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Art Of Shock: On The Road To Dark Angeles

Art Of Shock: On The Road To Dark Angeles

Photo Credit: Jeremy Saffer

Art Of Shock: On The Road To Dark Angeles

Art Of Shock is a thrash metal collective from the thriving Los Angeles music scene who has shared the stage with the likes of Trivium, The Cavalera Conspiracy, and Sacred Reich – as well as performed on the iconic Vans Warped Tour.  The band recently unveiled Dark Angeles, their latest magnum opus now available via Century Media Records.  Produced and mixed by Mark Lewis, whose own credits include Megadeth, Cannibal Corpse, and The Black Dahlia Murder, Dark Angeles is an auditory epic sure to captivate music fans above and beyond the City Of Angels.  Highwire Daze recently interviewed lead vocalist / rhythm guitarist Art Geezar to find out more about the road to Dark Angels, releasing their album in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, their amazing Lust For Life by Iggy Pop cover, playing Warped Tour, and a whole lot more!  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Art Of Shock and how long the band has been together.
My name is Art Geezar, I am the rhythm guitar player and lead singer in Art Of Shock. We’ve been around for a while. We’ve gone through different incarnations and have been developing this idea for about a decade now.

What do you think of the local Los Angeles music scene and how does Art Of Shock fit into the scheme of things?
The metal and punk scenes in LA are still vibrant. We have hundreds of bands creating new concepts or contributing to old ones. Those two sub genres are still pretty healthy compared to many others under the rock umbrella that have been steadily fading. Art of Shock drags influences from both. As far as fitting into a scene, I have no idea. We approach music in our own way and still I don’t feel that we’re out of place.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the Dark Angeles album title?
We chose that title mostly because most of our organization felt it was the strongest one. It is not a concept album at all, but I can see now why some people think it is. We draw the inspiration for our lyrics mostly from our own personal experiences and the stories of those around us. I personally don’t think there’s a concept beyond capturing that time period of our lives. The song Dark Angeles on the other hand, does have a very specific theme. That song is about all the people moving to LA to make their dreams come true and then facing the reality of this city that will very likely blacken your soul, regardless of if you make it or not.

Select two songs from Dark Angeles and what inspired the lyrics.
We have a song on the album called, Peace on Earth, That’s a pessimistic view about the human race and it’s environment. It’s that sad feeling that the only way to achieve peace and save the planet, is by removing humans from the equation.

The second one is a song that’s entitled, Bad Intentions. That one is about how many people, when presented with a place of power, whether it’s a family or an entire government, will cause terrible pain and suffering to their people always feeling that the are doing the right thing. It’s weird how your good intentions can cause such damage.

What made you decide to cover Lust For Life, and has the legendary Iggy Pop heard or commented on it?
Somebody from our camp suggested it and I liked the idea. When you cover a song by another Artist you only have two options, to play it verbatim or to create you own version. I chose the later. I don’t think Iggy has heard it yet, let’s see what he thinks about it!

Who produced Dark Angeles and what was it like working with them?
The album was produced by Mark Lewis, at his studio in Tennessee. We immediately clicked as people and we showed up very well prepared so he could focus on getting the best sounds and performances possible. We had a lot of fun working together and trying different things. We hope we can work with him again in the not so distant future.

Who did the cover art for Dark Angeles and how much input did you have on it?
Carin Hazmat created the cover art. I came up with an idea and after that our whole team helped polish it. Her input was crucial, she made all of those ideas work and created a piece that has her signature all over.

What has it been like to release your debut album right in the middle of a pandemic?
It’s been hard. We all know that a metal band’s biggest tool to promote an album is to go out and play it in front of people. These are exceptional circumstances and we all have to adapt to this new reality. So far the album has had a great reception and we’re working on new ways to be able to promote it.

With your Sepultura tour dates hopefully being rescheduled, what are you looking forward to the most about opening for Sepultura?
Having the opportunity to go out and play with a band you admire and that has seen it all during their careers. I’m looking forward to watch and learn from them and hopefully become a better musician myself because of that.

What was your experience like playing in the Vans Warped Tour?
It was a lot of fun, excruciating 24 hour days, but it was all worth it. We learned a lot, met a lot great people and it was a great way to put our work ethic to the test.

What could one expect from a live Art Of Shock show?
We strive to do the best that we can with everything we do. We know our music inside and out, that way we can put more energy into the shows. We like being unpredictable. When you come to a show you can expect a band with a great level of communication and camaraderie. We can be anything, but we’ll never be boring!

What’s up next for Art Of Shock?
We’re working on a lot of new and exiting things. Stay tuned!

Any final words of wisdom?
Let it Be!

Art Of Shock is Art Geezar (vocals, rhythm guitar), Nicholas Ertel (lead guitar), Adrian Geezar (drums), and Brice Snyder (bass).

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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