When the moshing starts before the band takes the stage, you know Upon A Burning Body is about to play. Rockers Danny Leal (vocals), Ruben Alvarez (guitar), Rey Martinez (bass), and Tito Felix (drums) brought old favorites, exciting new songs, and good old Texas pride as they headlined the All Stars Tour in Cleveland.
It is a classic connection. Metal music shares many of the same elements as classical music. It can evoke a myriad of emotions from happiness to devastating sorrow through the movement of music in each piece. Vocals in metal music are similar to the voices in a symphony, not exactly lyric driven, but more a part of the music itself. Alvarez explained, “When this whole genre was created I felt that the vocals were really just another instrument. It wasn’t really a vocal, but a noise or sound (in the music)”. By considering the voice as an instrument, the music becomes more powerful by using the sounds to create emotional reactions. The high energy of metalcore is what inspired Upon A Burning Body to write the music they play today.
Learning is growing. There is still much to learn for Alvarez, who believes every day is a chance to discover more about music. Martinez would like to know more about reading sheet music and theory. Playing large festivals, as well as smaller, more intimate venues, Upon A Burning Body has had the opportunity to explore how their music can grow with them. They enjoy the close contact with fans at clubs, but there is something magical about a crowd of thousands singing along with you. Alvarez is dedicated to continuing education and has been known to share his knowledge of the music business in a series of Skype lessons, offered at a minimal cost to fans who want to know more about the music business.
Nice to meet you. With so much information available on a 24-7 basis, it is easy to feel like you know someone before you actually meet in person. In the song, “The New Breed” a profound lyrical statement says, “Don’t bro me if you don’t know me” pointing out that knowing about someone is not the same as knowing someone. Social media is a good way to connect, but cannot replace in-person interaction. Upon A Burning Body relish meeting fans face-to-face and savor the interactive shows they play.
Hey, now, you’re a rockstar. The members of Upon A Burning Body came from humble beginnings in Texas, with a dream and a desire to succeed in an unforgiving industry. They paid their dues and were thrilled when fans responded, record sales increased, and the tour bus became home. No matter what came along, Upon A Burning Body kept working, always pushing forward to become better musicians. It was a single moment at the Soundwave Music Festival in Australia that demonstrated how their dedication and determination paid off. Alvarez describes, “I think that was when I felt like I was part of something bigger. Much bigger, because the artists that were there were, like, so many legends.” It was thrilling to look around and see the bands they admired and listened to growing up and realize that Upon A Burning Body was playing on the same stage. Martinez added, “What made it more real was, that after a little while, they (other artists) knew who we were. So, that’s what made it more real. Then, when they saw us, they would say hi and recognize us.” Being well received by fans is amazing, but being recognized by legendary musicians was validation that Upon A Burning Body was on the right track.
Fairy tales can come true. One of the most important lessons Upon A Burning Body has learned is that no matter what your dreams are, you have to have faith in yourself. The song, “Bring the Rain” is a message of support for any person who reaches for the stars. Lyrics declare, “Raise the flags/Rev the engines/let’s find something to believe in/Raise the flags/Rev the engines/We are something to believe in” in a message of encouragement for all ages. Trusting in your own abilities is the first step to achieving your dreams…no matter how out-of-reach they seem. When you believe in yourself, anything is possible.
In 2010 I heard The World is Ours, the first album by Upon a Burning Body, and was instantly hooked by the hard-driving beats, rapid guitar riffs, and the very articulate unclean vocals. Followed by Red. White. Green in 2012 and the newest release, The World Is My Enemy Now, Upon A Burning Body has solidified their place in the metal music scene. Leal began by inviting the audience in when he asked them to ‘come dance with me’ as the music hit like rapid-fire machine guns and remained unrelenting throughout the set. The stage show is magnificent with four smoke towers accentuating the stage and dynamic music. From the first song to the last, the crowd never slowed down, as they celebrated a night of high energy, interactive music with the band. Signed to Sumerian Records, Upon A Burning Body will continue to tour the world as they work on their next full-length album.