Sifting: Progressive Metal from the City of Angels and Beyond
The Los Angeles music scene has always been one of stunning diversity, and one collective ready to break through auditory boundaries is Sifting. Classified as progressive metal and bringing so much imagination and intrigue into their music, Sifting was recently signed to Eclipse Records – and are slated to unveil their debut full length Not From Here to the world at large on September 29th.
Making their way to the City of Angels via Caracass, Venezuela, Sifting’s Not From Here magnum opus was recorded and produced by Ryan Williams (Velvet Revolver, Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine), and Steve Evetts (Suicide Silence, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Senses Fail), and it’s a masterwork sure to enrapture all types of music connoisseurs looking for an exhilarating adventure in both reflective lyrical content and dynamic sonic tapestries. Highwire Daze Online recently caught up with vocalist / guitarist Eduardo Osuna Gil to find out more about the epic Sifting and their upcoming Not From Here manifesto. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Sifting, and how long the band has been together.
This is Eduardo Osuna Gil, I sing and play guitar in Sifting. The band is been active since 2010 when we started recording our first EP.
What do you think of the local Los Angeles music scene and how does Sifting fit in with the scheme of things?
The Los Angeles Local music scene it’s a very unique and interesting place. It’s sort of its own beautiful bizarre world. You find all types of characters you wouldn’t expect. From your touring pros to your household garage indie musicians. Sure enough you find the odd apples but they don’t account to the amount of great talented individuals with a passion for what they do. The great thing about LA is the variety. You want rock? Got it! You want EDM? You got it! You want Avant-garde Post hardcore indie metal free-form fusion? You got it! ha! It definitively is a melting pot of innovation, creativity, and talent! That’s where we come into play. We are delivering a new product to the streets of LA. We will please from the hardcore metal fans to the modern scene and in between. We are part of that innovative movement where we want to fuse intricate, modern sounding metal riffs with enough catch that it appeals to many demographics.
How did you wind up signing with Eclipse Records?
Sifting was going on tours, getting new endorsements and overall gaining momentum. Eclipse reached out to us, and we liked that they were treating us like family, and giving us the freedom to do music the way we love it. So eventually we all discussed everything with the contract they presented us with and signed the deal.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title Not From Here?
When I wrote the songs for this album, I was having a hard time with moving to a different country. I was moving from Venezuela to the United States Of America. I started meeting a bunch of people here, but since LA is such a multicultural city, I realized that not even one person from my group of 10 or 15 friends were local. They were all from different parts of California, or from different states or countries. That’s when I realized the magic of LA. That crazy combination of locals and tons of non locals. So this phrase was always on my mind…”No one’s from here…but we’re an essential part of it“…And that’s when the name of the album came to my mind.
Select two songs on Not From Here and what inspired the lyrics.
– Pledge Of Our Generation
I wrote this song in loving memory of all the people that have given their lives fighting on the streets for the freedom and democracy of my country, Venezuela. All these people, most of them very young, have been killed by the very same army that should be protecting its citizens who are paid and handled by this corrupt government. With this song I want to show the world how our peaceful and cheerful country has turned into a war zone! I want to tell everyone that wherever you are, you can raise your voice and make a difference to make a stand against this tyrannous regime, so we can honor the lives of those who are still on the streets fighting for our freedom.
This is probably the most personal song I have ever written. Along with “Vanished” from the first album, were both written to my mother who died in a plane crash with 46 other people. In this song I describe what I felt and what I did the day of the crash (which I suppressed in my mind for so many years). I just didn’t want to feel what I felt that day ever again… but acceptance is part of the healing and the evolution of every human being. I struggled with myself for many days trying to bring myself to sit down and write about it. Then one day I finally got the courage to do it. Once I started writing, it was like it was a song I was remembering, like it was already written. It just came out. It felt like the voice of my soul in its pure essence. The story of this song has always been surreal. I wasn’t even planning on recording it. This song was for me only, to remind myself who I am. But in the final week of recording “Not From Here“, something told me I had to record that song I wrote a few years back. I didn’t even remember its name! I took my acoustic guitar and started remembering it, and totally fell in love with it again. The next day I showed to our producer Ryan Williams, and he told me that he loved it so much that he won’t even charge us for it. So the next day I recorded the vocals and all the guitars and solos, and I realized that exact day was my mother’s birthday, June 2nd. Coincidence…?”
Who produced Not From Here and what was it like working with them?
The songs Alone, Blowing Fire and Blurry Paintings were produced by Steve Evetts, and the remaining seven songs were produced by Ryan Williams. It was such an amazing experience to work with these two giants of the industry. They were super receptive with our music and let us keep the songs the way I pre-produced them, just adding some tweaks and their personal touch to the sound. Steve is super meticulous and strict with the tracking process, pushing you to your very limits, making you accomplish things you never thought you could do before, which I totally loved because I’m demanding myself too with my compositions. And Ryan is the most super easy going guy on earth! He works on your music like it’s his own and creates an incredibly peaceful atmosphere and energy in the studio that boosts your creativity right there on the spot. I would definitely work with both of them again!
What could we expect from a live Sifting show?
Have you ever been to an Iron Maiden show? Well, we want to make you feel like you’re seeing one of your biggest bands but you are seeing us, and you will probably love us! You will see us doing what we do best, rocking the stage. Expect intricate harmonized solo’s, and catchy choruses that will keep you singing after hearing it once. Soft dynamic phrasing with influences from all of our years of playing music! We want to give the best show possible with the best performances!
What was it like touring with Bullet For My Valentine and did you get to hang out with them at all?
It’s been one of the greatest experiences as a musician for sure. And yes! I got to hang with them backstage, mostly with Padge who is also an ESP Artist. At that time I wasn’t part of the roster yet, but I had an ESP FX and when he saw it he said, “ESP lover too?” 🙂
If Sifting could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
We would definitely open for Bullet For My Valentine again. Their crowd is one of the craziest we’ve played for so far! They’re full of energy and are very open minded! I personally would love to open for Avenged Sevenfold as well. I love the kind of music they’ve been doing and they have die-hard fans! I know because I am one! \m/
Any shows or tours coming up?
Yes! In July we’re going to be opening for Flotsam and Jetsam in Santa Ana, CA. Right after that we’re playing in Pomona, Long Beach and Hollywood. As far as tours we’re looking to schedule one late September or early October to promote our album release.
Any final words of wisdom?
Our album is available for pre-order via Eclipse Records at http://eclp.se/rntfr – Keep up with us via Facebook at http://fb.me/siftingofficial Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about the band, it’s wonderful to share our story with people, and to everyone around the world… Keep it metal!!
Eduardo Osuna Gil – guitar & vocals
Richard Garcia – lead guitar
Abelardo Bolano – drums
Wins Jarquin – bass
(Interview by Ken Morton)
Sifting on Facebook