Interview: Echo Strike
It’s been almost a year since we last chatted for the Sanctum (April 9th 2021) and it feels great to have you back with new music! How does the band feel right at this moment? Honestly, without thinking twice.
Everything has moved very fast for us. After our second album (Not Inside Your Mind) was released, things exploded for us online. But since September, with Covid restrictions going away, we’ve been on a full scale invasion primarily in Argentina prior to moving our tour to the United States. At this exact moment, we are flying high because we just completed our first leg of the tour in Buenos Aires and we were electric. I think each band member has taken their own journey to reach a higher level.
Has anything changed for Echo Strike both as a band and individually since our last conversation?
Yes, I would say that as the writer and composer of the music, I have a direct and immediate relationship with the music. Each band member adds their own flavor as the production cycles through the songs, but you cannot really feel the electricity and energy until you play the songs live. I believe over the past six months; we’ve played 20 shows or so and this has allowed us to experience the sensation together. We’ve also expanded our roles on stage as well.
Now that the pandemic seems to be coming to its end, is there anything that you’re keeping from it? Have you redefined anything throughout this period?
We made two albums completed within the walls of the pandemic. But let me answer this in a different way. We had a 13-show tour scheduled and only played the first show when the pandemic hit. That was only for our first album which the band did not create together, that was only me, Beau and Jonathan. The pandemic might have been a blessing in disguise (not that we wish it happened but for something good to come out of such a horrible event). We were not ready on March 10th, 2020. We would have likely been good but nothing like we are today. We are amazing. I wish it didn’t sound so egocentric but when you feel our energy and hear us live, it’s an entirely new experience. We have our own style and brand. People connect instantly, in any language. That would not have been the case had we not been forced into the situation.
Before getting into your latest release, what are your thoughts on 2021’s ‘Dirty Clean Sexy Mean’ today? What is your current connection to it.
I think that our last album was a great exploration for us. We went into new genres and created some amazing work such as Work to Do, Leaving, 1978, Demons and so on. It is a fantastic album and the production on the album was a step above the previous one. There are a few songs I probably would have adjusted. I am very critical of my own work, and perfection is not easy. I think that album opened my eyes to writing something a little more heavy or dark. Up until this point, most of our work is brighter and energetic. We had not explored much in the way of sadness.
Can you please elaborate on the conception and creation of the ‘Can’t Do Anything Right’ album cover? We want to know everything.
I will tell you that the shot was never intended to be the cover. Sometimes a moment is born out of luck or timing or a thought that was unintended. We just happened to be at an old restaurant which used to be a house in Cordoba. I went to use the bathroom upstairs as the place was almost empty at this hour. I walked into the bathroom and saw this dimly lit room and this old bathtub. I didn’t even use the bathroom hahaha. Our photographer happened to be eating with us that night and I asked her to come with me to the bathroom. She gave me a very strange look but realized I saw something worth seeing (as she and I are always in sync when it comes to our vision of things). Juan Zeta, our lead guitarist heard me and followed before the rest of the band showed up. We walked in and I jumped in the tub and we started just shooting shots.
Later, when she sent me all the shots my eyes went to that one shot and they kept going back to it over and over again. By this point, we had the album already planned and the story/songs were in the mixing stages. Understand that I do not smoke. But the temptation shown in that shot gave me the goosebumps. As if the snake was offering an apple. Then my mind raced to the Michelangelo Sistine chapel, and I googled that image and realized that our position was almost identical to that great piece of artwork. The meaning of that I will not expand on as it’s subjective. But one very small but important note… if you zoom in on the angels in the window frame, I have superimposed the other band members faces onto the angels. So the band is represented across the board. In the end, the temptation is there but hope remains that I will not grab for the forbidden fruit. Will I resist or will I fall into the trap. This is the quest.
Echo Strike never fail to deliver what they do best and ‘Can’t Do Anything Right’ is just another proof. What were you going for with this release and what was the drive behind it?
I am a storyteller. I wanted to tell a story in a way that isn’t usually taken when it comes to that of a toxic relationship. Taking the position of it being the fault of the protagonist in some moments but that opinion changing and going back and forth. Love to hate, hate to pure hate, hate to maybe love again, and the cycle. There are so many hidden gems on each song that you won’t be able to decipher them all. The meanings can be read sometimes from multiple perspectives. This album was a cohesive album from start to finish. All songs except for one were written in a progressive order.
As for the music, we wanted to do something deeper and with a bit more of an edge than our previous works. We went a bit more into our “rock” side though only a couple songs are truly rock because our style will never be lost. This time we have 5 different lead guitarists (all the same members of the band but we all play guitar) so that we could create a different sound on different songs. We explore rock from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000’s for inspiration for production and sound. While the last two albums took us a year to create. This one album we spent an entire year on alone. So we think it is our most complete work yet.
In my opinion, ‘Reset My Soul’ and my personal favorite ‘Maze of Doubt’ are breaking the mold of Echo Strike in two different ways. Do we need to dispute over this?!
We agree on both of those songs reaching new places we haven’t explored yet. I might add Have Fun to that list because it explores almost a hiphop vibe. We actually made two rap/hiphop songs as we were creating the album, but I didn’t think the world was quite ready to hear that on a “rock centric” album. Specifically, Maze of Doubt was a song I personally wanted to try because several of our musicians are very much hard rock at heart, and I thought exploring that side would give us another new flavor to serve up.
Reset My Soul is clearly an outlier. The first true poetic ballad I’ve made and some of my most tear-jerk lyrics. But wow, the song turned out beautiful. It gave me the chance to really show people my softer vocals and you can really hear my true voice in that song. It was aways going to be the ending to the album.
Can you compare this album to your previous releases? If yes, what is different about it?
There is no doubt that this is the most cohesive and complete album we have ever produced. It has a defined story, it’s relatable lyrically to most people and the music gives everyone a chance to love something. In our previous albums, we explored different subjects and created mixes of genres to give our audience a different perspective of the sound of Echo Strike. I think this album took all the best of what we’ve done in the past and amplified it. All the way from creation to mastering, this album was a journey in which we took our time to get every detail right. We did not rush it. The last two albums we may have settled a little more instead of doing that one extra thing. Every vocal performance was recorded at the highest level, and we never did more than one song at a time. We always spent the time necessary to get it just right. Do I think this is the best work we’ve done collectively? Yes. Do we have other songs on other albums that are comparatively excellent? Yes. Nothing will take away from some of the best songs we’ve created but this album is next level.
I want each member of Echo Strike to pick their favorite track of CDAR.
It’s interesting because we have very different favorites. Though I love them all, at the moment, this is the response:
Giu – Good as Gone
Randy – In My Head
Juan Zeta – Dagger
Homer – Never Too Late
Beau - Can’t Do Anything Right
John - Have Fun
What is funny is that you seem to have chosen Maze of Doubt and our last review chose Reset My Soul. This is a common problem with our music. Every song is great but might appeal to a different person each time. That is what makes Echo Strike so appealing. We want to connect with the world, one song at a time.
What are your plans for 2022-2023?
We are on tour now and we will begin planning our USA tour in the coming months. We have already started the discussions of Album 5 though we won’t start pushing that for a few months. We will be surprising people with the next one because it will be our biggest shift as we head down the path of electronic. Now though, we think the current album will be a huge success for us so we are putting all our efforts into Can’t Do Anything Right. This is the one that will launch us to the next level.
Enjoy Echo Strike here: