Interview with Jess Escobar, Bradley Hart and Manny Marwaha of Blood of the Phoenix

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Jess, Bradley and Manny! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

CV: Do you feel that it's still possible for an unknown band today to be plucked out of obscurity and make it to stardom? Can a dedicated core of fans sharing their music make that possible or has the internet and social media changed the game?
Blood of the Phoenix: F**k yeah. If you put as much into the marketing as you do into honing your craft, have a fanbase of amazing, supportive people, you’re bound to be successful.

CV: Do you feel that given the accessibility and social awareness of modern times that a music underground still even exists today as it once did?
Blood of the Phoenix: Yes, it still exists. Labels aren’t promoting unsigned local acts so we do it ourselves with the help of fans and our PR. This is similar to sharing your CD with your friends and them passing it around…it just all happens digitally now.

CV: What do you see as the biggest difference in music and how it is perceived from back say 35 years ago compared to music today? Has both the music and the artist evolved from your point of view?
Blood of the Phoenix: We don’t really subscribe to comparing one artist to another because the differences between artists and music itself are kind of the beauty of music. You can literally find a genre of music for any mood - some of us just prefer a style to another.

CV: Do you believe bands and artists who have the biggest impact on fans and other artists are aware that they are or is there more of a tunnel vision sort of process for them keeping them somewhat in the dark? Can influential artists see past their own work to be aware of the ripples they make?
Blood of the Phoenix: In our experiences, we’ve seen it sort of both ways. It’s hard to summarize anything in such broad strokes when there’s such a wide array of musicians. We’ve been really forthcoming about our writing, practicing, and recording processes but I’m not sure if we’re fully aware of the full scope of our impact.

CV: Does music need to be influential to be considered worth listening to in your opinion? Or can music simply be just an enjoyable auditory experience devoid of substance?
Bradley (guitar): I feel this is a loaded question. All music is worth listening to – it’s just a matter of what kind of value you put on it.

Manny (guitar): It depends on what place you’re listening to it from. Sometimes people listen to something just to be laid back and have a good time, and other times you’re looking for something to get you thinking analytically.

CV: The world has been rocked by the COVID pandemic.  The economy has been sent into a tailspin in its wake, unfortunately.  Bands worldwide have been restricted with performing live and some it seems, restricted from earning a living.  How has the pandemic affected your band? Are you hopeful that 2021 will see many of the restrictions lifted?
Blood of the Phoenix: We filled our current line-up in the midst of COVID, so we have yet to feel the impact of COVID in full force. We were able to self-produce this album, cutting costs down significantly as opposed to paying to do the same thing in a studio. We haven’t been able to implement some of our ideas around music videos, and the release of our debut EP due to the restrictions.

CV: What do you feel artists and bands can do right now to stay relevant, especially in an environment, such as the present, where performing in front of a live audience is being restricted? What immediate options do you see available?
Blood of the Phoenix: Post on your social media platforms, engage with the fanbase, post unique content on each platform…try and plan the content. We’ve had plans in place for every step we’ve taken so far – aside from maybe early pre-production days. We’ve participated in many livestreams over the past year.

CV: As an artist, what have you learned from the events of 2020? Are those lessons learned different for you as a person than as an artist or are they one in the same in your opinion?
Blood of the Phoenix: That regardless of the circumstances around us (COVID, lockdowns, crazy news, replacing band members, etc.), this is what we really want to do and it’s just taken us taking the time to work on it through the sh*t. We found something we all really love doing when everyone else had a rough time. Many of us have said at some point in the last year that we’re in a weird spot where we actually kind of had a good 2020.

CV: What's next? What can fans expect to see coming in 2021?
Blood of the Phoenix: Our debut EP, “From What We Used To Know,” releases on July 2, 2021 on most major streaming services (Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, iTunes, etc.). We’re hosting a livestream release show on our socials on the same day, featuring some of our friends in other bands. We’re working towards more content as we go, and have been projecting into 2022 for the hopes of a few out-of-towners.

CV: Thank you again Jess, Bradley and Manny for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. It was such a pleasure. I wish you all the best.
Blood of the Phoenix: Thanks for having us! Same to you and the readers! See you on the road.

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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