Spotlight Interview With Sinistra
Sinistra just gave us a massively progressive and ambient toned alternative rock single called "Little Man" and its a melodic and wonderous track.
The single is packed with gorgeous and enticing guitar melodies that fill the atmosphere with colorful sound while synth pads swell and give way for strings sections.
The song can really wash you away into its own realm and grows intense and cinematic while lead guitar solos shred with heart and precision.
"Little Man" has a very theatrical and massive sound so we had to have a talk with Sinistra about the track and more.
Here's what happened.
RAG: Okay guys, let's start with "Little Man". This track is incredibly cinematic and has a progressive feel. Where did this track come from?
“Little Man” is a song about an endless cycle of choices that impacts who we are, what we think and ultimately our plans in life. Any person can go back to 2-3 key moments in life when decisions were made that changed the outcome of a person’s life forever. This endless cycle is represented in the video we did for “Little Man”. Musically I am definitely influenced by some of David Bowie’s darker music, A Perfect Circle as well and a little Tool and Peter Gabriel. I was blessed to work with fantastic musicians like Sonia Bruno (cello) and Jose Valerio (violin) who gave the song that orchestra-feel; it’s not every day you get to work with orchestra musicians. Rafa Castro (guitars), who is a gifted metal/prog guitar player, brought great versatility to the song with lots of different sounds, solos, arrangements. Last but not least, Norman Mena (drums) who has been a bandmate of mine for the last two decades in Pneuma did what he does best; create great drum riffs. Norman could play with any band in the prog/metal genre, just phenomenal.
RAG: I'm hearing a connection in sound even with your previous singles like "Human Nature" and "Art Of Manipulation". What bands or artists influenced you musically?
One of the interesting things about Sinistra is that every song has different Costa Rican musicians and everyone brings something different to the table. However, despite the evolving lineup, all songs are arranged, produced with similar keys and chord progressions to give a feeling of continuity to the music; even if it’s a violin/cello/guitar/banjo.
The songs are influenced by a variety of bands and genres but I’ve always found to be inspired by versatile artists like Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Beck, Porcupine Tree, etc. They influence the versatility and open style of music brought to the table.
RAG: How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been a singer/bass player/songwriter for the last 18 years with a Costa Rican metal band called Pneuma. We’ve done some pretty cool things over the years (opening for Metallica/Judas Priest/Whitesnake, touring Europe, Central America, playing at SXSW, Wacken Open Air, etc.). We’re still going strong with Pneuma; Sinistra was an opportunity to look at working with other instruments and creative styles.
RAG: How did this all start for you?
About 18 months ago I brought a couple of riffs to a long time friend/musician Marvin Picado and we started laying down some tracks for what would then become “Art of Manipulation”. After those first few sessions and thanks to Marvin’s help, the foundation for Sinistra was created as a project that could be ambitious. That’s when I thought of Sinistra as an art/music/collaboration project that could explore multiple genres, instruments and layers of artwork and animation.
RAG: What next for you as an artist? Anything in the works even now?
I’m still recording, producing and creating new tracks as we speak. Have a new video/track coming out Dec 2nd called “Stem of Creation” and then I have 3 more tracks ready to go after that. That would bring the song tally to a total of 12. I am looking to constantly evolve, leverage different genres like bluegrass, hard rock, etc.
RAG: Did you used to play live shows before? Do you think you'll be planning gigs when the time comes?
I’ve never performed Sinistra live unfortunately due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. I will definitely look to scheduling some shows as soon as the world heals from the challenges we are all facing. There is the option to record a show with no audience and then release it online as well. I am looking to do that in early 2021.
RAG: What does a band like you do when you're not working on music?
Probably feeling terrible for not working on music or something creative :). In my case, I have another pretty cool job; I don’t work on music exclusively.
RAG: What kind of advice would you give other aspiring bands out there just trying to get heard?
My only advice is work your butt off. DO what others are unwilling to do. Work when others are sleeping, when others are watching Netflix you should be thinking about writing, producing, learning, etc. The other advice I would definitely give is to not expect inspiration to “magically” come to you; inspiration happens when you are working every day on your craft. In reality inspiration is the product of many mistakes, ruined experiments and other detours to something creative that you love.
RAG: What sort of non-musical things influence you to write?
I love to read. Dante, John Milton, Edgar Allan Poe, Tolkien, etc. I’m also a big movie fan; huge fan of directors like Federico Fellini, Milos Forman, Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese, Spike Jonze, Stanley Kubrick, Andrei Tarkovsky among others.
RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of your music?
Thank you for taking the time to listen to Sinistra! I’m always blown away with 1 person listening to anything I’ve written. I’ve gotten so much support from local/international media, very thankful. There’s more music, art and videos to come! Stay tuned to sinistramusic.com for future releases, music, blog and videos! Thanks for the opportunity! Cheers!