Interview: BILLY ARVISO of Arizona metalcore quartet SAMSARA on new EP REAP WHAT YOU SOW.
SICK AND SOUND presents to its readers an interview with SAMSARA 4-piece metalcore breakthrough band hailing from Yuma, Arizona and lining up Daniel Croutch, Billy Arviso, Vince Johnson and Daniel Castañeda.
The band has been knocking around for a few years after debuting with Bloodlines EP in 2016, single Illusions released in 2018 and an extensive live experience. With meaningful lyrical themes, catchy choruses, blistering growls and punchy breakdowns the band pulls in influences from The Ghost Inside, Gideon, Wage War, and Fit For A King.
We are catching up with Samsara after the release of their new EP REAP WHAT YOU SOW out on 24th May 2019 via Innerstrength Records.
In this interview our editor-in-chief Alex had with BILLY ARVISO we had the chance to get to know the quartet any better, we explored their sound, lyrical inspiration, best on-stage moments and thoroughly discussed their amazing new EP Reap What You Sow.
- Hello Samsara, thanks for your time and welcome. We would love you guys to introduce your lineup and journey as a band so far.
Hey, We’re Samsara! We’re a four-piece band from Yuma, Arizona consisting of vocalist Daniel Croutch, guitarist/singer Billy Arviso, bassist Vince Johnson, and drummer Daniel Castañeda. Samsara started off in 2013 with a couple of different members but they felt it was best for both parties to part ways. Vince and Daniel have been with us for about 2 1/2 years now and been going strong. The band started out as a means to have fun and just jam with friends. In 2015 is when we can to a conclusion that we wanted to take this serious and start touring and doing it right. So we went to record with Cory Brunnemann and put out our first EP “Bloodlines” and have been going strong and touring non stop ever since.
- Samsara is tipically a Sankrit word recalling the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. So what’s the mindset behind choosing this name?
At the time of choosing the name we had so many to choose from. We were playing our first show and needed to make a name fast. While listening to Parkway Drive a song of theirs called Samsara came on and we thought that name was awesome so we went with it. We looked it up and saw what it meant and kept it.
- Let’s discuss the fabulous balance between heaviness, catchiness and melodic you have achieved and what elements and features are the staples and assets of your signature sound.
We love the mixture of heaviness with melodic parts and that’s what we’ve always strived for but to also catch the audience’s attention with the catchy choruses. Our goal is to always just enjoy what we write and enjoy playing it live.
- You have debuted with Bloodlines EP back in 2016, followed up by single Illusions two years after and have just released a new record: REAP WHAT YOU SOW EP. I have found an incredible progression in the sound, so I would love to talk more about the writing process and the changes that have been taking place since your earlier materials.
There was a incredible progression that we even noticed take place. I guess we just matured as musicians and also with gaining two new members the writing process changed a lot. A lot more ears and hands in the writing pot so we believe that’s where the change came from.
- Curious about the snake and the rose images. Let’s discuss the artwork of the record.
The artwork came about cause Reap What You Sow just means what goes around comes around. So our vocalist thought it would be awesome if we used an ouroboros as the cover. Our artist that did the artwork Jim Hughes thought it would be cool to also add a rose to the artwork to give it more of a flare. The rose doesn’t really have a meaning was just thrown in to make it look cool.
- Both Bloodlines and current Reap What You Sow EPs are touching on meaningful lyrical inspirations. Let’s talk more about the lyrical themes discussed in new EP and the message that Samsara want to get across with it.
We write songs from a personal space whether it’s emotionally or opinion based it’s our personal thoughts and feelings. If people find them inspirational that’s amazing. We just want people to know that music is an outlet and is always there for you. We try to make our lyrics as direct as possible.
- What’s the typical writing process when you guys sit down and work on new materials?
The writing process always starts with one riff either from Billy or Vince. We start with that one riff and build from there. We usually take it to a computer, record it, build with it on there. Sometimes we take it old school and jam it as a band and see what comes to mind in the moment. We try not to rush the process and make it sound the best we can.
- Lead single DEATHWISH. This song is truly representing your signature sound and the heavy-melodic formula you have created. So let’s share more details about the song, how it was put together and chosen for a video release.
Deathwish was actually the first song we wrote for the EP. It set the tone for the whole writing process. We took a old school writing approach on this song and it turned out exactly how we wanted it to. We felt it was the strongest and the song that stood out the most so that’s why it became a single/video release.
- What were some of the challenges or concerns you faced, if any, when writing and recording your new EP?
The only struggle we really faced when writing it was that we wanted it to be a more mature us and not sound like our old stuff and I felt we did a very good job at that. We came into the recording process very prepared so we had no issues there.
- As Samsara have an extensive live experience, I would love you to share a couple of your best moments on-stage.
One of the most memorable ones is when we went on tour with a band called Set Sights and mid set they came out with nerf guns and started shooting us.
- What’s in store for Samsara after the release of this EP and how are you guys going about the promotion of the record? Any festivals, shows?
It’s actually been released since March 24th and we are on a tour supporting and promoting that EP called The Reap What You Sow Tour with our Buddies in Mugshot and No Home. It’s been a west coast run and soon we are announcing another tour hitting the Midwest/East Coast and gonna promote it on the other side of the country.
Thank you for your time Billy and good luck for the promotion of your amazing EP. We are longing for more music to be dropped by Samsara and supporting you into Europe and US!
Samsara – Reap What You Sow EP tracklisting:
6. Scarlet Witch
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