Every once in a while I come across a CD that catches my attention with songs that seem to jump off the disc. Such was the case with Killed The Fixtion, a heavy metal band coming out of the streets of Newark and Hillside. They started as a few local kids who shared a love for heavy metal and punk rock, and it turned into an escape from hanging out with gangs and getting into trouble.
The members of the band—Nelson Ceron on vocals, Robert Asencio on bass, Kevin Izquierdo on guitar, and Abbad Ibn Townsend on drums—wanted to convey their mission and message of positivity, so the message of the music is designed to get rid of the negative false sense of self-identity, or “fiction” in one’s life through music. I caught up with the band and spoke with Kevin about what’s been happening with the fast-rising group.
How would you describe the music of KTF?
The music that we do can be best described as “heavy music.” It doesn’t have to be the common misconception of metal or anything like that, because the most mellowest of songs can be just as heavy as the most distorted of metal songs. As our friend likes to call us, “heavy mellow.” But when people ask us to describe our music, to keep it short and simple, we always tell them we’re a funky, jazzy, East Coast Pantera with a bluesy flavor. In the end, we always leave it up to the listeners to define the music for themselves.
How did the band originally get together?
The band got together when Rob and I stopped rollerblading. I picked up my nephew’s guitar and started playing while Abbad came over to the house and started banging on a baby drum set. Meanwhile, Rob found an old bass guitar that was in his house and started playing as well. Rob, Abbad and I started jamming in my basement. After entering an audition for our high school’s talent show, Nelson was in the audience. Since Nelson wasn’t doing anything at the time and was also one of our close friends, he came into the band. After the talent show, it was basically set in stone. Just a bunch of really great friends who picked up some instruments to have fun.
Who does the writing, and how does the writing process work for you?
The writing process usually works off of an idea, riff, structure, or a vocal line. Two of the three of us get together to start working on a riff that fits the feeling of the idea. We record bits and pieces of it and take them home. Next, we work on it on our own time until we meet up again. The cycle usually repeats up until we have a solid structure and idea to take to the studio where we play it. At this point, Nelson usually would have some lyrics and we further tweak the song some more. It’s a long process of trial and error to get our songs where we want it, because we literally try everything.
Who are the band’s musical influences?
The band as a whole is influenced by all music in general. We love and listen to all types of music ranging from world music, funk, blues, jazz, metal, rock, rainforest sounds, and just plain noise. We have never been a band or people that restrict ourselves to just one type of music. We always live by the philosophy of love all music, play all music, and express yourself the way you feel, but most importantly just have fun.
Any particular songs that are favorites of fans or yourself?
Our fans, who we call our family, love our songs “Pulse” and “Moonlite Blue.” Everyone prefers one over the other, but they love them both in the end.
Our band favorite would have to be “Moonlite Blue.” The song reminded us of how great it felt to be in a room with your best friends and pour your feelings into your music, and emotions into every passing note. It reminded us of why we love playing music.
What are your goals, musically and professionally?
Musically, our goal as a band is to make music that is different and that we love to play. We always want our music to be unique from everything else that is out there, so people say, “That’s a KTF song.” We want our music to move people whether it is emotionally, physically, or spiritually. We believe that with music you can make a difference in someone’s life, as it did with ours.
Professionally, our goal as a band is to ultimately be able to make a living off our music. We don’t care about being rock stars or being famous; we just want to be able to play our music and tour without having to worry about if we’re going to eat the next day.
Where does the name come from?
Killed The Fixtion is about personal growth. Honestly, the concept was never really thought about; it just happened to be that way. We all had troubled pasts with lots of stupid, infantile beliefs that gangs were cool or cradled us to make us men. When KTF happened, I think we all just put two and two together. We felt that “Killed” being in past tense meant we went through the fictional, “Fixtion” situations in our lives. In the end, we grew up and out of it. So we believe that through our music, we can inspire the same change. Almost like a “looking in the mirror” effect.
You can check out Killed The Fixtion at ktfnj.com, and facebook.com/ktfnj.