Former I Take This Oath band mates formed Asylus last year and burst onto the California post hardcore scene. Asylus has enough energy to get any venue moving so this writer caught up with the band before their show at House of Blues Anaheim to find out exactly why more and more fans keep heading to every one of their local shows. The band’s drummer Mel Torres also gave By the Barricade an exclusive look into the inner workings of Rare Catalyst studios.
Nazaret Munoz: VOCALS
Tyler Casanova: Vocals/Bass
Jordan Damasco: Guitar
Alan Hernandez: Guitar
Mel Torres: Drums
By The Barricade: Asylus is slated to play a free show at House of Blues Anaheim in Downtown Disney on May 28th. Will the band be at Disneyland before their show?
Jordan: Definitely! I have to get my Wetzel Pretzel on before we play.
Alan: If I still had my annual pass I would be at Disneyland prior to playing
Tyler: I’ll probably walk around Downtown Disney for a bit just to hang out. Come and say hi!
Mel: I’ve been to Disneyland so many times as a kid. The elementary school I went to was also called Walt Disney Elementary. I had Mickey Mouse pancakes for breakfast when I was 5. I got Disneyed out.
Nazaret: No, Disneyland is a proud supporter of the illuminati and I’m broke as hell.
Nazaret: I would date Rapunzel because I like her long hair.
Jordan: I know for a fact it’s not princess Jazmine. I don’t feel like being mauled by a tiger if things don’t work out.
Alan: All Disney princesses have a lot of issues or evil witches trying to ruin their lives. I’m not about that life.
Mel: I would date Arial but I’m allergic to fish…
By the Barricade: Mel, you are currently producing Shot in the Dark’s debut EP at Rare Catalyst Studios. Has your time with Asylus changed the way you produce albums?
Mel: Yes, the majority of the music that I record is post hardcore because I meet people in the hardcore scene through Asylus, but things that I would say define Asylus live are: live harmonies, guitar parts that complement one another, and backtrack/production work. Many bands come to me in search of those things and I wish to give them nothing short of that.
In my time with Shot in the Dark I wanted to emphasize the band as a whole not just Jacob (the vocalist) or Austin (the guitarist). Many bands these days are vocally biased with small guitar licks, but at Rare Catalyst I am here to produce a band, not a singer with background musicians. If a guitarist can sing I will definitely encourage them to step into the vocal booth to support the main vocalist. I hold all my vocalist clients to a higher standard because of my experience with Asylus. I only wish to bring out the best in a band during their stay here at Rare Catalyst Studios.
By the Barricade: Mel, what other local bands do you wish to support at your studio?
Mel: I would definitely love to work or do more with bands like: Of the Void, Heroes Make Villians, The Difference, Face the Throne, Season of Kings, All But Forgotten, Of Euphoria, and The Residence. Some bands that I know who are working with other producers who I definitely support are Just Breathe, I of Helix, On the Shoulders of Atlas, REVIVER, Redeem/Revive, and Gates of Ivory.
By the Barricade: How has having a recording setup shaped the band?
Alan: We are extremely fortunate of not only having a recording studio set up with a talented audio engineer guiding our recording endeavors, but also living VERY close to one another so we come straight in and record.
Tyler: It’s honestly a privilege and a luxury to have the setup because we basically make scratch tracks of the songs we plan on recording.
Nazaret: Having the advantage of pre-producing scratch tracks before we have our final track done helps us fine tune all of our songs.
Jordan:While jamming out a concept at practice is great, having a recording setup allows us do various things on the spot, such as leads, harmonies, sampling, and shaped chord progressions.
By the Barricade: Some members of Asylus were previously in I Take This Oath. How has that influenced your current sound?
Mel: Everyone in Asylus has played music together with each other prior to this band at some point. Alan was my bassist for a power pop band called Emerging from Below. Tyler played bass for a side project called Face the World and also filled in bass for I Take This Oath on our last show. Jordan’s, Naz’s, and my experience in I Take This Oath taught us each other’s weaknesses and strengths in our personalities and skills.
Tyler: The ideas and creativity from I Take This Oath carried over into Asylus and basically set a foundation for what we all wanted in a band.
Jordan: I Take This Oath has and always will be my roots, it was just a ton of trial and error. I’ll bring that Asylus sound that our fans have come to love, but will still implement some of the same core concepts that we’ve shaped in I Take This Oath.
Nazaret: It really helped us become familiar with each other’s sounds and influences rather than having a bunch of guys who have never jammed together. It really helped us out a lot in the long run the way I see it because we wrote our first set list with little struggle.
Alan: I would love to go to Japan. I love their atmosphere of morals and values. From music, to theater, to art, and anime. The scenes there are unique and something unfathomable to us here in the United States.
Jordan: Germany or Japan hands down! The metal scene over there is phenomenal and the people love it! Just the energy, the excitement and joy that they have when I see those music festivals held over there is unreal and I would love to be a part of that
Tyler: I’d want to go to Italy. I’m really interested in the arts and architectural structures there, and Italian food is my favorite.
By the Barricade: Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of By the Barricade?
Mel: Asylus is a spin off the word “asylum” which translates to safety. Our listeners can feel safety in us, our members, and our fan base. We don’t believe in fans. We believe in a community that can share each other’s struggles and endeavors. Don’t believe we’re ever too good to talk to you. Friend us on Facebook! If you’re local, come hang out with us! Our message is to promote nobility, unity, and self-awareness.
Nazaret: No matter how many times you fail at your dreams, one must realize that failure is merely a state of mind, not a state of being. Learn to cut losses and pick up the pieces.
Jordan: I love talking to fans of ours or just about music in general and there is just so much more to learn. I write this music of course to express myself, but alsoto connect with all of you!
Tyler: We’re just 5 guys having fun and spreading our message. If you want to get to know us more, feel free to hit us up on our social media accounts and we promise we’ll get back to you!