Boys Keep Swinging
Cease the Fatality shred the soft hardcore
John Rios and his band Cease the Fatality are living the real High School Musical.
How did Cease the Fatality start?
We started practicing together around January because we wanted to do the school talent show. So we just got a bunch of kids together who knew how to play stuff. From the talent show, we just started practicing more and playing shows.
What school, and how did the talent show go?
Segerstrom High in Santa Ana. We got a little trophy, second place. We lost to a rap group. That wasn’t fair, though.
’Cause they were put in the band category, and they aren’t really a band. They’re, like, a rap group, so it wasn’t really fair.
So you all go to the same high school?
Not anymore. Two of us go to Orange Coast College, and our other guitarist goes to Fullerton College. Two guys still go to Segerstrom.
Do you have a way you describe your music?
That’s a tough one. We play soft. I mean, it’s hardcore, but soft. We play soft hardcore, I guess.
Why is your band’s MySpace page myspace.com/ceasethefatalitynew? What’s the “new” for?
Well, we had another MySpace, but we kicked out our guitarist, and he stole the MySpace from us, so we had to make a new one.
Since you all went to the same school, is your band well-liked in Santa Ana?
We try to get out of Santa Ana because nobody here . . . We’re not really liked in our little town. The kids here like death metal and grindcore and punk. We don’t fit in. They don’t like the style of music we play, so we’re forced to go out of town to play. We don’t play any local shows in Santa Ana.
As a drummer, do you ever get tired of playing behind the rest of the band?
Not really. I’m kind of the band manager, so I’m the one who knows everyone. I don’t feel like I’m hiding in the back or anything. It’s not a problem.
When you say you’re the band manager, what are some of the things you have to take care of?
I book all the shows, basically. And I have to make sure everyone is going to practice, how everyone is doing in school, how they’re doing financially. It’s pretty much taking care of everyone.
Why would you check on how they’re doing in school or how they’re doing financially?
If they’re getting bad grades, their parents won’t let them come out to shows. We wouldn’t want that. Half of us are out of high school now. It’s just the little ones I have to take care of. But it’s no big deal. They’re all smart kids. They’re mature. They take care of their own business.
Does acting as the band’s manager ever cause conflict?
We’re just used to that now. From day one, I’ve been going to shows more than everyone else, so I know how the being-in-a-band thing works. They trust me.
How have the band changed since that first talent show?
We’re all progressing as musicians, and our music has just become more technical. We’re all getting better at our instruments. We’re maturing as a band now. Most of us are influenced by heavier music, and we’re starting to write like that now.
Do the band have a plan or goal?
Our main goal is to go on tour. Until that happens, we’re going to stay here and try to play as many shows as we can, try to get some exposure. The way I see it, if you don’t tour on your own, nobody’s going to notice you.
Do you ever think about what you would do from there?
The way I see it, it could be a full-time job touring all year long. That’s kind of what I want to do, but we’ll see what happens. I just started going to community college. I haven’t decided, but even if the music doesn’t work out, I’m still in school, so I’ll have something else to do. Could I also say hi to some friends?
Probably not, but go ahead.
There are some people who’ve stuck with us from the beginning. I want to thank them and our street-team leader Lana, who goes to every show. She spreads us like AIDS. She tells everyone about us. And my girlfriend, Kelcie.
For more information, visit myspace.com/ceasethefatalitynew.