Interview~ Robby J. the singer of Repentance

Repentance came together in 2018 when Shaun Glass, a veteran guitarist of Broken Hope and Dirge Within, recruited Mike Sylvester on bass and began songwriting with lead guitarist Markus Johansson of the group Them. Robb Rivera of Nonpoint introduced Stuck Mojo front-man Robby J. Fonts and from there… Repentance was born.

Repentance delivers a very brutal yet modern sound in these dark times that almost paints a soundtrack of our world.

“God For A Day” Download/Stream link:

Robby J. the singer of Repentance here. Thanks for having me!

  1. Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?

Repentance was formed in 2018 and was put together by metal & rock veteran, Shaun Glass after the Dirge Within reunion fell apart. I got introduced to Shaun through our mutual friend, Robb Rivera of nonpoint

The band had a live gig booked opening up for Trivium at The Forge in joliet, IL, before I even joined the band. They invited me to jam with them in-person to get a feel of what I would bring to the table and we clicked. We got straight to working on a few songs to have an opener set ready for our first gig and we’ve been firing from all cylinders ever since.

  1. What got you into music and what keeps you going night after night playing?

My father was heavily into classic rock and would play vinyl records all the time throughout my childhood. I really started getting into heavy metal after my parents separated and were going through a divorce. 

I was a huge fan of pro wrestling and video games. A bunch of heavy music was featured in the wrestling events I’d watch and all the video games I played, so I started getting a taste for heavier bands. Playing Guitar Hero III introduced me to bands like Slipknot, Metallica and In Flames.

From there, I started finding and listening to heavier and heavier bands through YouTube. It sent me down a rabbit hole that eventually got me into bands like Whitechapel, The Black Dahlia Murder, Children of Bodom and Suicide Silence who were all picking up and releasing killer albums in the late 2000’s. 

Screaming along to brutal music helped me cope and release my frustrations, sadness and anger. It allowed me to turn the negativity in my life into positive energy.

Not everyone can keep going at this lifestyle. Live shows take a big toll on your body pushing yourself to your limits each time. 

It’s in my blood. Playing shows and making music is a huge part of who I am as a person. 

The creativity from making music and the energy release from playing live shows is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It’s an incredible feeling being able to connect with so many people through heavy music.

  1. So, what is new with the band?..New Album out? New Videos?

The latest news from us is the release of our album “God For A Day” which was fully recorded before the COVID lockdowns began happening worldwide. 

Unfortunately, there are no talks of music videos at the moment, but who knows? Maybe something may pop up from now until the near future. 

We are playing a charity event for the Toys For Tots program in West Chicago with our good buddies in Product of Hate this December though. Always a pleasure to hit the stage especially when you get to share it with stellar bands. 

If you didn’t become a musician, what would you  be doing right now?

I’m all over the place when it comes to work. I’m an absolute workaholic. I don’t let any one job stop me from doing what I want or working in other fields. 

Aside from doing music with my bands Repentance and Stuck Mojo, I actually help manage my father-in law’s convenient store/fast food restaurant here in Chicago. 

I’m a professional wrestler trained by WWE Superstar Seth Rollins. I help my wife, Vicky Psarakis film cover song videos for her YouTube channel and I take all my monetary earnings and re-invest them into the stock market. 

If an opportunity that interests me presents itself,  I take it. I’m pretty much doing all the things I want to, so I consider myself blessed. 

  1. What is the weirdest or funniest question you have ever been asked?

I can’t remember a particular question, but I do remember one terrible interview I had done in person with my bandmate Rich Ward when we went over to the UK to play Bloodstock Festival with Stuck Mojo. 

No shots to the interviewer, he just seemed completely unprepared and unaware of who I was and the band’s situation. 

Stuck Mojo is a band that made huge waves in the 90s. I’m the band’s latest frontman and I was about 22 years old at the time of the interview, and the guy was just not understanding how a “kid” was in this older band. 

It was awkward sitting through it. I think there’s a respectful way to ask questions about someone you know nothing about (or don’t even “care” for), but this guy didn’t appear to even bother. It’s all good. Hope he’s doing well.

  1. If you can have your fans remember you for one thing, what would that be?

For me, my lyric writing always means the most. No matter what band or project I worked for, I hope that my words resonate with listeners. I always appreciate killer music that tells a great story and that’s what I aspire to do with my own art. 

  1. On a scale of one to 2593, How good is your new single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)

My bandmate Shaun would probably agree that our latest single which is also the title track from our record, God For A Day, on a scale of one to 2593 places at number 666 (inside joke) compared to our prior single. 

Songs on an album are like my babies. I do love all of them equally and they’re all special to me in their own ways, but I also tend to believe that my latest work is an improvement from my past work. 

We did write the song “God For A Day” after we had written “Only The Damned Die Young”, so to me it edges over the previous single in that regard. We’re getting better and better with each new track we come up with.  

  1. What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why?

It’s probably not the best song I’ve put out to date, but I do love “Born To Choose”. It was actually one of the first demos we wrote as Repentance. 

The lyrical content is meaningful to me, as it deals with themes of not giving up on yourself after going through life experiences the hard way and just encourages listeners to keep pushing on no matter what they’re going through. 

I also believe it helped set the general lyrical tone for all the songs that came after it, so without this one, who knows? Maybe the rest of the album wouldn’t have turned out the way it did. 

It all starts somewhere, and for me, it starts with Born To Choose. It’s a special song and we all have a blast playing this one live too. 

  1. Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would you achieve that?

Oh, absolutely. I’ve practiced and practiced various screaming and rapping techniques over the years with all the different bands I’ve worked with. 

The next step for me to up my game as a vocalist would be to hone and improve my clean singing. I wouldn’t mind improving my vocal range for the sake of becoming a better vocalist. 

I wouldn’t want to incorporate cleans in Repentance though. I appreciate that Repentance is straight up heavy and owns it. 

Of course, if I were to learn how to play guitar or keys, that would also help. I would definitely need to sit down and take serious lessons with a proper instructor to help me attain any of those skills.

  1. If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?

Ironically, after I earned my Associate Degree in Social Science while in college, I wanted to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing…but I didn’t get accepted into the program, so I decided to quit school entirely and focused on my music career 100% from that point on instead. 

It ended up getting me to where I am today. Everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that. 

  1. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

I’d be a green crayon to represent money haha. 

I’m always pushing others around me to find ways to monetize their skills and make more money for themselves. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love creating art and entertaining people, but I also appreciate people who have a desire to build on their income streams. 

  1. Who are you inspired by?

Nowadays, I’m primarily inspired by my closest family members, my wife Vicky and my father-in-law. 

My wife strives to put out entertaining content for her fans and it continuously inspires me. 

And her dad is simply the greatest man I’ve ever met. This man truly does it all. He’s an immigrant from Greece. Started up his own business without even having a high school education, is a huge fixer upper/hands-on kind of guy and he’s still working his ass off in his 70s. 

He’s in great shape and health all around and he inspires me to be better every day. I’m very fortunate to be his son-in-law. Surround yourself with great people and you’ll find the motivation to excel. 

  1. What’s an average day like for you?

An average day for me involves doing chores around the house, walking our dogs, trading/investing in stocks, working out/training, working on music and helping out with the family business. Just working on getting better and better each day. Always moving forward. 

  1. Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?

I typically have “resting bitch face” and I’m generally a “quiet” personality in public (when I’m not performing), but I’m actually very open and approachable. If you ever see me in person at a concert or at a wrestling event, just come up and say hey and I’ll hang.

The best way to reach me in general is through Twitter @RobbyJFonts. For me, it’s the easiest way to interact with people and I actually don’t consider my true fans “fans”, I’ve honestly become great friends with many of my biggest supporters. 

It’s wild that “strangers” on the internet can have your back and support you more than some “friends” and “family” do. 

If you see me in person, don’t be shy. Say hi, or else I’ll just keep minding my own business haha. If you want to hit me up in general, reach me on Twitter.

  1. Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?

Oh, yeah definitely. I’d always have a running gag with all my bandmates that I would “shit my pants” from all the nerves I’d get. But playing all these live shows with Repentance has gotten me over it all at this point. I don’t get nervous playing concerts anymore.

Because I’m still relatively new to performing in the ring at wrestling events though, I still get nervous in that setting. It’s a whole other beast to tame wrestling in front of crowds while playing a character and getting your ass kicked while you’re trying to kick someone else’s ass haha. 

Hopefully I’ll get over those nerves soon enough too. It’s all a learning process that simply takes patience and consistency to get over.

  1. Tell me about your favorite performance venues?

I loved playing The Forge in Joliet, IL opening up for Trivium. I am a big fan of Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago. It’s just such a legendary venue and it’s awesome being able to play on that stage with that true punk rock atmosphere and history in that building. 

We’ve played there twice already with Repentance and hopefully these lockdowns will end soon so these extraordinary venues can re-open and get up and running again so we can all return to playing on their badass stages. 

  1. What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Whatever instrument you choose to play, practice practice and practice until you become amazing at it. Not just good, get stellar at your instrument. While you’re working on that, work any job you can and save up enough money to invest in proper gear and equipment. 

Don’t cheap out on your tools. Invest in quality. Use the internet and all its platforms to your advantage. Reach out to musicians better than you. Started hanging out with and learning from them. 

Building a home studio and learning to record yourself will give you a huge advantage. Invest in cameras and proper lighting, start recording and filming yourself playing to showcase your abilities. 

Quality attracts quality. If you start making a buzz for yourself, people will notice.

If you truly want to do music for a living, it’s doable, but it’s a lot of work outside of the actual music part itself. If you have the skills, the right mindset and understanding for today’s climate, you’ll be fine. If not, you’ll find yourself frustrated and disappointed with the industry. 

It’s easier, yet at the same time harder than ever to start making a name for yourself in the music industry. It’s not for everybody, but as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons, you’ll be rewarded for it.

Just pay your dues and put in the work!

About Bryan Joe Corder (4279 Articles)
Concert Photographer at heart, Love listening to music and going to shows to try to capture the magic on the stage with my imagery.I also review albums and live concerts.
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