Eyes Set to Kill’s Alexia and Anissa Rodriguez Talk ‘Masks,’ Musical Influences + More
Anyone who has seen Eyes Set to Kill live knows that sisters and bandmates Alexia and Anissa Rodriguez truly bring it onstage. They were recently part of Revolver’s “Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock” tour with Lacuna Coil and Sick Puppies in promotion of their latest album ‘Masks,’ and Loudwire had the chance to chat with the very talented sisters about their new disc, what inspired the album’s themes, their influences and much more. Check out our interview with the Rodriguez sisters below:
How does it feel to be mentioned among the “Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock”?
Alexia Rodriguez: I think it’s cool. Now there’s a lot of women who are musicians and playing harder music. It’s giving women a chance. I don’t think it’s only a surface type of thing like hot in “that way.” For example if a guy says, if a girl has a brain that’s hot to them so I think in a way us being musicians is hot.
Anissa Rodriguez: It’s more about talent than looks.
What does the title of your latest album ‘Masks’ mean to you personally?
Alexia: When we first started writing for it, it was after a point where we were always being told what people expected of us. We were unsigned so a lot of people were telling us, “This is what we want you guys to do in order for us to sign you or have anything to do with you.” It was like we were hiding ourselves because we wanted to be accepted because we were unsigned. In a way it felt like we were wearing masks and when we wrote this album, it felt freeing. We weren’t pretending to be somebody everyone else wanted us to be.
Anissa: I think it’s cool too because, I think our fans and other people can relate to the title ‘Masks.’ I think a lot of people do really care about what other people think about them and they put up a front to fit in. It’s all about telling them you should be yourself and not have to worry about wearing a mask and be someone that you’re not.
Does being signed to a label have an effect on your musical output?
Alexia: Most of the songs we were writing were songs we were working on when we were unsigned. Then we realized that these group of songs that we had written when we weren’t signed were truly just us. It wasn’t us having any influence from anyone else like, “Oh you guys should be heavier or you guys should sing more.”
Anissa: Even though we’re signed now we’re better at blocking out what people want from us just because we’ve had so many people tell us exactly what they want. We’ve also seen the outcome of pretending to be someone we’re not. People, fans, everyone can always see through if you’re fake and not staying true to yourself.
While recording ‘Masks,’ did anything surprise you about yourselves or each other during this process?
Alexia: I’ve never lost my voice before while recording and we had a show the day before the last day of recording and I had no voice. It was the first time I lost my voice and I was surprised that it happened. Usually that only happens to me when I’m stressed out but it showed that I really pushed myself. I feel like our producer Steve Evetts really pushed all of us, it was a different recording process that we weren’t used to. He pushed us to be better musicians and to try harder so it was cooler for all of us.
What about you personally can we hear on ‘Masks’?
Alexia: I think one thing for sure are the lyrics that I wrote on this, with what I told you about staying true to yourself. Knowing who you are and showing people that without feeling pressured. It’s cool to have songs that people can relate to rather than just a bunch of words and random stories. One reason we started our band was because we listened to bands that we related to, to their lyrics and musically.
Just curious, what were some of those influential bands you related to?
Anissa: Thrice is one of the main ones, I think for both of us. When I first saw Thrice, even though I originally went for this other band Thursday — I was more of a fan of them — but when I first saw Thrice I thought that I want to do what they’re doing. I like the bass player a lot and I just loved that band so much. It sucks that they’re not a band anymore but we went to their last show. We were in the crowd singing the songs.
Thrice for you was the band that made you want to be a bassist. Alexia, what band for you made you want to be a vocalist?
Alexia: For me, Nirvana’s one of my favorite bands even though I never got to see them live. Every time I see footage of Kurt Cobain being himself, even if he’s being an a—hole or it looks like he doesn’t care, that still inspired me. He didn’t care about what anyone expected of him, he was just himself. The coolest thing is when artists are more real onstage instead of putting on a show. Another thing I loved about Nirvana too was that their records were so raw.
That’s another thing too, with ‘Masks’ we didn’t do a lot of things that all of the bands are doing nowadays like re-amping guitars, it sounds really fake. People don’t really care about that stuff but I hope there will be a group of fans who realize that we did strip everything down and made it as real as we could. We didn’t want to double five guitar tracks to make it sound like it’s a huge wall and then when people come to the show they’re like, “Well this doesn’t sound like the record.”
You’re in a band and you’re sisters — touring together, seeing each other every day. Are there any sibling rivalries?
Anissa: I think we have pet peeves about each other and with the whole band but we never really fight at all. Maybe if I lose something of hers she’ll get pissed at me but we get over it. I feel when we were younger that’s when we fought way more, I was a pain in her ass sometimes and she was a pain in my ass sometimes. I feel like because we’re so close in age it helps us be closer because we can relate to each other more — we’re only 14 months apart. In the band we’re all pretty chill people, except when we get drunk.
Alexia: Even then, we never get too rowdy. We just open up a little more.
Watch Eyes Set To Kill’s ‘Infected’ Video