Saturday, 27 June 2015

Band Interview: DIRIGIRI

Interview with Gene Olivarri of DiRiGiRi conducted by: Lady Kat Chaos with Geoff McGraw, Donald Grill-Skin Schmidt and Joe Caravella Jr. Live on Facebook, February 19, 2015.

Kat Chaos: Hails Gene! Thanks agreeing to do this live interview.
Gene Olivarri: hi everyone all the way from San Antonio, Texas.

Kat Chaos: I know you guys are in the working progress on new songs for
DiRiGiRi, will it be full album or another EP? Have you thought about a title for this release?
Gene Olivarri: It will be another EP. It's gonna be called. "Hacking It Up For Texas BBQ" and 6 songs.

Kat Chaos: Will you guys be putting out one of your new songs as a free download like many bands have been doing? Can you say anything about how the songs are coming out? How many songs are completed? What your role is so far in the new DiRiGiRi songs?
Gene Olivarri: No free downloads at this time. I feel the labels distributing it give metalheads in the underground a great price for our CDs anywhere from $6 to $8 dollars here in America and across seas. I have no control over the price range or anything. My role as a guitar player in the new songs is still there over the top solos and heavy rhythmic riffs we have a new drummer he is more drum tom oriented I feel it will bring out the music and guitar riffs more.

Kat Chaos: Well, how do the songs feel to you so far? Are they crushing heavy, dark and sinister as DiRiGiRi, what can we expect? Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
Gene Olivarri: The songs are more structured for this cd and very pounding an heavy they are gonna be more catchy sounding than compared to the first CD. The mood is very evil sounding eerie guitar solos and riffage.

Kat Chaos: At times do you feel the pressure because your self-title got raving reviews?
Gene Olivarri: Yes, well I really gotta try and out do myself every cd I put out to showcase the talent of DiRiGiRi to all the metalheads and new people getting turned on to us for the first time.

Kat Chaos: How much of what you've done before affects new music and are you at all conscious of that?
Gene Olivarri: I feel it makes you work harder in putting out a great product every time and to make sure these albums sound different from each other so the music doesn't sound the same all the time to keep people interested.

Kat Chaos: You mentioned that your upcoming release will have six new songs. Have you worked on any titles as of yet and could you elaborate on at least one song what it’s about?
Gene Olivarri: One of the songs is called Bury your Dead. It’s a spine tingling tale with a very eerie opening riff and drum build up's for maximum power hitting your ears.

Kat Chaos: What influenced you to create "Bury Your Dead"?
Gene Olivarri: Mainly based off of the first EP, it’s about the metalhead where he is trying to hide his tracks so he can continue being just evil.

Kat Chaos: So, your new release will be sequel to your first EP?
Gene Olivarri: That's what we’re looking at so far we just haven't killed the character off just yet. We are going to record another album in 2016 maybe 2017 for the third and final story.

Kat Chaos: Some would think your first EP was a concept release but it wasn't fully but each song told a story that fit. Are you contributing to any of the lyrics?
Gene Olivarri: No that's all left up to Derek Dishner the vocalist of DiRiGiRi.

Kat Chaos: You recorded with Dennis Munoz lead guitarist for the band Solstice at DNR Studio’s for your self-titled EP will you be working with Dennis and the same studio for your upcoming release?
Gene Olivarri: No it was an only one time affair but we are working with burn studios on producing and engineering the album there in Cibilo, Texas.

Kat Chaos: Some bands don't like switching studios because they aren't sure if they will capture the sound they had before. What made you decide to switch?
Gene Olivarri: It's a new album and I always wanna try to have a fresh sound on every cd. I do because I'm a person who is about tone on a new cd the sound of things.

Kat Chaos: Have they worked with other Death and Thrash Metal bands before? How many different studios did you scout before your final decision with Burn Studios?
Gene Olivarri: I scouted a few we don't have that many here in San Antonio, Texas Burn studios was the best for this new album. We had offers from bigger artist to record our new album but well I don't have an 8 to 10 thousand dollar budge to work with.

Kat Chaos: Before your EP you recorded a live Demo called, "The Live Loud Hymns of Death" back in 2005 in Corpus Christi, Texas with Moses. How many copies of your demo did you release and what format? Do you ever plan on reissuing it?
Gene Olivarri: Maybe one day. I'm not sure that was a horrible live demo that got praise even I was surprised some interviewers brought that shitty demo up lmao! I think I sent out close to 1,000 copies.

Joe Caravella Jr. (The Reign): Sorry, I am late to this LOL so Gene which Bands do you feel are the greatest influence on your writing style?
Gene Olivarri: Kiss, UFO, Autopsy, Repulsion, Dark Angel, Nasty Savage, Morbid Angel, The Exploited, G.B.H, Discharge and T.S.O.L.

Kat Chaos: Each band member has quite different influences amongst each other. I know that you have been influenced by underground heavy metal, Thrash, Death, Black and, early Grindcore, 80’s Hardcore, Punk, Tejano country and Mexican music. Growing up, what bands taught you the most about songwriting and dynamics?
Gene Olivarri: I would have to say all the styles. You don't have to be fast or anything; it’s all about the attack on the song how its gonna sound some people play songs fast but really it’s not as fast as they think it is it’s all about the mileage and writing a good song to my ears and impressing people with it.

Kat Chaos: When I was 11 in 1981, Venom’s 'Welcome To Hell' album was released. It was a few years later before you heard this album. After you heard this album sometime in 89', I believe this was the moment when you wanted your parents to purchase your first guitar. What was it about the guitar that stood out to you most compared to other instruments?
Gene Olivarri: I was just hypnotized with what they did with it and how someone could make it sound for some reason I just wanted to play cause I fell in love with it I was 7 years old when I taught myself to play so making it big wasn't on my mind chicks drugs wasn't in my head I did cause I loved it. Being a musician wasn't something I tried for really my life just panned out this way.

Geoff McGraw (Axemaster): As a musician I'm sure that you have an odd song that you have always wanted to cover, or a project off the beaten path that has its source in something decidedly not normally associated with heavy music. What is yours?
Gene Olivarri: Before I was born a doctor was trying to hear my heart beat in my mother and they kept hearing country music so he went to the nurses station and asked if they had a radio on he thought was maybe interfering they kept hearing country guitar playing inside my mother’s stomach and he laughed and told my mother I guess your gonna have a guitar player. I love very old country music Red River Dave and stuff like that country music from the 40's and stuff.

Kat Chaos: Natural instincts....From my understanding many guitarist would tell me the hardest thing to learn is Bar Chords. Did you have any difficulties?
Gene Olivarri: Learning bar chords was not too hard the nuns at the Church taught me all the guitar chords all over the neck of the guitar different ways to get notes.

Kat Chaos: Synchronizing left and right hand coordination takes time. Some guitarist say they don't have a lot of discipline and that comes years later.
Gene Olivarri: Yes it takes quite some time to make your brain and send the thought to your hands in what you want them to do it takes time and patience.

Joe Caravella: What king of rig do play-through and do you have any brand of guitar you prefer?
Gene Olivarri: I play through a modified peavey triple x head and a Marshall speaker 4x12 box and I'm endorsed by Dean Zelinsky Private Label Guitars, endorsed by Curt Mangan Strings, and InTune Guitar Picks, Inc.

Geoff McGraw: You have an unlimited budget for a one time only purchase... what is your dream rig, guitar, and accessory setup?
Gene Olivarri: It would be a JCM 800 2203 or the 2205 from the 80's and a red BC rich mockingbird guitar from the 80's when the guitars were better made. I'm just a tube head kinda guy I play directly through the head no pedals or anything just the amp the wire and the guitar and me.

Kat Chaos: I know you've been endorsed for some time and sure you have an interesting story about Dean Zelinsky Private Label Guitars to share with everyone.
Gene Olivarri: Well it happened at a rehearsal session the building had a music shop in it so a rep from DBZ guitars heard me play and asked if I was a professional guitar player I said yes I had been signed before so he asked me to come by the shop tomorrow so I did I tried all the guitars and loved them I could only pick one that I could have and that's how I got my first endorsement it was a rep by the name of Marcus Shaffer who believed in me.

Geoff McGraw: Great story... which model did you pick?
Gene Olivarri: Absinthe guitar.

Geoff McGraw So are you endorsed by DBZ or Zelinskis private label?
Gene Olivarri: Yes, I just converted my endorsement over a year ago to the Dean Zelinsky Private Label Guitars in December of 2013 going into 2014.

Kat Chaos: Do you prefer playing riffs and melody or technical rhythm more?
Gene Olivarri: More melody cause ordinary people who don't know about guitar playing aren’t gonna care what the hell you’re doing or what scale all they want is music to move too that makes them feel that heavy riff and makes them wanna destroy everything. Many different things really the guitar is a never endless learning instrument someone is always gonna do something different with it.

Kat Chaos: Some may have a tendency, especially when they want to learn something that’s difficult, should scales and technical exercises be repetitive?
Gene Olivarri: No, you should ware yourself or bore yourself with things some guys just take this nerdy and mathematical approach to it that becomes very brittle playing over time with no feeling you wanna play with feeling all the time it’s what speaks to the masses.

Kat Chaos: If an artist should have personal emotion while playing. What exercises are good and less stressful on your hands and tendons?
Gene Olivarri: What I do is make my arm stiff and pull each finger all the way back and wave my fingers to stretch muscles at the top and bottom of my forearm and after each finger I pull back I shake my hands to get the blood flow going in them.

Kat Chaos: Can you think of any guitar players who plays a deep sense of harmony that is capturing to your ears?
Gene Olivarri: I would have to say Pete Townsend from The Who.

Kat Chaos: As you get older do you play your songs differently?
Gene Olivarri: No, I still play them all the same with lots of force that never changes.

Kat Chaos: Have you ever tensed up?
Gene Olivarri: Yes twice. Only twice.

Kat Chaos: You’re very open about anything. Do you have any insecurities, when it comes to writing new riffs? Do you think insecurity is a common trait amongst high achievers?
Gene Olivarri: No cause if I'm not pissing off the originators, I'm not doing anything new. So no insecurities.

Kat Chaos: Band history rehashing memories. You and Omar are the originators of Dirigiri which formed in 2004. Didn't your vocalist Derek join as your bassist first in 2006 before he took the frontman role? What is the present line-up?
Gene Olivarri: Yes, Derek started as the bassist for the band we didn't really know if he could sing the music at the time and surprisingly he was able too. Right now we have Derek Dishner vocal, me guitars, Chris Gomez bass and Andres drums he is from Victoria Texas.

Donald Grill-Skin Schmidt: What’s the meaning behind the name of the band?
Gene Olivarri: The name means hymns of death. The last song you hear before your body is returned to the earth.

Kat Chaos: Do you have any obscure, chaotic or amusing stories from when you were on the road? Your biggest band moment?
Gene Olivarri: I would have to say when we opened for Candlemass, it was the greatest moment for me play with Exodus and Overkill etc., wow, it has been awesome so far.

Kat Chaos: What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
Gene Olivarri: I just try to play as well as I can to match what people bought and heard on the cd that's really what we all do. The moving around just comes along with it for some it’s a natural thing.

Kat Chaos: Dirigiri has received a few awards: one for your song Boiled In Blood and you were also nominated for Best Speed Metal/Thrash band in Texas at the Maxima Distorzion music awards. What was running through your mind when you heard these announcements?
Gene Olivarri: I was so happy for a song we wrote to be appreciated in such a bigger level I was like wow an award I had to pinch myself we couldn’t believe it ourselves.

Kat Chaos: Do you think today there are more metal bands earning awards but yet it’s still very limited because many still don't recognize the metal scene? Did you walk down a red carpet?
Gene Olivarri: No, there was no carpet or anything yeah but metal music isn't pushed as hard as commercial music and I truly think that's the problem cause back then pop music and rock were always head to head.

Geoff McGraw: 1st 5 random songs on your iPod or player?
Gene Olivarri: La Isla Bonita from Madonna, one of my guilty pleasures.

Geoff McGraw: Kudos for the courage to admit that....
Gene Olivarri: It has a great Spanish rhythm guitar to it.

Kat Chaos: I know when you were about five years of age you were a huge Kiss fan. Did you ever dress up like Ace Frehley?
Gene Olivarri: I actually dressed up like King Diamond and everyone thought I was a pirate.

Kat Chaos: Seriously? I bet that night you turned a lot of individuals on listening to King Diamond. What is your favorite King Diamond album?
Gene Olivarri: I like everything up to Fatal Portrait.

Joe Caravella: Outside of Metal & Madonna's La Isla Bonita are there any other music Genres you would gravitate towards if you wanted to do something besides metal.
Gene Olivarri: Yes, Spanish guitar playing or country music real country not the shit that's out now with rap and all this stuff in it.

Kat Chaos: Good luck with your writing process and looking forward to hearing your sophomore release. Before we lock our gates do you have any last words?
Gene Olivarri: I would like to thank everyone who was part of this interview and the amazing questions I was asked it was fun and thank you Kat Chaos for the support as always. Thank you everyone, goodbye and take care.