releasing videos all the time after that.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Edu: I’d say Metallica, Rata Blanca (Argentina), Dream Theater, Megadeth, Marty Friedman, Kitaro, Green Day, Angra (Brazil), Luis Miguel and Elton John.
What first got you into music?
Edu: Honestly, my mother made me go to piano lessons since I was 6 or 9…or 69…hehe. But it wasn’t until I turned 16 that I grabbed a guitar and really felt in love with the instrument. I guess watching Metallica’s ‘Turn The Page’ video on MTV back in 2000 really made a change in me and I just wanted to play really loud music.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Joey: I’d love to collaborate with Animals as Leaders and make the most insane prog song.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Joey: Download Festival in the UK. Growing up I would just see the flyers online and lose my shit every time because there’s always so many good bands all stacked together. Playing it would be cool but headlining it is the ultimate goal.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Joey: A fan made all of us shirts with little cartoons of us on our last tour. It isn’t weird at all but the fact that she took the time to do that was really surprising and awesome.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Joey: Wash your fucking hands and stay the fuck inside so that we can get back to playing shows as soon as possible!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Joey: Chester Bennington from Linkin Park.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Joey: What I enjoy the most about being a musician is inspiring people, the feeling of joy when someone listens to your songs and compliments you on it like “holy shit that was dope!” Or after playing a show the feeling of having people look up to you and want to talk to you is always a humbling experience. What I hate about being a musician is that we usually don’t get paid shit. Having to go through so many companies and platforms to go digital or physical just to make cents in the end is a tiring battle.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Edu: I think that would be the “visibility” and transparency. I think people, mostly new artists, deserve to know the music industry usually works based on how much money you invest; how good your contacts are; and very lastly: talent, not the other way around. How much new artists have to invest on YouTube, Facebook, IG, etc, to actually get real exposure and becoming sustainable, how much music industry executives make compared to artists, for example in Spotify, YouTube, big labels, production companies, etc. A huge issue here is that the majority of new artists out there get extremely frustrated because they think they are not “good enough” comparing themselves to other new artists that do get “YouTube Famous” or something. When in reality the vast majority of these famous YouTubers have the means, either money or good contacts, to get wherever they want to go. And I’M NOT SAYING THAT’S BAD OR WRONG, it’s just a fact, they can actually get exposure while others can’t, and those who can’t just think they’re not talented enough and quit. The band is actually working on a documentary right now, and this is one of the points we’ll be touching. Transparency and visibility would change not only the music industry, but the world. When you play a game knowing all the rules, because they’re plainly visible and not mysteriously hidden, everything starts becoming fair.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Richard: Judas Priest – “Painkiller”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Richard: All of the above except downloads.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Richard: I’d say when we opened for Tarja in Quito, Ecuador. That was a great show and memory.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Richard: I really don’t know honestly. I had ambitions to play sports professionally growing up, but then I discovered music going into high school. I have never considered any other career since.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Richard: Steve Vai, Glenn Tipton, John Petrucci, George Lynch, Michael Romeo
What’s next for the band?
Winston: We are currently working on a single to get the taste buds going but alongside all that we are also working on pre producing the next album!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Winston: People can always find us in all streaming platforms as well as our Main website.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Winston: What if the Cake is a lie. Haha!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Winston: Thanks to everybody that listens to us and supports us! Keep your eyes open for news because things will get heavy!
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