Known as “America’s Blue Collar band” XFactor1 is the real mother deal y’all. One listen to their newest release Famous. Last. Words. and you will hear an album (and band) that is filled with emotion, energy, and killer hard rocking music. Famous. Last. Words. has 13 ass-kicking treats for your metal ears that will leave you wanting to gorge again and again.
It’s all there. It is just waiting for you to pick it up and add it to your metal arsenal. I had the chance to chat with Q-Ball (vocals)… Here it is metal heads.
Interview with XFactor1:
Jase: Who are some of your Major Influences?
Jase: What are some of your more memorable shows that you have played? What would a dream tour be?
Q-Ball: We have played at the Uproar Festival and have had the honor of playing with a lot of major bands. I would say Rock on the Range was really incredible. We were called and chosen to be the first unsigned band to play at ROTR. We played in front of 12-15,000 people. The picture on our Facebook page was actually taken from the drum riser at ROTR. We got people pumped the day before by handing out info and talking to people and taking pictures out in the parking lot. It was killer. A dream tour for us would be Metallica, Five Finger Death Punch, Deftones, KoЯn, Hellyeah and Mudvayne.
Jase: With the music business being different than it was 20 years ago, what gives XFactor1 the strength to continue? What struggles have you had trying to get your music out there?
Q-Ball: It is really a faulty issue. There is more competition than ever out there and a shrinking market. People are creating music electronically and management is creating manufactured “artists” (like Justin Beiber). The lack of developmental deals is another big thing. It used to be the norm for a record company to sink $100-$200 grand into a band and you don’t see a lot of that anymore. We are self-supported. We do it for the love of music. It is a real struggle for an artist that doesn’t have several hits on the radio. If there is progress, we are going to keep on going.
Jase: What message are you trying to convey to your fans with Famous. Last. Words.?
Q-Ball: I hope it’s not famous last words (laughs). I like to say real world realities through the life of real world people. We are the Blue Collar band of the people. We’re not exactly pretty or sexy or handsome guys, so it has to be all about the music. I don’t write music that doesn’t come from the heart. It’s all true stories.
Jase: Who was the main songwriter on Famous. Last. Words.? Was it mostly you or a collaboration?
Q-Ball: I would say it’s about 50/50. I come in with a riff idea, I play guitar – just not in the band. I bring the riff to the guys and we breathe life into it. So, my riff and idea, then collaboration after that.
Jase: A lot of the songs on the album seem to be very personal in nature. Can you elaborate?
Q-Ball: I really think the best stories are true stories. I was trying to be completely honest about what my mind frame was. I was trying to connect to people and I think a lot of people can relate to that.
Jase: The track “Miss Me Now” seems to be in a different vein than the rest of the album. What is the story behind its inclusion?
Q-Ball: We weren’t sure that we were going to add it at first. I think it has an 80′s feel to it. It is the first song that I have people tell me would do great on the radio but we didn’t want to lead with a ballad. I am married and we have been separated for 4 years. We have reconnected at times; this song was inspired by that reconnection. True love doesn’t die easily.
Q-Ball: We were going to do a CD but we only had enough for an EP. We knew it would be going to a national level. I wanted the new album to be a cohesive album that flowed. We wanted to give people their money’s worth. I changed the songs around about 5 times. It is like our live set. If you see us live, there are ups and downs. I like to do that to keep things flowing.
Jase: What lead you to the decision to cover Billy Squires “The Stroke”?
Q-Ball: Well, we are really kinda an anti-cover band. I have always been a big fan of Billy Squires. It is a great booty shaking titty quaking type of song. Guys like to see the girls shaking their asses to it. It was very personal to me. I talked the guys into it. We get the girls and the crowd onstage and have a good time.
Jase: Some bands are said to be studio bands where others seem to be better live. Where does XFactor1 shine?
Q-Ball: Live. People come up to me all the time at the shows and say that. We are very passionate people on the stage. You can’t fake passion and people respond to that. It is very important that people see that.
Q-Ball: My two favorite to play are “Never”, one of the heaviest songs we do live. I also like to do “Live Another Day”. My guitarist came to me and wanted to do “Never” acoustically, which came out great. I like the metal version better live. Those two songs also happen to be the crowd favorites.
Jase: How important to you as a band is it that you connect to your fans? What measures do you take to ensure that when people come to see you live, that they feel a connection to you?
Q-Ball: It’s everything. Every time we play I say we have a V.I.P. in the house; I then point out to the crowd. Every single person that comes to our shows is a V.I.P. Without them, shit doesn’t go down. We don’t hide in the van before or after shows. We play it like an honest politician. We do shots with people and make friends. We want to develop long lasting relationships with people. X-Nation is what we call those who support us and come to our shows and listen to our music. I can remember everyone that I talk to. I sometimes forget a name but I never forget a face. I don’t like the word fans; they are friends and family. Our friends and family bring us food to the shows and we have even stayed at their houses. They are really all friends and family and that is the way we like it. We never take anyone for granted. I don’t see enough of that going on with bands these days and that bothers me.
Jase: What four words describes XFactor1 as a band?
Q-Ball: Four words that describe us would be Precision, Performance, Power and Passion, the four P’s. It is our war cry. We do a fist pump before the show and say that. That sums us up as a whole.
Jase: Here is your chance to speak directly to the fans. What message would you like me to pass along to them?
Q-Ball: If you give us a shot you will not regret it. We will always earn your respect and we don’t expect anything for nothing. Come on out to a show. We are trying to meet people and form relationships that last forever. We are releasing the Video to “The Stroke” Monday, Nov. 26th. 2012. Check it out, I think you will dig it. I am very great full to have had the chance to talk with you Jase.
Jase: Thanks for your time man.
Beyond friendly guys trying to earn a honest living the American way, by working hard for it. That is XFactor1- real guys with real stories to tell. Show them some love by supporting their live shows, buying their music and merchandise. Head on over and like their Facebook page. Check out their video of “The Stroke” It will kick your ass.
~Jase Spuncter, Journalist with RockRevolt™ Magazine