The members of heavy metal band SHATTERED SUN never thought a tour which literally left them stranded would ultimately result in their being signed by industry legends.
Marcos Leal, Daniel Trejo, Joseph Guajardo and Robert and Henry Garza, all of Alice, joined by Jessie Santos of Portland, Texas, are SHATTERED SUN. The group's national tour with the Grammy-nominated band Spineshank was not all they had hoped; however, a friendship was born between Leal and Spineshank's guitarist Mike Sarkisyan.
The two men kept in touch; and when Leal sent Sarkisyan a demo from the album SHATTERED SUN was working on, Sarkisyan was so impressed by what he heard he told the group he wanted to put them in touch with Maria Ferrero, the CEO of Adrenaline PR.
Leal said, "We'd been recording for almost a year, and we wanted to build our fan base back up. Mike said 'halt production on everything you're doing,' and that he wanted to have someone listen to the demo."
Ferrero said, "When originally approached by the band to work their PR campaign via Adrenaline PR, within moments of listening, I realized that this is also a management opportunity. We could not book a flight to Texas fast enough to see if this was for real. IT IS. Let the games begin."
Ferrero showed the demo to her friends Jon "Jonny Z" and Marsha Zazula, the founders of MegaForce Records and Crazed Management and the driving force behind the discovery of Metallica, which many regard as the premier heavy metal band in the world. The three, along with Chuck Billy, renowned lead vocalist for Testament, have formed Breaking Bands, LLC; and SHATTERED SUN is their flagship group under the new company, Leal said.
Breaking Bands contacted SHATTERED SUN almost immediately after hearing their demo, wanting to hear more and find out if they were "the real deal." The band sent what they had finished of their album to Breaking Bands the day before Thanksgiving. Leal said he almost couldn't believe how fast they got a call, with Breaking Bands wanting an immediate meeting.
"To hear these giants were talking about us on their (Thanksgiving) break, it's really cool - Jonny Z, Metallica - these are the guys we look up to," Leal said. It didn't take long for Breaking Bands to decide they wanted to represent the group. The Zazulas said, "After spending time with SHATTERED SUN and hearing them both live and on record, all we can say is... it's great to believe again."
Discussions in December resulted in a contract, which the band's lawyer looked over and said needed revision. "They (lawyer) found five clauses in the contract, and they (Breaking Bands) gave us everything we wanted. It kind of spoke volumes to us. It's shocking what they're willing to do for us as a new group," Leal said.
Billy said, "When I first heard the two-song demo of SHATTERED SUN, I thought their sound and songs were very catchy. The vocals had a lot of aggression and melody which caught my ear right away. When I heard the rest of the songs I knew they were onto something. When we had the opportunity to fly to Texas to meet the guys in the band, I knew we wanted to work with the band in any way we could. Let the onslaught begin."
SHATTERED SUN signed a five-album contract in January. They head to Los Angeles in May for press and radio appearances and will perform a showcase at the legendary Whiskey-A-Go-Go. A number of meetings and press opportunities are in the works and Leal said the management company has told the band they are "pretty much guaranteed we'll have a label before we leave L.A."
SHATTERED SUN will perform at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin on March 16 and at the River City Rock Fest May 24 in San Antonio. They are excited to be performing alongside many of their own idols and some of the biggest bands in their genre, such as Kid Rock, Deftones, Seether, Five Finger Death Punch and more.
"Normally we would have to win entry through a battle of the bands, and we were actually offered it - to actually be paid to play a show like that is a big deal," Leal said.
The group is also in negotiations to tour for six weeks with either the Warped Tour or the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival just in time to kick off the release of their album, "Hope Within Hatred," scheduled to hit shelves this summer on CD and iTunes. They acknowledged that it has been a team effort, mentioning their producer, Robert Beltran, who has been offered a job as their tour manager; their photographer, Steven Garcia; and Michelle Morales, who "handles all our merchandise so we can get back home."
The band members said they really wanted to express to "the kids around here" that they should never give up.
"Chase your dreams. You don't have to grow up and become an oilfield worker, even though that's what most of us are doing for a living right now," Leal said, laughing.
"You wouldn't believe the number of people who've told us we'd never make it as a band. Somehow we've always found a way to get past it. It takes a lot of sacrifices - no one understands that. You have to sacrifice your personal life - it becomes your personal life."
Robert Garza added, "It hit me really hard the night that we signed the contract - this is the next 10 years of my life."
Find SHATTERED SUN on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shatteredsun, and on YouTube, iTunes and other download sites.