Shattered Sun categorizes their music as a hybrid incorporating melodic tones with a sound derived from a variety of metal genres from thrash to speed. Based in Southern Texas, the band grew up listening to 80s metal and consider bands like Metallica, KISS and Queensryche as some of their inspirations.
Impressed by their demo, Breaking Bands, the powerhouse team of Adrenaline PR CEO Maria Ferrero, former MegaForce Records and Crazed Management owners Jon and Marsha Zazula, the driving force behind Metallica, and Testament vocalist Chuck Billy signed Shattered Sun. Since then they’ve been hard at work in the studio working on their upcoming release “Hope Without Hatred” and doing promotional tours and press.
We had a chance to speak with Marcos Leal, lead vocalist for Shattered Sun, while they were out here in Los Angeles. Prior to their showcase gig opening for Skid Row at the legendary Whisky a go go on Saturday, May 17, we spoke to Marcos a little bit about the band and what the future holds for them.
Q: What are you guys doing in California?
MARCOS LEAL: We’re out here doing a bunch of press. I think we’re going to be touring this summer. Right now we’re just in California on a showcase.
Q: You’re from Texas? Which part of Texas?
ML: We’re from Alice, Texas. South Texas. Corpus Christi.
Q: Is there a thriving metal community in that area?
ML: Yeah, you know what, we have a lot of strong talent down there. It’s not just the metal, but all types of music. For some reason the music scene down there’s really thriving right now. Definitely great to be a part of that and representing it.
Q: I know critics have categorized your music as Metalcore. What do you think about that?
ML: I like to consider ourselves more of a hybrid metal and Metalcore elements, but we also have, you know, thrash. We’re very melodic. That’s a big part of this band is being very versatile and not just like one band, you know, we added a bunch of our influences and make a signature style that we don’t think anybody can mimic right now.
Q: The melodic element. That’s dominant in your sound, right ?
ML: Yeah, adding that melodic side to our music it was very intentional. It’s something we’ve always wanted to do since we started playing.
Q: What band(s) are you influenced by?
ML: If I could speak for the whole band, there’s one band that really inspires us, it’s Metallica. And it’s pretty awesome because Johnny Z and Marsha discovered Metallica and have compared us, not our music style, but the type of band that we’re aspiring to be, you know, compared us to their career. It’s just crazy because that’s the band that we’ve always looked up to. They’re one of those bands that are very versatile. And for me, I grew up listening to a lot of older stuff like KISS, Metallica, Queensryche, a lot of the 80s metal. Paul Stanley too from KISS is definitely a huge, huge influence on my vocals.
Q: So they’re managing you now?
ML: Yes. It’s sort of a big deal for us because Metallica, being our favorite band, to be working with the people that discovered Metallica is just amazing for us.
Q: How do you approach your songwriting?
ML: It’s more like everybody brings something to the table. Daniel and Robert, our lead guitar player and drummer, they usually bounce riffs off each other and then they find something with a really good groove and we slowly start adding in the members, you know, like layers. We’ll add in our other lead guitar player Jessie and Joseph, bass, and we’ll form the shell and I’ll write the basic hook into the melodies of the song. We’ll add in keys and then we’ll take it to our producer and then we’ll build it from there. It’s more layered in stages than it is of everybody in one room writing the song in one day.
Q: Tell me about your current release .
ML: Confessions is our EP. That EPs out already but our new album is finished at the moment; we’re in the final stages of it. It’s entitled “Hope Within Hatred”
Q: Can you tell me about the lyrics to “Hope Within Hatred” ? What are you trying to convey?
ML: I wanted to write about something positive. I was watching a lot of videos of people that have had extreme tragedies in their lives, kind of like 9-11, stuff like that. I didn’t want to write anything political, because I thought that was a little too heavy but I wanted to write about the people that went though those stories. The inspiration of losing everything but still having hope to get through the end of the day. I just wanted to write something about people still believing in each other. You know, not losing faith in humanity.
Q: What can fans expect from this upcoming album?
ML: The lyrics will be positive, trying to inspire people to believe in themselves and believe in each other, aside from everything that’s going on in the world. It’s real easy to lose site of and fall into the negative. Lyrically that’s what it’s going to portray. Musically, I think this is the best thing we’ve ever done. This is a concerted effort of a whole team of people. We brought in Mike, the guitarist from Spineshank to help us in pre-production. And then our producer Robert Beltran was with us the whole way through the production.
Q: I always like to ask this question. How did you come up with your band name Shattered Sun?
ML: It’s a pretty simple story. My guitarist Daniel is a big Unearth fan and we all were and there’s a song that they have called “Shattered by the Sun.” And he took out “by the” and Shattered Sun and there you go. Pretty simple. The name just kind of stuck through the years and we never had the desire to change it.
Q: Your tour will start later on this year. Can you tell me about that?
ML: Yeah, we have every intention of being out there this summer and we’re going to tour our asses off and definitely make a name for ourselves in this music industry.
Q: Any shout outs or something you’d like to leave us with?
ML: I just want to put a big thank you in for our area South Texas. They’re the reason that we’ve come this far; their support and their love for us. Just want to give them a big thank you.
Marcos Leal - Vocals
Daniel Trejo - Guitar
Jessie Santos - Guitar
Joseph Guajardo - Bass
Robert Garza - Drums
Henry Garza - Keys/Samples
Shattered Sun will be touring this summer throughout the US and possible international dates as well.