Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eshas {108/The Judas Factor} interview with Vocalist: Robert Fish. May 25, 2010.

Eshas {108/The Judas Factor} interview with Vocalist: Robert Fish. May 25, 2010.

Vista: Hey Rob. My first question is this. Since I've come to know this new project, I really wonder...What the heck does Eshas mean? I even went as far as trying to look up the word & still came up to no conclusion! Anyways, what is the meaning of the band name & what does it represent to you {if anything}?

Rob: Band names are a bit challenging. In thinking about the mood of the band and the sonic aspects a theme emerged. The first thought was to write out that theme but it sounded somewhat cliche' and I was being chided for coming up with a new metal/emo type name so I went with initials. The theme, Ever scar has a story, hence the name Eshas. 

Vista: How did this project come about & what are some goals or plans for the band? Is it a band that will do some form of playing out and/or touring? At this point of this interview {Spring/2010} there are only two band members. Is there a drum machine in the future?

Rob: Aaron and I have known one another since the early 90's. We have talked of doing a project together and when I moved to Portland we hung out a bunch and reconnected. Eventually Aaron sent me over a bunch of music he had recorded and that was that. The initial lot is 6 songs. 5 are recorded with the other to be recorded in the coming weeks. Aaron and his wife are moving down to Portland in the fall which is cool because we will be able to work together on the project. First time I have been in a band that has lived in the same state in over 17 years. No "plans" per say other than record, play shows and enjoy creating together. We have some people that we will play with and hope to start doing shows this summer. 

Vista: I see that the label, Six Feet Under Records is putting something out by Eshas.What is planned for this release? Also, are there high expectations, as annoying as that thought may be, for this project?
 Rob: Looks like it will be a 4 song 7". We have two other songs that we plan to use on some split 7"s that will be released with by different labels, different bands and in different parts of the world. Nothing concrete yet as we are still in the planning stages. As far as expectations go who knows. I would hope people expect a lot from us and I think we will deliver some very cool music. 

Vista: This is a question that I have always wanted to ask you. What was your first introduction to punk or hardcore? How old were you & what bands really grabbed your attention? Also, what year did this take place?
Rob: Well I had heard punk bands in the early 80's but I was more attracted to Hip Hop at the time. I finally sold my soul to punk rock in 1985 when I was 13. Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedy's and Minor Threat sealed the deal for me. Got into straight edge and was lucky enough to live within 45 minutes of City Gardens, CBGB's and there were amazing shows in the town I lived in (Edison, NJ) at Middlesex County College and in New Brunswick. As far as why punk I just connected to the desperation and urgency. 

Vista: On that note, what was the first punk or hardcore show that you ever attended?
 Rob: Can't remember but it was local bands. First "big" bands I saw, whose shows I remember, were Husker Du, Corrosion of Conformity at Middlesex County College. Started going to CBGB's and City Gardens in 1987.

Vista: As far as Eshas goes, what are some influences or inspirations that you're leaning towards? I see on your site that this band is aiming towards something very different than your past bands/projects.
Rob: Not sure we even know that yet. Just look for heavy, loud songs and lyrics that reflect things we feel are important to express.  

Vista: Lyrically, what are some topics or running themes that you are trying to convey and/or express?
Rob: Well 5 songs in it is mostly just personal stuff. PMA in the sense of how the crazy things we experience can makes us stronger, better more compassionate and loving. Two songs are about the human reality and ultimate price represented in war as well as how that has been brought on due to how the US has conducted itself. 

Vista: Here's another questions that I've wondered for a long time, just because that I think you have influenced a lot of singers within the hardcore scene...But I'm wondering, who are your influences, as far as vocalists & also, as far as your vocal approach?
Rob: Chavo from Black Flag made me want to continue to be a singer after my first band. I always connected to his voice which dripped of desperation and I knew music was the outlet I needed to deal with all of the shit I was going through and the person I am. As far as vocal approach I have never thought of that. 

Vista: I see that people are able to download your songs that are currently on your myspace site. You guys are obviously in favor of downloading a bands material, speaking just for your band but I'm wondering, what are your thoughts on downloading as a whole? Is it "just the way it is" or has it damaged what Record Labels set out to do? Is there a way to have a balance between downloading and purchasing music?
Rob: It is what it is. I do think if you make the total package of a record awesome people will buy it. There are more bands than ever and more choices than ever and people aren't going to buy it all so you have to do something artistically that differentiates yourself and makes people want to buy your record. You can't fight it.

Vista: You're a guy that has been in the hardcore scene for literally decades. What is your opinion on the current scene, as opposed to say, 1995 {just as en example}. Is the scene striving or dying? I know this stuff {hardcore} comes in waves & in circles and styles seem to be a flavor of the week. But has the scene, as a whole moved away from Issues & topics that have content & been replaced by lame assed "image"? 

Rob: The thing is there is what punk/hardcore is and what punk/hardcore is to an individual. In both cases of course it's different. In a greater sense it is different as it isn't as much of a counter culture simply because it is so much bigger and encompasses more people from more diverse backgrounds. Aside from that in the late 70's early 80's major media and government had the voice. As technology has advanced so has the ability for one persons voice to be heard world wide, immediately. With technological advances we also have access to more diverse opinions, thoughts, etc. 

Vista: Earlier I had asked what your first introduction to Punk/hardcore was. I'm also wondering, what was your first vivid memory of the introduction to music in general, as a youngster? 

Rob: Janis Joplin. My Mother loved her. She was a heavy woman with heavy music which meant a lot to my Mother and left an impression on me. 

Vista: Looking back on the topic of you departing from 108...What are your thoughts on it? Are there any regrets or did the band just runs its course, for you? Maybe it wasn't surprising or even shocking that you left the band, but speaking for myself...I was FLOORED. Not because I think/thought a band member wouldn't leave a band for whatever reason. I guess I was surprised just because that the new 108 album was just about to be released. I suppose that's my problem, not yours!? Ha! What were some reactions or responses to you leaving 108?
Rob: The band means a lot to me and played a critical part in my life and who I am but it was just time. 

Vista: What were your thoughts on the "Burning Fight" book. Not only was 108 featured in it, one of your former bands was also in it, Ressurection, Over-all, what are your thoughts on the book? Also, where there any bands that you think were crucial to that particular time era, that wasn't in the book?
Rob: It was a cool book and it was cool to be a part of it. Some very cool bands in there. Lots of bands I would have loved to have seen in there but there can always be other books. 

Vista: 108 also played the "Burning Fight" book release show. What are some memories from that show/weekend? Speaking also about 108 performing live...What one song did you enjoy or connect to the most?
Rob: It was the last show of our US tour and I was rather sick with pneumonia by the time we hit Chicago but I still enjoyed it. I don;t remember a ton about the show as I was rather out of it. Weird to see so many people that I hadn't seen in over a decade. Recognizing faces and wondering if we were friends or not before was sort of amusing but everyone was cool and it was a fun experience.

Vista: Outside of writing or performing music...What are some of your interests and/or hobbies?
Rob: Just hanging out with my wife, kids and our animals. Good vegan food, good music. This summer I will learn how to ride a motorcycle and buy an older bike that I can fix up, which will be a challenge as I am not very mechanically inclined, and just enjoy the Northwest summer. 

Vista: One final question that I think is important. Looking back on the 1990's as a whole...What was MORE insanely ridiculous, Huge Jenco Jeans OR multiple {more that five} facial piercings? 

Rob: Both look rather silly but i will go with the piercings. These days the kids have neck and face tattoos which trumps them all. Gonna be tough when the trust funds run out.

Vista: Rob, thanks a lot for taking the time to do this interview. I appreciate it. Is there anything else you'd like to say? Also, what is the best way to get in contact with the band? 
Rob: Thanks for the interview. Look at for the 7" this summer on Six Feet Under, some other new music and shows this summer. You can contact the band through our Facebook or MySpace pages or at

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