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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music has always been a part of my life throughout the years and it has enamored me so much that I wanted to take part of it. After years of listening to my favorite bands that have been monumental throughout the decades of modern music history, and listening to new releases that match and even exceed the older music placing themselves onto the ranks of those monumental bands, I wanted to take part and do my best to place my music within those ranks. Even though I am doing music, I am pursuing school and studying business. No matter what, I would still have my life in music because I am studying music business to be even more precise. I will continue to create my music for my fans and for everyone to enjoy, but even if it doesn’t turn out as well as I expect, I would still want my hands in the music industry through managing other bands, producing other creators’ music, heading a record label, and even financing bands for their projects and shows.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I am not playing or creating my music, I am either working, studying, or watching movies/television shows. I am a huge fan of film and I love to analyze and breakdown movies and shows that I have seen. Lots of creators of movies and television have had a great influence on me and they have inspired my creativity to expand further out to its edges. I am a huge fan of the classics like Stanley Kubrick, the over-the-top and edgy like Quentin Tarantino, the otherworldly and dreamy like David Lynch, and the new faces of the future of cinema like Robert Eggers. My consumption of other art greatly influences my own art and helps it evolve with each of my releases.
How long has your band been around?
Agon has been around since 2018, so it is a pretty new project and is still growing. With only one album, a split, a single, and an upcoming EP, many more releases will come out to expand the band’s lifespan.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am based out of Miami, Florida where metal isn’t really the biggest music genre in the city. The main genres of music that are prevalent here are electronic, Latin music, and hip-hop/rap but there is a growing underground metal scene since Florida itself is the home state of death metal. Although I am from Miami, the other Florida cities of Orlando and Tampa have had bands that have greatly influenced my music as well as every other death metal and extreme metal band in the world. There isn’t one extreme metal band out in the world who has not been influenced by the iconic Florida death metal sound from bands like Death, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Obituary, Monstrosity, Malevolent Creation, or Cannibal Corpse. These bands have been greatly influential to me and the music I have created.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
I found out about the word “agon” when I was trying to find a name for the band using the language of Black Speech because I am a huge fan of Lord of the Rings and Tolkien. As I was browsing through a list of words and phrases, I saw the word “agon” which stands for dawn in the Black Speech language. I liked it and thought it would fit well, so I chose it. Recently, I did some research and I found out that agon is an ancient Greek term that signifies struggle or a conflict. It could be used in many instances such as athletics, literature, or theater, but the use that best suited what I had in mind was the sociopolitical theory where agon can refer to the idea that the clash of opposing forces necessarily results in growth and progress.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Well sadly, I have not played any shows yet. I am a solo music project where I create everything on my own and release it to the public. I would want to play shows in the future, but I need to find other musicians who would want to join as a band to play my music live. Some of the main venues in the South Florida region that I would love to play in are Churchill’s, Las Rosas, Gramps, Revolution Live, and Culture Room. But at the moment, it isn’t of great priority to me due to the recent virus and the effects on live music and group gatherings.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
At the current stage of Agon with the upcoming EP, I would love to play alongside Nails, Dying Fetus, and Full of Hell. This would be if I play the rough and explosive material from the EP that leans more towards death metal and punk. With my other Agon releases that are more atmospheric, doom, and black metal than the EP, I would love the lineup to be Imperial Triumphant, Pallbearer, and Primitive Man. This lineup would have a mix of black metal, doom, and sludge with lots of atmosphere and experimentation that each band does.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Make sure that there is chemistry among everyone in the band and that everyone’s ideas are being taken to thought. Each member in the band have backgrounds and influences from their own musical tastes and experiences that will give the band a unique and interesting sound, so make sure that everyone in the band are equals and everyone’s ideas are used for songs.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself to keep on pushing my craft of music and to put more dedication to it. I still slip and not feel the push to do music, but I know that every musician and artist has those moments, it’s just needing the will to let it go by and push yourself to continue creating and getting inspired. I would also tell myself to find musicians a lot earlier to already get an idea on how to play my songs live and have the band ready whenever a live show opportunity arises.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Empty Voice in the Forest is the song that means the most to me due to its lyrical content and what I was going through during the time I was writing it. Writing my debut album was around the time I had a major breakup with my first relationship and the lyrical theme of the project consists of the heartbreak I had at the time and the power to keep on moving on.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Since my main instrument is the guitar, I usually start a song by messing around with the guitar and see what I come up with. If I have an idea in my mind for a song, I try to come up with something on the guitar that would fit that idea. The guitar is always the groundwork for me, so once I get the structure down with the guitar, I add the other instruments to the song to fully flesh it out.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
My music has a variety of messages depending on the project the music comes from. The debut album and future second album involve themes of internal struggle, self-doubt, escape, facing demons and flaws, and the ability to rebuild. These themes are more personal to me compared to the themes I have written in my upcoming EP which involve religious persecution, systemic oppression, police brutality, mass hysteria, and fear mongering. Due to recent political issues that have been happening in the United States, I wanted to write songs about the current situation we are living in and I felt I had the obligation as a musician to use my art to reflect upon current topics. Depending on future releases and the varying climates around the world, my music’s theme will be created with those factors in mind and how I feel about them.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that’s coming up?
I plan on releasing more music for the fans and playing shows when I get to join musicians together to make my band. I hope to grow as an artist and a musician throughout the years to make Agon be a household name in the metal underground scene as well as in music in general. My other personal plans for the future are to create and manage a record label where I can place my music in alongside other bands that will want to sign under the label, and also to establish a place where I can open up a concert venue, bar/club, coffee shop, and recording studio all in one location. Hopefully I can make that place become a hub for locals, music fans, recording artists, tours, and a fun welcoming environment. Check out my EP Engraved Power when it comes out on September 7 and the merchandise that I will be releasing alongside the EP as well. It will be available online through a grand majority of streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, and many others, but the best place to listen, buy, and support my music is on Bandcamp. Go to this link to check out my other releases and for the EP when it drops: https://agonmusician.bandcamp.com/ Thank you for this interview and I thank all of my fans for the support!