Shroud Eater On What Makes Them Loud, Heavy, And…Geeky

Shroud Eater

Shroud EaterMaterializing from Miami, FL, Shroud Eater haven been melting faces and busting eardrums with their unique take on heavy-sludge for close to a decade now. Showing no sign of slowing down (unless of course, the beat calls for it!), the band has quickly become a local and national favorite. Join us here at Florida Geek Scene as we turn up the volume with Shroud Eater. Jean Saiz, Jannette Valentine, and Davin Sosa openly discuss oozing blood, musical influences, the virtues of art, and yes even some things “geeky”.

“…maybe it has something to do with the Cuban coffee bursting through our veins!”

Florida Geek Scene: First off, Jean, how are you feeling? I know you hurt yourself very recently. Do you want to tell us about that?

Jean: I’m feeling a bit better every day, thank goodness. I wish I had an awesome story involving ninjas, espionage, and battles with unearthly creatures that led to my head injuries, but sadly it’s a very ho-hum story of having low blood pressure and fainting… onto a concrete floor! My band-mate, partner in crime, and personal hero, Janette Valentine, was able to scoop me up and get my chin (which was flapping open at the time) in a better state, and most importantly get me to an ER with a quickness. While there, I slowly realized (although I don’t recall any of this) that I had blood steadily oozing out of my right ear… Oh, what a night! As it turned out, I have a hairline fracture in my jaw and ear canal (hence the bleeding), and a couple of nasty lacerations on my chin and eyebrow. I am expected to heal and it doesn’t seem my hearing will be permanently affected, however, currently my right ear is pretty muffled, which is hella’ frustrating. I certainly can’t wait to be able to hear my amps roaring in full glory!

Can you give us a brief history of the band and its members? How the band formed?

Jean: The band at its core is Janette and me, but “Shroud Eater” as a solid band started back in 2009. Janette and I had about 5 or 6 songs from our previous group (The Righteous Devices) that were heavier and definitely a blueprint for the music and mood we would begin to create and the style we would hone in on with Shroud Eater. From 2009 to 2013 Felipe Torres played drums for us, then in 2014 Davin Sosa joined us, not just on drums, but also has taken the reigns as recording engineer, as well as contributing with [both] live and recorded vocals and synths.

How many releases have you had?

Jean: We’ve had six releases, with a seventh coming out in a couple of weeks. We released our self-titled demo in 2009, our first full length “ThunderNoise” in 2011, we contributed a track to “Swamp Abyss Sorcery” compilation in 2012, our EP “Dead Ends” in 2013, the “Face the Master” EP in 2015, a split 7” with our heavy homies in Dead Hand was released in November 2016, in two weeks we will be releasing a special experimental noise track, and we are MOST excited about the release of our second full-length, “Strike the Sun”, which will be released by STB Records later this year.

If you had to pick a favorite song of yours could you? And if so what song and why?

Jean: Favorite songs vary for me – I think it has to do with how much singing the song requires of me, ha-ha. It’s hard to pick one, but I’ll say “Star and the Serpent” is a really fun one to play, and two new songs from our upcoming album have a lot of personal meaning for me so they are special to perform.


Shroud Eater

Photo by C-Rage Records

Have you all always wanted to play music?

Jean: I wanted to be in a band so bad when I was a teenager but never got the chance to for a variety of reasons. At 13 or even 18, I would have never thought that in my twenties and thirties I’d be writing and performing music, releasing records and traveling the states to support my music. It’s kind of surreal to think about, really.

Jan:  Since my early years I’ve been a metal/goth head and most of my early teen memories involve live shows and music videos, vinyl, and cassettes. As a teenager, I wanted to play guitar but when I realized how much the bass lines in songs I love made more sense to me, I naturally gravitated towards the bass. One of my middle school notebooks hold the words “I want to be in a heavy metal band when I grow up”, so yeah, I guess I’ve always wanted to play music.

Load, Cavity, Floor, Torche, and now you guys…Why do you think Miami has such a rich history of heavy bands?

Jean: Well firstly it’s an honor to be included in the same breath as those bands, but WHY does Miami spew out such rad heavy bands? I really couldn’t say – maybe it has something to do with the Cuban coffee bursting through our veins!

Davin: Ha! I’m sure there’s some goofy adage out there about how good music is born of hardship. Miami can be tough sometimes. What better way to escape the noise than to make your own?

What are some of your musical influences?

Jean: It is a varied list, but L7, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and Robert Smith take up as much influence in my brain as bands like High on Fire, Acid King, Yob, Neurosis, and Electric Wizard.

Jan: So many to list, but a brief list includes Death In June, PJ Harvey, Big Business,  Jesus Lizard, Sonic Youth, Melvins, Electric Wizard, Black Sabbath. The list can go on and on.

Shroud EaterHow about influences OUTSIDE of music?

Jean: Literature, the occult, esoteric writings, poetry and prose, the “strange and unusual” one might say.

Jan: I’d say the current state of affairs whether globally or personally affect me in such ways that drive me to write. Art, movies, and literature being the force that inspires me in more concrete ways. Our existence is so finite, yet lyrical and/ or musical interpretations are permanent.

Davin: Oh, everything. As to not tamper with what drew me to the band in the first place, I like the idea of the gals bringing me their unadulterated vision for a song, then adding my own ideas after. That being said, my contributions to the music are often inspired by a strange sound I hear during my commute to work or an errant warble made by the washing machine.

Most of your band members are artists outside of the band and outside of being musicians. Does this other art inform how you approach music and the band?

Jean: I approach both music and drawing in an instinctual way, that’s the easiest way I could put it. There isn’t a ton of overthinking or over-analyzing things for me, I tend to go with a “flow”, so to speak.

Jan:  I think I have an intuitive approach to both music and photography.  Much like Jean, I go with the flow.  I try not to get too tripped up with over-thinking the process. I like ideas to be organic, come as they are and exist as they may.

What would be a dream show lineup or tour lineup?

Jean: Dream tour lineup for me would be L7, Yob, Acid King, and ourselves jammed in there somewhere.

Jan:  I’ve been a die-hard Cult fan since I was a kid, so a cream dream lineup would totally be Shroud Eater supporting The Cult.

I love asking bands this: Best Churchill’s moment or memory?

Jean: Too many crazy, drunken memories to pinpoint just one, so I’ll say my best memory of Churchill’s was prior to the management switch, when the Pub was loud, lawless, and a bastion for the “everything and anything goes” way of life. The bartenders knew your name, everyone was welcomed, nothing was off limits… Nowadays, bands and people who’ve been intrinsic to the development of the “scene” and Churchill’s, in general, have been banned from playing, the vibe has definitely shifted and that’s a bummer.

Jan:  Definitely too many fun, inebriated moments to safely point out any particular memories.

What do you guys have planned for 2017?

Jean: We’re releasing an experimental noise track on Wednesday, February 8 to coincide with a performance at the International Noise Conference. and [as previously mentioned] early summer our new full length “Strike the Sun” will be released on STB Records, [plus] we’ll have a new song being included in an audio/visual compilation being released in the Fall, but that is top-secret right now and I can’t share more details than that.

Shroud EaterAre you stoked on playing with Iron Reagan and Night Birds?

Jean: Hell yeah! Iron Reagan are just pure energy and fury and they’re so much fun live. We played with them last year at Churchill’s and it was a great time. I’m extra stoked that Tony actually asked for Shroud Eater to be on the show, that was really rad and we’re looking forward to providing the low, slow and heavy in this raucous evening of shred.

This being Florida Geek Scene, can you all name drop something “GEEKY” you really like?

Jan: I have a penchant for really bad movies and collecting VHS tapes (including thrift store home movies). I started a B-movie blog called Trash Talk Cult but I’ve gotta get back on the reviewing game soon because it’s been a while since I spilled the nitty gritty on the oh so shitty.

Davin: Video games! I’m a big fan of top-over dungeon crawlers, old and new. The Legend of Zelda series, Gauntlet, Diablo, you name it. More traditional turn-based RPGs are fun, too. The process of “grinding” a bunch and watching your character’s assets grow is a rewarding one. Thankfully, with game-making tools being more accessible than ever, there’s been a spike in the presence of this genre of gaming.

Listen to the EP Face The Master below and then check out the rest of Shroud Eater’s music on thier Bandcamp.

Make sure to catch them live March 23, 2017 at Churchill’s Pub with Iron Reagan, Night Birds, and Wrong.

All images courtesy of the band’s Facebook page

Author: Manny Gomez View all posts by
Manny Gomez is a freelance writer based out of Florida's west coast. He obsessively reads interviews, binge watches TV shows, loves comics, movies, punk rock, hip-hop, stand-up comedy, detective novels and the mythology of baseball. His best friend is a dog. Follow him on Twitter @Manny1138

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