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Name: Adam Bernard
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Stacking The Deck with Xombie
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

If you’ve attended any metal shows in NYC over the past half decade there’s a pretty good chance you’ve rocked out to Xombie. The foursome have graced a plethora of stages throughout the city, and metaphorically torn the roof off of every venue they’ve performed in.

A nu metal band with an emphasis on the metal, Xombie released a new album, titled Super Cell, earlier this year.

I caught up with Xombie’s Roy Galvan and Atom Crews (pictured L to R) in the Lower East Side, where we hit multiple bars, and opened up some packs of MusiCards. The artists we found sparked memories of everything from staying up late as a kid to watch MTV, to both members’ unique musical roots.

Janet Jackson

Atom: I’ll start with Janet. I was in love with her. When “Scream” came out, I’ll never forget watching that. I was a kid, and I’d always known Michael Jackson, and when “Scream” came out … it was so cool. Not only was it brother and sister, but the video was fucking awesome. It was in black and white. It was very sci-fi. They were in a spaceship, there was broken glass.

My two brothers are older than me, and when we were living in Yonkers, and we were all living together, me and my brother Josh used to share a room, while Chris (who was the oldest) had his own room, but he would work late, he had his girlfriend, who is his wife now, so he wouldn’t come home certain nights, or he would come home super late. I used to stay in his room, and I would use his TV.

I’ll never forget staying up late in his room. I would watch MTV all night, and “Scream” is one of the videos I will never forget watching, specifically, in his room.

It’s funny because I would always cover my tracks. He would never know how often I was staying in his room. I would always put the channel back where it was. The volume was exactly where it was before. I was eight, nine, years old at the time, but that was one of my greatest moments, and that's kind of paved the way.

Roy: For me, Janet was obviously Michael Jackson’s sister, but, this is kind of my little secret, I’ve always enjoyed those chick pop stars. I’ve always been a fan of Britney Spears. I was a big fan of Christina Aguilera. {laughs} (Janet) was the first I got exposed to.

That’s my dark secret.

Lenny Kravitz

Roy: I’m from the Dominican Republic, and we got a mixture of channels on the TV, so we had MTV Mexico growing up. (Through MTV Mexico) we were exposed to the American artists that made it famous in the Latin American world, and Lenny Kravitz was one of them. Every time I turned the TV on he was jamming, playing naked.

Something I got from him was his swag. He always had swag, and played from the heart. That’s something I always took from him. Always do what you do, and play what you play, but always do it with your heart, wherever you come from.

It’s all about how much you can put your heart into the music.

Gipsy Kings

Roy: Gipsy Kings. Again, going back to my roots, they’re really really REALLY famous in the Dominican Republic. Everywhere you went, a bar, a restaurant, a lounge … this is something, musically, everybody was acquainted to. Teenagers, our parents, every age, everybody knew what a Gipsy King was, and everybody was dancing to them everywhere.

Since I was young I was exposed to them because my father listened to them, and everywhere you went you’d hear them. Even now.

Random story – when I was living in the East Village with Fish, our old guitarist for Xombie, I was playing guitar in Tompkins Square Park, and this guy comes over to me and says, “I’ve been listening to you play. You guys are awesome. I play flamenco. I used to be the driver for the Gipsy Kings when they toured the US. I play in the Spanish tapas restaurant.” So I went and saw him, and he was super fucking great.

Led Zeppelin

Roy: I get the bee’s knees when I hear vocalists like Robert Plant. I met someone who I consider Robert Plant #2, which is the guy from Crobot (Brandon Yeagley). That guy is Robert Plant’s son who he never even met. You have to check that guy out. Imagine Rage Against the Machine, but the frontman is Robert Plant. Imagine that.

Another thing about (Zeppelin) is when I graduated, I think it was my fourth year of classical guitar, I went to another professor who was more jazzy, and he taught me “Stairway to Heaven.”

He wanted me to learn more finger picking. He tried to get me off of the pick pick, and get me more personal with the guitar. It takes more effort.

Since then I’ve fucking loved them. Robert Plant sings with his heart, and Jimmy Page … that’s fucking rock n roll.

Atom: Rob Bangers, our first drummer, for him John Bonham was the most ultimate badass drummer. Obviously everyone knows Led Zeppelin, but I didn’t know them like that, and if it weren’t for Rob, to this day I would have never explored their catalog.

I grew up mainly on hip-hop, and rap. It wasn’t until I was like 25, 26, that I started listening to more rock, and metal, and Rob put me on to Led Zeppelin. I started to really listen to John Bonham, and what he was doing, and why Rob fucking idolized him.

Houses of the Holy, it’s such a dark, and melancholy, album that I love. And Robert Plant, for me, as a vocalist, there’s not a lot of people I can gravitate towards and be like, “Holy shit!” and he’s one of those people that I hear and I’m like, “Damn, his voice is amazing!”

So to me, Led Zeppelin, even though I didn’t grow up on them, as I got older and was able to appreciate them as an adult, they’re a staple now.

For more Xombie, check out xombie.nyc.

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