Invidia is a heavy metal band consisting of Travis Johnson on vocals, Brian Jackson on lead guitar, Matt Snell on bass guitar, Marcos Medina Rivera on rhythm guitar and Darren Badorine on drums.When perusing the lineup of Invidia and recognizing the names of current and former members of In This Moment, Five Finger Death Punch and Skinlab you might think you have the band figured out. You don’t. While the ten-legged Las Vegas based wrecking crew certainly bring elements of their other bands to Invidia’s sound this is a beast that stands apart, and their debut As The Sun Sleeps makes this very clear. We had a quick chat with Matt to get to know the band a little bit better and we also discussed the upcoming record, video and more.
ME: Let’s start with a little introduction to the band. Invidia is a mix of very strong individuals, you all have different backgrounds and come from very different parts of rock and metal world. How did that affect the band? How did you guys click together when it comes to music? How did it influence the music you created?
Matt: Well, we all knew each other for over the last ten or fifteen years in the industry. So we’re already friends and I worked with Travis on few records in the past that were much heavier. But when we went into the studio we weren’t really set in any way. We haven’t just decided what we were gonna do, honestly. We had couple of ideas and working with Logan is what really pulled that record out. He’s a great producer and he got the most out of us during the recording process. So there wasn’t really a pre-planned decision on hey we’re gonna be this kind of band or that kind of band. It just really happened naturally.
ME: How much does everyone of you contribute? What is the creative process like in the band? Is there anybody who takes the lead or is it mostly mix of all of you?
Matt: It’s a result of a lot of people’s effort. It’s not one person doing everything. It’s part of the reason we used who we used. Everyone’s bringing something to the band. Everyone has style and a sound and way of looking at music. And I think the biggest and the most refreshing part for me was just that it was so open. Everyone was able to contribute and do what they wanted to do. And then we would talk about it together. You know, not everyone’s idea works everytime obviously. But by allowing it just to breathe and become what it was organically going to be I think we came with a way better record. It’s really good.
ME: You are no newbs in the music industry, you all played in bands, made music before and you definitely have your share of experience. Do you think it helped you in some way or another? And how did that affect how you did the things?
Matt: Everybody’s experienced in this band, it’s only an asset. It only makes us smarter in what we’re trying to do. We understand a little bit more about what’s expected of us in order to be successful. We all have a solid work when it comes to the bands. And I think it shows in how we managed to create a band, finish a record and get it signed all inside of a year.
ME: When you questioned, who will play the bass in Invidia you got a response that it will be you from Travis. What did cross your mind upon hearing that? What was your immediate thoughts, how did you even respond to that?
Matt: Well as soon as I’ve heard Brian and Travis were doing a record together I immediately jumped in and this brought on text message that said ‘Who’s playing bass for ya?’ And they were like ‘You are.’ Travis and I go all the way back to 2002-2003. When I was in Flatline I played bass and he was the singer in that band, it was kinda like getting back to our route again and having fun and not worrying. Travis really likes to sing. It’s definitely his forte and I’ve always been just dedicated to playing bass my whole life so I think it’s a good fit.
ME: Your debut album As The Sun Sleeps is coming out in March. Can you tell us more about the record?
Matt: Yeah, March 31st is the street day. We’re releasing it through the SPV records. We’re really excited about the way the record came out. There’s so many different songs in there, I really think there’s something in there for everybody. There’s definitely no recipe as far as every single song has to be this way. There was a lot of room there. We have some active rock songs, we have some more industrial edged songs, it’s full record, eleven songs. There’s great artwork from Sam Shearon throughout the entire process from the logo down to the whole mood of the record. He really captured this dark and eerie vibe that we were kinda going for. It’s not by any means a doom metal band or anything like that but there’s definitely some darker end-of-the-world apocalyptic imagery that went along with it that he pulled out. Which is how we ended up naming the album As The Sun Sleeps, that’s actually the last track on the record. We’re all Vegas guys basically. At some point in our lives we were all in Vegas and we’re used to being nocturnal, being out at night so as the sun sleeps is when the demons come out to play.
ME: So what is your personal favorite song?
Matt: I like them all. I’m pretty spoiled with this band. I’ve been in a lot of bands, I’ve done a lot of work over the years. And some good work you know. Every song is just so different, I had free range to do as I pleased, use what effect pedals I wanted to use, play what I like to play. So there’s something for me to look forward to in every song. I think that the favorite songs changes as the tour goes on. It depends on where we are playing, who we are playing with, what our setlist is and fan interactions and vibes during shows.
ME: Where and when can your fans see you live? Any specific tour plans yet?
Matt: We’re in touch right now on three different tours. That will be early spring tours. I’m not at liberty to discuss those details yet cause they’re not confirmed. But we will be out very soon in support of our record. And we’re gonna tour as much as we can, trying cover as much territories and we’re anxiously awaiting getting out to play and leaving United States and coming back over to Europe again. I haven’t been there in a little while, since my last band so we have a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time so I think we’re gonna be touring quite a bit.
ME: I’ve seen the teaser for the video for Feed The Fire on Youtube which premiers tomorrow, from the sound and looks of it, we have much to look forward to. Any behind the scenes info or interesting stories about the making of video?
Matt: The video premiers tomorrow morning at 11AM Eastern time, so 8AM Pacific time on Loudwire. It was a really fun video to make. It’s my first time that we got to make a video that actually had fire in it. You know, the song is Feed The Fire. A dream come true to be playing on stage and having canons of fire going off everywhere. But there’s actually a good story in there I think. The cinematography that Brian Cox and Flarelight films did was just amazing. And we sent the video to the label, they were floored. We sent the video to PR they were floored. I let my friends see it they were like ‘Oh my god this is amazing video!’ It’s tough to make a really great video these days. There’s a lot of quick easy videos to put out, we did not do that. We wanted to put out a quality product and make sure that it represented the song and told the story the right way. It came out great and there’s few cameos and some people in there so you have to keep an eye for that to see if you catch those.
ME: You guys joke about the meaning of the song. Can you elaborate a bit more?
Matt: At one point we kinda started asking what is the song about. One interpretation was it was about drugs and the fire is your will to wanna do drugs and destroy yourself and that’s kind of direction that we took video-wise. It shows somebody who’s spiraling out of control no matter what they did they would feed the fire. But the other way we see it is when you know somebody is addicted to drama or has some personal drama going on but they won’t let their ego down and keep pushing it. And we keep looking at him you’re feeding the fire bro, you’re feeding the fire! And we start singing the chorus too. So we had some fun with that one.
ME: What other plans besides the touring do you have for this upcoming year?
Matt: Well, we have to support the record. It’s just coming out so the main thing we’re gonna be focusing on is touring. We’ll probably end up making another video or two as the time progresses. I’m looking to get a lot of live footage and be able to put out personal video diaries with the band that the fans can interact with. In store appearances, guest at radio stations, that kind of things. Everything that takes to get us out there and introduce people to Invidia. Collect the whole bunch of fans and start working on the next record in the meantime. We’re always writing if we have a minute. And we’ll start compiling ideas on the bus and when it’s time to record to be able to get back to Vegas on breaks and start laying down the record number two.
ME: So do you have already something written down?
Matt: We always do, we had so many songs floating around when we did the first record. Stuff that just wasn’t finished or materialized and it didn’t make it to this record. I have studio in my house, Travis records at home, Brian records at home. Everyone has ability to put stuff together and just email it. So we don’t always have to be together to write. Which is a nice thing about technology today. So it’s just a matter of going back in, finding out different ideas that work together. Sometimes you don’t have a complete song, you have half a song and someone else has the other half.
ME: You seem super productive and that’s amazing what all you accomplished in such a short amount of time.
Matt: I think it’s a testament to hard work and dedication. If you have your head in ten different places you’re not gonna go very far with those ten different things. But if you focus down and prioritize and really want something and really are serious about one thing you can achieve whatever it is you want do in life. But you have to focus on it. You have to make sacrifices. Put your time in. It’s difficult but in order to become successful you have to dedicate yourself to something and there’s no shortcut in that in any way.
ME: Any particular sacrifice you had to make?
Matt: There has been many sacrifices for the last twenty-five years. If it’s something that you really feel you’re born to do and you want to do it you will make it important. You don’t have to make it into work. If it’s important you will make it important and you will get it done. It’s kind of a natural thing. You do every single thing you can to be successful. And do none of the things that could damage it.
ME: Any message to all the people out there who don’t know Invidia yet?
Matt: Give us a listen. Check out the video Friday morning, it will be premiered on Loudwire, it’s gonna be everywhere for everyone to see. It’s just a taste of what we’re doing. Like I said, there’s a lot of different music on there. If you’re going through Youtube and type in Invidia you’ll come up with Making My Amends which is lyric video we put out a few months back and it’s completely different, hundred and eighty degrees in the other direction from Feed The Fire. So you can see the spectrum of what we’re doing. I think people are really gonna appreciate the songwriting and production on this record. It’s one of those records you can listen to from the beginning to the end. You just don’t buy it and have the twelve of the exact same song, I think it’s a unique product. And in time when there isn’t a lot of that going on. So give us a listen, an honest, open listen and I think you’re gonna be sold on it pretty quick.