Vista: Hey. Can you give the current line up of the band & who does what?
Luis: Aaron and Brian play guitar, Walter plays bass, Colin plays drums and I, sing.
Vista: Give us a brief history of Alpha & Omega...Year started, ex members & what has been released, so far?
Luis: We started in the Fall of 2008, I think. We've had a lot of member changes and fill ins... too many to name. We put out a seven inch called Devil's Bed on 6131 Records and are about to put out our first LP called Life Swallower, which will also be put out by 6131 Records.
Vista: Alpha & Omega...Where did this name come from, for the band & what does it represent to you? One that note, what are some lyrical topics you guys are touching on?
Luis: We needed a name; so we all made a list of names that we thought would fit the band or sounded good to us and just chose one. We were going back and forth between a few names and finally just picked Alpha & Omega. The idea came from the Cro-Mags record "Alpha Omega". I sing about my life... Where I came from, where I am now, how I got to where I am, and where I'm going. Whatever I need get off my chest I just write about it. I'm very proud of how the lyrics came out on the LP.
Vista: You guys have a unique sound. I was looking at some of the influences that you listed on your myspace site....Black Label Society & Ozzy, to name a couple of influences. Tell us more of who influences you guys?
Luis: We're influenced by a lot of different types of music. If you were to ride in our van for a day you would here music from all over the board. Everyone is very open minded when it comes to music. Each of us is always getting another person into something new. You'll hear anything from Leeway, Cro-Mags, Pantera to The Dream, New Found Glory, The XX, and Young Widows.
Vista: Do you consider yourselves a metal band or a hardcore band? I know it doesn't really matter or make sense to "label" yourselves, but where do you see your band leaning more towards? Also along those lines, what is an ideal show for Alpha & Omega...Metal shows or straight up hardcore shows?
Luis: We're a Hardcore band that is influenced by a lot of metal, thrash, rock, and punk. We all love metal and just heavy music in general. Like I said in the question before were all over the board with our music taste. I could never in my life say I'd rather play a "Metal" show over a "Hardcore" show. I'm a hardcore kid through and through. But then again the line between hardcore and metal is so thin that who really gives a fuck if your in a metal band or a hardcore band. As long as it's a good show then fuck it. My ideal show (that will never happen) would be... Cro-Mags and Metallica opening for Pantera.
Vista: Tell us what's going on with the local scene from your area? Any bands we should be checking out & any fanzines from your area? Where are shows being held..Clubs, Legion Halls, Living Rooms?
Luis: So-Cal has a lot going on right now. Southern California has Ruckus, Creatures, Downpresser, Piece By Piece, Donnybrook, Minus, Twitching Tongues, Take Offense, and a few others. As far as venues go, we've had The Chain Reaction for as long as I can remember. I grew up going there, The Cobalt Cafe, Che Cafe, and Showcase Theater (RIP). There's a new venue that just opened up out in Riverside called Common Grounds and a place called McWorld in Downtown Los Angeles. We just played Common Grounds with Merauder last week and it was awesome. Were playing McWorld this Saturday for the first time. Hopefully both places stick around for a while.
Vista: Have any of you guys been in any other bands?
Luis: Our drummer Colin also plays drums for Pressure and Ruckus, He also sings for Twitching Tongues. Walter plays bass in Rotting Out and guitar in Twitching Tongues with Colin. Aaron isn't officially in any other bands, but has helped out filling in for Donnybrook and Piece by Piece. Brian used to be in Verse, Meltdown, and Rampage. And I just stick with A&O
Vista: I see that you guys have been out here on the East Coast on tour. When was that, how long was the tour & who did you guys tour with?
Luis: We just finished up a tour with Donnybrook that took us out there. We've also been out east on tours with Trash Talk, Cruel Hand, Internal Affairs, Foundation, Convicted, and Mother Of Mercy. I love playing shows out east.
Vista: I know you guys are influenced by Cro-Mags. Who's story is more believable...Harley Flanagan's or John Joseph?
I don't really care about anyone's story. I like the Cro-Mags music. Bands have their inner issues and arguments. I feel like that is to stay between them. Whatever has gone on within that band has no effect over me and liking their music. I will love the Cro-Mags till the day I die.
Vista: Since we're on the Cro-Mags tip here...Which Album is better & why. "Age Of Quarrel" or "Best Wishes"?
Luis: Ha! I love this question. Toby from H2O asked me this a few months ago and he was shocked when I said "Best Wishes". But truthfully, I can't say one is better than the other. Both records have totally different vibes on them and i love both. It all depends on what mood you catch me in. I'll go a week straight listening to "Best Wishes" and then a month later I'll do the same with "Age Of Quarrel".
Vista: What were some initial goals for the band? I mean, you may not have started out as band with these big "goals" or whatever but looking back to the beginning...What were some basic goals for the band?
Luis: Aaron and I used to be in a band years before A&O. We didn't see each other for a few years and when I had the itch to start a band up again he was the first person I called.
He was down and all we wanted to do was write some good hardcore the way we wanted. There weren't many goals other than put out a demo and play shows. Little by little as more opportunities came our way we opened up to taking the band full on and doing the most we could with it. We've been really lucky. For me personally, it was a goal to play with Madball, Cro-Mags, and H2O. Those are bands that I grew up listening to; to be able to say that I've toured with them and now have friendships with people in those bands is really awesome.
Vista: What are your thoughts on most people on earth just downloading music? Good, Bad...The way it is? Also, what does it do to a band such as yours?
Luis: I could give a shit if someone downloads music. I do it all the time myself. Our seven inch "Devils Bed" was all over music blogs within a few months of it being out. I'd be searching for a record to download for myself and run across my own record. I just think that's funny.
Vista: Do you guys have any new music coming out? Also, have you guys been to Europe yet? Any plans?
Luis: We have our first LP coming out in June 2010 on 6131 Records. It's called Life Swallower and I'm very happy with the way it came out. We put a lot into it and now I just want it to be out so everyone can hear it and we can start playing more of those songs live. As for Europe, we haven't been yet, but are looking into going out there in the fall of this year. So, hopefully that works out.
Vista: What's your opinion on the current hardcore/metalcore scene? What are some pros & cons?
Luis: Hardcore is an awesome thing and has done a lot for me and my life. It has many shapes and goes up and down every few years. One minute a certain style of hardcore is cooler than another, or it's really cool to be into whatever the fuck it is at the time. Instead of making a list of things that I like or don't like, I'd rather enjoy it for what it is and what it does for me.
Vista: Flat out...Best hardcore band & album ever?
Luis: Sorry I can't just put one band as the best ever...
Terror - Lowest Of The Low
Madball - Set It Off/Hold It Down
Cro-Mags - Age Of Quarrel/Best Wishes
Leeway - Born To Expire/Desperate Measures
Those are some of the best hardcore bands and records ever to me.
Vista: I love metal & it seems like you guys do, as well. Best metal band & album ever?
Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power/Cowboys From Hell
Metallica - Master Of puppets/ Black album
Slayer - Hell Awaits
Crowbar - Broken Glass/Self-Titled
Sepultura - Beneath The Remains
Vista: Luis. Thanks so much for doing this interview. Best of everything. Is there anything else you'd like to say? Also, what's the best way to get in touch with Alpha & Omega?
Luis: Best way to get in touch with Alpha & Omega is through one of our many social networking web accounts... Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail...Our new record LIFE SWALLOWER is out JUNE 2010 on 6131 Records. Order it, buy it, get it off of Itunes, download it, steal it... whatever you gotta do to get it, just get it.