Guitarist George Ochoa is most often identified with the early nineties Christian metal scene, particularly in light of his work on Recon’s 1990 debut album Behind Enemy Lines and Deliverance’s iconic sophomore release Weapons Of Our Warfare from later the same year. After having been on hiatus the past twenty-five years, Ochoa has returned with a new band in Worldview in which he has joined forces with former Sacred Warrior front man Rey Parra. In a recent interview with Angelic Warlord, Ochoa discuses the recently released (spring 2015) Worldview debut album The Chosen Few in addition to his partnership with Parra, time with Recon and Deliverance and future plans as well.
You got your start in the Southern California power metal band Recon, which placed two tracks on the California Metal II compilation in 1990 prior to releasing its Intense Records full-length debut Behind Enemy Lines later the same year. How and when did Recon form? What are your thoughts on Behind Enemy Lines and how has it has held up musically over the years?
Recon formed in 1987 when myself, Vette Roberts and Johnny Gonzales. Decided to join forces. I had just gotten out of a band named DeRoque that used to play all the clubs in Hollywood. Johnny and Vette were in a band Seventh Thunder with Roy Z. Both bands fell apart so we formed a new one together.
Recon struck a deal up with Intense Records. We went in the studio and recorded our one and only record Behind Enemy Lines which I produced. I am a bit of a control freak thus I have to produce any record I write and perform on. Lol!
One never knows how a record will be received by the public. We just did the best we could and left it in God's hands. I am pleased to know that Behind Enemy Lines was liked by so many people.
You later left Recon to join Jimmy P. Brown II in Deliverance and recorded the melodic speed metal and thrash masterpiece Weapons Of Our Warfare. Please tell me more about this era in Deliverance’s history. How did the writing and recording process for Weapons Of Our Warfare go? In your opinion what is the albums legacy? Do you agree that it ranks with the best Christian metal albums of all time? Also, what was it like working with Jimmy P. Brown II?
Wow, a packed question. Lol! I joined Deliverance right out of Recon. It's like I was traded like a pro athlete from one team to another. My time in Deliverance is great memory for me. God used Deliverance for His purposes many times. That in itself is a massive privilege. Jimmy and I had an instant chemistry as friends and musical partners. We took to writing the Weapons… album and it was almost effortless. He would come up with a riff and I would come up with one to compliment it. And that's how the process went. It was almost "magical" in a good way. I attribute this to the Holy Spirit. It is definitely is a blessed record.
You departed Deliverance in 1991 following the release of What A Joke and then later formed Worldview in 2013. What were you doing musically during this twenty-year period?
I was definitely musically active during that time. Some personal issues did set me back a bit. But the love of making music never left me. In that time, Recon did do shows here and there. We always talked about doing a second record but it never happened.
How and when did Worldview form? What led you to work with vocalist Rey Parra?
Johnny Gonzales,Todd Libby and I were working together for some time and knew that we wanted to put out a record and play live. At the same time Rick Macias (Sacred Warrior) and I talked about doing project together with his best friend and ex-band mate Rey Parra. I had met the guys in Sacred Warrior when I was on tour with Deliverance. Rick Macias and I struck up a friendship and kept in touch through they years. Rick ended up passing away and when that happened, Rey and I started talking. We decided to form Worldview in honor of Rick's wish. Little did I know that Rick was hitting up Rey to call me and get this project going. Funny how things workout sometimes.
What is the meaning behind the Worldview name?
Worldview is a term that applies to EVERYONE. Everyone has a worldview. It's either a good one or a bad one. The way one perceives life and life issues. In Worldview, we base our worldview on the truth of the Bible and what God wants for our lives. It's not an easy road but it is one that we believe our Maker wants to follow. To trust His son The Lord Jesus Christ.
Worldview recently releases its debut album, The Chosen Few. Please tell me more about The Chosen Few, specifically the writing and recording process.
The Chosen Few is a record that is near and dear to me because the songs really came from some strong convictions and issues of life. I wrote the record with a few different people, Ronson Webster, Alan Aguirre (Sacred Few), Montana Shane as well the rest of the guys in the band. I believe that's the reason the album is so versatile. The different styles that were brought to the table. Some of the songs were older songs written that were kind of modernized to make them a little current. For instance, “Back In Time” is at least 20 years. I wrote when I experienced a bad break up. I am since long over it and marriage to an awesome women, my beautiful wife Denise.
Recording the record was a labor of love. It was fun but a lot of work. I recorded it at my studio. The disadvantage to having your own studio is that you can always go back and re-record parts that you think that you can do better. I say disadvantage because this process causes you to over think your performance. When Oz Fox did his solo, he just recorded it at his studio and he sent it me. Thank God for the internet. It was privilege to work with the band and all of the guests on this record. Most of it went smoothly. Rey Parra flew three times from Florida to California to record his vocals. That was a lot of fun hanging out with Rey and recording and eating sushi. Ronson and I spent long grueling hours writing and recording background vocals. Johnny and Todd live only minutes away from me so they were always over at the studio.
How would you describe your music for those that have not heard Worldview yet?
I believe that there almost something for everyone on this record. It's hard rockin’, tons of double kick work. Songs that your grandma might even like. It has a symphonic feel, progressive musical interludes, commercial melodies, soaring vocal performance, Spanish style guitars at times, virtuoso piano playing, screaming guitar leads. It is a must listen. Now go out and pick it up.
What are your feelings about The Chosen Few? Are you happy with the way the album turned out and why? And how has the response been so far?
We are very happy how it turned out. That's why the record was delayed in its release. I just HAD to get it right. All you guys deserve our best foot forward. I am an imperfect perfectionist. To my detriment at times. I am glad that we finally finished this record. Now I know what pregnant woman goes through. Not really. Lol!
The response has been awesome so far. We worked really hard on this release and I think that people are noticing the excellence.
What are some of your favorite songs off The Chosen Few and why?
It's hard to say but if I had to choose, I'd say “Mortality”. It's the newest song that we wrote and I believe that this song will be our general direction on our next record. But I have to say that the title track is pretty epic.
What led you to work with mixing and mastering technician Bill Metoyer?
I had worked with Bill Metoyer in the past on the Deliverance, Weapons of Our Warfare record. We captured magic once, maybe we could do it again. He was and is a pleasure to work with. He has an awesome ear for metal. He knows what everything is supposed to sound like. Though he complained that we had way too many keyboards in our material. Lol!
Does Worldview plan to play any live shows?
Yes, we are gearing up for it as we speak. I also have a rehearsal studio at my house which makes it very convenient. We are currently looking for a pro booking agent. Do you know anyone? Any recommendations?
What is in the future for Worldview? Have you started work on a second album?
Worldview plans to record and play music as long as God wills. We have about 5 songs already written for the next record. It's going to be tough to follow up this great record but we will try and top it. I desire to have all the same players and guests come together for this next record.
What other musical projects are you involved in?
Currently I am working with Jimmy P. Brown II on a new Deliverance record. We will save that conversation for another day.
In 2013, you re-joined Jimmy P. Brown II for a re-recorded version of the classic Deliverance number “What A Joke”, which appeared as a bonus track on the re-release of Stay Of Execution. How did the new version of the song turn out? Are there any plans to work with Brown in the future?
Jimmy and I were never really happy with the entire What A Joke record. We felt that song deserved better, so we re-recorded it. I think that it turned out killer. How could it not with Jim Chaffin (The Crucified) on drums, Victor Macias (Tourniquet) on bass and Jimmy and myself. This is the new Deliverance line up that is currently working together.
I would like to close by thanking you for honoring Angelic Warlord with this interview. Do you have any last words you would like to offer our readers?
Thank you for your prayers in advance. Please pray for us as The Lord guides us. Listen to Worldview and share it with ALL your friends.
Interview by Andrew Rockwell