Interloper’s vocalist and guitarist Andrew Virrueta is in a cheerful mood and why wouldn’t he be? His band are about to release their debut album Search Party on Nuclear Blast and are already focussed on their way to a second.
‘We have 6/7 songs already so album two is pretty far along thanks to quarantine! If we were touring this wouldn’t happen so I’m thankful in that way we are now ahead of schedule’
LA’s Interloper new album is a slab of modern progressive metal featuring swirling guitar melodies, clean and dark vocals with twisting dynamics. The fact Andrew is both vocalist and guitarist though comes with challenges, especially since he was not the lead vocalist that long ago.
‘Plenty of challenges, for sure, what’s it meant is that there are songs on the album I’ve written or sections of songs where there are riffs that were not intended to be ambidextrous in both the vocal and guitar realm. Sometimes the rhythms are completely unrelated so it makes it difficult for my brain! Things like that are a factor but we practice and hone that skill further so it’s gotten easier.’
While the majority of prog metal albums have a theme, it wasn’t the intention of Interloper to create one however it seems one appeared. They were also resistance to over play their instruments.
‘There is an unintentional theme. The lyrical content from song to song fit together I guess although the songs are not directly related to each other. It goes over some interpersonal issues, moments in my life that were traumatic that I wrote about to move past and cope with. I wrote some of the lyrics about observations of human behaviours and the effects that come with that. While Mikes lyrics, we had a singer before me and he wrote about 4/5 songs, we never really got the answer of what those are about! What they seem like is that they are observations of social issues and personal matters in less obvious ways. Mike’s writing is lot less ambiguous than mine.
There are bands who have their place in that and that’s fine. I mean sometimes I listen to bands and enjoy it fully cause I’m just trying to go down the rabbit hole thing. For our music what we wanted to do was focus on the songs as a whole, how they come across and get that impact we want across. A lot of times you get can more teccy or prog or whatever with it so with certain songs you can tend to lose focus.’
Finishing the album is a nod towards new wave pioneers Duran Duran with amped up version Rio.
‘The song is basically whenever me and the boys go out and party, that songs always end up coming on. We just love it, we all like to play and dig it. We thought it would be a good idea to pay our respects. We made a distinctive point to not change the song to much. We wanted to modernise it but didn’t want to reconstruct it and turn it into something else. So it’s got a kind of a modern edge to it but for the most part, the drum parts are respectful to the original. We zazzed the guitars a little bit and that sax solo in the middle is dual guitars but that’s pretty much all we did to it.’
Mixing and mastering is brother Joey and that connection allows the band to stay on track.
‘It was great! I grew up with that dude writing music with him. He’s the reason I do what I do so having him at my side – even though he’s not part of the band – was really special because it like comfort for me. I get I could just bounce ideas off him and he could be objective about the music so I could trust his production decisions based of that. He’s always thinking of the greater good. Sometimes when your among songs it’s easy to lose sight of that.’
While there may not be an intentional theme subconsciously Interloper have one. It’s a theme of focus and vision and it’s displayed in the musicianship and songs of their excellent debut Search Party. No quarantine or pandemic will stop that.
Interview By Iain McCallum
Search Party is out Friday 11 June. Purchase your copy HERE