Saturday, April 10

Interview – Jacques Serrano of Cultural Warfare


With a new EP released January 27th, Future Kill, Cultural Warfare solidifies itself as one of the premier up and coming thrash metal bands in the modern Bay Area metal scene. Influenced heavily by legendary thrash bands such as Exodus, Testament, Forbidden, and the band Vio-lence, Cultural Warfare has pulled its hardest hitting team together to date with Jacques Serrano on vocals, Pete Aguilar on bass (both formerly with the band Taunted), founder Billy Garoutte (guitar), and Kevin Doughty (drums).

Signed with Marco Barbieri (formerly with Century Media Records) under his M-Theory Audio label, and armed with production value from Juan Ortega (Machine Head, Exodus, Testament) at the infamous Trident Studios in Martinez, CA, the EP and the Cultural Warfare live show are set to start lighting off warheads all over California and beyond in 2017.

SF Sonic: What does the name Cultural Warfare mean to you?

Jacques Serrano: The name is a cool name because it can mean different things to different people. My take on it is the Cultural part of it. I enjoy feeling my native American heritage in that word. I think it also represents all of us in the band coming from different back grounds and being multicultural. The Warfare part of the name is just “Metal;” it screams metal and so its a cultural band that plays metal but again it can mean a bunch of different things.

SF Sonic: Cultural Warfare embodies the Bay Area sound, iconic thrash metal, but what other influences do you personally connect with the sound of this band?

Serrano: We believe we are doing the Bay Area sound justice and are one of the only bands out in the scene that really pulls off that sound. There are plenty of heavy thrash type bands but they may have keyboards, different vocals, different tones, etc.. We really wanted to play thrash the way the heavy weights did and do it. We are also no different than most metal bands when we cite bands like Priest, Maiden, etc. as influences. If any band in any style of music plays tight and are real and true we tend to give it a listen.

SF Sonic: Jacques, your vocals are reminiscent of some of the great metal vocalists of the 80’s. Whom do you cite as your personal influences?

Serrano: Thank you. I, as so many other vocalist, started my journey into metal with Halford, Dianno, Gillan, Dio, etc and then as I progressed I went from Michael Kiske, King Diamond, Jeff Scott Soto and then grew into my thrash voice with Chuck Billy, Bobby Blitz, Warrel Dane… So I have a vast list of influences which I think makes me very diverse in my vocal delivery.

SF Sonic: How would you describe the writing process for the Future Kill EP?

Serrano : The process was very smooth and natural… When Kevin Doughty (drummer) re-joined the band, we had begun reworking the older songs with some slicing and dicing as well as totally rewriting the melodies and lyrics. Through that process we got to know each other very well and it made writing the newer songs come along with ease. The familiarity with each other just made the whole process smooth.

SF Sonic: Cultural Warfare has been noted as a force to be reckoned with live. What do you feel are the strong points of the live performances to date and how has it changed with the addition of you and Pete Aguilar (bass)?

Serrano: Actually their live performance is what made me want to join the band. I had never seen them and once I did I thought to myself that I could be in that band some day… Some time later they parted ways with the vocalist and bassist and the connection was made and I joined the band… So, live they had tons of energy and Billy’s guitar work was stellar… Pete and I just had our 1st show with our brothers in metal and we are a much more polished and professional band now… That comes with age, time, and realizing that we have something special going on. We feel it and hear it as we play and from the response of our first show I think the fans hear it as well. We got that first gig under our belt and now the chains are off and the beast of CW is all revved up and ready to chew and spit fire!!! GET READY!!!

SF Sonic: Tell us about what comes next for Cultural Warfare.

Serrano: We just finished our debut and CD release show. Now we have some more dates in Northern Califorania as well as a couple Southern California dates with War Bringer and Withchaven!! We can’t wait to perform these gigs!!! The summer will be followed up with any shows, tours, festivals that come about and simultaneously continue writing our first full length CD that will be completed by years end. So we have a lot on our plate and the way things are going I believe were going to get even busier as time rolls on.

Find out more about Cultural Warfare here.

Listen to “Defy the Blade” by Cultural Warfare:


About Author

Pollen grew up in the Bay Area music scene, with influences from her step father and uncle’s blues/ rock band, and her mother’s deep seeded love for all things artistic. Picking up a Polaroid at the age of 10, Pollen began her passion for photography. Her music photography career started while documenting Sonoma County punk bands in 1984, and with the exception of raising her two children, Pollen never looked back. Now a college graduate, and full time wine & spirits marketer, she also runs a freelance photography business in the East Bay, with a passion for music and the needs of the local rock scene. When not out shooting for bands and music publications, she also enjoys writing about music, watching horror films and spending time with her two adult children + grand daughter.

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