Vince Santonastaso – Vocals
Kevin Cust – Guitar
Blair Smith – Drums
Fernando Carrera – Bass
James Soto – Guitar
Beautiful, humble, balanced and intelligent - a perfect dream. Hailing from New Jersey, where countless famous acts have been discovered, you will find Symetria. Pleasing the musical taste buds of thrash, power metal, metal, hardcore, classic rock and straight up rock ‘n’ roll fans alike, Symetria’s mission is to connect with their fans and touch their lives as music has touched theirs.
Vince Santonastaso (vocals) and Kevin Cust (guitar) met playing in an Iron Maiden, JudasPriest and Metallica cover band. But Vince knew after playing for over 15 years, it wastime for more, and boy was Kevin ready too. In their eyes, Symetria wasn’t even a concept yet but little did they know this was just the beginning. Fernando Carrera (bass) was anold friend of Kevin’s, came to jam after moving back from California and blended right in. The missing piece was Blair Smith ( drums) who, by luck of the draw, they found on Bandmix. He came in on a rainy, muddy Sunday afternoon, and he made it thunder. His style and ability to bounce around, change time and lay a groovy beat made the band bring him back. And so Symetria was born.
Symetria spent the fall jamming and writing. They had 7 songs ready to play but were still missing that second guitarist they needed to really solidify the bands sound and power. But finding “the one” was proving to be more difficult than expected. Regardless, the band took their first show in November 2016, a Toys for Tots benefit in PA, and the response theyreceived was overwhelming. The rest was history.
The band engaged with Tim McMurtrie, an old contact from a previous band and also the original guitarist for M.O.D., and his new label Tripsquad Records. Symetria started recording their full-length album at Trax East, produced by Eric Rachel and Tim. While all of this was going on, Symetria hopped on a friends show in Allentown, PA and thecrowd ate it up - further solidifying they were really onto something. The recording wasdone and sounded so full, so powerful and so intense. Now, it was time to add thesecond guitarist. Enter James Soto (guitar). While James isn’t on the full-length, his influence is. Behind the scenes, Kevin jammed with James, teaching him all of the music, making his audition for Symetria gig-level acceptable.
What sets Symetria apart from the ever-growing metal scene is not just their unique sound, but their humanitarian roots. As a band, they’ve lived. They’ve been around the block a few times and their goal isn’t only to sell out shows and make a global name for themselves. From animal shelters to habitat for humanity, Symetria want to be known as ambassadors for helping people and giving back.
Symetria’s debut album is slated for release September 29, 2017 on Tripsquad Records. The very same weekend, Symetria will share the stage with idols and metal icons OVERKILL. With two big milestones in such a short time for young band, Symetria hasproven they are in it for the long haul. Horns up!
Your music is Judas Priest, meets Avenged Sevenfold, why is it so important as musicians to stay true to your roots?
Blair – Honestly I think we are a bit more than that, we try not to be stuck in the past, while staying true to your roots is a noble endeavor you risk becoming irrelevant. We are all a sum total of our parts and we all have different influences that make us who we are as musicians and help us establish our musical identity. You need to keep fighting to do things a little different, be creative and innovate while alluding to your past and not play just like your influences , that has already been done .
James – I think it’s important because of the next generation that’s gonna be grabbing an instrument and making music. They should know what started it all and where the foundation lies for this music that we love. There’s a reason why many of these early metal bands are still so relevant today even among the younger crowd, it’s just great music, simple as that. At the same time we should be striving to build and expand on those roots, always moving forward without getting stuck in the past.
Vince – Why change the recipe for success, the challenge lies in finding ways to create new music with the old feeling, that’s how you re-connect with old heads, and bring in the young crowd at the same time.
Playing in cover bands in the past and now an original band, what are some differences you can decipher ?
Blair – The last cover band I was in was a loooong time ago . The ability to create my own sound and establish my own niche as a musician is something I have always wanted . Cover bands are all about playing and perfecting your skills so you can play someone else’s part. While there is always a place for this in the music world there is a danger as you can lose yourself and all of the things that make you unique; you didn’t take up an instrument and invest all that time to play someone else’s music . If you did have at it , you will make a lot of money and have a full gig schedule and I wish you nothing but success and happiness . That was just not in my cards .
Vince – Covers can be fun, and I’ll always enjoy jumping up with friends that are playing a bar and doing a Metallica song or something like that, but it’s still someone elses music. If you love it, and that’s what your happiest doing that’s great, I want to create, and there’s no creating when your playing covers. I used to think covers were easier, that’s not necessarily true, when everythings clicking you can write a song faster then learning somebody elses. On the flipside the response is always greater doing covers, at least at first, and all your friends will come out and see you every time you play.
Your newest album will be available via Tripsquad records, can you explain how all this came to fruition?
Blair – Vince’s relationship with Tim goes back a way , I guess the old adage never burn your bridges is true . It is a bridge we walk across today .
Vince – I’ve know Tim for a number of years, he had just released his bands full length, after an EP a year or so earlier, so I called him to ask about the differences between the 2, knowing that they re-recorded the EP songs for the full length I wanted to know if the EP was a step worth skipping. For us going full length right away made more sense especially considering theres so many different feelings to our sound that picking 3-4 songs for an EP was nearly impossible. That conversation led to him telling me about this label he was starting, a life long dream of his, and it just worked that his dream of a label, and my dream of a professionally released album all clicked together.
What are some of the bands goals?
Blair – To be happy, creative , make a difference in music, in the world and enjoy the journey .
Vince – To cross the lines of the metal community and break the sub-genre lines. I want to be the band that brings it all back to the basics, Heavy Metal Rock & Roll. Horns up in the air, heads banging, hair flailing around, body moving the whole time were playing. No haymakers, and round house kicks, we ain’t about that. Have a good time, feel good, and love eachother. I remember going to huge metal shows, tens of thousands of people all together, smiling, bobbing there heads, waving there arms, fists in the air, and everyone being there to be together. I want to see the brotherhood strengthen again, and I want to be a part of it.
You’re playing with Overkill at the end of the month ( September 29th), can you explain what it means to share the stage with these legends?
Blair – It means a ton, Overkill are guys who found the formula , they innovate , create new exciting original great music with every album . Personally now that Jason Bittner is playing with them it takes on an even more important tone . He is a guy I have followed since his Shadows Fall days and is a drummer that few can come close to in the musical world . It will be a humbling, emotional, surreal experience and to say I was not nervous would be a lie lol….
James – To open for such an influential band that is still going strong and putting out consistently good music is amazing. I’ve been counting down the days and I can’t wait!
Vince – For me it’s a dream come true, Bobby was the first guy that made me want to be a singer. To share the stage with legends like them the day after our album releases is amazing.