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Interview with Aquila
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My name is Mark Arruda and I'm the vocalist for the band, Aquila. Thank you for having me. I was always into metal in my early teens, but it wasn't until I bought Death- The Sound of Perseverance cd that I wanted to be in a metal band. I bought a guitar and started learning it, but being a vocalist was my calling in music. If it wasn't for music I would probably have a lot more spare time. My life is pretty busy with work and family nowadays.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
As I said my life is so busy with work and family so I use my time wisely. Playing with my son, playing soccer with my friends and sleeping. You need to sleep. I'm a self-motivated individual, so I use that energy to motivate others and they motivate me. That energy you create keeps you going and it motivates your bandmates.
How long has your band been around?
Aquila has been around since 2006. Our first demo was in 2007 and we released our debut album, Imperium, in 2009. That's 16 years of us being together through ups and downs in life, growing up and getting fat. It's a marriage, kinda. A commitment. Everyone in the band has families now, it's great to see our kids grow up together and get along.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
The band originated from Windsor, Ontario back in the day. Windsor had a hardcore scene back then. We are not hardcore, but I've used that hardcore energy for my vocal delivery. Today the majority of us live in Hamilton, Ontario. My drummer, Matt McGuire, lived in Hamilton his whole life and was influenced by Threat Signal. He has brought that influence into our band and made us fans of Threat Signal. I've worked with Jon Howard a couple of times and he mixed and mastered one of our Eps, Jewel of the Empire's Crown. Jon is a total pro that's for sure. I've learned a lot from him about recording vocals, vocal arrangement and timing. He's so patient and professional, just a great guy.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
My drummer, Matt McGuire, came up with the name, Aquila. The main theme of this band is that we write about the Roman Empire. Aquila means eagle and it was also a golden shaft with an eagle at the top that the Roman soldiers would carry into battle. It's like us going on stage or into the studio. We are preparing to entertain the crowd.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
At the first show we ever played together as a band and we had a sold-out show. No one believed we could do it. They were a lot of haters for some reason. To prove the doubters wrong, you can't beat that. Matt McGuire promoted the hell out of that show, it was amazing. He deserves all the credit for that show working the way it did for us.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
The Coach and Horses in Windsor, Ontario will go down as my favorite venue to play at and to see a show at forever. Rest In Peace.
I would love to play Harpos in Detroit with Aquila one day. One time please. Just one time. And open for a band at that venue. It will happen one day.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Slayer, Kataklysm, Lamb of God and Us. That would be a sick lineup to open for. If Slayer can't do it since they have retired then Lamb of God can headline the show and we bring in Testament. Why not?
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Have fun and enjoy every moment. Life is too short. I would tell myself to get recording gear earlier and practice more often on my own in my early years. I wish I had the equipment I have today when I was younger, that's for sure.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
I live life with no regrets. I would tell myself to let things be and not have a grudge. Learn to let go and move on with my life quicker. Sometimes I hold on to the past for too long, especially in my younger days.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
In 2013, Aquila wrote a song called "Until We Meet Again" and I wrote the lyrics about my cousin that I lost at a young age. He was like a big brother to me and someone I looked up to. I felt lost after he passed away, I think that's why I could relate to metal because I had all this anger inside me. I was 16 or 17 when he passed, it was very hard on me to deal with. The lyrics in that song were personal to me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
"Kill or be Killed" gets the most requests, it's our hit. "Fear is Poison" is my favourite to play live. It's thrashy and it has a sick heavy breakdown at the end. I really want to see the response from our new songs from our new Ep, The Great Fire. The Great Fire is sure to be a pit friendly song and get the crowd going. I love a good mosh pit.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
My drummer, Matt McGuire, and my guitarist, Anthony Rimac, write the majority of the songs together. Once they get together and have something worth sending to the rest of the band, they send it. We listen to it and make changes then we start making demos for the song. Everyone in the band has recording gear at home, so recording demos at home has never been easier. Once we are happy with the direction of the song, we move on. We love metal and we love this band. We do it because we love it and we have fun. If we weren't having fun, we wouldn't do it that's for sure.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We just like writing music that people can headbang to. I think the best message to get across to people is don't be an asshole. That's a great message.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Oh ya!! We've gotten into many disagreements. Lol
We are pretty old now and we remind ourselves we do this for fun. If something works great and if it doesn't let's move on. Let's try something else and come back to it later.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We have released our new Ep called "The Great Fire". It's 24 minutes and 4 tracks of brutality and aggression delight. It's our best material for sure. It's on all the streaming platforms and you can go to www.aquilametal.bandcamp.com to get merch. We are starting to discuss about doing a full-length album for our next project. We are very excited about that since we haven't done a full length since Imperium. We will probably release a single next year and the year after and hopefully have a new album by 2025. Who knows? Lol
Music Video - The Great Fire -