-Interview- Retched (3/25/21)

Retched talks about their sound development, upcoming plans and much more


From: Southern California
Sounds like: Metal

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Retched" and is there any meaning behind it?

I've been playing guitar and dabling with other instruments since I was five years old. I stuck with the guitar since I was ten years old and stayed with that primarily. I started my professional journey with my first band called AVATAR in 1988 and we recorded "The Overlord Messiah" which was never released until 2017 because Avatar broke up, I gave up pursuing my professional music career and the album was abandoned all this time but, I still kept playing guitar for fun even with battling Carpoltunnelsyndrone in both my hands. I managed to write a riff which is now my new single called: "HORRIFIC" This song is the whole reason I came back to the scene and chose to start again.

In 2017 I got to the point where I chose to release the EP: "THE OVERLORD MESSIAH" That record by now was abandoned for nearly thirty years. I would take the tape out and play it every five or ten years and reminisce and wish we had done something with it. So when I chose to come back to the scene in 2017 I released the EP: "The Overlord Messiah" and about 45 days later got signed with ALONE RECORDS in GREECE for a limited run. I finally had the Carpal Tunnel Surgery done in 2019 and am back to normal. By 2020 I built my personal home studio and now have released my first work in thirty years called: "HORRIFIC". It's the title track of my upcoming full length album "HORRIFIC". I'm hoping to release it late in 2022 but it depends on how things are. I have hurdles that spring up and emergencies in life just like everyone else.

How I developed my sound is a work in progress. My influences are Exodus, Testament, Destruction, Municipal Waste, Sodom, Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, Warbringer, Power Trip, DUST BOLT and many, many more. As far as my sound in recording I still experiment with guitar recording tones and always try to get more aggressive rhythm tracks as all sound engineers do although I'm in the infant/toddler stages of my journey in sound engineering.

The meaning of RETCHED by the english dictionary means: to barf or heave like you are going to barf. I picked that name because everytime I look at the world and what keeps happening repeatedly it makes me sick to my stomach the same as with most other people. It's prounounced recht'. Also it seems fitting for a thrash metal band so I called it that.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

I want people to get from my music a sense of awareness and belonging. We are all really one world as a people not in the sense of a government but as the world's comunity of METAL fans and performers alike we are the same as a metal nation afflicted and oppressed but we drive on!!

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

To the average listener I simply put it like this : "Thrash Metal Music from the old school" because I am from the old school.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Exodus, Kreator and Warbringer.

5. How has Covid affected what you do as a band?

At this time the only thing covid has affected me by is shipping my physical copies to the warehouse for distribution. It's taken months as I sent my first shipment in March of 2020 and just about that time Covid hit. They recently put them on the Amazon stores. That's because of Covid and government shutdowns and the warehouse trying to protect their employees. As far as live gigs it would have crippled me but I am not yet performing live yet until I finish the "HORRIFIC" album. Luckily I have my own full studio so there was no hold up as I did all my mixing and mastering in my studio as my one stop production shop and published it straight away.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Metal?

Metal is alive and well in 2021 and once the covid restrictions are off it's going to be a serious mass of insanity as the shows open and people are able to rock like normal a lot of fury and fire will be releasing by both the bands and the fans it will be a reciprocal trade as the shows explode into action they will be well received and the bands will be happy again. As I always say "You Can't kill The Metal" and in metal I always say "IT TAKES WHAT IT TAKES" that is to keep going if this is what you want to do you have to persevere through all the crap life throws at you. Much easier said than done my friends but still doable.

7. What’s the current music scene like there in California?

Well speaking of California it's still shut down for now. Even though most of the folks I know are working on albums and creating content and still moving forward. I can't wait to hear EXODUS's new album. They finished it and according to Gary Holt "Zetro Killed it" on this new album I can't wait for that. VIO_LENCE also is going to be releasing a new one soon both heavy hitters in the world of thrash metal. To name a few but most of the folks are creating writing and staying busy till they open the gates. I think we will be one of the last states to open up after we get past all this Covid regulations and restrictions. We should be like Sweden, they are doing live shows but with covid restrictions according to an interview I saw with one of my favorite bands DESTRUCTION from Germany. Can you imagine a social distanced mosh pit?? LOL.

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

Streaming royalties SUCK!!!!! Most of my revenue is from streaming and it doesn't pay hardly anything. It's good that artists get them but unless you are averaging a billion streams a month there's no way you could ever live on that. It's a double edged sword because on one hand streaming is great for getting exposure and having new fans discover you but in the same time here these streaming companies charge a subscription fee for 100$ a year so anyone can have access to as many album downloads as they want, it isn't fair after we spend months and years and thousands of dollars on equipment and everything that it cost so we can produce our art then the streaming companies turn around and pay us literally fractions of a penny for each stream while they pocket a great profit. I invested over $23,000.00 this year alone to finish equipping my studio plus all the equipment cost on everything I already had bought previously. Last year I got a loan to get equipment that was money I didn't even have and now it's like having an expensive car payment every month. Nevertheless, I can't produce music if I don't have the tools and I want to produce my music as good as I possibly can so I made the commitment to do this.

The only thing streaming is really good for is extending our reach as being heard and the ability to digitally share around the artists music and pick up more fans. I don't use the download subscriptions I use the free apps to stream with and if I go for digital albums I pay for the album with an itunes card so at least my favorite artist can get the money they ask for the digital release but I also buy the CD or Vinyl too. I love to have a great sit down and just pay attention to the music but I'm always moving fast and rarely have time but those few minutes are priceless. See I'm from the old school before all this streaming and stuff came up before when my generation was kids it was like a whole ceremony you take the Vinyl out you clean it and you actually focused on listening to it and you just sat there and let the music consume you, well that's how it was for me anyway. Not that people don't do that now.

I just don't subscribe to streaming for respect to the artists cause I love their work and want what's best for them even though it is tempting to subscribe to streaming platforms for downloads but I don't do that. I do stream the ones I don't have and the ones I've already bought in digital cd and vinyl on free accounts. It won't benefit the artists' work if I was to subscribe to streaming for downloads and some of them I know personally are friends of mine.

I won't do it. Don't get me wrong though, I love having my whole collection in my phone too because I can carry a whole music library in digital form on my phone and spin them in the car. It's very convenient that way but it doesn't sound the same as a cd or vinyl does to me anyway so I love all three forms. What we all should do is organize a movement to remove paid subscription downloads and keep streaming for streaming alone not downloading. If the folks want downloads then the artist should get the pay for our work because it is incredibly expensive to produce music. Then turn around and offer us streaming royalties only and Apple Music / Spotify / and all the others pocket millions of dollars for download subscriptions. It isn't fair at all. They need to put an end to this . Or the distributors should make an option to exclude download subscriptions the same way they make an option to exclude territories and countries right from the publishing dashboard. That's the way we need to go with this!!!!!!!!!!!!

9. What’s next for Retched?

The next step for RETCHED is to fuel this initial blast for this new single the title track "HORRIFIC" and raise the awareness of the Heavy Metal nation worldwide that RETCHED is alive and well in 2021!!! and I'm coming at the world loud and proud!!!! I'm also preparing the rest of the album and will be releasing it in due time prospectively somewhere in late 2022 for the full length album HORRIFIC it will be available in Digital - CD's and Vinyls so be prepared the single sets the tone of what's to come!!!! You can find it at these locations:

Official website

"Horrific" video

Available on all digital retailers such as: Bandcamp, Apple Music and many more.

Amazon (physical release)

Follow me on Facebook!

Follow me on Twitter!

10. Any shoutouts?

Shout outs to My Wife Yvonne DerMinasian and my family, all my fans for their support, Zach Moonshine at Metal Devastation Radio and my graphic artist: Yan Sek for his awesome contribution at: https://www.yansek.net

I’m doing a live radio interview this Sunday Mar 28 at 9am Pacific Time with James Lowe from the JIGGY JAGUAR SHOW at: KJAG Radio | Bringing The Underground to the Mainstream.

Past interview with Metal Devastation Radio