Ill Niño: A Revolução Pesada

"Now our culture is part of heavy metal culture".

The debut album for Ill Nino is celebrating 15 years, and so is the band - with a massive world tour celebrating this first imprint on the metal scene, Metal As Fuck caught up with Christian [Machado], vocalist for the latino outfit just ahead of their Australian tour... 

“Right on time Carrie”. Speaking of time Christian – this is the first time Metal As Fuck have had the pleasure talking to Ill Nino, so please tell us; how has the last 12 months been keeping you busy? “A bunch of international touring the last 12 months, bringing music from the debut record to fans around the world, all different corners of the world. We’ve had plenty of shows and we’re super stoked to be heading back to Australia for sure. Looking forward to being there and hopefully staying there for a bit, so we’re trying to work in some off time”. I understand you guys have a massive longing to get back to Australia as much as possible? “Yeah – we have a lot of friends there, on both coasts, it’s a great place to visit and we have a fantasy in our minds that maybe some of us will retire out there”. [Laughs] it is hard to imagine that the debut album for the band; Revolution is 15 years old, it certainly doesn’t feel like 15 years ago, so looking back – how would you describe the band then and of course the band now? “We definitely matured a lot as individuals, when we first came out; most of us got our first insight into the music industry so some of us handled it differently. David [Chavarri], our drummer has been in a touring bands prior and has been putting out records for a long time so he knew a little bit more as to the inner working but for most of us it was a huge shock – we weren’t too sure as to what was going to happen, we knew we had an album – we knew we worked really hard on it and tried to push ourselves creatively as much as possible but we were basically goof balls and partied our asses off as much as possible and that’s the way at least some of us dealt with the pressure of being a musician with a debut album that was so successful. Luckily now we’ve matured a lot – and with this tour it is the same music but with more of a matured…. Seasoned approach”. [Laughs]   

Revolution absolutely catapulted the band into this way of life, the band hit the ground running with the debut, just relentless touring – was it nineteen months they had you on the road? “Yeah, we toured for nearly two years straight. Three months on, two weeks off etc. I don’t think we had a break that was more than a couple of weeks from what I can remember. It was a pretty intense run for sure”. And it was over the course of those first five years that the business side of things had a big impact on the band – during that time did you find that balancing the creativity aspect and business aspect was difficult at times? “For me definitely, making our first record, to me felt like it was something very personal – there really wasn’t any pressure – it was just me trying to appease myself; to write something that I found interesting, but virtually right after we put out the first album, there was instant pressure; you’re a musician now – fans are expecting things and I’ve never been the kind of person to handle that kind of pressure well – I work much better under more comfortable circumstances. I guess the chemistry within the band has changed over the years so it’s also been very gratifying to work with a bunch of guys that really… feel like a family to be honest, when you can be open and be as creative as you want and be honest with each other”. 

In a nutshell the band is a fusion between traditional Latino and heavy metal – essentially your identify really, so did you face any challenges fusing these two styles together in the beginning? “We were inspired by a lot of great music and a lot of great artists who slowly over the years were guiding us there – we came out of New York City when the metal/hardcore scene when it first erupted, which was already a very culturally diverse scene – there is a very broad culture within the New York City music scene and whether you’re playing rock, indie or pop chances are in your circle you already know a lot of people with varied backgrounds – we knew metal heads but underneath we are all Latino’s and we already had an appreciation towards our culture and the drive to do something different. We were able to offer this style and bring our own elements to the mix. Now our culture is part of heavy metal culture. It was Sepultura’s Roots which said to us – yes, its possible to put a world rhythm into heavy metal. To me personally, languages have no barriers, music transcends. And I have to give credit to all the bands who paved the way”. 

The bands most recent release, of course 2014’s ‘Till Death La Familia’ championed almost 100% positive feedback – it was one of the best releases for the band to date – so what was the game plan for this last album? “I wasn’t overthinking it. We wanted to be super creative but I personally felt like we could get ourselves into a bad situation if we over thought it all. Even now, after making that album – there were a lot of cool things that came to the forefront that happened on their own, they weren’t pushed – looking back now how we created the album, we really let a lot of things just come off the cuff and also having a good pool of songs to pick from. Possibly in the future – with any new album we will probably push ourselves a little bit further I think. So the next one will probably be more challenging. But we learnt so much with La Familia, like just letting things initiate in your gut first, let them come from somewhere deep inside”. 

Australia is definitely looking forward to this tour “Hopefully we can get in a few more songs other than Revolution on the tour”. [Laughs] Certainly an element of nostalgia for fans in Australia during this tour “Yeah – definitely, we have been longing to get back there for a number of years and this is our chance – we’re bringing the album that started it all”. 

ILL NIÑO & TERROR UNIVERSAL Tour Dates:

AUGUST 2017

Wednesday 2 August - Capitol, PERTH – 18+

Thursday 3 August - Fowlers Live, ADELAIDE – 18+

Friday 4 August - Metro Theatre, SYDNEY - 18+

Saturday 5 August - Max Watts, MELBOURNE – 18+

Sunday 6 August - The Triffid, BRISBANE – 18+

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