BY: MICHELLE PEREZ-VEGA
Sifting is cocked and loaded to release its next opus, The Infinite Loop, and it is a guaranteed metal and rock barrage of all the eclectic and best musical elements the band has put forth.
Now based in the Los Angeles area, Sifting was originally formed in Caracas, Venezuela in 2010 by vocalist/guitarist Eduardo Osuna Gil. According to the band’s biography, Osuna Gil began writing original material as a coping mechanism when his mother and grandmother were tragically killed in a plane crash. Osuna Gil eventually gathered local friends to form a band and began performing live. Gaining popularity, Sifting opened for Bullet For My Valentine for the band’s Latin American Tour in 2011 and released its debut album, All the Hated, in late 2013.
After moving to the United States in 2014, Sifting released a three-song EP, Blurry Paintings. Another album, Not From Here, was released in 2016. Endorsements and tours followed, with the band opening for the likes of Prong, Sons of Apollo, Dayshell and Eyes Set to Kill, among others.
Osuna Gil went through a few lineup changes before finding the magic with Bassist Wins Jarquin, Drummer Joey Aguirre, and Lead Guitarist Richard Garcia. In March 2019, Lead Guitarist Xavi Leon joined the crew, replacing Garcia. (While no longer with Sifting, Osuna Gil acknowledged his former bandmate’s input to the writing and recording of material as an important part of the musical success of The Infinite Loop. Recognizing that Leon had to join the band in a “really weird moment,” Osuna Gil said the current lineup is amazing and looked forward to future shows and touring.)
Sifting has definitely made a name for itself as a tight and creative musical monster of a band, and those who have been privy to have heard advanced copies of The Infinite Loop have not been disappointed. Hailed as a “masterpiece of progressive metal featuring 70 minutes of mind-blowing Jedi-like musicianship,” The Infinite Loop was produced by Steve Evetts, mixed by Jamie King, and features a special guest performance by Derek Sherinian on “Ghost of A Lie.” The album will be released by Eclipse Records, who signed the band in 2017 and re-issued Not From Here.
A LEARNING EXPERIENCE
It’s safe to say that The Infinite Loop has met the expectations of Osuna Gil.
“It’s a really different album than the other releases,” Osuna Gil said. “I normally write the vocal melodies, but Joey is an amazing drummer and wrote some really cool stuff, as did Wins. It’s pretty amazing, the connection we have together. Richard (former guitarist) wrote amazing riffs as well. We really enjoyed what came out in this album. And, we toured a lot with the last album,” he added. “I got to see what people liked from us, what people were expecting. It was a great learning experience for sure, and I wrote the new album with a lot of those opinions in mind.”
Osuna Gil said that fans should not assume that The Infinite Loop, however, is a continuance of Not From Here.
“I went through a lot between the two albums,” he shared. “I’m in a different place personally. The music is still very deep, though. I post our music through social media and I love it when people ask what I was feeling when I wrote the song. I want people to know, so that connects them more to the music. Even then, people have their own perception, how it relates to things going on in their own lives. It’s amazing to me that Sifting’s music gives that kind of meaning to people.”
Sifting officially released two singles, “A Critical Affair” and “Stop Calling Me Liberty,” prior to The Infinite Loop’s release to give fans a taste of what is to come. (A third single, “Enough,” was accidentally released to iTunes and Apple Music listeners ahead of schedule, so fans got the opportunity to enjoy the song before the music video for the song was out.)
Political justice has continued to be the theme of many of Sifting’s songs. For example, “Pledge Of Our Generation,” from the Not From Here album, was written in memory of those that gave their lives while fighting for freedom and democracy against the corrupt Venezuelan government initiated by late leader Hugo Chavez and continued by current president Nicholas Maduro. Consequently, it’s no surprise that “Stop Calling Me Liberty” has continued in this vein, with the band taking on the United States this time around.
According to Osuna Gil, it’s “a song we wrote about the Statue of Liberty. Every day our country is pushed further apart, divided by the partisan politics and nothing gets done for the people. I often think about the Statue of Liberty,” he continued, “and how she is a magnificent symbol of liberty and unification watching over our country from Liberty Island. If she could speak to us today, what would she say? I don’t really think she would be pleased. I think she’d be pretty damn pissed off.”
Sifting’s name is derived from the diverse musical tastes of its members, all rolled into one band. Osuna Gil himself started out on the piano at the age of six and metal bands were not in his musical repertoire.
“I was like 16-years-old,” Osuna Gil said, “when I first saw Metallica’s video ‘Turn The Page.’ In an instant I was like, what kind of music is this? Because I didn’t listen to any metal bands. But here I was seeing James, the poses, how he played guitar, how he grabbed it…the solos were just unbelievable! That made me want to grab a guitar for the first time myself. That video really changed my life!”
Osuna Gil is quick to add that he likes pop music as well…and isn’t ashamed to admit it.
“People are very surprised when they catch me listening to other music, like pop or jazz,” he laughed. “Yeah, I’m a metal head, but I also like Pink! I grew up listening to Elton John and Queen, Green Day…I don’t know what it is, when you love one genre means you can’t listen to anything else? Not me. I love every kind of music. I think it’s an amazing thing because that makes you more open. You have more tools to create music and make your own unique music.”
In the past, Sifting has been classified by fans and music journalists as a Progressive Music band. But The Infinite Loop shows other genres emerging to the ears, ranging from Thrash to Heavy Metal, to Power Metal and Metalcore. Osuna Gil stated that he believes Sifting defies categorization.
“It’s really a hard task for me when people ask what type of music Sifting plays,” he said, “because we have a lot of music for everyone. You’re a metalhead? Okay, I can give you one of my songs for that. You want pop punk? We have really hard guitars; we have weird metal rhythms and drums. We have a menu for everyone.”
LOVING THE LAND
Sifting has enjoyed much success in South America, especially in the band’s home country, Venezuela. The situation in Venezuela, however, was a major factor in coming to the United States and creating a base.
“There’s a metal community for sure,” Osuna Gil said. “But the situation in Venezuela…it’s nothing like here. People are struggling with money, with food and basic necessities. There’s no money to buy records or to go to concerts. The first time I played in America was South by Southwest in 2013. People were buying our stuff and we ran out! People were just into the music, really invested in it. It was incredible. I knew that I wanted to move here.”
As noted, Sifting signed with Chris Poland’s Eclipse Records in 2017. It was a move that proved to be beneficial to the band in many ways.
“Chris thinks like us,” Osuna Gil said. “He believes in us and we trust him. He has been believing in us for a long time. That’s what we needed, what a musician needs. Because when they start changing you and your music, your style, whatever, then it becomes just about sales. That’s when it becomes a problem.”
Sifting is currently finalizing tour plans to support the release of The Infinite Loop. Right now, the band will be touring the United States, but South America is on the slate for 2020.
Osuna Gil said the band is eager to tour and bring the music of Sifting to the masses.
“I love playing live,” Osuna Gil shared. “When I see people leaving our shows with smiles on their faces, that they really listened to what we were playing and really enjoyed it, that’s amazing. That’s success for me! We really want to thank everyone for supporting us and listening to our new album. If people really take the time to listen to it, I’m sure that they are going to fall in love with this music. We’re super excited about it.”