Wednesday, June 4, 2014
INTERVIEW WITH SUNLORD ( NEW YORK)
Hi Alfonzo , tell me how did you form Sunlord.
Sunlord was originally formed an founded around 2004. I learned and begun guitar playing in a tribute band that would actually get payed gigs,it became a job,all this guitar time inevitably led to me writing my own material,Sunlord is born. The guys in the band like the songs , so we start playing Sunlord at the tribute gigs,this was a great time,cause we toured and got payed across the U.S drawing people with the cover show,Exposing our music and demo, back then I know I sold and gave about 1500 demos around the U.S. I carried my band dealing with all kinds of lineups , finally recorded the music immortalizing that era with "The First One".
How would you describe the past material from your demos and the new musical direction of it with the debut album and / or future releases?
The first album is the first material,it was made in 2005,and it is a sum of all my influences,the record I wanted to hear as a metal fan,I wrote it by myself in its entirety,its a metal,blues,punk album,which is what I like,Sunlord's music will always be what I think music should be. The new material is aresult of the years that went by and the evolution or regresion(depends ...)of my persona and all the music that I absorbed. The new material is very heavy,there are more slow and groovy parts to it,its darker definetely, guitars tuned down. I always say that I dont get my metal from metal,the greatest thing we can do in life is be ourselves,that can be very hard,I love many styles of music,real music by real people,I take all of that heavenly rebelious music and bring it to metal cause im a hyper exagerated person and playing fast and or heavy suits me. I LOVE James Brown and psychobilly and country and the old blues masters,all of it goes into Sunlord. Cant wait to finish this second album.
What are the main influences that turned Sunlord musically into what you are now? Which bands do you respect the most? What are your strongest music influences?
Music was crucial for me since a very early time,listen to music non stop since im 6 years old,Genesis was the first music I got into,learned to speak english translating their words. The first rock that came to me was AC/DC,I was 9 and got a tape froma friends older brother,it was if you want blood ....you ve got it. Changed everything,the next album I got was diary of a madman,got it cause of the cover,also got Rock n Roll by Motorhead,also got it cause of the cover. Metal s been a huge part of me ever since.The bands I respect the most are Rainbow,Black Sabbath,AC/DC,Motorhead,The Exploited,The Ramones,The Stooges,Iggy Pop,James Brown, ZZTop and Hank Williams 3. Music written and perfomed to exorcise true devils and pain,and to spread freedom of the mind. True music done with skill by people who know , who are great.
You’re coming from Argentina living in United States right? a country considered as the main place for Southamerican acts, even if nowadays it seems a bit to corrode with a lot of bands’ new conceptual orientations… what’s your glance upon the actual situation of Metal in Argentina, United States and the rest of Southamerica?
My friend, Argentina is the nation of rock music,any style,its just the most dionisiac place on earth. Metal there is very important, it carries sacred meaning for the fans. To understand you need to know our history,Argentina has suffered a great deal ,lost its freedom for 10 years,in 1983 this came to an end, rock music exploited like an atomic bomb of freedom , our scene is very valid and full of geniuses,I feel bad for those who miss out,Southamerica is very oldschool with its music,likes it raw,fast and heavy,and yes even thou there is some pollution from the new metal,it doesnt get far. Metal has social connotations and people carry on day by day with the help of their music,its not entertainment. Southamerica is the stronghold of metal in the world. I hear Europe is pretty hot but those guys dont have the anarchistic savagery that reigns in the southernportion of the new world ha!.Concerning the USA I think music is suffering the same fate as everything else here,fucked by greed. Whisky is not what it used to be,neither is food,neither is music,bad music runs the airwaves,bad music is being promoted,stupidity is being funded by greedy assholes who think they know what we will like and will buy,fake metal done by people with no stories to tell and no skills , just noisy angry stupid shit that you cant get into cause you are either smart or older than 13 years old. This extends of course to the bussiness side which is , venues , tours,labels and opportunities in general. When all doors are shut you must build your own door,the fight for our music and lifestyle is on as always,its the big fight that we live,and we win it every time we are ourselves.
Did you have a good response from the audience here in America? Any bands that you shared the stage with? Are there new dates planned (outside of United states)?
We always get a good response , always have. We ve been around for a while and the audiences always get what we bring them. Sunlord can open up for anybody and be very much up to it,this is a really badass band,very badass. Its been a hard road,lot of bar gigs,lot of empty rooms,but also lot of good times,and a lot of rewards here and there. We got to share stages with a lot of greats,lets see ,we played with Mortician,Flotsam and Jetsam,Raven,Helstar,Dio disciples,we played with Soulfly and Havoc at bbkings in nyc,Nile, Metal Church, and many more crazy rockers , we have a show with Anvil coming up,cant wait.We live and feed our rock life the best we can in the midst of our human life of jobs and bills. Always hunting for Sunlord , for those gigs that will enlarge our collection of great memories. We are planning to return to Argentina,we had a great time there. We wanna go everywhere,we will just go and do it,cause we are or we arent .
How do you reckon your musical career will develop as the years passes on?
I know I will always make music and try to get it to as many people as posible. I wouldnt try to invent what is already invented but will always try to get better and make intense meaningful music. Metal can get very repetitive and boring,even childish. I would like to keep evolving as a songwriter and as a Guitarist but never leave the path of High energy rock music , I think of Hendrix and James Brown,they mastered their way of expresion,they owned it. I like wild music,strong with feeling. You gotta have your own identity as an artist and at the same time stick to the basics and make powerful music. Like the blues legends,all playing the blues with its bluesy scales,yet all so diferent . Metal has been pushed to get modernized and I dont like most of the results,Sunlord will always have the oldschool in it.
What got you into Metal? Why did you choose this musical genre for expressing yourself?
I got an AC/DC tape in 89,I was 9 .After that I got Motorhead and Ozzys diary of a madman,these I bought because of the cover artwork,I think it came to me as destiny. I was always into visual art,even before music and before I knew metal I was an artist, a dark one,always atracted tothe macabre and the occult and to spirituality and ancient times,history. Always liked reading and always investigated in depth that which interested me. Metal was inevitable. To me metal always was about being strong,smart,self made completely customized,rebellion fighting.turning bad feelings into fuel. A friendly dark force that turns into light.
What is, in your opinion, the state of the Metal scene worldwide nowadays? Any bands you would like to mention?
I think metal is very strong as always , its people being separate from mainstream and more loyal than any other kind of fan,all the big bands are working , touring and recording,we still got a bunch of legends alive putting out albums. Metal is alive,I havent gotten much into many new bands , I couldnt name any. I listen to a lot of metal from Argentina and a lot of psychobilly and country music,I think Hank 3 is one of the best things in music right now,I love Down and also listen to a lot of old punk music and the blues. Theres a lot of bands now and the internet has changed the world,its a whole diferent game now for underground bands,theres a lot more work involved nowadays...
Apart from music, where do you draw your inspiration from?
That's a great question for me because music has always brought images to my mind , I have always been drawing and painting and the music was always there. The same way the construction of a heavy riff involves a lot of visuals,metal music sounds like many things from dark worlds or from high speed explosive worlds,music can command the thought. I like to sit down with the pedalboard and trip out,thats how the best stuff comes. Musically speaking,other than that inspiration comes from life itself.
Where do you see your band a few years from now? And now one serious question: what is your idea of fun?
I know I will never stop doing this because of how it makes me feel. I have a lot of faith in the band and im a fan of the band as well.Even thou Sunlord has been around for many years , started 10 years ago,I dont think I was ever as focused and active as now,also this is the best lineup ive had and everybody contributes,we have been opening up for a lot big bands like Soulfly and Metal Church and more and I think we are earning a place in the scene,we are also starting to travel around,we definetely wanna do more SouthAmerica,it was great.And go out and the U.S some more,we have a new record coming soon. We are a working class band and finance our music with our jobs, we do as much as we can,we are not signed and remain completely independent selling our own records. Hope a good label will become interested and help us out to live the way we want.Sunlord will never stop. My idea of fun is generally to be home with my dog and a girlfriend,or by myself working on my artwork or music drinking wine and smoking weed. I make living doing tattoos and that can get very absorbing,so alone time at home being creative is highly appreciated. I also have a Mr.Hyde that goes deep into the night of the new york city bars , spent a lot of time there. Got divorced a few years ago .Been living alone in new york ever since,I have a good time .
Thanks for the answers Alfonso! Feel free to add one last personal stamp on this interview. Cheers bro and Good luck with the band!
Paul , thank you so much for this great interview,im looking forward to getting some Soulgrinder copies for me and the boys and I hope to see you soon!long live heavy metal!
Interview by Paul Caravasi