Interview - Rey Oropeza


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Sam tries to pry into Rey's head...

Sam: First off, the new album is the coolest thing I've heard this year...
Rey: "Did you get your hands on it?"
Sam: Oh yeah, I got my hands on it, I've had it for a couple of weeks now...
Rey: "Cool, I'm glad to hear that from people, all across the board you know, that's why I'm still here, that's why I'm on a bus in Boston, sick as fuck, touring from city to city because I believe in these songs. These songs are good songs, and they are songs that portray a real person's life, you know? So it's like, that's why I'm here."
Sam: I noticed a few of the songs on the new album are different, like "Together" starts off with a riff that you wouldn't normaly find on a hardcore/metal album, kinda threw me off.
Rey: "I of the good things about Downset is that like vocally, I don't really keep up with what's going on with I don't really know what's going on, I'm not really influenced by contemporary music..."
Sam: That's probably a good thing... (laughs)
Rey: "So, you know, everybody in the band really isn't that, from what I know of, that much either, so we just write songs...we just try to write whatever came out, without thinking about it too much, and just do it. So riffs like that, and songs like that are inevitable on this record because we just wrote it without trying to fuckin' sound like this, or trying to do this, or trying to do that, you know?"
Sam: I'm trying to think of the name of the song...
Rey: "Which Way?, Together...Play Big?"
Sam: Chemical...
Rey: "Chemical Strangle?"
Sam: Yeah, the lyrics to that are really cool, they just kinda flow along...
Rey: "I've never heard verses like that from anybody."
Sam: Yeah, I've never heard anything like it.
Rey: "I've heard...some of the guys in the band will play me some stuff by like, well whoever is doing like, rap metal or whatever it's called this week, you know."
Sam: (laughing) Exactly..haha
Rey: "I've heard some of it, and there's nobody flexin', nobody hitting no shit like that before, so that's what that is, that's the good thing about not listening and not being influenced by anything contemporary, 'cause you're gonna come up with some shit that no one has ever heard's a good song, the lyrics are really good too, it was inspired by...there's a woman, her name is Vandana Shiva, she's a professor and uh, the name of the book is called 'Biopiracy', and I read it about 3 years ago...basically the book is about how how she feels as a woman in relation to the planet earth itself, and her opinion on things like capitalism and globalization and things like that, and she's a scientist too so it's not like she has this superficial perspective over geo issues you know? She's a fuckin' scientist...I say 'fifty earth species reaching scarcity daily' In her book it says, that there's 50 earth...anything, species I'm talking about like, germs, bugs, mammals, whatever, there's 50 of them becoming extinct every fucking day because of capitalist environment, capitalist culture...they just move into a joint and fuckin' clear everything out, and there's a geo-balance there. To hear that...we're a species of animal, and there's 50 species like ourselves, becoming scarce every fucking day...everytime the sun comes up and goes down, there's 50 becoming scarce everyday, and when I hear that, that's fucking catastrophic, I think oh my god..."
Sam: That shit pisses me off when I read it in the newspaper or whatever, find out about something else that's screwed up because of us...
Rey: "The damage that we do is because of the way we conduct ourselves in our trade and our commerce, it comes down to one thing, making alot of money in a short time, and that's fuckin' greed. That's the way our commerce is, it's driven by that principle. And I'm not innocent either, I drive around in a fucking bus, we use fuel that destroys certain elements in the air, so it's not like I'm totally clean, but I live in a capitalist environment. I can't rock the show tonight unless I spend some money on some fuel getting here."
Sam: But you're here singing about that to other people, so it gets out to other people, so hopefully it balances out a bit...
Rey: "It's like we're fucked if we do or don't. It's fuckin' terrible, it's just sad, when you start to really think about things, it's really fuckin' sad, but it's like, it'll make you a sick person, it'll drive you fuckin' totally'll end up with a fuckin' needle in your arm shooting up some fuckin' heroin trying to forget about it."
Sam: You've been out on the road with Soulfly for awhile, how's that going?
Rey: "Fuckin' amazing, Max and just the whole Soulfly tribe and their whole fuckin' vibe is just great. They're Brazilian and their whole vibe and people they've got working for them...I can just relate to them. The energy has been consistent, the shows have been amazing, the opening bands have been really cool. It's just an ideal privilege, and everyday and every night that I'm out here you know, it's an absolute privilege. Not just to play with them but everything else, to meet the people that come to the shows everday."
Sam: (fumbling through questions)
Rey: "The record came out in Europe already, and it's doing fairly well, enough to keep know I donno if I'm gonna do another record, you know...I just really felt like these songs deserved a fair chance and they finally got it, Epitaph records fuckin' believed in the record, and people are coming to the shows asking for it, the response has been really well nationwide. I'm just really happy with that because Downset is something that's been around for a long time and these songs really deserved a chance, and that's why I've hung in there, and delt with people's shit. I donno, we just want to stay on the road, we'll be touring alot, but I donno if we're every gonna do another record, we'll see what happens."
Sam: (practically pleading) Oh man, you guys have got to do another album!
Rey: "I donno, we'll see..."