Meet the Maggots: Thrown Into Exile pay homage to metal's rich history while pushing heavy music forward

Meet the Maggots: Thrown Into Exile pay homage to metal's rich history while pushing heavy music forward

- By Ramon Gonzales

Southern California shredders Thrown Into Exile discuss their influences, the direction of their new music and the importance of performing in the birthplace of metal.

As veterans of Southern California's extreme music subculture, Thrown Into Exile have solidified their reputation as one of the genre's most consistent practitioners. The band's potent meld of hulking guitars and melodic finesse has become their stylistic signature - a balance the band best refined on their most recent full length in 2020's Illusion of Control.

Apart from the outfit's continued distillation of heft and precision execution, there is a very apparent sense of reverence for the art that resonates in Thrown Into Exile's presentation. Anchored by a foundation that embraces extreme music more like proactive students than passive fans, the band's sonic evolution is a testament to the tradition they align with.

That is further reiterated by Thrown Into Exile's ability to pair well with various subgenera, backed by a live resume of supporting slots that span from vile death metal to anthemic melodic metal to time-tested classic thrash.

Set to increase their reach to an international audience with a slew of live dates abroad, Thrown Into Exile will mark a pivotal point in their budding career. The band will take on shows with thrash legends Death Angel, make an appearance at the iconic Bloodstock Festival at Catton Park, UK and participate in the inaugural live Pulse of the Maggots Festival in Birmingham.

As students of the game, the showcase play comes with the added significance of playing where heavy music all originated. The band's guitarist Mario Rubio spoke about playing on such hallowed heavy music grounds, what's on the horizon for the band, and how sharing the stage with artists who inspired them only fueled their creative fire.

Given the metal IQ of a band like Thrown Into Exile, how important is it for you to play a show in Birmingham?

Rubio - For us its beyond important as its the birthplace of Metal itself. All you need to say here is... BLACK SABBATH! Big Ozzy fan and to play in the city that started it is like a great metal pilgrimage.

There is a healthy Swedish influence in your sound. Given that fact, the band has played with legends like Dark Tranquility and At the Gates - among the pioneers of the sound. What kind of full circle moment was that like for you as a band?

Rubio - Melodic Death Metal has always been present in our sound in one way or another, its the energy, mood, and texture you get with melodies while playing aggressive riffs. I love moody sounding riffs. It's not only an honor to open for these bands but also childhood goals that started when first listening to At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Soilwork, and Arch Enemy in High School and saying to yourself 'How cool would it be to have my own band and open for them one day'. Thankfully we have been very fortunate and consider ourselves lucky that it happened.

II: Illusion of Control arrived in 2020 and was the band’s first full length in four years. It looks like the band is already working on new material. What can you tell us about the direction of the new music and how has returning to the live stage impacted you as a songwriter?

Rubio - Best way I can describe where the new material is going musically is that its more aggressive, touching upon heavier influences but still melancholic and at some points, more somber sounding. Coming from Illusion of Control as a writer and after a while of living with the record you get to notice your strong suits but also where you want to take things and escalate them from there and expand your sound that feels right and represent yourself individually but as a band as well. In a live setting some songs hit better live than the recordings, which makes you take a step back and analyze how this will translate in a live setting. The studio and the stage are two different animals.

Pulse of the Maggots is a about diversity and discovery. What kind of value do you put on being included on this showcase?

Rubio - We simply are a metal band on our own terms, we are not following trends. We are playing what feels right for us musically. We feel there's value in that and the message you'll find in the topics we touch lyrically.

For fans just discovering your band - what can they expect from your live show come August 10th?

Rubio - Expect a very aggressive live performance. We are coming at full force and we will feed off each other's energy.

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