Aquila – New Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD:  How would you describe your band as an artist?

MA: Hello.  Thanks for having me.  My name is Mark Arruda and I’m the vocalist for Aquila from Hamilton Ontario (Canada).  We get this question a lot.  We are a metalcore band but we focus more on the heavier side of metal.  We like adding a lot of early melodeath style to our sound as well.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

MA: I started playing in metal bands in 1999 in Windsor, Ontario.  I’m actually from Leamington, Ontario (a small tomato town) and metal music wasn’t so common there especially back then.  There are quite a few metalheads there now though. Back then there were a lot of people who didn’t understand it, but there was a small group of us that loved metal.  It wasn’t until I started driving and going to college in 1997 in Windsor that metal really started to open up for me.  I also found other metalheads as I started going to shows in Windsor.  I would also go to Dr Disc and discover new cds, I honestly miss those days of buying a cd just because the album artwork looked cool.  It was different times back then. In 1999, I started my first band called Defaced, where I played guitar and later I started singing for the band.  That’s what I do now for my current band, Aquila.


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

MA: For myself, it wasn’t until I bought the album, Death- The Sound of Perseverance, that I wanted to be in a metal band and make music.  I bought a guitar and started learning guitar.  When I started Defaced, I started on guitar.  Later, Richard, the drummer, suggested I sing and so I did at one of our practices. I really liked it and I have never looked back on vocals with all the bands I have been in.  I tried to sing and play guitar at the same time, but I wasn’t that good at it at the time.   But we found a guitarist who was way better than I was anyways.  Exactly, every guitarist that I’ve had have been better than me.  Lol


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

MA: I love writing music.  I’m a metal fan and being able to create music on my own or as a band is rewarding.  I love to challenge myself as an artist.  Each song I write is a challenge either on my own or with a band.  To make a song work and make it sound the way you want it to sound is rewarding.  Some listeners may get it or they may not.  You have to be happy with what you create and not care what others think.  You have to write for yourself and be true to yourself.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

MA: My proudest moment is recording for Aquila’s debut album, Imperium, back in 2009 and going on tour to support that album.  We did everything ourselves like booking the tour and promoting the album.  We did everything we could at the time to support that album.  Recording a full-length album when Glenn Fricker was an amazing experience as well.  We learned so much at that time about recording and being prepared.  Glenn gets a lot of grief from his YouTube channel, but he’s a good guy and knows what he’s talking about.  He wants you at your best and that’s practicing your songs and being prepared.  You want to put out the best material you can out there.  And that’s what Glenn wants from you.  Your best.


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

MA: It’s easier today to get your music out there, but there is more competition.  The internet has made things easier like learning how to play guitar or get a certain guitar tone.  But it has made it very stale as well.  Too many bands sound the same, so you have to be unique and try to stand out from the crowd.  But in the end, only the strong will survive.


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

MA: Our drummer, Matt McGuire, handles the bookings for Aquila.  We honestly haven’t played a show since 2014, we took a long break.  Some of us got married and started having families.  It wasn’t until 2020, that we started releasing material again.  Now we released a new Ep, The Great Fire, and we are playing our first show on September 2nd at The Doors Pub in Hamilton.  That should be fun a show.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

MA: It’s there. So you might as well use it. I still collect CDs and merch from bands, but if a new album is coming out I still use Spotify or whatever to check out the music.  It’s so easy to use and everything is on your phone.  I can go for a long walk or a run and not worry about having a Walkman or a cd player that skipped.  The good old days. Lol


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

MA: Raining Blood by Slayer.  If you don’t mosh to that song or if there’s no pit, there’s something wrong with you.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

MA: I wish bands got paid more from streaming platforms.  I think artists don’t get paid as much anymore.  You’re rolling the dice being an artist.


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

MA: I’m working on another solo album and I’m hoping to release a solo Ep after the new year.  With Aquila, we are promoting our new Ep, The Great Fire, and we are starting to work on a full-length album.  We haven’t worked on releasing a full-length since our debut album, Imperium.   The two Eps we released in 2020 were supposed to be a full-length album back in 2014, but things didn’t work out that way.   If we are serious about our band, we have to release a full length and start working on it.


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

MA: Go to


Music Video – The Great Fire –

Aquila links:
Band/Artist location – Ontario Canada
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