Maine Music News grabbed the opportunity for a completely impromptu interview with Evan Seidlitz and Mario Rubio of Thrown Into Exile at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Bangor, Maine, on July 17th. After seeing their opening set, there was no way this chance was going to slip away. Absolute professionals and generous with their time, Evan and Mario offered their perspective on being the new kids on the metal block and what it takes to make it in music.
MMN – Thrown Into Exile has what some would call the toughest spot in the Mayhem line up – first – but you guys had the crowd going in no time. Evan, you are the front man and out there getting everyone ready to go. You have a great rapport with the crowd. Have you always been a musician?
ES – Since I was 13, I started playing bass guitar. I played until I was 19 when I moved from Cleveland, Ohio out to Los Angeles. I have been in LA for about 10 years just concentrating on being a front man and a vocalist. I have been in a lot of bands. This project has only been together for a year and a half.
MR – We are unsigned, no booking agent.
MMN – Now you are working on your debut full length album?
ES – Yes, with the same guy who produced our EP, Michael Spreitzer. He plays guitar for Devildriver and is going to be doing the full length album. We were about seven songs deep before we came out for this tour, three of which we have mastered. We are actually shopping them while we are out on tour so hopefully coming off the tour we can announce a label and follow that up with a solid fall tour.
MMN – Are you thinking about going independent or do you want to go with a label?
ES – We have a few labels that are interested. So, we are definitely appealing to the right people.
MR – Money is not necessarily the thing we are looking for. We want to be able to find the right home that is going to work just as hard as we are and help us get to the next level.
MMN – What kind of conversations as a group are you having about how to decide what we you need in a label and a contract. How are you able to tell who is going to work hard for you?
MR – I think one of the signs I can tell is if a label is persistent. That is one of the things that stands out the most. If you want something, you are going to go out and get it. Say the A&R guy is coming to show after show – you know he is watching you – that is a sign that he is taking the initiative and will pursue this band since he is already coming on his own and we are not his client. When we become his client, he will be championing us.
MMN – How are you going to tell if they are being honest with you?
ES – All you have to do is look at their track record, looking at their client roster and who they have worked with.
MR – You can tell a lot by their hand shake and their eyes. It tells a lot about character.
MMN – How did you get the opening gig with the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival?
ES – It started last year. We actually got affiliated with Mayhem when we did the Headbang for the Highway for the Sumerian Stage, which is not being done here today in Maine. Most of the cities that Mayhem is going to did a battle of the bands to open up the Sumerian Stage. We did that last year in Los Angeles at the Key Club, and we won to open up the first day at San Bernadino of Mayhem Fest last year. So this year we teamed up with Musicians Institute.
MR – I work at Musicians Institute, and I graduated from there as well in 2009 taking the Music Business Program. My drummer, Chase, graduated in 2006 from the Drum Program. Long story short, I got an offer to work where I graduated from. For me it was an honor to be there and do this. MI has been a Mayhem sponsor for years, and the conversation occurred about doing something on a larger scale. It was suggested to do a MI stage. Jose Ferro, Executive Vice President, is a huge metal head, and if you were to go on campus there is a huge amount of metal T-shirts. Metal is alive and well at the school. They are embracing and catering to it. At that point, both MI and Mayhem staff suggested that we play since we have two alumni members. We were published on the cover of LA Weekly. We did the second stage with Cannibal Corpse. We ended the year with the California Metalfest with Killswitch Engage, and we opened this year with Testament and Overkill. We have had heavy airplay on Sirius XM Liquid Metal.
ES – Liquid Metal played it a couple times for us, and they received enough requests that we were put in their daily rotation. We shot a music video for it that is available on youtube.
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Fabio Jafet directed it and did a really great job.
MR – Jafet is a 9 time Emmy Award winning director, and he has been a friend of mine for years. I started looking into music videos, and I posted on my Facebook page that I was looking for a director, and he calls me up and said, “Why haven’t you asked me?” I told him, “Bro, have you looked at your resume? I can’t afford you.” He has directed for Pitbull, Lil Wayne, Enrique Iglesias, I was like “Dude, I can’t afford you. He said, “I got you.” Two weeks later he flew from New York to LA and shot our video in about 4 hours on a Wednesday morning,
ES – We did it in an afternoon. We were really fortunate that we were able to rock it out. We did a lot in post production because we had a zero budget. We were really stoked how it came it.
MMN – Can you talk about Thrown Into Exile’s style?
ES – It is definitely a blender – it is metal core, it is death metal, it is an ultimate metal blender. Death metal, black metal, thrash metal. There are all of those components in every song that we write. It’s tastefully done so each genre is not too overly done.
MR – It comes from so many influences, but they are not clashing each other. There are not sporadic song dynamics. We want to make sure that it blends in to the point where I might be expecting it to go a certain way, but it makes sense.
ES – It goes back to spending a lot of time constructing the songs.
MMN – If you were to sum it up in order to get metals fans to check out Thrown Into Exile, what do you want to tell them?
ES – If you are coming to Mayhem Fest, get here early. We are going to be one of the most intense acts all day long. We definitely appreciate everybody that comes out early. Look out for us in the fall with a tour. A full length album will be out next year, and we will be announcing a label after this tour. Find us on Facebook and twitter and keep your eyes out for Thrown Into Exile. We love being up on stage, it is the best part of our day.
MMN – The 20 minutes that you are given in front of that crowd. How big of an impact are you able to make?
ES – It has been getting better every day of the tour. Today was a great day. Today, I think we sold triple what we have done any other day as far as CD’s are concerned. It is absolutely amazing, and everybody wanted a physical copy of our songs.
MR – We were overwhelmed when everyone wanted to purchase our stuff. We are very fortunate and thankful that people are giving us the time of day and coming out early to give us a chance. It’s not an easy place to be as an opener. A lot of people think that when they see an opener that it is going to suck. We have a huge responsibility, not only are we setting the tone, but we need to make sure we are proving those people wrong.
MMN – If what we saw is any indication, Thrown Into Exile is proving that they have all the talent and energy they need to make it in metal. Your set was terrific. Thanks for the interview and good luck with your new album and the rest of the tour.
ES – Thank you for taking the time to sit down with us, we really appreciate your time.