Pyramids on Mars: Interview with Kevin Estrella
Meet the Canadian musician Kevin Estrella from Pyramids on Mars in this exclusive interview for Front Row Magazine. Check out what he has to say about his music, his new Album, his ambitions as a musician and much more.
Front Row Magazine (FR): You’re Band is called “Pyramids on Mars”. Tell us something about that name an how you got the idea for it.
Kevin Estrella (KE): I put a lot of thought behind the name Pyramids on Mars. It has to do mostly with my philosophies on life, the universe, and our place in it. NASA has done a great job of covering up. Creating a false alternate reality to what they know to be up on the Moon and Mars and other artifacts that can be found in our very solar system. My music reflects uncovering the truth and raising consciousness on this planet. Pyramids actually do exist on Mars. My music has a lot of spacey elements with the use of analog keyboards, but is also tied together with a lot of influences from metal, industrial, classic rock, and classical music.
FR: How would you describe your music?
KE: I am the ‘Joe Satriani of the North!! Music from the Mystical Red Planet’. That is a good question as I write a lot of songs that change genres. One song is hard rock, another is Djent, another is dance, another is slow and melodic, another is industrial, another is metal. I think that is another reason I just call myself the Satrani of the North. That way people know it’s guitar driven instrumental rock, but this guy comes from Canada. So we can expect ANYTHING from him!!
FR: Are all of your songs instrumental or do you have songs with lyrics as well?
KE: All my music is instrumental. There are no lyrics (other than samples I sometimes put in, coming from my industrial influence from bands like Ministry). My guitar is the vocals. I find singing highly overrated and not enough focus is put on Melody. My biggest inspirations our JS Bach and Vivaldi Baroque composers. They are the masters of Melody. I have spent years studying what makes something melodic. I have learned how to make a catchy melody. So what I am doing on stage today was the norm 300 years ago. What also makes me unique compared to many other bands, is that I am not stuck to just one style of music. I am influenced by many bands and I write songs in many different band styles. There is so much more that I want to do musically. I have an advantage over other bands that I can transform like a chameleon. I may play different styles of rock music but it is all tied together through myself my influences and who I am.
FR: You’re working on a new album, right? When will it be released and what can we expect?
KE: We just released our newest CD as a pre-release. The official release date is September 8th 2015. It’s awakening a lot of people. The biggest thing I hear from the magazines and radio stations is knowbody plays music like this anymore. I think there is so much garbage music out there, or music that is only half-hearted. I try not to pay attention to what others are doing and just feel my own energy source resonate.
Pyramids on Mars second release ‚Echo Cosmic‚ takes listeners on a new musical journey. It is a powerful, high energy album that will make you drive like a Nascar racer through the canyons of Death Valley. Echo Cosmic is a stripped down album, putting more emphasis on thick, heavy rhythm guitars, pumping bass and drums, tied together with sophisticated, soaring melodic lead hooks. Any fan of Metallica, Satriani or Vai will love this CD.
I personally set out to make Echo Cosmic the best work I have ever done that would turn heads, or spark something inside people to make them feel enlightened. And it is succeeding. I almost cannot take credit for the music because it is like it was channeled through me from another realm of consciousness. Some songs came to me in dreams, in fact. The song ‘Dream Division’ came in a dream.
I dreamed I was watching an interview with Joe Satriani. He was sitting at a recording console. They were asking him about a new CD he was working on. They asked if he had anything he could play for us. He threw on this song. As the song went on it got more and more interesting. I said to myself “man, I wish I would write like that”. It was then I realized I was dreaming, and Joe hadn’t written the song! I immediately woke up, grabbed a piece of paper and wrote out the song. Then recorded it exactly how I heard it in my dream. But as I said, it’s hard to take credit for it, when it was just like walking up to your stereo, turning it on, a song starts playing and somebody turns to you and says, this song doesn’t exist. Here you go, it’s yours!! I think it was given to me by Aliens.
FR: What are you most excited about as an artist?
KE: The freedom of creativity. I also enjoy being a solo artist. I get to dive right into my own mind and create exactly what it is I hear. Pyramids on Mars takes all my influences and everything I am and puts it into one stream of consciousness. I also find I have learned a lot about myself and my own approach on the guitar through songwriting. I have learned from myself of techniques I truly love to do on guitar. I will be working on a song in the studio. I will get an idea, record it, and then weeks later listen back and be influenced by myself. It’s really amazing actually.
FR: Is there a big festival you would like to perform at?
KE: There are several. There is a local one here in Hamilton called the James Street North, Supercrawl. Last year there was over 80,000 people who attended it! Every year I harass the organizers to let Pyramids on Mars play. I think with the momentum we have created with the release of our latest CD Echo Cosmic, we will get that chance to play in 2016.
FR: And why on that festival?
KE: Funny thing, is the festival takes place on James Street North. I lived there for 9 years! If they really want to showcase the talent from that street, then you would think they would have someone perform who lived there right? But you know, even Jesus wasn’t accepted in his home town of Nazareth 🙂
FR: Have you ever been on a concert or festival as a fan?
KE: Many many times. My brother and I are always going to concerts. It’s what we do. There is nothing more amazing than being at a live show with thousands of people and hearing amazing music from your favorite bands.
FR: Which bands did you see and what was your favorite moment?
KE: So many bands I have seen live. Favorite moments? Seeing Rush live for the first time. It was actually my first concert. The Hold Your Fire tour 1988. It was then I realized what I wanted to be doing with my life, playing in front of crowds that size.
The list is huge. You will notice many bands on this list that we will never get to see live ever again 🙁 Rush x 5, Peter Gabriel, Nine Inch Nails x 2, A Perfect Circle x 2, Dream Theater x 3, Iron Maiden x 2, Primus, Sevendust x 2, David Bowie x 2, Megadeth x 3, Dio, Sepultura, Joe Satriani x 4, Fear Factory, Symphony X, Motorhead, Finger 11, Steve Vai, Manteca, Pantera, Billy Idol, The Look People, Type O Negative x 2, Ozzy Osbourne x 3, White Zombie, Sting, Leona Boyd, I Mother Earth, Brain Toy, Nash the Slash, Danzig, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Rob Halford, The Cure, Moxy Fruvus, Soundgarden, Ministry x2, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube, Fly Banger, Duran Duran, Meshuggah x 2, Planet X x 2, Queensryche, Tool, The Tea Party x 2, The lowest of the low, Baby Metal, Roger Waters (The Wall)
FR: Wow, that really is a long list. Now six questions that require quick-fire answers. Who is your favorite musician?
KE: J.S Bach (Baroque Classical composer 1685-1750), no one else even comes close to his level of musicianship, composition, sense of melody and harmony, and spirituality.
FR: Who is your favorite band?
KE: Always changing. Right now, for the last three years I have been on a straight Meshuggah diet. Every ten years there comes a band who is a complete paradigm shift in Music. 10 years ago it was Tool. Now it is Meshuggah.
FR: What’s your favorite song?
KE: My absolute favorite song in the whole world (and always has been) is the first side of the concept album Rush – Hemispheres. CygnusX-1, Book II: Hemispheres
FR: What’s the name of the first record you owned?
KE: Michael Jacksons Thriller
FR: At what age did you start playing guitar?
KE: 10 years old
FR: How many guitars do you have?
KE: 6, Ibanez JS-1 (the first Joe Satriani model ever released), Yngwie Malmsteen custom Fender Stratocaster (built myself from an ’88 Fender Stratocaster), Gibson Les Paul – Studio Gothic (the blackest guitar ever), Ibanez 7-String, Norman 12-String, and a Classical Guitar.
FR: Great. Now the last question. How can your fans stay in touch with you?
Another question I have been asked many times, do I think aliens are real?
The answer is absolutely 100% yes. How do I know this? Because I have been contacted directly by them. I AM AN ALIEN CONTACTEE.
Aug 21 2014 I saw a large orange/red two dimensional disc covered in plasma fly over our city. It flew right behind my back yard. Made no sound. I reported the sighting to MUFON. They did a complete investigation. Later this year I met up with them at the Alien Cosmic Exhibition in Brantford, Ontario. They were excited to see me. They told me they were doing a presentation on my sighting. It was deemed an authentic sighting. However, I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO SAW IT. I later found through other reports that it was verified there is no record of a sighting in Hamilton for that night. I was freaked out by this point. It is impossible in a city of 500,000 I am the only one to see this large object fly over the city.
I met with world respected Ufologist Grant Cameron. He is an expert in UFO/musician connections. His research has found that many many musicians are experiencers and have come forward with their alien contacts or abduction stories. The aliens are communicating their message to the world through musicians. Grant told me what happened to me being the only one to see the alien craft is not uncommon. The same happened to John Lennon in New York City.
Grant has concluded that the aliens are in direct contact with me. I am part of this special selected group of musicians chosen to raise consciousness of the alien presence on our planet. We as a species are on the horizon of a higher state of consciousness of spirituality, ESP, and possibly telepathy. Just like the aliens. My goal is to raise people to a new state of consciousness through my music.
FR: Awesome Kevin, thank you for your time and sharing this experience with us.