SINIRA is a USBM band that I got to know of through a Facebook group I am a member of. Anders Ekdahl ©2021

Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you? How important is it to have the right name?
Knell: I wouldn’t necessarily say it was difficult to come up with a name. Being of Filipino descent I felt that it was fitting to pick a name that was in Tagalog. The name “Sinira” translates to English as “torn apart,” which is fitting for the fast-paced songs I wanted to write. I feel like some names grab attention more than others do. My band name has garnered direct messages to me about what it means so I assume it helps with grabbing attention.

Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to the sound of your band?
Knell: Without question, that would be Dissection. Jon pulled off something incredible that many have not been able to recreate. But Dissection isn’t the only band that has influenced me. Trey Azagthoth in particular has captured my attention throughout the years. Morbid Angel is one of the pioneering death metal bands but they stand out from every other because of his guitar work.

When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
Knell: When I write music at slower tempos I do get different mental images than when I compose a faster song. For my slower tempo songs I try to make it more atmospheric whereas my faster songs are more catchy and lead guitar driven

It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
Knell: This is a very accurate statement. I do wish I had used a studio drummer for this record, but I could not find anyone who had time to perform the parts or was able to play that fast.

Something I have been wondering about lately is this whole business of releasing in limited numbers, I have seen editions of 5, 10, 50 100 etc. If I released something I would want as many to be able to have it as possible. Your physical record will also be released in a limited amount. Why is that? Is physical sale really that bad?
Knell: Quite the contrary. I believe the appeal to release an album in limited numbers makes a lot of sense for sales. I think the appeal comes from a supply and demand stance. When there is a set number about how many records are left, there is a sudden urge to buy it while you can because you feel like you will miss out if you don’t buy it right then.

Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music. What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your music?
Knell: A huge contribution to the popularity of the album comes from YouTube and Bandcamp. The reach those platforms have for music is incredible and I am thankful for that. I stay in touch with fans directly through Instagram and Bandcamp.

To me art work can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-I believe the same thing, actually. The idea for an album cover should be thought of in the composition phases of writing so that way the music can match the ideas for the cover. I personally cannot write music without corresponding feelings while writing or an idea for an album cover. If you want to look for examples of album art that compliments the music, look no further than Death’s discography. Every piece is intriguing and also compliments the album very well.

We live in strange times now with this pandemic blocking the world. Do you feel that now, more than ever, that you are part of a scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands? How has the support been so far for you?
Knell: I feel like part of a scene in a different since than most do. Being isolated in East Texas, nobody cares to play or listen to black metal so oddly enough Covid did not change that feeling for me very much. My best connection to any kind of scene has always been through direct connections with bands of my same caliber and fans through social media.

It could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene was not what it used to be. Could it be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live? What is you experience with the live scene?
Knell: I can’t speak much for this because I grew up knowing that I could find bands or watch concerts online. Don’t get me wrong, going to live concerts is definitely a better experience than watching online but I could imagine that going to see a band live before was a much more “mystical” experience.

What does the future hold?
Knell: I wish I could give a better answer for this. I wish to write a new album but I can’t give an exact due date because there are other things this year I have tend to first.

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