By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Georgia-based metalcore quintet Actus Reus have dropped their latest music video for their single “Cultist” via BVTV Music, which also features Left To Suffer vocalist Taylor Barber.
Known for their energetic stage presence, the group released their debut EP ‘Vengeance’ in 2019 via Moonsun Recordings and have been at work recording for their full-length album ‘Mens Rea.’
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with vocalist Adam Rose, bassist Logan Grailer and guitarist Landon Hosea about the “Cultist” music video and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Logan Grailer – We were in high school, just trying to figure out a cool name that encompassed the sound we wanted and was also unique and new. There were a lot of good names thrown around in English, but they were all already used, so we started looking in different languages. We came across a website of Latin terms and “Actus Reus: The Guilty Act’” really stood out to me. It had a ring to it and the meaning was spot on – the physical act of committing a crime, of doing something wrong. Physical energy and movement, that’s what we wanted our sound to be and “Actus Reus” fit perfectly.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about heavy metal?
Adam Rose – Metal music is constantly changing, as well as evolving, which is super exciting to us. No matter what happens, heavy metal will stay and bands will continue to create it and the fanbase will continue to grow as more people have their eyes opened to it. It’s not for everybody, I guess, but those people are missing out. The metal community is the best one in the world. Everyone is always kind to one another and we have each other’s backs at all times.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Buford, Georgia to someone who has never been there before?
Logan Grailer – It is a very suburban place. It is growing rapidly and there’s 10 times more traffic than there was 10 years ago. You’ve got your normal neighborhoods with normal houses and all your normal large chain stores. It’s a little too normal sometimes though, which is something that I think drove all of us to do something different, like form a metal band.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Adam Rose – When the pandemic started back in early March, we all knew that there wouldn’t be any show-playing until further notice. Therefore, we started promoting our songs considerably more on social media outlets and practicing whenever we all have the free time.
Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about performing in front of a live audience?
Adam Rose – I cannot believe it has been eight months since we last performed in front of a live audience. Since 2015, we have been playing shows every other month or so. With that being said, there are an abundance of things to miss about the live metal show experience. Actus Reus shows, for instance, produce a fast-paced, in-your-face brutality that ensues a constant adrenaline rush until the last note is played. Seeing people in the crowd sing your lyrics back to you is a feeling I haven’t felt until recently and it really instills a feeling of confidence inside of you. Also, any anger pent up, I release during my performances and it’s truly a beautiful experience.
Landon Hosea – The whole experience of playing the show, selling merch, meeting new fans and hanging out with other bands is something I miss. Most of all, I miss the release of playing a show. You just let it all out and the harder you go, the harder the crowd goes. It’s a really empowering thing, but after this hiatus, we’ll have more new music for the fans to hear live, which will be fun for us.
Music Bugle – What was it like making the music video for “Cultist”?
Landon Hosea – It was such a good time, but definitely challenging. We got to shoot at one location all day this time, which was nice, but the basement where we shot was, like, 100 degrees. (Laughs) My sister did everyone’s makeup and she did a great job. Logan and I wore white contacts for our shots, which was a nightmare for me ‘cuz I couldn’t take them out without getting the face paint in my eye, but Jomar (@mrshamoozoo) did a great job getting all the different shots. I also really like Jimmy’s scenes in this video. They got to do some action scenes and some stunt work, which I think people will be excited to see from an upcoming band.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days?
Logan Grailer – This is a great question and I could honestly go either way. I run all of our social media platforms, for the most part and I believe we have definitely benefited from social media. We have gained hundreds of fans from around the world that we would have no way to reach otherwise and I love that. On the other hand, these social media platforms do not give a flying fuck about smaller bands, especially metal bands. They bog us down in the algorithm if we make a post at the wrong time or if we post a show flyer. They almost force you to spend money to boost a post in order for you to get the reach that you deserve. They make it easy for bands to buy their way to some sort of fake stardom by having a certain amount of followers and likes, which makes us look bad as a band who’s doing everything naturally. All in all, it’s a love/hate relationship and I really wish social networks were on our side a little bit more. Screw the algorithms.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Adam Rose – I’ve been listening to a lot of progressive metal as of late. Bands such as The Mars Volta, Candiria, Meshuggah, Tallah and Animals as Leaders have really caught my ear. I’ve also been jamming Ocean Grove, To/Die/For’s ‘Jaded’ album, Deftones’ new album, Saving Grace, Chevelle and Van Halen – R.I.P. Eddie.
Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about the band?
Logan Grailer – We can all switch instruments and still play somewhat decently.
Mascot Jimmy – The government isn’t safe.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Logan Grailer – A lot of quotes, especially lyrics, have a humongous impact on my outlook on life and how I carry myself, but in relation to Actus Reus, “This Fire” by Killswitch Engage has the message that keeps me going with what I love. “This passion inside me is burning, is burning. Even through the darkest days, This fire burns, always.” The drive for success in music stems directly from that passion that is burning inside me and it will never die.
*Photo credit – Mrshamoozoo Films*