WORLDVIEW - From Death Brings Life
June 1, 2015, 3 years ago
Los Angeles-based progressive Christian metalers, Worldview, formed after the passing of mutual friend Rick Macias (Sacred Warrior) of band members guitarist George Rene Ochoa (Deliverance, Recon, Vengeance Rising) and vocalist Rey Parra (Sacred Warrior). Although Worldview is a relatively new band, Ochoa and Parra are veteran musicians of the metal scene. The band’s debut full-length release, The Chosen Few, is a high-energy affair consisting of several songs infused with a spiritual message, while others are about daily life issues. There’s a great mix of modern prog, power metal and heavy rock throughout its 10 tracks. Guitarist George Rene Ochoa spoke to BraveWords writer Kelley Simms about the band’s formation, the new album and more.
BraveWords: Worldview initially formed after the death of a mutual friend. Briefly tell me about the band’s origins.
George Rene Ochoa: “Johnny Gonzales, Todd Libby and I were working together for some time and knew that we wanted to put out a record and play live. At the same time Rick Macias and I talked about doing a project together with his best friend and ex-band mate Rey Parra. I had met the guys in Sacred Warrior when I was on tour with Deliverance. Rick Macias and I struck up a friendship and kept in touch through the years. Rick ended up passing away and when that happened, Rey and I started talking. We decided to form Worldview in honor of Rick's wish. Rick was a great brother and had a great ability of befriending strangers and bringing people together. Even after his death, Rick was able to bring Worldview together somehow.”
BraveWords: Although there’s a message within the band’s lyrics, you don’t really shove it down anyone’s throats. As a Christian metal band, do you have a certain agenda?
George Rene Ochoa: “Not to stir the pot, but I see us as just a metal band that happens to be Christians. To label yourself as a (Christian metal) band is to alienate people who don't have your same worldview. Music is the universal language and we want to appeal to everyone. Some of our lyrics are Bible based and others are about issues of life. Believe me, I have been around the "Christian" music scene and I have seen first hand people who proudly called themselves a Christian band that lived as if there was no God. Labeling yourself a Christian band has nothing to do with being bold for God. Your life and your behavior is what should reflect your Christianity, not your label.”
BraveWords: There are some great guest appearances by some of the most influential Christian metal musicians; Oz Fox (Stryper), Les Carlsen (Bloodgood) and others. What did each player bring to the songs?
George Rene Ochoa: “It was an honor working with all of these guys. Oz Fox and his skillful lead playing was such a treat to have on our record. His lead is shredding and melodic on the song "Back in Time". It’s one of my personal favorites on the record. Les Carlsen was recruited by Rey to lay down some vocals. He soon came over to my studio and let me tell you that it was so much fun working with Les. He is a great singer and a very encouraging man of God. What an awesome part he laid down on the title track. Larry Farkas is a close friend and a great guitar player. It was only natural for him play on the record. Jimmy P Brown II and I remained good friends throughout the years. I knew that I had to put Jimmy on the record somehow. He is such a huge talent. I am sure he and I will write together for the next Worldview record.”
BraveWords: On the track “Mortality,” are you challenging people’s way of thinking before judgement time and to be responsible for one’s actions?
George Rene Ochoa: “’They are but mortal men, and when they die their plans all die with them. Reaping what they've sown, cause in the end, no one vexes death.’ Those lyrics say it all. The Bible says that we all will die and either reap everlasting life or eternal death. We choose everlasting life through faith in The Lord Jesus Christ.”
BraveWords: Worldview has a classic ’70s rock sound with huge choruses. How did you go about constructing the songs on The Chosen Few?
George Rene Ochoa: “I am a big fan of Deep Purple, old Whitesnake and Rainbow. I wrote this record with various people and that's what I believe gives it all the different flavors. A couple of the songs are songs I wrote years ago that I revamped to sound more modern. Like "Back in Time" is several years old, written about a bad breakup that I experienced back then. "The Mirror" and "The Last Cry" were Recon songs that were going to be on the second record that never happened. The rest of songs just came about. When Rey and I were recording certain songs on the record, we knew that the Holy Spirit was in the studio with us and guiding us. It was awesome. Goosebumps.”
BraveWords: What were the various delays that set the original 2014 album release date back and how’s it feel to finally have it out?
George Rene Ochoa: “I am an imperfect perfectionist. I wanted it to be as killer as possible. Many of my friends teased me that I would be 70 when this record was released. Well, I had to learn when to say when and let it go. In the end, it turned out killer and I am very proud of this record. More so than anything else that I have ever done.”
BraveWords: The Chosen Few was produced by yourself. What were you trying to accomplish and do you like wearing the producers hat as well as performing?
George Rene Ochoa: “That's another reason the record was delayed because of the producers hat that I wore throughout the recording of this record. It's taken me a long time to get to the point of achieving the tones I got on this record. From the drums to the guitar tones. I recorded and re-amped the guitars several times. I really like the guitar tones that I finally got on the record. I used all Orange amps with a Shure SM57 mic and Senheiser 609 mic blended. The next record will go a lot quicker, Lord willing.”
BraveWords: The album was mixed and mastered by the very competent Bill Metoyer. What was his contribution like and was the end result what you were hoping for or is there anything about the album you would want to change?
George Rene Ochoa: “There is nothing I would change about this record. I am so happy that Bill mixed this record. I knew that he would do a great job. Bill is a great guy to hang out with and an extremely great mixer. He knows what metal is supposed to sound like. Mixing is the most important stage of a record and I knew handing it over to Bill would be a great thing.”
BraveWords: Going forward with Worldview, what do you hope to achieve or accomplish?
George Rene Ochoa: “Worldview hopes to play many shows and meet face to face some of the people out there. We are excited about rehearsing for our upcoming shows. We are excited about starting preproduction for our next record. It's going to be tough to top this record. But we will try.”