Be Quick Or Be Dead: Guillermo Izquierdo of Spanish Thrashers Angelus Apatrida

Home Interviews Be Quick Or Be Dead: Guillermo Izquierdo of Spanish Thrashers Angelus Apatrida
This Article Is Brought To You By : Resistant Culture
Written By: Rene
May 03 2012

angelus apatrida band portrait

ThrashHead: Alright, many of our readers know Angelus Apatrida's history up to a point, but take us farther back beyond " Lost in the Realms of Orchinodaemon" and tell us about growing up in Albacete and the beginning of Angelus Apatrida.

Guillermo: It all began in march 2000 when two bands sharing the rehearsal room mixed up to make a solid and main band. I was playing in my band with Victor and David, and other two guys, then My old brothers were playing in the other band with other two guys, one day we realized that the other guys didn't appear in the room so many days so we decided to mix the 2 bands.

Then we started composing our first song, playing the first shows in our area and some other cities until we had the chance to record a first album Evil Unleashed. The line up of the band is basically the same since 2002 when we changed drummer and vocalist but we can say all of us are former members of the bands because Victor was our very first bass player and I was from the beginning too playing guitars!

ThrashHead: When was it exactly did you decided that the life of a musician was for you?

Guillermo: You never think about it until you are really on it! We all grew up listening heavy metal and wanted to play in a band, but we never had a main goal as being professional musicians. We are working as professional since the deal with Century Media came up and we could spread our music all over the world. I think on each highlight in our career we were realizing it was getting more and more serious until the day we really said: Yeah, this is our only way to live!

ThrashHead: When one listens to the first early demo, Angelus Apatrida started off as a power metal outfit, what drew the band creatively more towards thrash?

Guillermo: Yeah, it was because the former singer had a voice very close to heavy and power metal, and we also liked this kind of music. In my band we were playing some kind of Crossover Thrash and the other band was a classic Heavy Metal band (the two which mixed up to become Angelus Apatrida). In 2002 the singer and the drummer left the band so we rejoined Victor as drummer, Jose as Bassist and I started to sing and not playing only guitars as I did before, because was impossible to find a singer for us in our town. We tried to play the same songs of the first demo but the new stuff we were compossing was just more into Thrash Metal so we decided just to keep the name of the band and renew all the music.

ThrashHead: Angelus Apatrida has been dominating the Spanish metal scene for several years, you have six albums underneath your belt (one demo, one EP and four LPs) tell me a about the journey you took to get here.

Guillermo: Wow! It's been a looooong way... basically 12 years hahaha! But I must say there were not so much bad things on the journey, we just wanted to work in a self-financed way as spanish labels didn't wanted us, it was difficult to go on and release two LPs by our own but it was very satisfactory, we just were on the highlights of the spanish metal by our own work, money and support. Of course we had a lot of support of friends, fans and media. When Century Media signed us everything went more professional and just in a couple of years the band is right now one of the most important spanish metal acts ever and the most international band in Spain.

ThrashHead: Is the media in Spain more open to metal than it is in Latin America? Rarely are Latin Americans introduced to anything other than pop acts. For example, if you ask most people living in Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile to name a few Spanish bands or singers you will get the usual list of Héroes del Silencio, Hombres G, Miguel Bose, David Bisbal, Rocío Dúrcal and, of course, Julio Iglesias or his kid Enrique; the closest the average kid might come to knowing metal is the Mago de Oz cover of Rata Blanca's hit "Amante Mujer"...heavy metal is non-existent in media, whether on television, radio or in magazines; rarely do you hear anything heavier than Iron Maiden or AC/DC or something off of Metallica's "Black" album. But, nevertheless, true headbangers if asked to name some Spanish metal acts may mention Banzai, Panzer, Asgaroth, Darksun, Phalmuter but almost all of them will agree, one of the greatest band ever to come from the Iberian Peninsula is Angelus Apatrida. You've gotten a lot of recognition both at home and abroad haven't you?

Guillermo: Yeah! And we are very pleased of this, we can't thank enough people who support the band as hell! Is the first time in spanish metal history that a band start working in the international business as "big bands" do, you know, being in a big label as Century Media, touring Europe regularly, having the albums released all over the world... Spanish media is opening right now new front into Heavy Metal, for example the magazine Rolling Stone interviewed me some days ago, and we have our own blog on their Spanish website! Even the giant general diary EL PAIS published yesterday an interview with the band... that are signs of something is changing in Spain.

ThrashHead: A lot of bands in thrash really don't delve too deeply into social issues, at least many thrash bands on this side of the Atlantic, Angelus Apatrida has always been known for socially and politically charged lyrics. How much did the suffering of your fellow countrymen/women during this latest economic crisis play a role in the songwriting for "The Call"?

Guillermo: It is not only about the current crisis time we are suffering, is more than this, is all the political and social problems we still have since the civil war and dictatorship of Franco in Spain. This country still has a lot of problems and people seem to be blind. Just turn on the TV and watch all the news, it make us feel angry and the only way to relax is writing songs about all this shit. Even Spanish crisis is stronger than other countries and the new government are bullshit and liars, if nothing changes the whole country is going to hell.

ThrashHead: How has it been affecting music? Is it tougher to get gigs or do people want more music to help them forget about the tough times if, at least, for a few moments?

Guillermo: Maybe both of them, but it is affecting music in a very bad way. There are less shows supported by institutions because there is a huge cut on social and cultural resources in the cities, and people don't have enough money to buy cds and go to the shows, but it is still a way to forget some problems and have fun in shows.

ThrashHead: What do you think lays ahead in Spain, and for that matter, Europe's future?

Guillermo: If you mean about economically, I don't really know what is the future for Spain, I mean Europe seems to be strong and is going on with the problems and getting over it, but Spain is darker than ever, we don't know what is going on with the new government and things are getting harder than ever...

ThrashHead: As I previously mentioned, you guys have dominated Spanish metal for quite some time, and your name was being mentioned all across Europe and North America, but when you guys released "Clockwork" all hell broke loose and a lot of people sat up to pay attention. What changed between "Give 'em War" and "Clockwork" which had Angelus Apatrida becoming such a metal powerhouse?

Guillermo: Before Clockwork we were a self financed band and as we were a big band in Spain, nobody know about us in the rest of the world but not so many people. Signing to Century Media and releasing Clockwork worldwide was the main change on the band, then there was a new thrash metal band coming up to stay in the international circuit!

ThrashHead: At that time, you guys also began to tour like crazy, even more so than you had done with the self-released albums, plus you were playing much larger shows...who were some of the bands you played with and where? Give us some of the best highlights from your memories.

Guillermo: We hit Europe the first time a couple of years ago with Skeletonwitch and Warbringer, in a 22 date tour all over Europe. Then we were part of the Bonecrusher Fest 2011 with Dying Fetus, Carnifex, Keep Of Kalessin, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Burning The Masses in a 21 dates tour again in Europe! We toured with Arch Enemy in 2009, and we were the special guest for the Spanish Carnage Tour with Slayer and Megadeth. We also played in the most important festivals such as Sonisphere, Resurrection Fest, Metalway and many more!

ThrashHead: "The Call" is about to come out and it smokes! What's your tour schedule going to be like, are you going to be able to hit North and South America this time around?

Guillermo: Right now we are into our third European tour alongside 3 Inches Of Blood, Goatwhore and Havok which is going from 5th til 27th may! After this we will come back to Spain to play some summer festivals and then start our headlining Spanish tour in September/October. There are no plans right now to hit America but we are really looking forward to it! We hope to do it soon!

ThrashHead: If tomorrow the world was going to end, what would you want to do with the last 24 hours you had left?

Guillermo: Hahahaha I don't know, maybe I would like to fuck with a girl, get drunk and listen to Iron Maiden!

ThrashHead: What would you like to say to your fans here in the Americas and across the world?

Guillermo: Thanks for your time, we hope you like our new album "The Call" and we hope to be touring over there soon, METAL!

ANGELUS APATRIDA - You Are Next (OFFICIAL VIDEO) by Century Media Records

 

ANGELUS APATRIDA - Blast Off (OFFICIAL VIDEO) by Century Media Records

 

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