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Hell Is Coming Too: An Exclusive Interview With RODRIGO VAN STOLI Of OFFICER X

By Jason 'JRock' Houston, Contributor
Saturday, September 16, 2023 @ 9:09 AM

"When I was 12, I bought The Number of The Beast by IRON MAIDEN, and that was it! Out the window with piano lessons. Get me a guitar!"

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Hello and welcome to Part 2 of our OFFICER X interview, In part 2 of this interview we wanted to also get the perspective of another band member about what is currently going on with OFFICER X so we spoke with Guitarist/Vocalist Rodrigo Van Stoli who talked about growing up in Brazil and how he was heavily influenced by music that came from Brazil when he was growing up but he then mentioned the fact that he was influenced bu other bands such as KISS and IRON MAIDEN. Rodrigo explained that he only took about 20 guitar lessons in his life so he considers himself very much a self-taught player. Rodrigo also explains that like many musicians before him he started out on the piano but that he eventually it was the guitar that would become his instrument of choice, and we talked about just how involved the band are in the making of their music videos.

KNAC.COM: Hello Rodrigo and thanks for taking time out of your very busy schedule to do this interview w/KNAC.COM. Can you please tell us where home base is for the band? How long has the band together?

VAN STOLI: We are from the Boston area. Peet and I have been writing songs for about 7 or 8 years, but we finally became a band in 2018.

KNAC.COM: Who were the band's musicians who had the greatest influence on you when you were growing up?

VAN STOLI: I am from Brazil, so a lot of that music is in my blood... not exactly metal or even rock n' roll, but the sense of melody and harmony stayed with me in a big way. When I was about 10 or 11, I started getting into RUSH, DEEP PURPLE, KISS, THE POLICE, pretty much anything that came my way. When I was 12, I bought The Number of The Beast by IRON MAIDEN, and that was it! Out the window with piano lessons. Get me a guitar!

KNAC.COM: How old were you when you first started playing the guitar? Did you take lessons or would you consider yourself to be a self-taught player?

VAN STOLI: I was 13. I took about 20 lessons total in my life. I can't say I am self-taught, because everyone has always been teaching me something. Buddies would learn licks and pass them on, I'd pick up a copy of Guitar Player or Guitar For The Practicing Musician, and learn stuff from those. There was no YouTube, so you actually had to figure shit out! I have had a lot more training as a singer than a guitar player... and I think it shows, haha.

KNAC.COM: OFFICER X to my ears sounds like old-school metal and I think anyone who's a fan of DIO, JUDAS PRIEST or IRON MAIDEN will love OFFICER X. How happy are you with the way the fans have reacted to both the new Hell Is Coming album as well as to how the fans have responded to the band?

VAN STOLI: Extremely happy! It's the exact response we were looking for. Most reviews mention how it sounds like the classics, but with a new spin. That's the way we also hear it. We didn't set out to sound like any specific band, but our influences are pretty clear and that doesn't bother me one bit.

KNAC.COM: Has OFFICER X toured outside of the band's local area?

VAN STOLI: We have played regionally in New England, but not much farther out than that. We will if the right opportunity comes up, but we are not at a stage where that comes easy. We are more about creating and putting things out there, and seeing what happens. But I have to be honest, I am definitely jonesing for some touring adventures. I did it with my old band BANG CAMARO for five years, and swore I'd never do it again... but never say never!

KNAC.COM: I must say that I was quite impressed with your music videos. How involved are you with coming up with ideas for your music videos?

VAN STOLI: Thanks man! Peet and I are very involved. We just like to create cool stuff and have people go "how the hell did you come up with that", and "how the hell did you pay for it"? haha. We have lots of talented friends who love the music and cut us deals, but I think creativity can make a little money go a long way.

KNAC.COM: The video for "Hellfire" is a great live performance of the band. Where was that video filmed and what do you remember from the night that video was filmed?

VAN STOLI: That was in a loft at a town near us - not really a live performance, but we were definitely going for that look and feel. We worked with this studio that can pretty much make you look like you're playing an arena, when the actual place is relatively small. We had a blast making that one.

KNAC.COM: What is currently going on with the band?

VAN STOLI: We are in the process of writing the follow-up to Hell Is Coming - we got 4 or 5 songs, and we are going to New Haven CT to record basics in a couple of weeks. We are also booking local and regional gigs, and finishing up another video for our next single "The Red Prince". It's gonna be a good one!

KNAC.COM: Where can fans find you and the band online?

VAN STOLI: Instagram is where we are most active: https://www.instagram.com/officerxmusic/ - but we are also on Facebook with the same handle https://www.facebook.com/officerxmusic and Twitter (X) https://twitter.com/officerxmusic when we remember it exists haha. The place is such a cesspool. If you'd like to support the band and download a high-quality copy of the album, Bandcamp is the place to go: https://officerx.bandcamp.com/. And our website is https://www.officerxmusic.com/.

KNAC.COM: Is there anything else you'd like to say to all the OFFICER X fans out there?

VAN STOLI: Thanks for digging the album. We are very proud of it. Be kind to one another, and we hope to see you on the road soon!

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