Summon: How did the band get started?
Nicolas: One of our guitarists Daryl and i wanted to do something new and more fitting to how we were feeling musically. This band happened to come along during that search and 2011, we realized that with this band.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Nicolas: We like to put it in plain and simple terms: rock/experimental. That’s what we are at the core of it. Of course though, there are many elements that we pull influence from. There are of course the more noticeable doom/sludge/ambient parts to it as well as drone. We all like a lot of different types of music and I think it shows for the most part.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Nicolas: People who listen to us and go to our shows have been extremely kind to us. We appreciate everybody who’s given us any of their time! Coming from Los Angeles, CA we know that there are a billion and one choices as far as musical options and for whomever decides to go to one of our shows, we’re just that much more thankful.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Nicolas: Deathkings is originally inspired by a German movie called Der Todesking (The Deathking) by Jörg Buttgereit which offers a depressing look at life in the span of a week. At the time I watched it, one of my older projects had an EP out called “Return Of The Deathkings” that really struck a chord with me so that worked its way to becoming the name of our band now.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Nicolas: We’ve got two guitarists, Daryl Hernandez and Mark Luntzel, drums provided by Sean Spindler and bass and vocals by Nicolas Rocha.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Nicolas: Musically, it starts with an idea that we all collectively add to. It takes a good amount of time (weeks) for us to be able to be somewhat satisfied with a song’s structure. Lyrics are provided by me (Nicolas).
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Nicolas: From past teachings, personal views on a lot of matters of life, spiritual belief structures and the like. A lot of what is called The Human Condition is also examined. We’ve also developed a huge veneration for Death and Time in general.
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Nicolas: A lot of my personal beliefs might fall in line with Satanism. I think a lot of how this band tends to carry itself do actually. We don’t tend to say “we are this/that specifically” but if somebody understands it in that matter, then so be it.
With Occultism, i tend to see it as another way of gaining insight on matters. If you go through conventional means of gaining that insight and also use a more mystical approach, then more power to them.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Nicolas: We’ve released 2 albums, 1 split 7″ and 1 digital single. Our 2011 album “Destroyer”, our split with Boston’s Rozamov and a digital single that we contributed to a compilation with a host of other great bands. Our 2nd album “All That Is Beautiful” comes out this March 18th, our 3rd pairing with Midnite Collective in order to continue telling our stories.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Nicolas: They’re long stories of topics we needed to vent, if not for anybody then ourselves. It’s a very detailed, passionate look at our own self destruction.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Nicolas: We do! Daryl has another project entitled “After Darkness” which he is starting up. Mark has an un-named project in the works and Sean also drums for another band out of Long Beach called “Rodent”. Myself, i have two other projects “the Grim Grey God” and an older band “Demonia” that are working on material.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Nicolas: This can be drawn out to a wide range as all the guys in the band love different stuff but some unifying influences would be punk, metal of course. Proggy stuff, classical. All of that has a part in what we do.
Summon: Which current bands?
Nicolas: Some of the bands we collectively enjoy are: Neurosis, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, King Crimson, Voivod, Isis, J.S. Bach, Wagner, Black Flag, Nunslaughter, old Metallica, Tangerine Dream, Cocteau Twins. This list can literally go on forever!
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Nicolas: From our perspective, exhausting. We like to fashion our sets in ‘movements’ so that there’s some sort of cohesiveness in the songs, which from a writing standpoint, there is. Hopefully that translates to people watching. Personally speaking, it’s extremely draining to be playing these songs both physically and emotionally.
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Nicolas: Not yet but we’d certainly love to! I feel like other countries approach live shows in an entirely different manner and it is entirely interesting to us to be able to take what we do to another location and have fun with people.
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Nicolas: We’ve got our local crowds whom are, as mentioned above, extremely kind to us. To mention again, being in an area that is so densely populated by different types of entertainment, one of them being primarily live music, anybody that comes to our shows is instantly appreciated by this band.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Nicolas: It’s always great! It’s been becoming more common place for people to tune into what we’re trying to achieve musically and be able to comment on the emotion behind the music. It’s great seeing people walk away from our shows with that type of mentality where we’re not just a loud band, we’ve got some other factors that they might be able to relate to as well.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Nicolas: I think it’s great that there are bands still dedicating themselves to what inspires them. If its Black/Death metal, then that’s great! I know I’ve personally caught a lot of different, more recent black metal bands and they’ve all been entertaining without feeling recycled. Same with death metal! One thing that I can certainly say is that in Los Angeles, there is no shortage of amazing black/death metal!
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Nicolas: I think it’s great. I know a few folks in different countries that speak very excitedly about their respective scenes, not just death/black but for all music types. That’s great that people are still that dedicated to what brought them to that music in the first place and that they’re spreading the word!
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Nicolas: Ah let’s see…I’m not entirely sure how new they are but some of the current bands we enjoy are: Gravehill, Ritual Kombat, Volahn, Batushka, MGLA, Icon of Phobos, Larvae, Addaura, as well as a myriad of the other sludge/grind/etc genres
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Nicolas: We’re always writing. We’ve actually got a small yet satisfying surplus of material we’re working on. Plus, as this new album is currently in process of being released, we’re already working on material for album number III as well as songs for upcoming splits.
Contact them at: