Interview with Rich Burgos of DOWNSIID November 15, 2011

November 21, 2011 by: admin

November 15, 2011


Rich Burgos (Drums)

Kileen, Texas

By: Shauna O’Donnell

Hi Rich, thanks so much for the interview.

Rich/Downsiid: Hey Shauna, no thank you so much for having me.

You guys have been a band for a little over a decade now and have released three records. Has the latest album titled Life of Lies been released? If so when?

Rich/Downsiid: Yes this year was a decade for us and I still can’t believe we’ve been around that long. Yes we dropped three full albums with smaller releases in between. Our latest effort “LIFE OF LIES” was released earlier this year.

How did it come to be that you worked with Roy Z on the album?

Rich/Downsiid: How we got to work with ROY Z was such a great thing for us. Last year we were writing demos for the new record and we sent out a few to A&R’s from Virgin and management from SAVING ABEL. It caught their attention, so they flew in for a weekend to see us perform in a showcase. After the meeting he recommended we define our sound and team up with a producer asap. As he left he made us listen to a song by a band which we didn’t know called DOWNSET. Old school rockers might remember them. They were one of the creators of the rap/rock movement in L.A. The person that produced them was ROY Z, it was his first major project that landed the band with a label deal under Mercury Records. Fast forward two weeks later and I was speaking to our mastering engineer Maor Appelbaum and informed him what they told us. Oddly enough Maor was good friends with ROY Z because of the HALFORD, JUDAS PRIEST  projects. So he sent Roy our demos. Two hours later I received a call from ROY Z. He loved the idea of the music and where we were heading. We made arrangements and flew into Texas within a month to record one song to feel each other out.

What was it that he was able to bring to the table as a producer?

Rich/Downsiid: Roy as a producer brought many things to the table. He taught us many things in the recording process like tones and sounds we never experimented with. The number one thing he brought in my opinion was his ear. I will let all your readers know he has an amazing ear. He will tell you everything you don’t hear. It’s like if this man was bred to be a producer from day one. He is very amazing. Also his ability to throw his ideas at you and give you his suggestions like you added another band member all of a sudden.

What were some of the lessons you learned working with him?

Rich/Downsiid: We learned a few things. Number one we never rock before noon. Haha.. I loved that one. Most importantly is to know your music from front to back. Know your temps, tuning etc. For all the young readers and bands please take this to heart. KNOW KNOW your music and learn your craft.

How does the writing process normally work in your band?

Rich/Downsiid: Our Writing process was changed a bit, but for the most part String our lead singer comes up with hooks and a chorus. We will be able to know if they are catchy enough to continue. We currently upgraded to writing just guitar demos. Jeff “Spanish” Scott has these duties now and then they get emailed to all the band members to study and come forward with opinions and suggestions. Bottom line we use all of our tools possible to make a song surface.

Let’s talk about a few of the tracks. I found the title “Myspace Police” to be quite interesting. What inspired the song?

Rich/Downsiid: HAHA the song “Myspace Police” says it all. That was just a hook and a part of a chorus. When ROY Z flew in for the first time to see us he made us go through all of our new music we had at that time. Then we told him to check this particular track out. He laughed and loved it. It was the first song we recorded with ROY Z. It was meant to be a novelty song. We were inspired from real easy Women and how they like to snoop through there emails and other social sites i.e. MYSPACE.

How do you feel about Myspace going to the wayside and Facebook taking over? Do you feel Facebook is just as effective for bands?

Rich/Downsiid: I loved Myspace and it took me a whole minute to switch over. I honestly love Facebook. It is really easy to find anything and everything you want. It’s a great thing for bands, but they can’t rely on this all the time. Use it wisely and then hit the streets.

What do you find to be the toughest thing about being a band out there trying to get your music heard?

Rich/Downsiid: The toughest thing for a band is lack of money to get the proper music placements. Unfortunately money does make the world go round in this industry and everyone is broke. If you don’t support the bands by buying merch and/or CD’s they/us cant move forward.

Tell me why you guys wrote the single off the album “Not With Me.” What is its story?

Rich/Downsiid: I love this song. It was written simply to let you guys out there know to watch your girls because they are doing you dirty behind your back haha. Listen to the verses and it’s all true. All of this has happened to us and to a lot of you out there. “Shouldn’t have let your girl alone with me. Not with me.”

You filmed a video for the song that came out amazing. Where was it shot? Did anything interesting happen during the shoot? Who directed it?

Rich/Downsiid: The video was shot by Seventh Horizon who are good friends of ours and it was directed by Andrew Baird. It was shot on location in Temple, Texas (you might know this city as the home of FLYLEAF) at O’briens. Did anything interesting happen? Oh yeahhhhhhhhhhh. Shoot time was 9am and by 11am we lost half of our cast and extras. If you notice the cameras keep shooting tighter shots due to people missing haha.. 12pm came around and every one was drunk. A piece of advice, if you shoot a video inside a club/bar don’t open the bar up at 9am. I think I was the only sober person.

You guys did a cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry.” What was it about this particular song that made you guys want to cover it?

Rich/Downsiid: This song is down right SEXY, enough said. Prince is a genius and everyone knows this song. If you don’t you live under a rock. Shauna, we’re a rock band and we love women and this gets them every time haha.

Have any of the new songs gone to radio as of yet? What are the plans with that?

Rich/Downsiid: “Not With Me” has and we do have certain stations that rotate “When Doves Cry” a lot. Now we are dropping “Part of You.” We recently shot a video for it and are ready to rock. We are in the planning phases to release it really soon, so be on the look out for that.

You guys co-wrote two songs with Andy Waldeck. What was it like writing with someone outside of the band?

Rich/Downsiid: Andy Waldeck and us co-wrote “Life of Lies” the title track off the album and “We Can Get Out.” It was an amazing experience as well. It humbles you a bit because sometimes we lose our minds and think we know what’s best in everything we do and we don’t. In comes Andy and now he’s rearranging and explaining to us why we should do this or that. This was our first time using an outside writer and we’re looking forward to doing it again for our next record. We already have a few great musicians aboard.

Is that something you think you would do again in the future?

Rich/Downsiid: We will definitely do it again. We are getting ready for a 2012 release of the new record, but we are going do something big and special. We are shooting for a double album and we are going to work with SMACKOLA (DIRTYWORMZ/KABOSH aka techn9ne) in writing a few tracks and producing the other half of the record for us as well as some other up & coming writers.

In 2008 the band opened up a nightclub called The Music Vault. It was recognized as the Best Live Music Venue of 2011 in your area. I think it is incredible that you guys opened a club where bands have a place to play. Tell me all about the club.

Rich/Downsiid: The Music Vault is our baby. Yes it’s a LIVE MUSIC VENUE and dance club specializing in top 40, dubsteo, techno, house and bass. It’s been a long hard road for us, but we’re still alive and kicking as NONPOINT says. It’s for artists by artists.

If that isn’t enough you guys have also started up a clothing line called Ghetto Rock Clothing. Do you just carry shirts?

Rich/Downsiid: GHETTO ROCK OFFICIAL (G.R.O.) is another of our babies. We are fortunate enough to have an amazing artist and designer on our team, String (lead singer). We have G.R.O. meetings bi-monthly to pitch ideas and designs. We carry shirts, shoes, jewelry, hoodies and hats amongst other things. We recently sponsored an up & coming MMA fighter named Carl Perry Team Unleashed. Look for him and be on the lookout for the (G.R.O.) brand flying high. He’s got a few televised fights coming up.

You have toured with some amazing artists in the past. Which show was most memorable for you?

Rich/Downsiid: We have done small tours with bigger names and a lot of self funded tours of course. The most memorable simply because he’s a legend was Rob Halford and Dave Lombardo. It was amazing. We were definitely nervous because we didn’t think we would fit in Rob’s genre of fans, but the outcome was totally the opposite. I’ll quote a Halford fan. “If Rob says you’re worthy to perform as an opener for him , then you’re golden in our book.” We were blessed!

What do you have in store for 2012? Any tours coming up that we should know about?

Rich/Downsiid: In 2012 look for us to hit Cali and the west coast then back towards Florida and the Midwest. Look for the new album for sure.

Thank you so much!! Is there anything you’d like to add or say?

Rich/Downsiid: Shauna, no thank you for the love and opportunity to be part of MUEN Magazine. You help all us bands be out there in peoples faces with what you do. For your readers I wanna say “Please check us out and be open minded to all genres of music. DOWNSIID, look us up. See you all soon.”  –

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