Information is everywhere! From conspiracy theories to tips about keeping an unruly girlfriend content — if you can think it; you can find something about it online. One promotional tool which has grown in popularity in the metal community is video reviews on YouTube. These often have someone recording footage of themselves while analyzing music. The success of this medium is warranted because it brings a face and voice to a review instead of just reading text in a webzine or magazine. Joshua Armijo has succeeded above his peers because he brings more of an organic approach. As such, I thought that it would be worthwhile to interview him to see what he’s all about.
Howdy. Thank you for your time. What initiated your interest in metal?
Well I believe it started almost a decade or so ago when I was involved in high school activities such as choir. Did some tenor singing when I was younger. I remember a time when we were split up to go into selected rooms to work on some compositions and then the person I shared the room with instead chose to put on a CD from a band called Cannibal Corpse. The album in question was Tomb Of The Mutilated. I was beyond mesmerized, the visuals of Vince Locke’s artwork, the controversial lyrical content, and the chilling guttural vocals. In hindsight, I would say that was my introduction to metal. Of course I was also familiar with more notable names like Metallica and Black Sabbath, but I wasn’t that all familiar with death metal. TOTM was my gateway to that, and in many ways, my introduction to the metal underground.
What was your goal when you started doing video reviews? Did you have a goal? How long have you been doing video reviews? Your reviews are filled with life — I assume that this approach comes naturally to you. How would you place in juxtaposition your work and the work of other video reviewers?
I was an active YouTube user since 2007 and had treated it as a go to source for watching videos and assorted other humorous delinquencies. Until I became aware of the concept of video reviewing. That’s when I became aware of The Needle Drop and his style of reviewing. That was what led me to finally start doing videos. I’ve been a content creator since December of 2010. As far as a goal, mine is to mainly give coverage to the kind of bands that I feel are worthy of it, not so much the familiar faces within metal, I’ll talk about them if need be, but the ones that some might have not heard of are the ones I want to introduce viewers to. Another goal is to engage and encourage the viewer to not only hear what I have to say, but also be the deciding factor to whether or not one buys music from said artist. It does make a difference in the long run. I’m very enthusiastic about my love for metal, so in any sense, I feel it warrants to show it. I am also an advocate for individuality, being yourself, hence the hats I wear in most of my videos. Its a long standing trait of mine, and I have no shame in that. As far as how I would place my content among the ranks of my colleagues, I honestly don’t pay much attention to that. I’m doing my own thing, and only wish those I’m closest with the best, I know they would want the same for me. I do maintain close ties with some of those people, and I consider them dear friends.
You’re from Texas, correct? How’s the Texas metal scene? Which Texan bands stand out more than most? What is the general feel of a good metal concert in Texas? Any memorable moments that you’d like to share?
San Antonio (or Satantonio) born and raised. I think Texas has a good wealth of dedicated die hards who value a great show and are supportive to the great bands that play here. Whether it be in SA, Austin, or Houston, there’s always something awesome happening. As far as local bands are concerned, where do I even start haha. Hod is cream of the crop. I’ve watched those guys bust their hides for years and they deserve so much more, I’m so excited for Book Of The Worm to be unleashed to the masses. Morgengrau from Austin are another band that deserve admiration. Such passion for their music, tireless work ethic, and always inspirational. And Houston is responsible for the pure geniuses that are Imprecation and Blaspherian, the most evil and dedicated representations of death metal to come out of that city. An ideal Texas metal show for me would be when everyone is at the front of the stage, banging heads, and shouting along to the songs they know. And of course, rough and rowdy pit action. As far a memorable moment, it would have to be seeing War Master for the first time in the Korova basement. So violent and immerse, perfect mood and even more perfect crowd. Unforgettable.
Going back to the video reviews — Have you made a lot of friends in the metal community from online networking? What are some noteworthy experiences that you’d like to share in regards to the responses to your work online?
I’d honestly have to say that I’ve made some incredible acquaintances and true friends through social media. Some of the first friends I’ve made were fellow YouTube music review personalities, notably CountBlagorath and JGCSOUND, both hugely influential to me and my reviewing style. And of course that only led to me getting acquainted with other great comrades through YouTube and musicians throughout the metal world. I’m very humbled and appreciative of the feedback I’ve gotten for what I do. I’m just a dedicated fan who wants to talk about metal and the good that comes from it, and I’m optimistic most who have liked what I’ve done, see it that way as well. I’m especially appreciative when a band shares a review I’ve done, its complete validation to know what you do is loved and appreciated by bands. Probably when Paradise Lost shared a video of mine, I was floored. And when John Gallagher of Dying Fetus told me he loved my review of Reign Supreme. I’ve even made a few believers of some who aren’t into the concept of video reviewing, and that is beyond humbling.
Outside of metal and YouTube, what else do you enjoy? What are your favorite hobbies?
Well, I do enjoy eighties cartoons, most notably C.O.P.S., Count Duckula, Thundercats, and classic Transformers. Nickelodeon nerd, Rocko’s Modern Life, Ren & Stimpy, You Can’t Do That On Television. And of course, Spongebob Squarepants. I’m huge on ring sports. Love boxing and MMA, I’m a frequent viewer of ESPN Friday Night Fights and any UFC event. Pro wrestling (It’s still real to me damn it!), lifelong follower since I was young. Classic game show enthusiast, love Password, Match Game, and Richard Dawson era Family Feud. I love to collect hats, if it has some sort of tie in to cartoons, pop culture, or straight up bawdy humor, I’ll collect it. I grew up with Old Spice products, so that’s my preferred deodorant choice. That’s about it.
Should Texas secede from the US?
Not really. I’m sure there’d be a better answer to give but nothings coming to me at the moment.
Putin recently announced that he supports Israel’s struggle. This is rather unorthodox considering his Soviet past. How do you think that this will impact world politics?
Let just say I’d rather stick with Vladimir Putin memes as opposed to daily objectives of Vladimir Putin himself.
You work in the movie industry, correct? What are some of your favorite flicks?
I work with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, an independently owned and operated movie theater/restaurant based out of Austin. I’ve been with the original San Antonio location going on a decade now, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it and see the location not only grow, but also give birth to more SA locations, and even expand nationally to places like California, Colorado, Michigan, and New York, its only getting better. And some of my favorite movies include American Psycho, Requiem For A Dream, Maniac(1980), Full Metal Jacket, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and Robocop.
Describe Spongebob in 4 words.
Funny. Eccentric. Loving. Inspiring.
What’s your favorite band? Why?
Cannibal Corpse. They were my proper introduction to metal and many things after. Tomb Of The Mutilated made a big impact on my life, musically, visually, and emotionally. I look at their work from a horror film point of view, its over the top, garish, and uncomfortable in spots, but you think back to yourself that its only fictional. I still love them to this very day and value their impact on death metal.
Thanks again for taking the time to answer this interview. If people are interested in learning more about your work, where can they find it?
Not a problem, humbled to do this for you. Any interests can be directed to my YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/runnerjma, hope to make your time worth while. Metal can be a forever thing, learn to love, learn to live with it, because its the best thing going today. Hail metal, hail death, Armijo out.