The LA scene might be best known for The Rainbow Bar and Grill or that place where Lemmy hangs out or even for all the hair bands of the 80s but there is more to it than that. INSENTIENT is proof of that. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
For us not in the clue could you please give us a short introduction into what is Insentient?
-Insentient is a Los Angeles based blackened death metal band that was formed in 2009 by Leslie Medina. The band was mainly a solo project that I had started as a creative outlet that gradually developed into a full band. The current lineup consist of myself, Leslie Medina – Guitars/Vocals, Kimberly Orellana – Guitars, James Coppolino – Drums, and William Palacios- Toledo – Bass/Backing Vocals, who recently joined the band early this year. The style we have has drawn comparisons to bands like Death, Dissection, Hypocrisy, and Necrophobic, to name a few. Expect to hear some melodic guitar riffs, guttural vocals, intense blast beats, with a touch of shred guitar. Audio samples can be found on http://www.facebook.com/insentientofficial or via http://www.reverbnation.com/insentient. We will be recording early January 2013 with John Haddad of Trench Studios, which features artwork from Tom Bates. This will be our first album and is set to be released in February/March, so keep a look out and check out our page for updates.
When you start a band do you do it with a clear intention as to what you want to achieve? How do you find your way to a sound?
-When the band was started there was no initial direction that I was headed in. The only goal in mind has always been to create music, no matter what is sounded like. At this point in time there is every intention of being as successful as possible and pursuing this as a fulltime career. If it doesn’t pan out I am completely fine with that but every attempt will be made to further promote Insentient and put us on top as a well established working band. Finding the sound we want is based on writing music that flows and sounds good to us. It is that simple. When writing something and going with what sounds right, you can’t go wrong. There is nothing set or a sound we are looking to create. We each have our own influences and now that there is a new lineup you can expect the band’s sound and upcoming material, after our pending release, to evolve as the styles merge. It is my belief that music is best written when there are no rules/guidelines in place to stifle your creativity.
Do you feel that you are a part of a scene? How does one know when one is a part of a scene?
-I prefer the term “community” mainly because the people involved are just that, a community. We all share a common love for music, performing live, all while supporting as many people as we can. We work together in an attempt to unify artist and fans, something that I think is lacking in the music community now a days. You’ll know that you are part of the local music community when you not only have the mutual support from others but are actively involved in supporting others. Whether it be through passing out flyers for friends gigs, going out to local shows, or losing a few hours of sleep due to staying out to watch all the bands on the bill. Your participation and those who join you as a result of your support is how you know you are a part of the “scene”.
When you are a small band about to take on the world how do you go about spreading the name of the band?
-There are many ways to go about it. Granted, it may not be top notch marketing like some labels can afford to dish out but there is a plethora of tools for musicians to take advantage of. We go about spreading the word about the band via social networking sites we know all very well like Facebook, Reverbnation and more, These are sure ways to go about it without leaving hole in your pocket. There is no shortage of resources, it is just a matter of how much time or funds can be allocated in promoting the band. Sometimes just keeping it simple by promoting at shows, and networking as much as possible among peers can help significantly.
Can you describe the feeling you got the first time you was made aware of there being fans in places other than the surrounding burrows?
-Shocked, a sense of achievement, and humbled is the best way to describe the feeling in knowing that there are fans outside our area who are following Insentient. Shocked because on some level there is always doubt that tends to linger in the back of my mind that what we are striving for may not necessarily come to fruition. So when we hear of new fans, not only within our region, it pushes those thoughts aside and makes us work harder. A sense of achievement because the path for a musicians is not an easy one and it wears on you mentally, physically, and financially, so to know that the work you put in is paying off is very rewarding.
When I got into metal in the 80s a demo was a tape. Today a demo could look just as great as professional CD. Is a record label a necessity today?
-With the way times/technology have changed, I don’t think it is necessary to be signed to a label. It is easy for artists to do just as much as a label does, though it may not be on such a huge scale. The ability to purchase equipment for your home studio, CD duplication, merchandising is not out of reach any more. It will cost you a bit but is not something that is completely inaccessible.
When I think of LA I think of great contrasts between the glamour and the dirt. What is it like to be a metal band in such a contrasting place?
-Being in a metal band in the Los Angeles area can be tough. The area is heavily saturated with talent and there is a ton of competition within a genre that is already underground. The fan base for new artists is dwindling and those trying to keep a foothold have to combat new and old fans and their perception of the local metal scene being dead, though they do nothing to keep it thriving.
What kind of local scene is there today in and around LA?
-The local scene in Los Angeles is an active one, to a certain extent. There is no shortage of local bands to suit everyone’s musical taste. You will always find a show(s) going on every weekend and during the week as well. Yet with so much activity it is still lacking in support from music fans. One might ask, how could the scene be dead if there are gigs going on just about every day of the week? Well that is the problem. There are countless promoters/bands putting shows together that overlap, which in turn divide the fan base. You have great sounding bands playing at different venues on the same night so the turnout to many of these shows are quite low. I hate to make it sound so bleak but I have witnessed this so many times. It is likely to continue unless some effort is made to organize the shows that go on in a way that benefits everyone who is involved. On the flipside, you will also find a good amount of musicians who are working together to help promote each other, combat the decline in support, and assist those looking to come to Los Angeles to play gigs. Bands and local promoters like ourselves, Nihilitus, Infinite Death, Skoffin, Death Inquisition, Syrebris, Servile Conceptions, Casket, Exmortus, Madrost, Homeless One Productions, MMR Productions, The Static Age, to name a few, are always pushing to help out, hoping that the support will begin to grow.
How fickle are metal fans of today? How easily impressed are they by the mainstream promoted bands?
-Fickle, no.…not at all because saying so would imply that there is some leeway/interchangeability. It is the complete opposite. From what I have seen, not many fans are eager to give new up and coming talent a listen. Mainstream bands, no matter how much they are promoted, are judged on the same level. It is tough trying to impress a crowd that contains many musicians…some who forget that it’s about the music. Instead your met by a roomful of cross armed judges who look at the technical aspects /proficiency of the music/musician rather than simply allowing themselves to listen and respect that every artist performing/has their own form of e_xpression. Heck I’ve caught myself doing it and it’s something that I try to refrain from doing. Many fans, not all, are pretty much set in their ways, know what they like, and aren’t usually duped into checking out new bands no matter how much promotion they are bombarded with.
What would you like the future to hold for Insentient?
-I would hope that the future would hold some bigger shows for us in the United States and abroad. Insentient just want to write great music and have fun doing it. Thank you very much for your interest in our band.