Friday, January 20, 2023

How to Stand Out In the Metal Scene with Jay Arriaga of SCATTERED STORM

In this episode of The Rock Metal Podcast, we're chatting with Jay Arriaga of the band Scattered Storm about their new EP ‘In This Dying Sun’ out now via Blood Blast Distribution.

During our chat we touch on a lot of great tips for musicians, such as how to stand out in the metal scene.

'In This Dying Sun' EP was produced and recorded by Jay Arriaga himself out of Empty Paradise Studios, and was mixed and mastered by Tue Madsen out of Antfarm Studios.

For fans of Fear Factory, Gojira, Meshuggah, TesseracT.


Guest Resource

Scattered Storm's Linktree - Connect with Scattered Storm!

Guest Music Video

3 Heavy Hitters

1. Get industry level feedback on your music

2. Measure your success as a band in small stages

3. Constantly evolve your sound as a band


Asher Media Relations: Doing PR for everything loud! For your band needs to be seen and heard in print, online and radio!  Let Asher know Jon from The Rock Metal Podcast sent you.

Tue Madsen: Tue Madsen is responsible for producing, mixing, and mastering some of the best metal for over the last 20 years.  Let Tue know Jon from The Rock Metal Podcast sent you.

Syndicol Music: A full service agency for musicians, offering record label services, marketing, branding, production and management.  Let Charlie know Jon from The Rock Metal Podcast sent you.

Wormholedeath Records: WHD is a modern record label, publishing and film production company fit with global distribution, publishing and marketing using a roster of global partnerships. Let Carlo know The Rock Metal Podcast sent you.

Show Notes // Transcript

Jon Harris: Go ahead and say hi to our beautiful listeners, Jay. 

Jay Arriaga: Hey, everybody. 

Jon Harris: Well and hello back. Now, Jay, what was the greatest moment for you producing this record? 

Jay Arriaga: It took a different turn from what we did in Oblivion and it took a while for us to get on board with this record because it was kind of different from what we did previously. Plus we had other projects, me and Andre, the vocalist, we started during the Pandemic, a project called No Life On Earth. So that kind of kept us busy with not getting the new Scattered Storm started because we were doing that particular record with some friends from Brazil who are pretty popular, shout out to them, Alan from Eminence and Andre Acosta from Jota Quest, who is a very famous band over there in Brazil. We had guest appearances from Andreas Kisser and Caesar Soto from Ministry and Tue Madsen and actually did a project. That's how we kind of got acquainted with him because he played a solo on that particular project. So when it came to producing In This Dying Sun, we went to I mean, I mixed the first record and I mean, it's pretty good, turn out good, but we wanted to go in a different direction. And my buddy Alan from Eminence, his record was at one point produced by Tue Madsen and he told me, why don't you just have Tue Madsen and mix it? And I was like, okay, well, that's going to be interesting. He just did the new Meshuggah record. I mean, back then when I was a new one, he's worked with bands like Mimic and several other very popular bands and I like his sound, so that was pretty exciting to begin with. But for the most part it was kind of solidifying the style that we want to bring, which is very eclectic, industrial, it's futuristic, it's primal and just kind of cementing that once more. But kind of expanding on it was the exciting part for me, producing it plus vocally, it was going to be more demanding and producing Andre proved to be that kind of challenge because it took us a while to record the vocals because it was not that straightforward. In the end, the final product was pretty amazing. 

Jon Harris: Well, and Jay, I completely agree with you that the final product is pretty amazing. And I mean to sum it up for Rock Metal Nation listening in, I believe you had mentioned doing a project with Andreas Kisser from Sepultura, Caesar Soto from Ministry, and Tue Madsen coming in to play a guitar solo. And then eventually, you're chatting with one of your friends, and he recommended moving the mixing duties over to Tue Madsen, who, as you said, had just worked on the new Meshuggah record and a few other records that you really like. And personally, I can think of a lot of records that I love, like Poisonblack that Tue Madsen had at least mixed had some kind of a hand in. I mean, the guy is incredible. Now, something you'd mentioned, though, was also some challenges producing this record. What was the biggest challenge for you, Jay? 

Jay Arriaga: Well, one, we kind of incorporated faster paced songs. So technique wise, we kind of had to adjust because we've been and it's always going to be part of Scattered storm the low tempo type sludging that we kind of incorporate from, like we said, from Sugar and Neurosis that's always going to be part of it and it's hard to do that because there's a lot of control. But in this time, Son Kevin kind of wrote a couple of ribs that were faster. So adjusting to that was pretty challenging too. Plus we had a song like Scene, which was pretty progressive rock because it kind of deals with my background. I'm more of a Prague rock kind of guy, king Crimson and all that. So all these time changes while keeping it radio friendly was really the challenge and that proved to be quite the challenging part on this record. 

Jon Harris: Yeah, well, I mean, adjusting to higher pace tempos and adding in some prog rock time changes from the traditional low tempo type sludging that you had mentioned and keeping it radio friendly, which is important. Not necessarily you want to become the next Justin Bieber by any stretch of the imagination, but I mean, Rock Metal Nation, you're listening in right now, you're a metal head and you're thinking, I don't know, why do I want to be on the radio? Well, why not? I mean, it's a way to reach a larger audience with your art and with your craft. Now Jay, you mentioned you're kind of trying some new things here. Sometimes that means a new piece of gear. Is there something that was different about the gear that was used on this record? Is there like, I don't know, a fuzz pedal you want to give a shout out to? 

Jay Arriaga: Well, the mixing and recording challenges increase as your ideas start getting more expensive, right? So, yeah, definitely. Computers have been evolving and it created it created kind of a 
raucous for me recording this album because I was using a Mac from 2011. Maybe I had been pretty good up until this point in recording everything that I was doing and mixing several tracks. But you start evolving as to the plugins that you use and you start using more digital plugins and software that are just more demanding on your computer. So my computer just crapped out at the end and it was like, yeah, this record is not going to be made on this computer. So I had to get another more powerful M1 type Mac to do so. And that was the most beautiful part about recording this record because now I can really dump pretty much whatever I want into it. The other thing that was pretty amazing is that we used a lot of digital guitar plugins to record the first album. And on this record we went with real amps, which was kind of funny because when I sent all the stems to Tue Madsen and I was like, I'm not sending you any DIs. I'm sending you everything as is analog. And that's going to be your challenge, to mix this record. He was pretty cool about it. He was like, no, I mean, it's your sound. We're going to make you sound as best possible. So that was great because the bass is what was recorded. It was not something that I sent in the DI and he could reamp. I mean, the only thing that was really sampled were the drums, and that's it. That's where I was most comfortable with because obviously I'm not in a big LA studio getting these fantastic drum sounds, so I kind of had some. I gave him a little bit of leeway into that and it turned out to be a great thing because he partnered up with DrumForge and created some samples for them. And he featured one of our songs on his example. So that was pretty cool. And that was the actual song, the song In This Dying Sun, yeah. 

Jon Harris: How does that make you feel? 

Jay Arriaga: That's great. I mean, the input that I've gotten from industry people and like him is that he told me flat out, you got something really good going on here. So that's always encouraging. And it made me want to continue and really push this because I'm like, okay, I'm not hearing it from my head. Always, yeah, I think this is good. No, somebody else told me from the industry, this is good, and I want to use your stuff because it's pretty good. And I'm like, okay, fantastic. So it makes you feel pretty good. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. Are you listening in right now? How many times have you been working on an idea? Maybe it's a band, maybe it's another podcast, and you're getting feedback from anybody but the industry and what ends up happening, they blow smoke up your butt. I've been there. I know what that's like. You have your mom, your girlfriend, whoever. I just recently read a blog post about a girl who she says she notoriously dates musicians and she's getting tired of it because there are so few talented musicians out there. She was being pretty brutal about it and she said, I'm getting tired of having them look at me with starry eyes and say, so how was it, babe? And she has to come up with a story. So definitely look for that industry level feedback as to how you're doing. 

Jon Harris: More to come, but let's go ahead and check in with our beautiful sponsors. 

Jon Harris: How would you define success at this stage of your career with regard to this record release? Jay? 

Jay Arriaga: Well, that's a very good question. How do you measure success overall, really, in this day and age? In this industry? How many followers you have? Is it how many TikTok responses you've gotten? Because it's kind of tricky because you can get Bots to blow up your page. Many ways that are not organic to it. So when I try and measure success, I measure it in small instances. Not really like a whole blow up of what the goal is. They're tiny success. We started out with the first record. It was okay, so we kind of put our name on the map. So now the success was okay, we're out there. Obviously the other stage of the success was that the record was very well received. I mean, the reviews were pretty good and we got some really cool reviews from people all over the world and that's really what you want to get across because it's your music. You're not really compromising to write such music. The other part of the success was to get a global distributor like Blockbust, which not a lot of bands have. So I guess like I said, it's in tiny stages. We're playing more. So you take your victories in that sense, you know what I mean? It's not really like, oh yeah, no, we made so much our fan base is growing slowly but steady and we kind of do stand out from a lot of bands that are out there. I mean, I was listening to I was kind of going through a podcast webpage the other day and it featured so many bands and so many bands, unfortunately, they sound pretty much the same. That's one of the main goals for us, that we're like we don't want to sound like anything out there. It doesn't matter. We're not overly technical or we're not blast beating our way, you know, through through songs, which is pretty popular right now. So we're kind of going against the grain when it comes to that. And really we're really set up in our in our ways as to what we want to do. Who knows? I mean, the next record might be a little bit popular because that's how we feel the record is going to go. We really don't have any boundaries in regards to that. 

Jon Harris: Yeah, I mean, Jay, you hit it on the head. There are so many things for a band to worry about right now, so many moving parts. I mean, there's your social media campaigns and is that a gauge of success? There's just the reception of the record in general, which obviously means something, having those music industry level partners who are willing to support your work. I mean, earlier in the interview you mentioned Tue Madsen, which is great, who said that you guys are doing something good and then you have Blood Blast, who's distributing your record around the globe, which is absolutely fantastic. And I mean, the next part of it is you mentioned basically what it sounds like is evolving your sound. So could you take us a bit more through that. What does evolving your sound mean for you? 

Jay Arriaga: It's going to be, obviously more in a musical sense, because right now, I never stopped writing music, and right now I have, like, five or six, probably seven songs already, you know, for the next next record that we want to put out soon, because that's what it is right now, just putting music out. And, you know, I've been finding that these songs sound much different than what Indispensing Sun or Oblivion were. And it's just me trying to incorporate more melodic aspects, more industrial parts. Sometimes I can put dance beats in it and it's just me not giving a crap about where the direction is going to go for the song. Yeah, it's going to be heavy, but let's define heavy. Nowadays, I don't think heavy is just distortion, I think heavy is feeling and beat. To me, it encompasses way more than just low drop tune guitar. It can be a chord, it can be a sequence, a melodic sequence. So that's where the evolution comes for us. We're not just ingrained to, oh, we need to hit the low B right there. It's like, no, yeah, I mean, it's going to be part of it, but there's so much that builds up to it and I think that's where it's scattered. Given our background, our musical background can evolve into doing these different things. 

Jon Harris: Yeah, chugging on that low B, baby. I mean, come on, we can always go lower and know it's all the way until you can only feel it. You can't even hear it. You can only feel it. But, yeah, heavy isn't just distortion, it's the feeling behind it, even. You mentioned a melodic progression. I mean, it's so many things and I enjoy your definition. Now, for Rock Metal Nation listening in, who is wanting to find out more about you? What's the number one thing you want listeners to do? Where should they go? 

Jay Arriaga: Well, first of all, appreciate the music, enjoy it. And if you do, which is the first great part of this engagement process between band and fan is spread the word out. Yeah, we're on Instagram, we're on TikTok, we're on Twitter, we're on Facebook, on YouTube, everywhere. We have our videos up on YouTube. We're doing a video for each song, actually. We're going to release one at the end of January again for the song Hollow. So, yeah, hit it up, spread the word, share these videos, show the love. And that's like the most satisfying part to us that you're able to join on this journey for us. Wherever your platform is, Spotify, Apple, iTunes, stream it, enjoy it and just keep following us. 

Jon Harris: Absolutely. Wow, so many incredible value bombs dropped today. Rock Metal Nation. My personal favourite being getting the right kind of feedback on your music. Now, if you're curious to see those music videos that Jay had mentioned, then go ahead and head over to our website. That's, in the search bar at the top type in SCATTERED STORM and the show notes for today are going to pop up for you, giving you all those juicy extra details from today's episode. Now, Jay, thank you so much for coming on to the Rock Metal podcast and thank and we appreciate everything you guys do for us as far as spreading the word. 

Jay Arriaga: So thank you very much.


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