February 18, 2016

Carlo Marquez: Stolas Then and Now

stolasFollowing some tours supporting their sophomore album, Allomaternal, Las Vegas band Stolas parted ways with lead vocalist Jason Weiche, forcing some tough decisions for the band. Drummer and backing vocalist Carlo Marquez spoke with us to discuss what fans can expect from Stolas and what they’ve been up to since the change.

The Stolas camp has been quiet for a while, what have you guys been doing for the past few months?

We have songs that we are recording soon. It’s just a couple of demos. Lots of writing for now.

Walk us through the whole change that the band went through.

Jason was really busy and his departure ended up being a mutual thing. After that my thought was that if we get a singer he’s gotta be at least better than me. And if we get a new drummer, he’s gotta be better than me too. At least, that’s what I want. [Laughs.] In the end we decided I should move to the front of the stage and do all the lead vocals. I’m glad that’s the plan because I can’t imagine anybody else singing Jason’s parts.

You and Jason have a pretty long history of playing music together- is that correct?

Yeah, we’ve been friends since I was like 5. I wouldn’t be playing drums or maybe even making music if it wasn’t for Jason. His brother was in a band and he wanted to do the same thing so I asked for drums for Christmas and I got like a really shitty kit. He got a guitar, and we just started playing music right away.

How are things between you guys now? Is it weird to to no longer be working together?

It is kind weird, but it’s not that weird. I understand the situation. Jason’s super busy and he’s got a lot of things going on. Sometimes I feel like there’s a little something missing because I really do love his songwriting and I loved his lyrical content. I’m gonna have to really push myself to fill in that gap.

Was there ever any talk of breaking up Stolas?

There was. There was a talk about murdering Stolas and creating a new band for a little bit. I’ve never been in a situation like this before. I’ve been in a few bands and usually when a member has left we’ve decided to call it quits and try something new. With Stolas we all decided we were pretty confident and comfortable with what we already have and what we can do with it.

Now that you’re taking on lead vocals, are you going to be screaming as well?

No, I’m not gonna scream. Sergio is gonna do some screaming and like, I can scream a little bit. We’re still figuring that part out because I don’t know how to properly scream. I’ve been trying to learn how to but I don’t quite get it. It’s something really weird to me that I just don’t understand. When we recorded our first album Living Creatures I did some screaming but after I did my takes my head was hurting like fucking crazy and my voice was shot.

Who is this mystery man that’s coming in to drum?

His name is Carlos. [Laughs.] Carlos Silva. He’s a monster, and he’s nuts on drums.

How is songwriting going with this new addition to the band?

The songwriting is pretty much the same as it was for the last album. It’s just me, Sergio and RJ sitting around writing parts and finding things we like to try and build on.

You’re still going to write all the drums then?

Yeah. We’ll write the songs and then when we play live Carlos will play my drum parts and I’ll go up and sing.

How has this transition been so far?

It’s been super weird. Like really really weird because I love singing and I love playing drums. I also love being able to both so having to choose one was tough. I’ve been super super torn with the whole thing.

Are you planning to perform any of your set from the drums?

Well we’re gonna put on a little bit of a show. I don’t want to be giving out information just yet. I’ve been a lead singer before and it’s fun moving around on stage when there are no vocals but it’s a lot more fun when you have auxiliary percussion, ya know?

When can we expect to see the new format of Stolas on stage?

We’re playing the SO WHAT?! Music Festival and South by South West and that’s definitely gonna be the beta test. It’s gonna be the first appearance of Stolas 2.0.

What’s the next move for Stolas 2.0?

Our goal is to write an album that is way better than Allomaternal and Living Creatures. We’re going to really revamp Stolas. Do you know what Stolas is?

No clue. What is it?

He’s a demon owl with raven legs. He’s got a little crown on his head too because he’s a prince.

Did you guys invent him?

No, if you look it up there’s this like weird Wikipedia page with all these demons and one of them is Prince Stolas. He studies astronomy and he’s a teacher. It’s a very weird thing. So pretty much our goal is to make him buff. So we’re gonna make that little guy really buff, and that sort of defines where we want to take things going forward.

How did he become the namesake of the band?

Well it was either Stolas or Calcifer, which is this little fire creature from an animated movie called Howl’s Moving Castle that’s voiced by Billy Crystal. [Laughs.] We thought that one was a little too weird.

Are you going to miss drumming live at all?

Definitely, but I’m taking any opportunities I can do it.

Keep an eye out for the new Stolas as they hit the road with A Lot Like Birds, Hail The Sun and The Ongoing Concept this Spring.

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