It's a Saturday night at Soma and The Big Show is happening. All kinds of local hardcore bands are on the lineup and the mainstage is filled with eager fans. Killing the Messenger is standing with me outside before their set, ready to go play after this next band is done. Killing the Messenger is a five-piece metalcore band from good ol' San Diego, California. Their Facebook fan page has reached over 3,000 likes from kids in SD and beyond. There are so many kids waiting inside the venue who are stoked for their set. I got to catch up with Ahren Leepier and Willie Malpica before their big performance.

Three Hundredth - Killing The Messenger
Tunage: So, what do you guys do and what are your names?

Ahren: My name is Ahren, I'm vocals.
Willie: I'm Willie, I'm drums.

T: Nice to know! So you guys are going to play next, right?

Ahren: Yeah, we're after this next band.

T: How do you feel, are you nervous?
Willie: We're stoked!
Ahren: It's our first mainstage show, so we're all jumping around and excited!

T: Does it actually make you nervous to be playing?
Ahren: You're always nervous when you're playing a set, but then you get on and you're just like...

T: Adrenaline rush, right?
Ahren: Yeah.

T: How would you guys describe your music?
Ahren: Metal. It's hardcore.

T: What do you guys think of the hardcore scene in San Diego?
Ahren: There's two different kinds of hardcore scenes in my opinion. There's the local bands that the locals throw down for that they're chill with, then there's the bands who come around who are new that people don't really know of and it takes them a lot to actually get known as far as everyone goes in the local scene. But in the end, everybody gets along pretty well.

T: Yeah, definitely. What do you think of all the hostility in hardcore?
Willie: Some people are negative!
Ahren: We're not necessarily a band that spreads negativity. We're kind of like a goofy band. (Laughs.)

T: Haha. How long have you guys been playing music together?
Ahren: Willie and I have been playing for a year now. This band's been together for no longer than ten months.

T: Have you guys played anywhere besides San Diego?
Willie: We played in Mesa, Arizona.

Tunage: How was that?
Ahren: That was amazing.

T: Was it a different crowd?
Ahren: Definitely.
Willie: Different hardcore dancers, different type of people. We barely learned that people throw down a different way in a different state. And we were like, "What are these guys doing?!"

T: Haha. What are the band's influences?
Ahren: Most of us are influenced by August Burns Red, Texas in July, The Air I Breathe, Miss May I, and Veil of Maya.

T: If you guys were trying to attract some potential metal fans, what makes you different? What makes you guys worth listening to?
Willie: A black vocalist.
Ahren: I knew you were gonna say that! (Both laugh.) Well, our lyrics are mostly concept lyrics. I like to write stories as far as our music goes, so it's really interesting for people who aren't necessarily musicians to go and read the music and they can analyze it in whatever way they want. I've actually had people come up to me and try to describe the story I've written to me. And I think that's interesting. There's not that many bands who actually make concept albums because it takes twice as long to write a concept album than it does to write, "Oh, hi, I'm Ahren... (Makes screaming sounds.) You know what I mean? Breakdown #1, breakdown #3, at least I think so... (All laugh.)

T: So you guys think you've got something to show people? You're confident about it?
Ahren: We've come a pretty long way. We've had a drastic amount of member changes since we started this band and Willie and I are the last two original members in this band. As far as I'm concerned, him and I are proud of what we've done.

Keep yourself updated with Killing the Messenger for news, photos, and videos! Also check out the exclusive poster design from Tunage right here!

- Tunage

Written by Jordan Mafi

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