Haydee Irizarry of Boston Melodic Metal Band Aversed Talks to Unrated Magazine
By Dan Locke
Aversed is an extreme melodic metal five piece hailing from Boston, USA, striving to weave a hybrid of brutality and elegance for all fans of heavy music. Their musical style couples dark, smooth clean vocals and classic death gutturals over thrash and death metal riffs, combining progressive and soulful melodies with the abrasiveness of extreme metal. Their debut EP, “Renewal” was released in 2016.
Unratedmagazine: How did you join Aversed? Tell me about the development of the band?
Haydee Irizarry: Aversed had been a band since 2010 before I lived in Boston. As I was attending Berklee College of Music I had met many local metal musicians and bands and had been referred to be their new vocalist and joined them in 2015. It wasn’t until then that our drummer was solidified and the line became a new force in the metal scene.
I see on your homepage you are a composer, performer, Instrumentalist, Vocalist, Arranger and Educator. Tell me about each. I did not know you play anything, until now. What do you play?
At Berklee I majored in Contemporary Writing and Production, which allowed me the opportunity to develop my skills as a composer, arranger, and producer in many different contemporary genres. In my youth I had studied guitar, piano, and bass through private teachers and through the Chicago School of Rock.
What year, made and model of instruments does you play?
I currently own a SP-250 88-Key Korg that serves as my main practice and compositional instrument. I also own a vintage Viking II Hagstrom guitar from the late 60s that I got at my local music shop in Allston.
How did you pick your name?
The band name Aversed was picked out by our guitarist Sungwoo J. It is not a real word, but it is based on the word averse and aversion, which means “extreme opposition towards”.
Tell me about your backgrounds?
All of the musicians in Aversed are hardworking guys. We all come from different backgrounds musically and personally, ranging from primarily self-taught to having a degree from Berklee College of Music.
You are from Boston. Can you tell me about the music scene there? And what your favorite club to play in Boston and why is it?
The Boston/New England music scene is a growing force that continues to push itself to put on amazing shows with amazing bands. The talent here is outstanding and it’s only a matter of time before we see all of our friends playing together on the big stages.
How do you describe your music?
The musical style of Aversed couples dark, smooth clean vocals and classic death gutturals over thrash and death metal riffs, combining progressive and soulful melodies with the abrasiveness of extreme metal.
What type of music did you listen to growing up?
I listened to Blues, Classic Rock, Classical, and Latin music growing up.
Who influences you and why?
I am all over the place with influences, but if we are speaking in the genre metal. I am influenced by Joe Duplantier of Gojira, Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy, and all classic metal vocalists such as Dio, Ozzy, and Rob Halford.
How did you get picked for Chicago Open Air?
We were nominated and chosen through Heavy Rotation Records of Berklee College of Music. A program that picks Berklee bands and sends them to a respective festival of their genre. We were much honored to receive this opportunity and have seen it as a pedestal for our aspirations as we continue forward.
How was it? And any good stories you can tell me?
Phenomenal! There was a moment when we were about to leave for good and had no clue were our guitarist Sungwoo was. After 14 minutes of frantically searching the bus up and down, threatening to leave him behind, and blowing up his phone we realized and found him asleep in his bunk the whole time! Very stressful and hilarious.
What band did you go check out and why?
I checked out as many as possible, the biggest being Ozzy Osbourne of course. By watching all of the bands I study to improve my skills as a performer! Seeing one of the biggest legends right in front of my eyes was truly special.
How was/is Berklee?
Berklee is an amazing school flowing with endless opportunity within the college years and after. Highly recommended for musicians who want to push themselves in ways they never would have thought.
Is the band still using Myspace?
We are not.
I got the chance to check out “Everyday Is Christmas” which was recorded at Q Division Studios – Studio B in Somerville, MA. It sounded enjoying. You should release it. How did you come to record it?
I am a fan of Sia and her musicianship. She released a Christmas album in 2017 and I immediately loved the title track. I have been performing with a very talented guitarist named Chris Gardino. He had access to a studio thanks to the amazing engineer Grace Reader and we just went for it! It was truly on the whim but I am happy with the success and professionalism of the entire thing!
And so was “Summertime” – George Gershwin. That really surprise me. You should do that more often.
I will and do! My versatility as a vocalist is something that I take pride in. I have done works from Prince, Leonard Cohen, etc. I aspire to get more pop and classic rock covers out as well!
How did the video Aversed: Live at the Grid come to be. It is long? And how was it to work with Amherst Media?
Sungwoo Jeong, our guitarist, worked at their company and introduced the opportunity to us! It was very great to work with them. The equipment was top quality, the sound and the band mix on stage was very clear, and the video was perfect! We have uploaded individual tracks unto our Youtube page for shorter and specific tunes to be viewed.
I see you are in three different bands. Tell me about each?
I have mentioned Aversed thus far: essentially Melodic Death Metal.
I front Carnivora, a band who is currently transitioning their sound from Metalcore/Death metal to a more groove oriented Heavy Metal band with death metal influences
Zahra is a rock/alternative metal band that consists of my original compositions. The band is heavily influenced by r&b, soul, groove, and heavy metal.
Any plans to tour the US this year?
Yes, Carnivora is currently planning to tour down to SXSW in the Spring. There are aspirations to tour for Aversed throughout the year as well.
Do you have any endorsement deals?
Carnivora has established relationships with some amazing companies such as Orange Amps, Gator Cases, and Legator Guitars to name a few.
Any new music coming out from any of your bands?
Aversed and Carnivora are currently working on full lengths at the moment and Zahra is currently working on their debut EP. So I anticipate a busy 2018!!
How did you get signed to the label?
None of my bands are currently signed.
What type of clubs have you played in (size)?
I have played in many small to large stages in a wide variety of local bars and clubs. All have been awesome and a great learning experience for myself and my bands.
What music fests would you like to play in?
I would like to play Maryland Death Fest some year. NAMM and SWSW would be fantastic, and I would love to return to Chicago Open Air in the future.
Have you looked into SXSW?
We are currently looking into SXSW!
What is your feeling of Van Warped Tour since 2018, is the last year for it?
This is the last year for Vans Warped Tour. The touring festival has been around for a long time and has brought many a musicians, fans, and companies together for years. I had an amazing time performing for the event and I believe that they will go out with a huge bang and not disappoint.
How would you explain your live performance?
No matter the band I am in, I am very engaged in the music and what is required from it to deliver a great performance. There is rarely an event where you will see me not pouring out my heart and soul in one form or another. I am a very passionate and deliberate person so I pay attention to the dynamics of a performance as much as possible.
If someone was listening to you for the first time, what 3 videos or songs would you tell them to look/listen to and why?
I would tell them to look at my cover videos and my Aversed music video.
Because they are diverse and represent me as I am now. Still growing but slowly establishing a strong voice within the music industry.
How do you see your band in the next 5 years?
I see Aversed developing an amazing record in 2018/2019 and really going full force with it. I would love to be able to tour to Europe in 5 years.
Any guilty pleasures your fans would be surprise you listen to?
I like well written pop music. I thoroughly enjoy a good amount of Katy Perry, Sia, Lady Gaga, and more. But for those who know me, know that I am very open minded when it comes to music so it should not come as any surprise.
What is on your bucket list?
Travel! I would love to see the culture in other countries around the world. The world has so much to offer.
What is on your phone for music now?
I have Chelsea Wolfe, Bjork, Black Sabbath, and At The Gates currently. I do not update my iPod from my phone much.
Anything in closing you would like to say?
Thank you very much for your interest in my bands and musicianship! Have an amazing 2018 and keep rockin!
Thank you for the Interview