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INTERVIEW: DANIEL TREJO of Shattered Sun – June 2015

| 10 June 2015 | Reply

Mayhem season is upon us.  As the dates approach for the launch of the annual touring metal festival, we are getting access to some of the biggest bands out there, as well as some of the best up-n-comers around.  First on our plate is the Alice, Texas band Shattered Sun, which will be showcased on the Victory Records stage.  Guitarist Daniel Trejo took some time out to chat with us about the bands recent disc, touring on Mayhem, and more.

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Toddstar: Daniel, Thank you so much for taking time out for us. We appreciate it. There’s a lot going on in the world of Shattered Sun right now. Let’s start with Mayhem.

Daniel: Yeah.

Toddstar: What does that mean to a band like you guys, to be able to come out and hit one of the biggest rock tours out there?

Daniel: To be able to go on Mayhem Fest is a big honor for us, because it’s been going on… this’ll be what, its fifth year? Did it start in 2010, I think, somewhere around there? It’s a big honor, because there’s been a lot of bands, amazing bands that have toured the Mayhem Fest, which is really good, because I remember back in the day when there was Ozzfest, and you had Sounds of the Underground, and then Vans Warped Tour always been there. You’re like, Ozzfest isn’t here, and Sounds of the Underground isn’t here. It’s like, what’s next? Then Mayhem comes out, and it’s an honor for us South Texas guys to go out there and make a name for ourselves. Especially starting out, for our second tour, that’s pretty huge for us, because our first tour was with Testament and Exodus, and now hitting the Mayhem stage. We’re going to be out there with Slayer, King Diamond, and then some Victory acts, like Sister Sin, Feed Her to the Sharks. It’s pretty exciting to be out there, to see all these bands every day.

Toddstar: You mentioned Victory Records. You guys are on a stage that’s dedicated exclusively to Victory. They’re always bringing big bands to the show. You guys are being held in high esteem by the Victory Records people. What’s it like to have a label like Victory behind you guys, especially when you guys recently released a new disc?

Daniel: Yeah, to have Victory Records behind us, and we’ve got our team from Victory. Ron, he’s our point man from Victory, and he helps us out all the way. He pushes us, especially for radio, and getting our name out there. Just hooking up with that Victory team, you know, we did the music video for “Hope Within Hatred,” and it was great working with that team. Helping us just get our name out, and Victory Records has treated us really well, man. Especially, all of us were excited just to land that first Testament tour, and then, “Hey, you guys come out. We signed you guys, your album is out, let’s continue this roller coaster.” Hey, we’re on Mayhem. Hey, now we’re going to do Soilwork and Soulfly. To have Victory Records by our side, it’s a really good team, man. They’re really good people, and we’re family, you know?

Toddstar: Regarding the disc, Hope Within Hatred, the album’s been out about a month and a half, came out April 21st. How’s the album being received by the fans?

Daniel: It’s really good, to go out there and see, especially people like… we played in San Antonio, and then we played last year, we played River Stadium, and we played this year. To see a bunch of people wearing Shattered Sun shirts, especially from the pre-orders, it was really awesome to look out there and to see… like, “Whoa. I’ve never seen this person before, but they’re wearing our shirt.” You always play the local scene, so you know who comes out and who doesn’t, but seeing new people wearing our shirts is totally overwhelming. Our CD came out; I think we got number 1 on the CMJ loud rock chart. I’d say it’s doing pretty good, especially within the college music, so pretty stoked on that. Seeing the fans starting to know the lyrics and starting to come up to you and be like, “Hey, man, that riff from this song, or that song.” It’s just like, “Yeah.” You know? It’s really inspiring, makes me want to just continue writing better and more music.

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Toddstar: Sure. On the disc, what songs can we expect to hear live when you guys are out there on Mayhem this summer?

Daniel: Oh, on Mayhem, definitely we’re going to keep it fast paced, energetic, because I think for like the first four or five bands we have a 25 minute set, so we have 25 minutes to pretty much just rock out as hard as we can. Expecting songs from the album, of course we’re going to do “Hope Within Hatred.” Let’s see, “Waging War” keeps it going, “Ultimatum,” which we released a lyric video for. I think we’re going to throw in “Dead Set” and “No Sympathy” too, to add a little more aggression to the set this time, because definitely on the Testament tour, our set was more of a fast thrasher pace. We didn’t really have any time to slow down, you know what I mean? We would love to get more involved with the crowd. This time we have a little bit more time, which is good, and the focus is on the Victory stage, so it’s good for us to play a couple more songs. Especially on this tour, we can expand our set list, which is really good, man. I’m excited to see people actually singing the songs. I think we’re all excited to see that.

Toddstar: Sure. Mayhem’s a big deal, but you guys are also managed by Breaking Bands. I mean, you’ve got Maria Ferrero, you’ve got Chuck Billy, and you’ve got Johnny Z behind you. What’s it like for you guys to be able to take these legends and put them behind you?

Daniel: Yeah, they’re pretty much are legends, man. Johnny Z, MegaForce, Metallica, Anthrax, Overkill, I think Testament, and then Chuck Billy, Testament, Maria, PR, Adrenaline PR. Amazing team. They already set everything up for us; they handle everything so professionally done, over there at Adrenaline, the team and everybody. Everybody works great, and then Chuck, Chuck is there. He’s like our go-to guy when we have tour problems, or tour questions, because he’s done it all, man. He’s done it for like 25, 26, like 28 years, if I’m not mistaken? Johnny Z, you know, he helped start the biggest bands, a bunch of the biggest bands, especially the thrash bands. He’s been there since the 80s, so he saw that, too. 80s, 90s, the millennium, and then now. It’s pretty cool, learning from all of them. They’ve been through it, you know? It’s an honor to work with that team, just to be able to call Johnny Z… Especially to look up old pictures, and be like, “Man, that’s awesome.” Johnny Z with Metallica, or Johnny Z over there at a festival with Anthrax. It’s all cool, man.

Toddstar: One thing that sets you guys apart from a lot of the other thrash bands these days is the fact that your lyrics seem to be a little more positive, a little more upbeat, compared to a lot of other bands. Was that something you guys decided you wanted to do, or is that just how you guys write?

Daniel: I think it was Marcus. He writes all the lyrics, but it would be more of a positive thing, because to me and a bunch of the guys, it’s like we didn’t know there was so much hate. Because now you have the internet, and you have YouTube, you have Facebook, and they’re just so much hate comments everywhere. Its like, “Man, where’s the positive? Where’s the good? Where’s the ‘Come on, these guys are doing good.'” You know what I mean? We want to hear more of that. There has to be some positive, in the world, the music industry. You’re not death-core enough, or you’re not tech enough, you’re not dance enough. You know what I mean? We try and keep a positive feel, especially through the lyrics. Make you feel good, and especially that. I mean, Marcus still sings about some angry issues, of course, but we try to keep it positive.

Toddstar: Let’s get back to Mayhem for a second. When it comes to Mayhem, what band or bands are you most excited to watch, to go around?

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Daniel: I’m excited to see some of our Victory bands. I want to see Sister Sin. I was listening to them, they’re different. They’re more rock. I’m excited to see them. Feed Her to the Sharks. Of course, I want to see Slayer. HELLYEAH, too, Vinnie Paul. Hopefully get to meet him, talk about Dallas Cowboy football, and some barbecue would be pretty killer. Yeah, Slayer, HELLYEAH, King Diamond is on there. Who else? Sister Sin, Feed Her to the Sharks. I don’t know, pretty much what we try and do for the beginning is try and see all the bands. Try and make as many friends as we can, because that’s what it is in this business, you know? Try to make friends and connects, and then those connects hopefully lead you to more tours. Especially after Mayhem. You make friends, and that’s what our goal is. To make connects and be able to, “Hey, I think this band’s good, we’re friends with this band, let’s hit the road with them.” Especially because we’re on the same label. Not even if we’re, you know, but we’re in the same genre and we make friends, and “Hey, let’s hit the road together.” People like those stories. I remember it was in 2004, seeing Lamb of God, Unearthed, Atreyu, and Every Time I Die, and Corpus. They brought up that new wave of metal-core. I was like, “Okay, I want to see, who can we tour with?” People can look back and be like, “Oh yeah, I remember when those bands toured together.” That’d be exciting for the fans, and exciting for me, too.

Toddstar: That, to me, always been the joy of Mayhem. They’re so much different, as far as style goes. Listen, man, we’re very excited to see Shattered Sun hit Michigan, especially the Detroit area. We’re going to get a crack at you guys later in the year, when you’re out with Soilwork and Soulfly, but we’re very excited to see you hit the Mayhem stage here in July. Look forward to saying hello, and banging my head to some Shattered Sun thrash.

Daniel: Sounds good, Todd.

Toddstar: All right, Daniel. We’ll talk to you on July 11th at DTE Energy Music Theatre when you guys play Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.

Daniel: Sounds good, man. I’ll see you then.

Toddstar: All right, brother. Talk to you soon.

Daniel: All right, bye.

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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