The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
The Rockpit 2013 Interviews










Hi JuanMa, Thanks for taking the time to talk to The Rockpit




Thanks for having me Leslii.  It’s really awesome that you are taking the time to listen to our songs and give Message to Venus a bit of space in The Rockpit. 




The new single is a great take on the Depeche Mode classic ‘Stripped’ is that a song you’ve been playing for a while?



Jandre is a big fan of Depeche mode so he came up with the idea to do a cover.  In Puerto Rico, Depeche Mode is kinda obscure and not a lot of people know about them so we thought it was a cool idea to do a rocking version for it.  I did not know the song



Where did the name ‘Message to Venus’ come from?



Hard Rock is mostly associated with men, so when we started out we wanted to have a name that would “soften” things up a bit, even though we are writing heavy-ish songs.  If you have never heard our music, We feel that this name gives out the right first impression.  Also,I am a big Sci-Fi geek so I had no problem having something spacey thrown in the name.



Take us back to the beginning - tell us a little bit about how the band got together?



For a couple of years, Edgar, John, and I had another band that was in the studio recording the second album.  Suddenly, the singer decided to move onto other things which left us with no front-man.  Around that same time, Jandre had the opposite problem; no musicians for his new project.  Our producer, and engineer, Leo Alvarez suggested we give Jandre a call, which we did.  After that everything just fell into place.



What did you guys grow up listening to?



I have to admit that I’m a grunge child.  MTV and the grunge thing was what got me into music in general, since before that I didn’t even like music.  Since then, my taste has matured a lot and being from the Caribbean, I listen to all sorts of latin music that don’t have to do anything at all with rock.  For example, I love Mambo music (Perez Prado, Tito Puente, Tito Rodríguez, etc.), and Nova Trova (Silvio Rodriguez, Joaquin Sabina,etc).



How would you describe your sound, there’s a real contemporary feel, a Latin rhythm, even a bit of Tool and Linkin Park in there, it’s hard to describe – which we like!



It’s really hard to self describe your own sound.  Hard-Rock-pop with a bit of flavor on the side?






Puerto Rico isn’t a place we hear a lot about as far as Rock music is concerned what is the scene like over there?



First of all, there is not a live music scene industry in Puerto Rico.   There just isn’t enough money for a venue to pay for the band, the sound system, sound engineer, bartenders, rent, utilities, and still make money.  Putting that problem aside, Puerto Rico produces great bands and musicians, for example Puya and Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez Lopez.  The live scene is really small throughout the island and almost all the bands know each other.  This makes for a tight scene where everyone is mostly friendly but there is always this “friendly competition” in terms of musicianship that pushes you to be better.



It’s hard out there for young bands but great to see that there are avenues out there to get heard. You recently used crowd funding platform “IndieGoGo”. It must be great to find those new avenues out there and also great that fans supported it?



The beauty and curse of the internet is that you can build a strong online presence that is not constrained to a physical region.  It is a beauty because when you do any online event, you can get immediate reaction to it, but it can be a curse because when you go regional, for example, a local band contest, you might find that your 100,000 followers are spread all over the world.


As a band tell us a little about your collective influences?



As a band,  we cover a wide spectrum of musical tastes.  We all have some sort of musical middle ground, mostly composed of bands like Tool, A Perfect Circle, Karnivool, and Pierce the Veil



What about you personally as a drummer, who inspires you?



You can learn so much from all of the great players out there, especially on the internet where there are awesome videos on how to improve technique.  Gone are the days where you had access to a limited set of drummers to learn from.   That aside, I get inspired a lot by my friends and family.



We know you’ve been working on the debut album, when are we likely to see a release?



We would love to have it done by winter 2013.  Since we do everything DIY it usually takes awhile for us to get the logistics together.



What is the writing process like for you, do all the band come in with their ideas, how do you work on your songs?



It usually starts from a good guitar riff that one of us comes up with.  Recently though, on the road, I have started to create drum patterns on Edgar’s iPad so let’s see how that goes.






You’re playing songs from your latest release ‘The Envelope’ on tour – how can fans get hold of a copy?



All of our music is available in iTunes, Spotify, or any digital online store.  We do sell physical copies through our online store at




One of our favourite songs of yours is ‘The Show’ tell us about how that song came together?



Thanks!  Jandre had already came up with most of the structure before we got into the studio.  I rearranged of the drums to give it a bit more ‘taste’.



Do you have any particular favourites? Especially to play live?



From The Envelope, my favorite to play live is Change.  It’s a song that has more drumming work than usual for the EP. 



You’re in the middle of a big US tour at the moment. Where can we catch you live over the coming months?



We still have some dates in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Jersey, New York, and other states.  You can check all of our official tour dates at




Out on the road, for a triple bill and you can pick the other two bands – who would they be and why?



I would love a Depeche Mode, Karnivool, and Message to Venus bill.  It would just be an honor to share the stage with Depeche Mode.  For Karnivool, well, we’re just really into them right now and we think that their crowd would really dig our stuff!



Is Rock and Roll on the way back? Surely it’s the only possible saviour of the dire straits we find the music industry in these days?



I would love to say yes but looking at the charts, and what is trending, I would have to say no.   Rock music industry is really hard right now, and f you’re serious about doing it, you’re probably doing it for the love of it.



If you could have been a fly on the wall for the recording of any album at any point in time just to see how the magic happened what would it have been for you and why?



Nirvana’s In Utero has a special place in my heart.  I was kinda obsessed with it for a while.  I read about how they had done special miking techniques to get that claustrophobic closed small room sound and other cool stuff. 



What is the meaning of life? 






Many thanks for taking the time to stop by the Rockpit.




By Leslii Phillips July 2013




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