This week, Sifting stop by to answer the questions that matter.
TGR: Thanks for stopping by, please introduce yourselves?
Eduardo: Hey everyone, first of all, thank you for having us here. We are Sifting, a progressive rock band with modern metal influences from Los Angeles, CA.
I am Eduardo Osuna Gil, vocalist and guitarist. Richard Garcia on the lead guitar, Winston Jarquin on bass and Joey Aguirre on drums.
TGR: Can you tell us a little about the history of the band? Where did it all begin? How did you come together?
Eduardo: In 2008 I went through a really tough personal experience caused by the tragic loss of my family in a plane crash. I set my mind to retaking my lifetime dream called Sifting. While originally living in Caracas, Venezuela, I began writing original material and then gathered some friends from the local music scene and soon entered the studio to record the debut album. The band quickly gained popularity throughout Venezuela and I decided to relocate to the United States, and after three years looking for the right members, two LA locals, Richard and Winston joined the band. I met Winston when we went to the same school, Musicians Institute. Richard was friends with former guitarist Chris Eklund, a good friend of mine and also a former member in Sifting from 2014 to 2016. Six months after that, Joey, friends with Winston, joined to complete the current line-up.
TGR: Who or what do you cite as being influential to your sound? Do your influences extend beyond into film, prose, art, something else perhaps?
Winston: Dream Theater is definitively one that all of us have in common. Eduardo, who wrote most of the last album, loves Marty Friedman, Kitaro (whose music is very cinematic), Rata Blanca (Latin American Heavy Metal) and Green Day.
TGR: How would you describe the band sound? Who do you think your music will appeal to?
Joey: The sound is very massive and well-rounded in every aspect. It has a little bit of everything, so it’s hard to fit inside a single genre. I think the music can appeal to all kinds of people – not only metalheads but casual music listeners can appreciate it, too.
TGR: How does the songwriting process work? Do you write the music and lyrics collaboratively?
Richard: Well everything we do is collaborative with everyone in the band, but usually Eduardo or myself will come up with a riff or like little compositions. When we both sit down and write the whole song, it’s like we’re just copying something that’s already been written. Of course, it hasn’t and it’s in our heads, but Ed and I have a lot of the same thoughts so it’s cool to have the sort of chemistry. Other times I could just give Ed something, again a riff or small composition up to a minute or so, and he will turn it into a whole song which to me is incredible.
As far as lyrics, Ed writes most of them himself. But when he’s done he’ll share them with us and see what we think and what we can improve. Then once we all agree its set. Until we actually record the album though nothing is set in stone.
TGR: Is there any overarching theme with your music and if so where does this originate from?
Richard: We love to have everything in our music from crazy technical metal, ballads, instrumentals, and pop-oriented songs, but we like everything to still be challenging to play. So I guess our theme would be basically what the name “Sifting” is. Finding our favourite and purest parts of music and genres, combining them to make one sound.
TGR: Tell us about your instruments. Are you loyal to any particular brand? If so, why?
Winston: Yes! Our guitarist Eduardo has been with ESP and has always loved ESP that I can recall. He also uses ENGL products. He’s endorsed by both. You could say they are the brains of Sifting sound. They sound massive!
Richard is very dedicated to Ibanez Guitars too. There is something about the feel, sound and look of Ibanez he doesn’t seem to find on another instrument. He also uses ENGL amplifiers as well for the same reasons.
I use Tech 21. It has become the nerve centre of my rig. Whatever comes into my Bass DI driver comes out spilling magic and fire. We all use Pig Hog Cables and Audix microphones as well. OM 11 for Eduardo, OM 3 for backup vocals and a DP7 for drums. It can’t get any better!
Joey: I’ve been loyal to Tama drums, Paiste cymbals, Pro Mark sticks and Remo drumheads. It’s just what I’ve been playing my whole life so that’s what makes my personal signature sound. Although I use DW 9000 for double pedals and I recently got into DrumTacs, which is a really great product. Everyone should check them out; they make my toms sound perfect! I also want to give a huge shoutout to Audix Mics. I used the DP7s for the last tour with Sifting and they’re definitely everything a drummer can ask for: easy setup, and great for live shows and studio recordings! I can’t wait to start recording some play throughs with this gear, so be on the lookout for that.
TGR: How difficult is it to be heard? Social media is great for finding new talent, but there is also a lot of crap out there. How do you connect with listeners?
Winston: Social media can be tricky and definitively self-absorbed. When you have 4 people working as a team though it can be easy. It’s all about communicating, learning when to post, trial and error type thing.
We like to do Live sessions on whatever accounts we have available. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. When we rehearse we just go live for about the duration of that night’s practice set and somewhat engage with the audience. It keeps you active, and people get familiar with what you’re doing. They feel more involved knowing you’re human and actually practice. haha
Now the most difficult aspect of social media is content. Creating content that isn’t what you always post, with eye-catching captions, you just have to see what works and revise the posts.
TGR: Can you tell us about some of the highs and lows of your career so far?
Eduardo: I think the best accomplishments for Sifting is being lucky enough to attain a record deal, having a bunch of world-class endorsements like ESP Guitars, ENGL Amps and Audix Mics, to have toured all around the states, and to have recorded with such talented producers as Ryan Williams and Steve Evetts, being active only for the past 3 years in this country. Even friends from local bands have asked us how we did it in such a short time. We’re really grateful for this. About the lows, I don’t think there’s an accomplishment that’s not connected to some bittersweet memories. But I truly believe that everything that happens to us, including “the bad”, contribute to our evolution.
TGR: What does your back catalogue look like? What is your most recent release and how can we hear it?
Joey: Sifting is currently working on new material so I can’t wait to get in the studio for that. This next release is going to be crazy.
Our most recent release is Not From Here album, and you can hear it in Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, YouTube. You can find it pretty much everywhere!
Check out my album review for Not From Here
Sifting are a progressive metal band based in Los Angeles, CA who are strongly influenced by modern active rock. Their new album Not From Here was recorded and produced by award-winning producer Ryan Williams (Velvet Revolver, Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine). Not From Here was released worldwide on September 29, 2017, via Eclipse Records.
Sifting was founded in 2010 by front man Eduardo ‘Edu’ Gil while originally living in Caracas, Venezuela. After suffering the loss of his mother and grandmother in a tragic plane crash, Edu began writing original material to cope with the loss of his family. He gathered some friends from the local music scene and entered the studio to record their debut album. The band quickly gained popularity throughout Venezuela and when Bullet for My Valentine was seeking support on their Latin American Tour in 2011, Sifting was the obvious choice. In 2012, the band completed a series of tours around the country, and finally released the album All the Hated in late 2013. Shortly thereafter, the band toured with Zapato 3, one of Venezuela’s most popular classic rock bands. Around the same time, their single “All The Hated” was chosen for the insanely popular Rock Band videogame. It was at this time after the success of their debut album, that Edu and his band received a significant influx of fans from the United States. They quickly realized that if they wanted to get the band recognized on a worldwide stage, they would need to relocate to the United States of America.
In early 2014, Edu and Abelardo Bolano (the drummer) left everything behind and moved to Los Angeles, CA – the rock capital of the world. It wasn’t that difficult for them, as they had some help from several fans which were anxiously awaiting their arrival. Edu and Abelardo quickly brought in Wins Jarquin on bass and Richard Garcia on guitar. The band was now reborn. Their American fans were thrilled at the band’s arrival stateside, and Sifting started doing what they do best… gigging and writing new material for a second full-length album.
Things started happening quickly for the band. They were able to line up endorsement deals with ESP Guitars, Engl Amplification, and Spector Guitars (just to name a few). In 2015, they caught the attention of producer Steve Evetts(Suicide Silence, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Sense’s Fail) and recorded a three song EP entitled Blurry Paintings. From there, the band was approached by Ryan Williams, who recorded and produced their debut full-length album Not From Here in late 2016. Immediately afterwards, the band hit the road for a thirty-date North American tour. They have consistently performed up and down the West Coast since.
The band signed with Eclipse Records in the Spring of 2017, and released their debut full length album Not From Here on September 29, 2017.