Vocalist and guitarist Francisco J. Paz-Guitars
Kathleen via email
Date: March 5, 2013
Apostrophes, a fairly new Melodic hardcore metal band from Newark, NJ, who are currently releasing their first six song EP asking vocalist and guitarist Francisco J. Paz-Guitars a couple of questions.
OCZ: How are you Francisco? Have you coughed up black shit or getting major headaches since you stopped smoking?
Honestly, only the first few days. For the most part I’ve had insomnia for the last week or so which is now over with. The worst part is that I’ve been a smoker for 20 years so as you can imagine the temptation will never truly leave .It’s going to be a life long struggle it seems.
OCZ: It can be hellish when you quit, did you do it for health reasons or has it been affecting your vocal chords?
Both. My range has increased as well as my durability. My diaphragm used to get tired within an hour of singing and I’m proud to be able to say I can sing for about 3 hours now with minimal effort. As for my health reasons, I was diagnosed with Emphysema about 1 year ago which lead me to quit. I don’t recommend smoking to anyone.
OCZ: So, I read you were born in a taxi, are you good with directions or do you get lost on the road a lot?
This one is very unexpected! Haha ! Actually Javier (J.) is the name of the Taxi driver and Francisco is the name of the retired Doctor the cabbie took my mother to, for she wasn’t going to make it to the Hospital, hahaha!! Plus, I have a great sense of direction and very rarely get lost.
OCZ: Recently, we received a promotional message from a good friend of ours Frank Sommers of Metal Noise to help promote Brutiful Metal Radio compilation with you and another 111 bands on it. Out of curiosity, why do you think the song you chose best represents the compilation album and your band?
Our self titled track Apostrophes represents us best, on the fact that now in days it seems that every metal band is out to reach wrong musical goals. To be brutal and sick, entirely forgetting music is emotion. We have many varied musical influences. We are currently a 4 piece band with the new addition of Tiago Andrade. As we grow, the influences will begin to show on the new upcoming material. Brutiful metal radio actually decided on which track to put in the compilation and I completely agree with their choice, Apostrophes was our first song as a band, and the one with the most heartfelt emotion from our point of view, do to the extremely personal lyrics I put behind an already extremely emotional composition. This song is “All Feel”.
OCZ: Was this the first compilation that you were ever asked to be on and how do you think this will help many others discover new bands?
Yes it is! We can’t ever thank Brutiful Metal Radio and our friends in YAKk enough for the opportunity. This would have never happened without their efforts. No one buys an album from a band they never heard, but If our fans download the Compilation, those other 112 bands will be heard by a new spectrum of listeners and might possibly gain new fans, and of course vice versa.
OCZ: What are some other bands/songs that you would recommend people to check out on this compilation album?
My musical preference might not agree with yours! YAKk’s “Appetite for Flesh” is definitely one track they’ll want to check out!
OCZ: You recorded your six song demo at Mercury Recording Studio with Jerry Ramos, what was your experience like and tell us your experience going in for the first time as a band?
Mercury Recording Studio is amazing! Jerry Ramos is one of the greatest engineers any of us have ever had the pleasure of working with and is as much a part of the Apostrophes sound as ourselves. Mercury Studio is our home. This man welcomed us with open arms without knowing the slightest detail about us or our music. Always a special thanks to Jerry and Mercury Recording Studio for we’ve grown so much as a band in one year. Until we’re signed and our label says otherwise, Mercury is the only studio we work with.
OCZ: Many of your lyrics are based upon your personal life and views that cover failure of the humanity. You’ve been getting some good feedback from three of your songs, “Apostrophes,” “Brothers” and “Satellites” tell us a little about each song.
Apostrophes: Most of the time, people don’t get what they deserve in life. We as individuals, cannot allow failure to determine the remain of our lives. This song is simply saying “Let go and move on”.
Brothers: This is about my biological brothers. Each verse refers to a different one. The first verse is about not having any type of contact with one of them over the period of 2 years, due to a conflict we had. I thought it best to let go for a while, let things settle down so when we meet again, we’d be as brothers again. The second verse is about watching my other brother self -destruct on drugs for 7 long years. Certainly one of the hardest experiences of my life… I’m happy to say that today he is 100% clean, owns his business, has a beautiful daughter and a loving wife.
The meaning behind the chorus is “No matter what. You are my brother, and I love you. I’ll always be here for either one of you cause that’s what family is for. I wish for you the best in life.”
Satellites: This is about Religion, and how through-out history, many have used it over and over again to justify murder, Terrorism, and many other violent needless acts. It’s a shame that humanity has allowed something so pure and beautiful to be so corrupted. I don’t believe in God. I believe in what God is based on.” Love”
OCZ: As a musician what are some of your weakness, obscure or chaotic moments you have faced since you’ve been together for the past year?
Absolutely none. We all agreed when starting Apostrophes that we would be 100% about the music.A drama free environment, where we can create, not destroy. We as friends and bandmates are completely honest and devoted to each other, and I’m sure people will see that chemistry onstage.
OCZ: Will you be working with Juan for Apostrophes future artwork?
Definitely! Juan L. Paz is actually my biological brother and by far the most insane artist I’ve ever witnessed before my eyes. I remember him drawing Disney cartoons when we were little boys in Spain so all my life I’ve watched him grow as an artist. I am proud of him and how far he has come. He doesn’t just do artwork for us. He’s also a huge fan and supporter of Apostrophes. He believes in us as we believe in him.
OCZ: You’ve been in other projects before this and as we all know how that story goes, what are you doing differently this time around that you haven’t done in the past?
Patience. I’ve waited and found the right people. Musicians who want to achive similar goals and dreams. Make music a career not just a weekend activity or an outlet for a personal vendetta. We’re more than a band. We’re brothers in and outside of the band.
OCZ: At first your band was called, "Paz's Project" when and why did you change the name?
It wasn’t called that. On our biography I wrote it in that manner because when starting this band I was the primary song writer. It literally was “My Project”. When I began finding the band members (Clauzenei Santos Jr, Tiago Andrade, and Robert Mendoza) for this project, each of them found their own place in my music, I can’t take credit for their work. These songs are not how I intended them to be, and therefor it stopped being “My project” and became Apostrophes. The name Apostrophes referring to the “Could’ve, Might’ve, Would’ve,” which we all have left behind at one point or another in our moments of human weakness. My lyrics are extremely personal and the name seemed adequate.
OCZ: Some of your members are old time friends of yours, why don’t you introduce them and the craft they master and give a short history how Apostrophes came about.
Clauzenei Santos Jr. is our bassist, hes been in a bunch of bands and actually he’s an incredible Saxophone player. A skill which we hope on using to our advantage on tracks to come. Easily one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever worked with!
Robert Mendoza is our drummer and by far the most dedicated one I’ve ever worked with!
Last but not least is Tiago Andrade. Completely new to NJs Hardcore/Metal scene but an incredible addition to it. Not only is he a great guitar player but he’s also a great presence on stage which you will all come to see soon enough.
These are my brothers. We are Apostrophes. I began Apostrophes because I got sick of bands quitting on themselves over personal and musical differences. I see musical differences as a big plus in any band. Musical differences is what gives a band the possibility of creating something new and unique. I searched for an entire year for the right members for this band because I wanted more than just a band. I wanted a brotherhood, a family, and I’m incredibly happy to be a part of this family.
OCZ: Are you a fan of Frank Zappa and who are some of your influences as a vocalist?
Who isn’t a fan of Frank Zappa? If you don’t know Frank you don’t know music. The man is a legend for a reason! As far as influences: Maynard James Keenan , Chris Cornell, Serg Tankian, Jim Morrison, Jeff Martin, Pete Murray, Steven Patrick Morrisey, Sebastian Bach. This list is endless!
OCZ: Is it hard at times to work around members schedules to book shows since some have their own family and day time jobs?
Always! But we always find a way. It’s every one of our dreams to be able to wake up in the morning and create music. We live for this and feel blessed, that so far, so many people have been reaching out to us offering their love and support. We’ve been preparing ourselves all year for the Summer of 2013! That’s been the big plan from the very beginning and we’re sticking by it! We’re almost there! Fans deserve our 100% and they’ll get no less.\m/
OCZ: Are you working on some merchandise and where can others purchase your EP?
Our EP is not yet completed. We have our personal lives to attend to, and families to look after so it’s been a rough ride. Currently we have 3 songs up on Reverbnation and Souncloud accounts where people can check out what we have so far. However, it will be completed by Summer! We’re scheduled to record the remaining 3 songs for our EP at Mercury Recording Studio in 2 months! When we’re done with our EP it will be up for sale on just about any online store you can possibly imagine, as well as other merchandise to compliment the album.
OCZ: What upcoming shows do you have in the works and where you would like to play this year in NJ and NY that you haven’t already?
Just to name a few: Dingbatz, Starland Ballroom, The Blue room, Saint Vitus, Bowery Ballroom, The trash bar, The Saint, Arlene’s Grocery, and many more! This is not including shows which we’re planning to self promote!
OCZ: Tell us what you think of the Melodic hardcore metal scene in the US and what will you bring to the scene?
I honestly think music has gone downhill. Most metal/Hardcore bands are riding the hate wagon, and most of them seem to be in some sort of competition with every other band. I think it’s childish, and these messages of hate bring nothing good to the world. I grew up in NJ’s hardcore scene in the 90s when there was nothing but love and respect for each other. Supporting bands Such as E Town Concrete, Ill Nino, Point 4 Hope, Face, and many others, they were at our very level in the scene! We stand for love. We stand for respect. We stand for positivity. I think we’re going to bring people together with it and provide an atmosphere full of emotions for our fans as a live band. I think we’re going to bring back what has been lost in NJ’s Hardcore scene. Family.
OCZ: Thanks for the interview, how will you end this interview that others will remember you by?
Be ready for The Summer of 2013! This is what we have been working for! This is our year! Love to all of you from Apostrophes! \m/
Source: Obscure Chaos Zine and