Interview with Forsakken

Interview with Billy Garcia and Brittany Diaz from the band Forsakken

Picture of Forsakken
Forsakken are a power/Thrash metal band from the USA. Guitarist Billy Garcia also participated on the TV reality show, "Survivor."

Watch Video for " Never Back Down ."  
Buy " Descending Souls " on Amazon.
Buy " Warn All Ye Sinners " on Amazon.
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Follow Forsakken on Twitter .

N. A. Foy:  How old were you when you decided to pursue a career in music and were there any particular musicians or singers that inspired you?

Billy: I was 19 when I joined my first band. The song “Juke Box Hero” made me pick up the guitar, but the concert video “Dio: Special at the Spectrum” made me want to join a band and pursue music. So, Ronnie James Dio & Vivian Campbell inspired me. Mercyful Fate is also an influence. 

Brittany: I must've been about 8 or 9 when I decided to take singing seriously, and maybe that came a bit from seeing my father front local rock bands. Geoff Tate was an early vocal influence for me. By the time I was playing in bands at 16, I'd discovered Leather Leone of Chastain who, in addition to Ann Wilson of Heart, influenced me and my vocal tone.

N. A. Foy: How would you describe your new album "Descending Souls" to someone if you only had a moment in an elevator? 

Billy: Our second album, Descending Souls, is traditional metal with thrash, power and progressive elements, plus it even gets death at one point. It's refreshingly diverse while still staying true to what we established in the first album. 

Brittany: Descending Souls is a little bit heavier and darker than our debut at times, but still maintains our old-school sound. And, yeah, we finally flirt with death metal on this one!

N. A. Foy:  I like the diverse nature of the album. Will you be doing any videos for any of the songs?

Billy: We released an official lyric video of the song “The Conquer.” The video was made by Brittany. She did an awesome job. Here is the link

Brittany: Other than the lyric video, we've tossed around ideas, but we haven't cemented any plan for a proper music video...yet?

N. A. Foy: Nice, I just listened to it. Sounds like it would be a really good song to play live. I can imagine the audience shouting "Scream! Fight!...Strike! Kill!" Out of the lyrics the band plays, which lyrics do you feel the most connected with?  

Billy: “Visions of Death” from our first album, “Warn All Ye Sinners” is about my last conversation with my uncle before he passed away. So naturally, I feel most connected to those lyrics. But from the new album, “Aggressive By Nature,” would be the lyrics because, well, when I pursue my dreams I'm aggressive by nature. Ha ha ha.  

Brittany: Wow...that's a really good question. I had to actually sit back and think about this. Truth be told, I don't write most of Forsakken's lyrics, so sometimes it's a little hard for me to connect to lyrics as much as I do the music itself. That being said, singing "Legend of the Overfiend" (from Warn All Ye Sinners) makes me feel connected to it because it's in first person. So, singing it makes me feel like I'm declaring war on the universe.

N. A. Foy: What are some things you like to do for enjoyment when you are not doing music?

Billy: I love doing martial arts, karate & judo. I enjoy watching movies. I also do a lot of charity work. Giving back & helping others are a big part of my life. I can't imagine my life without charity. 

Brittany: Just about every aspect of my life involves music. So, when I'm not performing music, I'm going to concerts, studying and analyzing production/songwriting formats, just listening to music, or working. And my day jobs consist of music licensing and music archive research. In any other spare time, I'm usually trying to find new and obscure music across all genres.

N. A. Foy: If you were stuck on an island and somehow were able to listen to music, what 3 CDs would you want with you?

Brittany: Damn, I hate this question because I've never decided what my "Desert Island Discs" would be! I guess I'd go with “Long Cold Winter” by Cinderella, “Parallels” by Fates Warning, and maybe “Throwin' Down” by Rick James. I need to get my funk on occasionally.

Billy: First off, I really was stuck on an island on the TV show “Survivor.” But I didn't have any CDs. I guess I'd go "Hall Of The Mountain King" by Savatage, and "Days Of Purgatory" by Iced Earth. The third choice would be hard because I rotate my playlist so much from Dio to Pyramaze to Tyr to Obituary, etc. But I guess I have to go with "Into The Unknown" by Mercyful Fate just because I can't go too long without some King Diamond. 

N. A. Foy: Billy, I didn't know you were on Survivor.  What season were you on? How did you do?

Billy: I was on the most controversial season ever, “Survivor: Cook Islands.” I didn't win but I was so memorable that I've made a living off of it since. 

N. A. Foy:  Did you two know each other prior to the band?

Billy: No, we didn't know each other before the band. I put an ad out for a heavy metal female lead singer on....I think it was Craigslist. I held multiple auditions on different days. On the last day, Brittany was the last to come in and auditioned. If I remember correctly, she thought I was not going to pick her. She was like 19 years old and looked pretty nervous. But I saw past that. It came down to her and two other singers. I thought it was refreshing that Brittany didn’t have a humongous ego so she got the gig.

Brittany: Yes, it was Craigslist where I found Billy's ad. I was 19, about to turn 20, and I was definitely nervous. I don't go into anything with much confidence in the first place, but then there was the fact that I'd never auditioned for a serious band before. As much as I jammed and tried to form and join bands in my teens, it was a bit difficult to find people my age who'd want to play classic heavy metal with a female lead singer that wasn't necessarily operatic. I wasn't aware (until Billy answered this question) that my humility had anything to do with his choice - but that's nice to know!

N. A. Foy: How about some favorites from the two of you? What is your favorite color? Number? Foods? Movie(s)? Book(s)? Aerobic Exercise? Or any other favorites you want to mention? 

Billy: Is it too cliché to say black is my favorite color and 666 is my favorite number? Ha ha ha. How about a fire breathing dragon for favorite mythological creature? Yeah, it cliché but true. I'm a big “Star Wars” & “Lord of the Rings” fan. But to go off the beaten path, I'll say I love the “Subspecies” movies by Ted Nicolaou. I'm also into helicopters. I like them more than cars and motorcycles. Especially quadcopters, which is a new thing. 

Brittany: Hmm, ok...well, my favorite color really IS black, and 420 is probably my favorite number. Most of my favorite things change from time to time, but I'd say the movie “Coming To America” is always one of my faves. I've developed a recent addiction to cashews, and I don't know why, but that's been a favorite food lately. I don't think I have a favorite mythological creature...does Gene Simmons from KISS count?

N. A. Foy:  What is the main message you want to give to your fans through your music and example as a person? Is there anything else you would like to tell everyone before we finish?

Billy: Our music is not meant to be political. It's an outlet to get away the crap that plagues people's lives. My message is find an outlet. Find something that makes you happy, something that lets you forget the world for a little while. And if my music does that for you, then I'm happy that I could help. 

Brittany: Honestly, I thought I was just singing about fire and war and shit.