Name : Angelica "The Force" Vargas Age : 29 Hometown : Astoria Queens, NY USA Band contact info : *protected email* www.flamesoffury.com facebook.com/flamesoffury Lead Vocalist for Flames of Fury The Metal Pit : Greetings to you Angelica, thank you for stopping by the Metal Pit today. Angelica Vargas: Hey Nick! No doubt, it’s an honor to be speaking with you today and to be representing women in metal as your June Maiden of the Month! The Metal Pit : You are the vocalist and songwriter for the band Flames of Fury, how did the band come to be? Yes indeed, I am the front person and one of two songwriters in the band. Flames of Fury came about in the spring of 2009. I heard about my lead guitarist (Jason Perez) through a mutual friend of ours and heard some samples of his solo project online. I thought it sounded pretty cool so I contacted him to see what else he was working on. Turns out, he needed a female singer for a song he was in the process of writing and recording so I sent him some samples of my voice along with a song I was writing at the time. We met up at the studio and got to work right away! It was pretty clear that we liked a lot of the same kind of music and our writing styles worked well together. So from that day on, we worked tirelessly on writing metal songs of EPIC proportions and putting together everything we needed to get this band started. We decided on a name and boom! Flames of Fury was born. The Metal Pit : The band is based out of New York City (U.S.) can you tell us what the Metal scene is like there and are there any local clubs that the band likes to play? That’s right Nick, we’re New Yorkers through and through! The Metal scene is a thriving community here in NYC. There’s always a show to go to and a bunch of metal bars to hang out at! As big as NYC is, everybody knows everybody in Metal and there’s a great deal of camaraderie here. We’ve been performing at B.B. Kings Blues Club in Times Square a few times and I gotta say it’s great to be on that stage! Our EP Release Party was there in Feb when we performed with Sister Sin and Doro. It was truly an honor to be sharing the stage with the Queen of Metal herself! The crowd was very enthusiastic and we sold out every copy of our EP so we KNOW they were diggin’ it! Another club is Blackthorn 51; we played a show there last April and it was a great experience. At one point during the show, the entire place erupted into one big pit! And from a metal singer’s perspective, that was such a huge compliment to my music! Whole lotta love and a whole lotta Metal! The Metal Pit : Has the band pretty much just done some local shows or have you been able to branch out into other cities to tour? So far, we’ve been doing a lot of shows in NYC (B.B. Kings, Gramercy Theater, Stage 48) as well as Long Island and New Jersey. But we have been venturing out a little further as well. In 2011, we performed at the Flight of the Valkyries festival in Baltimore, MD. There were seven bands performing in total; all female-fronted and all performing Metal! The crowd was great, I actually can’t wait to get back to Baltimore again. Will we be branching out into more cities in the near future? More than likely. We’re working hard on our upcoming full-length album due out in the fall of 2013 and we are definitely looking to get it out there to all our fans. Stay tuned! The Metal Pit : I see you will be doing a show with Amaranthe and Kobra and the Lotus in July, I think they are great. Are you looking forward to that playing with them? Absolutely! Both of those bands are killer! Amaranthe’s new album Nexus has so much energy and Kobra and the Lotus is pretty awesome! Kobra Paige has a great voice; I’m really looking forward to sharing the stage with them both! The Metal Pit : What can fans expect from a live Flames of Fury show? An explosion of high-voltage energy! Super-fast riffs combined with soaring melodies. High flying kicks (provided by yours truly) and sheer brutality in its purest form! Our music touches upon various metal genres so there's something for everyone! You’re bound to get into it! The Metal Pit : What bands or musicians influenced you to want to get into Heavy Metal? There were quite a few bands that got me into it. First things first, you gotta have Black Sabbath on there! Most people are all about Ozzy’s vocals and with good reason; he’s the Prince of Darkness! But as a singer, I connect more strongly with the vocals of the late Ronnie James Dio, especially on the Heaven and Hell album. I also a big fan of Iron Maiden; Bruce is the man! Mad props go out to a guy who can belt it out like nobody’s business while running on a treadmill! Now that’s talent! The Metal Pit : You have a very powerful voice! At what age did you start singing and do you have any professional training? Well thank you! I got into singing officially when I was 14 in high school. I started out as one of the chorus girls and then decided to study music in college. I studies Music Performance at Concordia College NY where I learned the essentials behind music theory, history, as well as vocal technique and stage performance. The Metal Pit : What kind of precautions do you take with your voice before a show? First off, I don’t drink before I get onstage. Just water and tea if I really need it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll have a Guinness after the show with everybody. But you gotta take care of your instrument. I also make sure not to eat anything 2 hours before hitting the stage. Never a good idea. Finally I always go through my round of warm-ups. That includes warm-ups for my voice and for my body. I’m moving around a lot onstage, doing crazy kicks and whatnot. So you gotta make sure you’re ready for it. Take care of the body and it will take care of you! The Metal Pit : The band has a self-titled five song EP out right now, how would you describe the Flames of Fury sound? I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; All Killer, No Filler! The EP is a sample of some of the different sides to Flames of Fury. The first song is a super-fast power metal song while the next one is a head banging one. The third is more mid-tempo and melodic while the fourth is sheer brutality! The last one has a cool melody with a pop sound. Just a little bit of what is to come, my friend. The Metal Pit : As the singer, do you write all of the lyrics for the band and if so, where do you draw your inspiration from? A vast majority of our song lyrics are mine with the exception of maybe three of four, which were written by Jason. To me, inspiration comes from everywhere. Some songs are inspired by particular experiences, like riding a motorcycle. Others are inspired by characters in movies and literature. Still others come from current events. I often reflect on what's going on now in my life as well as in the rest of the world and bring it forward into a song. The Metal Pit : You have a video out for the song "No Mercy" which is a pretty straight forward Thrash tune that I just love and the vid is very cool...... with a kind of anti-bullying message tied to it. Where did the concept for the video come from? Thanks man, glad you dig it! The song was inspired by what had occurred to a student in Rutgers University a couple of years ago. To make a long story short, the student ended up committing suicide instead of facing his bully. Suicide is NEVER the answer and the way we see it, he should have stood up for himself and showed that loser who’s boss! Show No Mercy! The Metal Pit : Are videos something you enjoy doing and are there any plans to do more in the future? Absolutely! It was a lot of fun working on the video for No Mercy. Our next video will likely take a very different turn to reflect the mood of the song and we’re hoping to get that out sometime by the fall as well. The Metal Pit : When can fans expect a full length cd from the band? Well as I mentioned, we are looking to get our album out to our fans by November 2013. It’s gonna be jam packed with some of the heaviest most epic awesome music you’ll ever hear in your life! The Metal Pit : As a strong woman in Metal yourself, what is your opinion of women in the scene today? It’s dramatically changed in the past 20 years as there are A LOT more of us than there have been in the past. And as it becomes more commonplace, that puts more of the focus on the music itself. I can safely say there are women actively singing, writing and performing in every single genre of Metal today. And I think that it’s great that more women are getting involved; the more the merrier! The Metal Pit : If a young lady in your audience asked you for your advice about being in a band, what advice would you give to her? I would tell her to do her homework and to understand the amount of time and commitment involved in being a part of a band. As much as it is fun, it's also takes perseverance and dedication to become successful. You gotta have the drive to become the best! The Metal Pit : If I high jacked your I-Pod right now, what kind of music would I hear? Let’s see… Obviously there’s a great deal of metal and rock but I’m also into the classic jazz standards as well. I wouldn’t be too surprised if one minute you’re hearing Maiden’s “Flight of Icarus” and the next you’d hear Sinatra’s rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon”. I like to mix it up with all kinds of music, from Jazz to Classical… Hell, even Country music! So long as it’s good music, I will give it a good listen! The Metal Pit : What kind of things do you enjoy doing outside of music? I’ve been studying martial arts since I was in high school so that keeps me busy! Right now, I’m learning Isshin Ryu karate and Katori Shinto Ryu at this awesome school in Floral Park, NY. In there, I’m always a student learning something new. The Metal Pit : What can fans expect from you and the band in the near future? Well Flames of Fury is constantly taking steps to move forward. We are always working on new material and refining ourselves to be the best metal band we can be! That means be prepared for MORE new music! Be prepared to see us more often in more places. Be prepared for more music videos and various media updates! Be prepared to see us playing on the moon! The Fury is coming and we take NO PRISONERS! The Metal Pit : Where can fans find out more about you and the band or buy Merch? Fans can find more about us on our website at www.flamesoffury.com as well as on Facebook (facebook.com/flamesoffury) Our self-titled EP is available online via ITunes, Amazon.com, CDBaby and many other music sources. The Metal Pit : How does it feel to be chosen as the Metal Pit's Maiden of the month? Feels like flying through the air after jumping over 24 school buses with my JEEP while eating a chicken parm sub! That means it feels great, Nick! The Metal Pit : Is there anything at all you would like to add to this interview or any dirt you might wanna share about the guys in your band. It would just be between us I promise, hahaha? Ha! Hmm… Jason will eat just about anything, but he does NOT like liver! As for me? I absolutely do not like the combination of chocolate and peanut butter together! I HATE Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and anything else that somewhat resemble them! Although I love chocolate and I like peanut butter. Hey everybody’s got their weird quirks! The Metal Pit : Angelica, on behalf of myself and the Metal Pit we want to thank you for being with us today. You and the band definitely have the talent to kick some major ass in the Metal scène. We want to wish you the best of luck in all that you do. Thanks man, it was great talking with you and an honor to be your next Metal Maiden!