Q&A: Exiled from Grace
The 2018 SAMMIES Winner for Music Video
Winning Caregory:Music Video
Nomination Categories:Artist of the Year; Metal; Music Video
Members/Instruments:John Timmons (vocals), Gerard Aguilar III (bass), Alex Lovato (guitar), Dru Wallace (guitar), Molly Wallace (drums)
What was the first song you learned to play?
Timmons: “The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson.
Molly Wallace: “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks.
Dru Wallace: “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles.
Aguilar III: “In The End” by Black Veil Brides.
Lovato: The first song I learned was “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple, like so many other guitarists before me.
What drives you to keep playing even though the music industry can be so harsh?
Timmons: I think for me, it’s exactly because it’s so harsh that it drives me forward. I’m a very spiteful person, for better or worse, and it gives me a source of pride knowing that I’m doing something that not everyone wants to do, and not everyone who wants to do it even can do it. It takes a tremendous amount of work ethic from all of us, and I’m very fortunate to have found people like this to share this experience with. I definitely couldn’t do it without them.
Lovato: I’ve been playing in the local scene for almost five years now, and every time I am asked that question, I give the same answer. The reason I do this is because from day one, all I’ve wanted is to make music that makes people feel things. Whether that be elation, sadness or that feeling that makes you want to throw a chair across the room. Whatever it is, that’s what I want and what I strive for. Not money or recognition.
Molly Wallace: I guess it just makes me feel good. Like, it makes me feel really good when I get one of the difficult kick patterns down perfectly, or when I see people breaking their ankles or getting hurt in pits because they enjoy our music. Like, I helped create that music, and it makes me proud that it can impact people both physically and emotionally.
What’s your favorite local artist/group?
Timmons: HellHeart. I mean, I have a tattoo of their logo on my arm, so I pretty much have to say them, otherwise I’m a poser.
Aguilar III: The Mustn’ts.
Lovato: Whitewolf, Desolist, The Last Titan, HellHeart, Hemispheres, Shorelines, Wastewalker, Dark Signal, Heat Of Damage, the Jim Kelly Kung Fu Orchestra, the Odious Construct and xTom Hanx.
How do you describe your music?
Timmons: Instrumentally, we are heavy, fast, aggressive and easy to headbang and mosh to. Lyrically, I think I just sing about my experiences and how I feel, and if nothing else, hopefully some pissed-off kid who gets told every day to “lighten up” and “get better” hears them and knows that it’s okay to be pissed off, because the world sucks and has plenty of reasons to give you to be pissed off.
Aguilar III: Catchy, groovy, heavy.