I sat down with an old friend and a new roommate after we’d both had a couple adult beverages at separate locations, and then a few more together. An all around great musician, Matt Hernandez – bassist and vocalist for Exulcerate, is often viewed as an angry and particular man. Over the years, I believe he’s found a peace within what is viewed as his anger. He is simply unyielding in his preferences and beliefs. It’s a good trait to have and is admirable when you think about it. The following is what was discussed. I asked the questions. He had the answers.
Tell me about your music, what you like, and what inspired you to start playing music?
Well, what inspired me to start playing was – I wanted to be a guitar player at first, never wanted to do vocals, never wanted to do bass much, but . . . of course all the bands I was listening to when I was, before I was, a teenager inspired me to want to be in a band, and then once I started playing in metal bands they always needed a bass player so I ended up being stuck with bass. I just went with it and I developed a funk style because of the bands I listened to when I was younger. And then we lost our singer so I got thrown into doing vocals.
Jeez, as far as metal goes, I’m into the typical old school death metal, thrash, black metal, funeral doom. I’d say Morbid Angel and Suffocation and Cryptopsy are my main influences metal-wise.
Who are some of the bands you grew up listening to that influenced your bass playing?
I gotta say there’s 3 bands . . . there’s the Red Hot Chili Peppers, there’s Faith No More, and then there’s Primus . . . which those bands only get so heavy, ya know. There’s nothing really shredding about those bands, but the bass playing I always really liked so when I started playing death metal I thought I’d throw some of that into the mix there . . .
That’s an awesome combination . . . so you’ve been playing music for how long?
Since I was in the 7th grade. So I was what . . . 13? My playing has always been on and off because life happens and obstacles get in the way. Sometimes I even missed a whole year without playing. In the end, I always go back to it. I’m 32 now and I’m still going.
For Exulcerate, the next show is . . .
The next show we have booked is May 5th opening up for a legendary death metal band called Master, which we’ve played with them twice already so it’ll be good to play with them again. We could book a show locally at any time before then, but me and my guitarist are lazy so we just haven’t gotten around to that yet.
Who did your logo?
I forgot his name, but it was a fellow from Indiana. He’s done a lot of logos for a lot of death metal bands and I even met him one time. In Urbana, Illinois we played a fest – I met the guy and I forgot his name. He was a nice guy.
What’s the craziest show you’ve ever played?
The craziest show I’ve ever played when we were on tour and of all places we played a little quiet town called Cumberland, Maryland. In Cumberland, Maryland we played at a tiny bar and there wasn’t a stage. We played on the floor and the pit was so crazy that they kept knocking down my mic stand, and they kept bumping into me and my guitarist Dave. So some of the guys from the other bands had to stand in front of us to keep everybody away from us. When the show was over I had blood all over my arms and my shirt, and it was not my blood. That’s how crazy the fucking pit was. That was the most memorable show I’ve ever played.
So was their blood from your inducing or was it from their own doing . . .
It was from their own . . .
Their own “pitting” . . .
What would you say is the best piece of advice you could give to people who are in bands now or wanting to start bands.
Hmm. If we’re talking about any band in any kind of genre – I would advise people to stay true. Stick with what you believe in . . . even if it’s complete garbage like the majority of music that is out these days. If that’s where your stupid heart is and that’s what you want to do – go for it. And if the majority of bands are going to go that route and keep making crap, well then the few of us, like my band, amongst other metal bands in San Antonio . . . we’ll be left to make the good shit, so follow your heart.