Sword & Sorcery Vol. I with Nick Rocha
We, The Cimmerian, are a doom/thrash power trio from Los Angeles, CA. David Gein plays guitar, David Morales is over on drums, and then you have me, Nick Rocha, on vocals and bass. As mentioned, doom/thrash describes it well. It also allows us to explore everything within those two sets as the book ends. That’s a lot of space to do many things musically.
This new single will hopefully be the first of many in the Sword & Sorcery series. Occasionally, we will put up another couple of songs dedicated to anything that would fall within the Sword & Sorcery category, whether fictional or not. Having everybody be into that idea made it much more plausible and, thus, a lot more fun to step into the rehearsal room to bust these songs out.
Lyrically, it lets me tell short stories about whatever the song is. I like using the lyrics to move along with the music and have a point so that whoever is checking the lyrics can say, ‘Hey, I never knew that.’
As far as the music goes, like many others might tend to, we use whatever we individually like and then filter that through our own skill set. Then we get together and filter that through what the band collectively enjoys. That’s a cool way of working on stuff. With lyrics, we’re all into a different variety of the usual popular culture stuff (books, movies, comics, etc.), so we’re constantly introducing one another to something new or old. I’ve also always been into studying religions and culture, which is also fun to tell stories about. Of course, sword and sorcery and sci-fi books are always in heavy rotation.
On this cover, we decided to keep it simple with just the band’s name and release. A background behind those is a nod to the maelstrom within. When folks check out the interior art, though, that’s a straight depiction of what’s happening in each song. There’s the Sword side of the piece and, of course, the Sorcery side. The overall work then combines both those subjects into a scene. The artwork for this was done by Bob Sterns, with whom we also did stuff for our first EP, “Thrice Majestic”, and the crossover thrash band that David G. And I were in before this. His work is great, as you can see, and he’s great to work with. Conversations when figuring out the art and what might go into the overall design are pretty easy since he’s into a ton of the stuff we’re into, which makes throwing out ideas simple when the other person knows what you’re talking about and what it should look like
HMA: Do you have a philosophical fixation?
I can’t speak for the other guys, but I do. I don’t know if it has any name, but I pull influence from what I’ve read. There’s a side of it that is personal, like being cool with everybody, being honest about your intentions, putting 100% into it when you’re in it and so on. That works its way outward into the band, and you find you can trust the people next to you, and in turn, they can trust you. There’s another more personal side where I believe in animism. It’s something that’s always been there in my family and is something not many folks know about. It’s not anything occult or mystic; it’s a simple approach to life that’s worked for me which has helped me appreciate many more things than I thought I could.
HMA: How were you initiated in the dark arts of heavy metal?
For me, it started when I was a kid. My dad went to night school to learn English, and I remember him coming home, having dinner with us and then going off to do his homework. He’d be sitting in the living room with his school stuff next to the family stereo console. Those huge ones they had back in the day. He’d be listening to Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper or something, but the two he mainly played over and over were these two cassette tapes. One had a cool painting on the cover, and in stark, bold letters, it proudly proclaimed Black Sabbath. It was a compilation of their songs with the H. Bosch painting on the cover. The other tape was Ozzy’s Speak Of The Devil live album, with Ozzy on the cover and a mouthful of gore. I’d sit next to him while these damned tapes were engrained into my psyche. They are still my absolute favourite portrayals of both those bands. My little kid’s mind was blown when my dad dropped the tidbit that Ozzyu was in Black Sabbath.
The cool thing is music can be all that stuff. Who knows how you’ll react to it if you get the right song at the right moment? Some bands make folks explode excitedly or band your head in an earth-smashing approving grace. I don’t know that music is a universal language, but it sure is an international one. This great thing we have certainly made friends creates more of itself and, thanks to the times we live in now, goes from one point in the world to the rest of us. It does all that for me and lets me get my aggression and excitement out. Hopefully, folks will dig into what we’re doing. Thanks for checking us out.