EMQ’s with LAVABORNE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Indianapolis, Indiana based Power-Doom Metal band, Lavaborne. Huge thanks to lead vocalist, Chris Latta, 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 Chris Latta, and I am Lavaborne’s lead singer. Lavaborne was formed in 2017 by me and guitarist Brandon Signorino. The two of us worked on getting material together and released a demo as a recruitment tool that fall. Once we were able to get the other guys on and complete the line-up, we started gigging locally and arranging more material.
How did you come up with your band name?
It was based on a song title that I came up with some time ago. It started out as “Lava Birth” and when that turned into “Lava Born,” I got the idea to combine the two words together and put an -e at the end to make it look cooler. I’ll have to see if we can get some music to match the lyric sometime. Either way, it’s an original one-word band name that looks cool on paper and sounds cool when you say it out loud.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The scene had its share of setbacks due to the pandemic but there are enough excellent bands and solid venues keeping it alive. We’ve always been a notable city for our doom and death metal bands, but we’ve had more traditional metal bands pop up in the last couple years. I’m still trying to figure out which bands are still active, but we can shout-out Apostle of Solitude, Void King, Graveripper, Mother of Graves, Tusk, Drude, Dead King’s Peace, Man Eating Giant, Steel Aggressor, Veilcaste, Cursed Blade, Wolftooth, Inferno Sunn, and Charonyx, among others. Throne of Iron, the Mound Builders, Axxios, and Liquid Signal are also great as far as our out-of-town friends go.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We are about to release our debut album, “Black Winged Gods”, on October 1st through Wise Blood Records. So far we’ve released three songs as singles, ‘The Heathen Church’, ‘Mortal Pride’ and ‘Prove Your Worth’ that seem to be getting some good response.
‘The Heathen Church’ (Official Visualiser)
‘Mortal Pride’ (Official Visualiser)
‘Prove Your Worth’ (Lyric Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Our biggest collective influences tend to be eighties metal bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Candlemass, Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, and the Black Sabbath albums featuring Ronnie James Dio and Tony Martin on vocals. We’ve got some additional influences from grunge and thrash as well as inspiration from contemporary bands like Khemmis, Crypt Sermon, Visigoth, and Atlantean Kodex, among others.
What first got you into music?
Speaking for myself, I took piano lessons as a kid and sang in choir for most of my adolescence. My big breakthrough was listening to AC/DC’s “Back in Black” when I was fourteen; that was the album that got me to start actively paying attention to music and want to create my own. Queen, System of a Down, Rob Zombie, Metallica, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden were my other major gateways.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
It sure would be awesome to have somebody like Rob Halford or Jon Oliva singing on a Lavaborne song, maybe even get Jeff Waters or Roy Z to put a solo on something! My philosophy on collaborations is that it always depends on what a specific song calls for. A couple of the songs we recorded for the album feature a guest vocalist, Zebah Latifi of Zephaniah, and she did an excellent job of filling out the dynamics and bringing a broader range than I was able to on my own.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I’d love to play the sort of festival where we would have the largest audience that would be most interested in our particular style. Up The Hammers is a dream festival for me; the bills always look stacked and having studied abroad in Greece in college, I’d love a chance to get back out there in the future. In the meantime, getting to play the Legions of Metal 3.5 in Chicago this October is gonna be great!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I haven’t run into anything weird yet that I can recall. I’m still in the headspace where anybody cares at all about what I am doing, to be honest.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
We’re grateful for all the support we’ve received so far and hoping to play out even more in 2022!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
In terms of a musician that still had some unfinished business, I would say Ronnie James Dio. I’d be curious to see how the Magica trilogy he was working on would’ve turned out and a second Heaven & Hell record likely would’ve been more fulfilling than the last Sabbath record with Ozzy.
I’d also be very curious to see how drastically different the rock world by now would be if Jimi Hendrix or Mother Love Bone’s Andrew Wood was still alive.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
The best part of being a musician is getting to work with different musicians. It’s always exciting to see what somebody will bring to a given project and how the music reflects the personalities and backgrounds of the people who created it. I also have a slight obsession with posterity so it’s always incredible to hold a piece of physical media or even see a download that contains something you helped create. The worst part is the everything else; when I’m not in the studio, rehearsal space, or on stage, I’m always thinking about it.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
It would be stellar if we doubled down on our efforts to make the music industry more inclusive and diverse, especially in rock and metal. It shouldn’t be “political” to say that bigots have no place in our scene.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Judas Priest’s “Sad Wings of Destiny” is the first thing I think of whenever somebody describes a “perfect album.”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl is the most fun to collect, but CD’s also deserve credit for their versatility and affordability. Black Winged Gods will be available on CD, cassette, and download formats so it’s great to have those options available. We’re hoping to get into vinyl at some point soon but that’s going to be much trickier to pull off.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
As far as Lavaborne goes, our best show might’ve been the one we played on Leap Day 2020 just before everything shut down. We were the token classic metal group on a bill of thrash and black metal acts; those types of shows can be a lot of fun since they give us the chance to really prove ourselves in a more extreme context. Having the club packed to near full capacity certainly didn’t hurt either. I’m excited to bring some of that mojo back for the shows we’ve got coming up!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I wrote and drew a series of comic books when I was younger. I could see myself doing more along those lines had I gotten the proper training and such. Maybe I could’ve gotten a webcomic or two under my belt by now. I’ve also had an interest in photography.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Rob Halford, Don Airey, and Vinny Appice. Little do they know that this dinner party is just a ruse for me to pitch the new supergroup that they should start together.
What’s next for the band?
For now, it’s all about building up hype for the upcoming album and then the series of shows we’ll be playing once it’s out. Our goals for next year will depend on how safe things will be by then, but we are hoping to start gigging on a more regional level. I know each of us has been accruing material so we should also be starting the process of writing our second album here soon.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Bandcamp is the best website for bands bar none as far as I’m concerned. We’ll have the album on Spotify and the other streaming sites when it’s out, but Bandcamp offers the most direct support. We also use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I just had to Google these since I am not familiar. I’ll go ahead and say they’re a cake.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
We appreciate you giving us and others the space to talk about our bands! We’re excited to get our upcoming album, “Black Winged Gods”, out there on October 1st and appreciate everybody that takes the time to check us out!
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