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INTERVIEW: Galvanized Souls

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 Galvanized SoulsInfectious Magazine’s Maria Vela got the chance to chat with SoCal band, Galvanized Souls, about everything from Cher to playing this year’s Vans Warped Tour and what they have in store for fans in the near future. Check it out below, and purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.

Galvanized Souls are:

Zakk Silveira: Lead vocals/guitar

Chris Traylor: Lead guitar/vocals

Matt DeMartini: Bass

Kevin Cogen: Drums

IM: Zakk, it was just your birthday. Happy late birthday!

ZS: Thank you! I heard it was yours the day after, happy late birthday to you too!

IM: Ok first question, so usually rock bands choose to cover songs in the same genre, so to cover Cher’s “Believe” was quite a surprise. Was there any specific reason why you chose to cover Cher instead of a band that is closer to your sound (like the Foo Fighters or the Strokes for example)?

ZS: We decided to cover the Cher song because when we first came up with the idea, I had just gotten this vocal box that had a bunch of effects and auto tune was one of them. So I did that whole scene from Land of the Lost where they put their hands on the crystal and start singing Believe and Chris was like “Oh that’s awesome we should cover that song!” and we were joking about it for a while until we actually decided “We are going to cover Believe!”

IM: Well that worked out nicely, that video has a lot of views on youtube! What made you want to modify and make your own instruments? What’s your favorite instrument that you’ve made so far?

ZS: I would say what made us want to modifiy and make our instruments, it was one of our mentors/friends/ Doug Peyton, he currently makes guitars and he sets up our guitars for us and he will do pick up changes and everything. We found it extremely interesting, how you’re able to change the guitars and change the sound. So Chris and I, we are both making our own projects, we are making full guitars made from scratch and neither of us have finished yet because we’ve been pretty busy lately with playing shows and practicing. But I would say that my favorite guitar that I’ve modified ismy Stratocaster with a Warmoth neck on it. I got it at a garage sale for $50 and then I just modded it. I thought “Oh it only cost me $50 so I might as well just modify it!”

IM: Is that the guitar that you usually play live?

ZS: Yes I usually play that every show for the first couple of songs.

IM: You just released a new mini documentary about the making of your music video for  “Carry On” about the Facebook star, Colin, who used to get bullied at school. Have you kept in touch with Colin?

MD: Yes we have, we still communicate with the mom and the family and we were invited to events for Colin that we are hoping to go forward with.

IM: So are things better for him now?

MD: Yeah

IM: Do you think you had any part in helping to stop the bullying?

ZS: It would be really cool if we were able to help stop the bullying. We’ve all been bullied and all of us want to stop it and be able to help anyone. That’s fantastic for us if we are actually helping.

IM: Along with the usual merchandise that has your band’s name on wristbands or t-shirts, one of the items is a shirt that says “We are Colin’s friends, we will Carry On,” with all the proceeds going towards the Make a Wish foundation. Why did you pick that charity?

ZS: We decided to pick Make a Wish because that was Colin’s favorite charity.

IM: You are a relatively new band that is still starting out, so headlining tours across the US may still be a ways away. But in the meantime, what are some bands that you would like to open for?

ZS: All of us individually have our own set of bands that we would llove to open up for, but all of us together we have 3 or 4 major bands (to open for). There’s Failure, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and just because Kevin is really into them, there’s Kiss.

IM: You guys are still young, what do you do for school? Are any of you in college yet or plan to go to college?

MD: I’m homeschooled right now just so I have more time to write music with the rest of the band.

ZS: Luckily it is summer break for all of us. But when school is in session, Chris is currently out of high school. I actually take some online college classes, so that I can do on my own time. Kevin’s doing some classes, and this year I’ll be a senior and then after that I will have plenty of time for practicing and making instruments and writing songs.

IM: What do your friends think about the touring life that you’ve taken on?

ZS: Our friends  think that it’s pretty cool because we’re doing what we love to do and it’s cool to be able to know what you want to do in life and know how you’re going to do it. All of our friends like the message that we’re trying to put out there with anti-bullying and most of our friends, in fact, pretty much all of them were all bullied.

IM: Have your families had the same reaction to the band life as your friends do?

ZS: Yes, our families are extremely proud of us. My dad has been saying he’s been proud of me more and more since all the shows and videos with Galvanized Souls started.

IM: For those who have never heard of Galvanized Souls, can everyone describe your sound in ONE word?

ZS: Galvanized Souls in one word, wow, that is really tough (laughs)!

IM: That’s the point!

ZS: hmmm… active? (with a laugh) Galvanizing?

MD: Modern grunge….

ZS: Yeah, if you put a hyphen in it and make it a compound word then “modern-grunge”

IM: That works! Close enough! (Laughing) Do you have any advice for people who are currently in a bullying situation?

ZS: I would say, if you’re currently being bullied don’t be afraid to speak up or stand up for yourself, because they may call you a snitch or a rat, but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that it stops and gets out of schools and out of everywhere. Bullying Is a major thing that affects everyone around you.

IM: I totally agree! So what about words of wisdom for people who would like to go into the music industry?

MD: For people who are trying to be in the music industry, I would say don’t expect a lot because if you  expect too much and it doesn’t happen it could be really hard on you.  Also, use your head and play for yourself.

IM: Are there any plans for the rest of the year that you’d like to share?

ZS: Well we are going to be recording new songs and be writing as many new songs as possible. We already have one new song, called “Make a Sound,” it’s not on iTunes or our EP. It’s a new up and coming song.

CT: We’ll be recording a final version in about a month

ZS: Also we’re going to be recording a new music video for “Fall of Icarus” it’s one of our songs on our EP.

CT: All of our other songs on our EP have videos except for this one and “Kingdom of No One.” So this video should be awesome and definitely “grungey.” (Laughs)

ZS: On the “Fall of Icarus” music video, it was one of the most last-second things ever. But if you look at the footage, it was just so beautiful and clear (outside) and it’s amazing how you can sometimes do things last second and then they come out nice. We actually got to use a Go-Pro to film it.

IM: Okay, and are there any questions that you’ve always wanted to answer but haven’t been asked yet?

ZS: hmmm…. I think you actually did a really great job of asking questions that we haven’t been asked yet!

KC: I have a question for you!

IM: Okay….

KC: What question would you personally like to ask us that wasn’t in the interview?

IM: Well I’ve already asked you if you had any plans to come to the Midwest, but you said “possibly but not anytime in the near future” which I figured I would get an answer like that, but it was worth a try!

KC: (Laughs) yeah…

IM: Well, I will keep my eyes peeled! Oh I did think of another question. What’s your favorite concert you’ve been to?

MD: I’m going to answer this question in advance, and say Queens of the Stone Age who I’ll be seeing on Halloween!

KC: My favorite concert I’ve been to I actually didn’t get to see.

IM: Wait what??

KC: (Laughs) It was Warped Tour of this year that we got to play. But the thing that made this concert so amazing was not only did we get to play in this awesome dream setting, but we also ran into Max Green and he actually ran up and said hi to us, and he’s the bassist from Escape the Fate and now he’s in Falling In Reverse.

IM: Oh yeah, isn’t that Ronnie Radke’s other band?

KC: Yeah and Max Green has always been a huge idol to me personally. And to have him come up to us and remember who we are and take time out of his day to come and say hello, that was really cool and really made that concert amazing- and we got to play Warped Tour!

IM: Which is a big deal for any band already!

KC: Exactly. I can’t picture a better dream than to be part of this industry and play along the bands that you grew up listening to. I just couldn’t believe it. It, (Warped Tour) was amazing.

CT: My favorite show was my first concert, which was going to Warped Tour to see A Day to Remember. I was there with all my friends and we were all crowd surfing. That was when you could still crowd surf without getting in trouble,  (laughs)  and I loved every second of it!

ZS: my favorite concert I’ve been to was pretty recently, it was a Failure concert at the Fonda theatre, and to see Failure live was amazing!

IM: I’ve never heard of them, I’ll have to check them out! Do they sound similar to anyone else that I would know of?

ZS: (Laughing) they sound like Failure!

KC: They’re the greatest nineties band that no one’s ever heard of.  (sarcastically) I guess they kinda live up to their name.

(Everyone starts laughing)

IM: Well that’s all the questions I have for you! Thank you for taking the time to talk with me!

ZS: No problem! Absolutely!

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Angela Mastrogiacomo

Founder of Infectious Magazine & Muddy Paw Public Relations. Lover of passion, ice cream, and books.

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