Three years after releasing their self-titled national debut, Virginia’s SAINT DIABLO have returned with their sophomore metal masterpiece entitled ‘Devil Horns and Halos’. The album was produced by Tim “Rumblefish” Gilles (Anthrax, Taking Back Sunday, ill Nino) at Big Blue Meenie studios in Jersey City, NJ. The new album features ten ferocious tracks of raging metal, which capture the band’s abilities as songwriters and performers like they’ve never been showcased before.
A lot can happen in three years time however. “Our label Eclipse Records elected the option to deliver a second album, so we got the opportunity to work with Tim Gilles of Big Blue Meenie recording studios. After spending a couple months in pre-production with his team, we began tracking the new material with Tim in September of 2013” states guitarist Justin Adams. “We were on cloud nine, working with a well-known producer in a world-class recording studio. Tim’s approach to capturing our sound was so inspirational. This was what we dreamed of all our lives, and then life threw us some pretty significant detours… I got divorced, and shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with cancer.”
“He was faced with some difficult decisions, and the lyrics for ‘Survive This’ were written about him” states vocalist Tito Quinones. “I was impressed with how he balanced the pain, faced his mortality, and was still able to write and perform some of the most powerful music that’s ever come out of him. Right around the same time, our previous bass player had to leave the band and our tour manager Tyler Huffman replaced him.” Tito continues, “My wife and I had to move twice in 2014 due to her job, then my mother who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s passed away. We were very close and her death hit me real hard. I dropped everything, went back to Puerto Rico, and just spent some time with family.”
The title track ‘Devil Horns and Halos’ however, hits particularly close to home for the band. “The honest folks wear their devil horns, so you know what you’re getting… they are out for themselves” states Tito, “but the halo-wearers are the masked ones you’re unsure of. They’re supposed to be the good guys, but often they end up showing their true colors. The frustration and confusion of this dynamic is what Devil Horns and Halos is all about.”
In countless ways however, the band saw beauty come out of tragedy in the time between the last album and this one. Drummer Brian Bush welcomed the birth of his son, the band eventually completed the new album, and Justin Adams is now finally cancer free.
“At the end of the day, I believe it’s safe to say that we’ve all finally arrived to a common place, and that place is a re-invigorated and re-imagined SAINT DIABLO that is ready to release the very best album and live performances of our careers. We are fortunate to be able to create from the things that life gives us” states Tito Quinones. “Being able to share these things with the world is what it’s all about”.Recently caught up with Tito, here’s what he had to say.
Questions for Saint Diablo
Where did you get the idea to form Saint Diablo?
The idea to form Saint Diablo came about in Chancellor high school in Fredericksburg Virginia when we wanted to partake in a talent show back in 1993. Since then there have been many lineup changes but Justin Adams and I have pretty much been in it together since day one.
Did you record any demos before the first full-length?
We have recorded many many demos CDs prior to our 2012 self titled release. Actually too many to recall off the top of my head. Here is a link to some of our realy cool older stuff that never got any national attention. http://christianmusic.holybible.co/artist/Saint-Diablo . Dont let the link title scare you 😉 for some reason this Christian music online site is archiving all our older works and its bad ass!!! And thats just the tip of the ice burge. There is so much more available on youtube, iTunes, and more. Just google Saint Diablo songs and you will be busy for days.
Where did you record your debut album? Were there any well-known producers on your team?
Our 2012 CD was recorded by the late Corey Smoot AKA Flattus Maximus of Gwar in Richmond Va. Our 2015 release was recorded in Utica NY and on Honoken NJ by Tim Gilles (Ill Ninño, VOD, and many more). Both released on Eclipse Records. It was a honor and pleasure to work with Tim . He has changed us as a band from beginning to end. It was truly like a musical boot camp. For a more comprehensive look at the bands Tim Gilles’s credits plz go to
When did you begin work on your second album?
We started working on our 2nd natinal full lengh CD around the begining of 2013 of I remember correctly. Took a while to write the entire album.and the record it. We got off the road and just locked our selves into our wearhouse and hammered away till we thought we had something special. Tim made us go back to the drawing board several times. He pushes us to better than we had thought we could be.
Are there any lyrical influences on the new album?
I take lyrical influence from so many places. Chino, B-Real, Max, Ever Last /House of Pain, Korn, Slipknot…. The list is endless. However thise are just a few of my metal influences. I also love so many other types of folks: Portishead, Don Omar, Tego Calderon, Archangel, De la ghetto, School boy Q, Gloria Estefan, Mark Anyhony, Ricky.Martin, Buckshot Shorty & the boot camp click, Smith n Wessen, De la soul, Stabing Westward, Taproot…. The list goes on. You can find a little a little piece of every one or band listed in my lyrics and in our music along with so much more.
Have you played with any major acts in your area?
We have played with many many major acts. To list them all would be take too much time. I’ll just mention the past 4 years since thats the most relevant:
In This Moment, HedPE, Avatar, Ill Niño, Bobaflex, Asking Alexandria, Seasons After, Everybody Panic, September Mourning, Shattered Sun, … and the list goes on.
Which bands would you consider taking with you if you were to embark on a large tour?
If I had a total control over who we go on tour with I would say Cypress Hill, Korn, Avatar, Deftones, Rob Zombie, Manson
What style of music do you play?
We play a fresh on latin influenced metal. We use bilingual lyrics and approach our music with a world view when ever possible.
Have any life situations made an impact on your work with the band as a whole?
Being in a band that had survived the underground for over 20 years I would say that the list of life events that have shaped this too numerous to list. So of the highlights include the following:
Moving to Richmond, going to and completing Virginia Commonwealth University, getting married, my mother being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, watching her suffer and eventually die 10 years later, the imprisonment of a close and personal friend, the loss of many friends and family throughout all that was listed, influenced me heavily. Along with all the tours and shows and friendships that were made a long the journey as well.
Do you have any shows planned?
We just finished an ILL Nino tour Across the Nation and plan to take a few weeks off. We are in the planning phase of our next tour now and will definitely have some more news in the near the computer about the next show.
What do you do in your spare time?
When I have spare time I love movies, acting, spending time with my family, the beach, and going to the gym. I try to be as creative as I can being in my everyday life and do my my best to live in the moment.
Is it hard to balance family time and the band?
It is difficult to balance family time and my musical career along with gainful employment. However I imagine all species Under the Sun find a challenging to wear all the hats they were meant to wear. At the end of the day we either strive to do all that we are meant to do or we don’t and waste our lives and potential. I understand that maybe being a very black-and-white perspective but when it comes to motivating oneself – sometimes providing too much gray area can being unmotivating.
How can people find you? Do you use social media often?
If you use social media you can definitely find Saint Diablo on the internet. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many more.
Where can people buy your CDs? Do you have merchandise like T-shirts as well?
You can find most of our work in all fine retailers on Earth. If we’re not on their physical shelves you can order them through those organizations on line. Saint Diablo music can be found at Google Play, iTunes, Best Buy, FYE, www.eclipserecords.biz , and many many more. We have t-shirts, wristbands, CDs, stickers, posters, lanyards, and other special merchandise available at show and we also have online merchandise available at eclipserecords.com and SaintDiablo.com.
Where do you see Saint Diablo in five years?
In 5 years I hope to see st. Diablo as either a household name or bubbling up to be so. I hope that continuous touring with bands on the rise or on the national stage will increase our national and international awareness. I hope that people give our new album devil horns and Halos a listen to and realize that we have something for everyone. I hope that that will be the key to our success. Multiculturalism will hopefully include us into the world market period and within five years I hope to have accomplished several world tours with high-profile bands.
My final thoughts on St Diablo is that the name of the band and the purpose of the music has always been to provide balance in my life. I spend a lot of time thinking about how unbalanced the world around me is and hopefully with our music we can help restore a little balance. Even if it’s just with the song and even if it’s just for the length of that song.