Interview with Guillermo of Angelus Apatrida

Interview with Guillermo of Angelus Apatrida

- in Written interviews
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So, what inspired you to write this album?
We started writing this album during the first lockdown last year. I would say our most powerful inspiration for this album was the pandemic, and all the social issues linked to it, like people getting super-crazy and all the bad emotions and bad feelings we felt during that time.

Do you believe that during tough times, at least we get a lot of inspiration for music or any kind of artistic creation?
Yes, absolutely. I think that some of the most brutal and angry songs I ever wrote were inspired by really tough times in my life, or around the world. In my opinion, music is like a philosophical way of releasing anger.

How did you record the album? Could you go to a studio during the lockdown?
Actually, there was no lockdown in September and October, so that’s when we went to the studio. Before that, we did the same as we always do: we compose the music at home, then share it through the internet, because we live in different cities. So it was quite easy for us.

What are your favorite songs on the album? And why?
I kept listening to this album over and over after we recorded it, which I usually don’t do because I get so bored of working on these songs that I need not to hear them in a while. I’d say my favorite is probably Indoctrinate because it’s a very strange song, it’s very long, almost 6 minutes, and it’s like three different songs at the same time. But lately, I’m liking Through the Glass or Disposability much more. I like all of the music and the message of the lyrics. That album is my baby, so I love all the songs.

Your music seems to be inspired both by old school thrash and more modern thrash metal. Are you trying to build a bridge between all eras of thrash metal?
Yes. We were born in the 80s, but we grew up in the 90s, so we are influenced by the old school thrash metal bands, especially from the Bay Area, and modern metal, like Pantera or Machine Head, or Sepultura. I’m also a huge fan of hardcore music and punk, I think it has also had a great influence on thrash metal.

Metal has evolved a lot over the years, but thrash metal in particular has changed. In the 80s where it sounded like faster and angrier heavy metal, in the 90s you had bands like Pantera or Machine Head that played a sort of slower and heavier thrash with harsher vocals, and in the 2000s, it has become more influenced by death metal, with more growls and a heavier sound, while keeping the socially conscious lyrics. That makes me wonder what thrash is going to sound like in the future. But it’s probably going to keep its fast pace and angry tone.
Yes, that’s the way we like our music to be. We are influenced by many different bands, and we like all sorts of different music. We know that we’re not the most original bands, but we won’t care, we do what we love.

I think it’s good that thrash metal can adapt with times, if you will, because it seems to be a type of music that we will always need. In my reviews, I’ve described a lot of bands as apocalyptic-themed thrash metal, and I said we were in a good time for that kind of music, because we’re all going through something that makes us want to write something songs like that, and it feels more personal and relatable to all listeners.
I agree.

I also think your album was one of the best in that style.
Thanks.

The cover of your album is nice. Who drew it?
The artist is named Gyula Havancsák. He’s a Hungarian artist who has been working for us since our last three albums, and he’s also worked with bands like Annihilator or Grave Digger. He came up with this idea of doing a still life picture of preparing for a revolution. It looks even better on vinyl.

Yes, I don’t buy vinyls but I love how big the cover is on vinyl, it looks a lot more impressive.
Yeah. I remember the first vinyl I bought was an Iron Maiden record.

So Iron Maiden was one of the first metal bands that you got into?
Yes, I discovered them through a live video of Life After Death, when I was eight. I remember them going from one side of the stage to the other, and Steve Harris with his bass, and I was thinking “This is what I want to do!”. I got into heavy metal when I was very young.

What was it like, being an 8 years old metal fan in Spain during the 90s?
It was completely normal, there were a lot of other metal fans at my school, and rock fans too. But a lot of my friends didn’t understand metal, it was hard to understand for younger kids.

It’s great that you knew what you wanted to do at such a young age, and that, unlike many other kids who want to be in a band, you actually managed to have a career. At a smaller scale, of course, as metal is not so popular anymore. Why do you think metal isn’t very popular these days, even though we’re in the kind of time period that makes us appreciate music with darker themes?
Most people want easy things, something light-hearted and simple. Metal is very philosophical in a way, and people tend to not understand it, and to want simple things.

I think another reason is that, even though there is a lot of good metal available these days, many people don’t actually make the effort to find it.
It’s kind of a privilege to listen to metal, because it’s often more difficult to understand. Even in the metal community, you have people who mostly listen to the more mainstream bands because it sounds “tough”, and who don’t understand the more complex stuff. But if you can understand it, well, it’s a privilege to be a metalhead, in a way, because it requires you to be more open-minded, and it’s like a brotherhood, or a big family. No matter where you’re from, or the color of your skin, you can find your place there.

Yes, metal is universal, in a way.
We’ve been lucky enough to tour all around the world, even in China. It’s always the same vibe, the same feeling.

In China? Aren’t you the kind of band that would be seen as too controversial in China? You hear a lot of scary stories about Chinese metal bands who have to censor their lyrics so that their government wouldn’t arrest them.
Not for us. In bigger cities, like Shanghai or Hong Kong, they’re more into heavy metal. We’ve met a lot of fans, and a lot of great local bands. We also had people taking pictures of us in the streets.

Touring seems fun. Is it really hard to transport your instruments on a plane?
Sometimes, your luggage can be lost or broken. But so far, it hasn’t happened to us. You just put your guitar in the luggage and keep your finger crossed.

If you could still go on tour, which bands would you like to tour with?
I would love to resurrect Dimebag Darrell, and tour with Pantera, but it’s not possible. I would also love to tour with Testament, Anthrax, Exodus, Overkill, Sepultura, any of the bands that have influenced me. I’d also like to tour with more recent bands, and support underground bands.

You must really miss touring.
Yes, it’s something I’ve done for a big part of my life, it’s a day job, so it feels incomplete without it. The cultural world is really inactive, because of the lockdown. It’s really bad, because live performance is an important part of the business, that’s how you get a lot of your money. I hope things will get better in the next months.

We all hope. At least we still have the internet to introduce people to your music. Thanks for your time, and for your album.

https://www.facebook.com/angelusapatrida
https://www.instagram.com/angelusapatrida/

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