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Underground Metal Special: Uruguay

Underground Metal Special: Uruguay

by Luxi Lahtinen

All interviews by Luxi Lahtinen

Foreword by Aldo A. Fierro (aka CruX, Southern Rising)

Uruguay is a small country of about 3.5 million people and a density of 20 people/ (approx. 50 people/sq. mi) That's sparse, right? We cannot forget that it is a South American country, where most economies are in development. Don't get me wrong, we're a proud nation, one of the most democratic republics in the world. There's no official religion (lots of agnostic/atheists), life is calm and slow-paced, there are almost no natural disasters, and we may be little, but we are very brave. Our neighbors know that. ;-)

When it comes to music, or almost any form of art, making a living here is very hard. Most artists have several jobs, or a "normal" day job, as there's not much money in it. Of course, we have some big "stars" (no metal bands, obviously) but there are no millionaire artists around here.

Absolutely nobody here forms or joins a band with the goal of successfully thriving and collecting royalties. Anyone like that is either naive or a fool, plain and simple.

There are a lot of talented musicians and bands who could be very successful overseas, but that is a very long shot.

Most metal musicians here have a normal day job and work hard to get gigs, maybe open for some international band, and release music independently. Some of the best bands may get a distribution deal or an album release with some local or underground record label, but there are absolutely no metal bands here with a label contract. None.

There are some local pubs in Montevideo, the capital city, where you can book a gig and have from 50 to 200 people attend, depending on the lineup and there are also some places in the rest of the country (mostly relatively big cities) with local pubs or little venues. Sometimes you get a gig at some local festival, and there are a couple every year. The biggest one is the Carnival Fest Metal Camp, in the city of Paysandú (around 200 miles from Montevideo). We've been lucky and proud to be there on the last two editions (2022 and 2023). Promoters of festivals may get some help or support from local municipalities, but not every time.

And now, a little about ourselves (Southern Rising). Our band is somewhat new (from 2020), but we're not rookies. Most of us know the scene and have been around for more than 20 years, playing in lots of bands with lots of album releases, and even touring (South America and Central America). We know a thing or two about what needs to be done. Our goal is to establish ourselves locally and get known regionally at first. Then we have to target our music worldwide. We think we have a very good product, our shows are very visual and enjoyable, and our music and art have their own stamp. We believe we can get our music released by an international label (no matter if it's big or underground) and we're working in that way, trying to move forward.

When you decided to form/join this band, what did you primarily want to achieve?

Max (PARASITAL EXISTENCE): Hi, and hails from Uruguay, South America. My name is Max and I'm a guitarist and singer for Parasital Existence. We formed the band in 2017, and at the beginning all we wanted was to do was play death metal. We didn't have a specific goal, we let the band develop freely. No pressure of any kind. We have all been playing in bands for a long time, and me in particular since 1994.

We have released an EP and a full album, and a live split was recently released with some friends in a band from Argentina. Last year we toured several South American countries, so we are really satisfied. After a while, I think that our main musical objective was to launch our material abroad, and to be able to leave the country to present it. We are not a band that sets goals to make music, we just enjoy making what we do basically.

Benjamín Machín (CRYSTAL GATES): It was at the end of 2012, a few months after meeting with Caro. We had done some demos and covers and at some point, I started writing original songs. The goal was to try out some things in terms of production and style that I wasn't able to achieve with my previous band Ecliptica (here's a link to that if you are curious: I guess our main goal at the beginning was to do the first release. At some point we started trying to find musicians to start playing the songs live. That wasn't super easy, but we eventually did it, and it was great. The first shows were very magical. Good times!

Freaky L. (VIRTUE IN MADNESS): I decided to form this band in 2014. In the beginning it was me and Daniel (the guitar player). I had high expectations, but they mutated into something more realistic and concise. At first, I wanted to achieve a record deal and play as many gigs as I could. I wanted recognition from people.

Matthías Figueredo (DREAMS OF ETERNITY): When I was fourteen, I discovered Iron Maiden, Metallica (Kill 'Em All), Nightwish, among other bands that really blew my mind and not only changed my life but also gave me a dream. Since then, I have felt an immense passion for musical creation and the need to compose. When you are a song writer, you want people to listen to your music and enjoy it; you feel you have something to say. The primary goal was and is simply to be heard and to get our message across.

Nykthuz (HEFESTO): First off, we'd like to thank you for this opportunity.

At first there wasn't much of a goal, it was simply a pair of friends wanting to make music and pass the time. As we developed our music and we clicked with regard to influences, such as Bathory, Cruel Force, Diabolic Night, Kreator, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, we switched our focus into making a band with such sounds, which is missing from the Uruguayan scene.

Joakill (JPI VIO-LENS KOMMAND): Hell-o readers! Joakill here. JPI Vio-Lens Kommand started as another branch or another "incarnation," as I like to call it, of the same entity that Ramsess (the drummer) and I channel every time we play together. When we started to make music under this moniker, I believe the goal we shared was to make furious metallik noise. I did not want to achieve anything more than just making, recording and releasing muzak, to express what I had inside, and it functions as another channel to do so.

Hugo Balbi (HUGO BALBI): It was almost by accident. After being in many bands with which, for different reasons, I couldn't make my music, I decided to become a solo artist. My goal is to translate my music so that it reflects my vision, and if it can also reach more people, then much better.

Hellish Bastard (MORBORUS): First of all, thanks for the interview! When I formed Morborus, my idea was to challenge myself to see if I could really do everything, composing, playing all the instruments, mastering, designing, etc. I also wanted to use a couple of songs that I had saved that I could not use in Hefesto at the time.

Alejandro Céspedes (BAHUAL): One of my goals was to become like my idols and maybe one day meet them. Another was to be able to live from what I loved the most, but without sacrificing my principles. The band is not politically inclined, it is about the social injustice that exists around the world.

Tamara Picardo (UPON SHADOWS): I started playing the keyboards in a local melodic death metal band called Eclamplsy for seven years (1995 – 2002). I left the band to form Upon Shadows in 2002, to create my own music. I always had the need to create music, lyrics, and drawings and I was looking for a place to combine all these things in a unique and personal way. My goal has always been the same, to create something different and unique, something of significance not only to me but also for others who share the same interests. I try to do art with Upon Shadows, not only music and all I create has a deep emotional commitment.

JB Romero (REQUIEM AETERNAM): When the band began back in 1994-1995 in Montevideo (Uruguay) we were all teenagers. Drummer Martin Lopez (Amon Amarth, Opeth, Soen) and guitarist Pablo Magallanes (Demonical) suggested getting together with bassist Martin Mendez (Opeth) and myself (JB Romero on vocals, guitar and keyboards). Martin Lopez wanted us to immigrate to Sweden and become a professional band. At the time, my priority was to finish my studies at the school of economics. Lopez, Magallanes and Mendez left for Sweden, and I remained in Montevideo and gathered a new lineup.

In the beginning, my personal goals were to release records, play live and have fun, however, the band was more like a "professional hobby," since I was set to become an economist and have a career in finance. It was in June of 2019 that I finally decided to become a professional musician, music producer and entrepreneur, after working as a financial consultant in New York City for many years.

Gerardo Techera (APNEUMA): At the very beginning, all I wanted was to have a band and to play metal. I didn't have a plan for the band, I just wanted to play live, record stuff, be part of a scene, you know, what everyone wants at first. With time, yes, we set some goals and we are still setting goals to this day, 17 years later.

Which things are you most proud of?

Max (PARASITAL EXISTENCE): I think the fact that a European label (Envenomed Music) paid attention to the band and released our material on CD. That, and being almost 46 years old and still composing extreme metal and sharing a band with two other guys who basically have the same way of seeing things as I do.

Benjamín Machín (CRYSTAL GATES): We always try to improve whatever we do, so our proudest moments are always recent! Being able to finish our first full-length album despite many drawbacks was a big thing for us. Also, our last show where we presented it live, after more than four years without even rehearsing together, was a big moment. It was challenging on many levels, but we still managed to deliver one of our best performances so far. We are quite happy how that turned out.

Freaky L. (VIRTUE IN MADNESS): Sadly, there are no achievements so far, because of line-up changes and arguments about where the band was headed. But at this very moment, we're moving forward to something refreshing music-wise. I think our new material has the potential to make its way through the thousands of metal bands around the world, due to the many electronic and industrial elements mixed in the music. That may not be appreciated by some, but I don't give a shit about what people expect from me... hehe!

Matthías Figueredo (DREAMS OF ETERNITY): All the work, strength, and love that we are putting into this project, as well as the sound quality that we have achieved in our demos, taking into account the few resources we have and our little knowledge of mixing and mastering. The songs that you can listen to on our social networks are recorded with the cheapest instruments and the cheapest PC, but beyond all this we have made good demos; we achieve an acceptable quality so that people can listen to our music.

Nykthuz (HEFESTO): Opening for Suffocation and Incantation was a very proud moment for us, considering how new to the scene we were. It was great to showcase our music to a lot of new eyes. In regard to our music, our latest release Raw Cruelty pushed our limits and we learned a lot along the way due to it being completely DIY.

Joakill (JPI VIO-LENS KOMMAND): The things I am most proud of are the contacts we've made along the way by keeping ourselves underground. For example, when we released Death to Thee, which was our first demo rehearsal tape, I circulated it by snail mail and sent it to France, Germany, Slovakia, the USA and, of corpse, here in my country. I gifted every single copy to the people I knew were going to be interested on it. I never uploaded the audio to the "internerd." That was the path we used to make ourselves known and heard, by keeping the tradition of the demo tape, the handwritten letter, the homemade DIY stuff, the underground.

Hugo Balbi (HUGO BALBI): In the years 2017 and 2018, some of my songs were included on two compilations, where there were also well-known musicians like Joe Stump, George Bellas and other great guitarists and musicians and that was very good. I also had the opportunity to write a song for a project to benefit the UNICEF organization, which was released on vinyl in England and the United States, among other things.

Hellish Bastard (MORBORUS): More than anything, being able to release a cassette edition on my own. At first, I saw it as something impossible but after doing some calculating, it became something achievable. From that experience I was able to make an edition together with Extreme Resurrection Records for my other band Hefesto, in addition to now having my own label Morbid Horus.

Alejandro Céspedes (BAHUAL): One of the achievements, of course, is the musical evolution, and getting the band to sound professional. Another achievement is that there are people from the other side of the world who, although there are not many, have sent us their messages telling us that they like our music. For us who come from such a small Third World and almost invisible country, it is a great achievement, of course. And lastly, being able to play with some big bands from South America that I have grown up listening to.

Tamara Picardo (UPON SHADOWS): First of all, I would say that the recording of our second album in 2011, is maybe the most important moment for Upon Shadows history. With the release of the album Melodies in Grey Scale, I started to record all the guitars by myself, and the band was defined as a female duo with the former member Natalia Arocena on bass. The album was released by Satanica Records from New Zealand.

Of course, every release means a lot to us and is its own very unique achievement in our lives. Another moment of deep impact to us was in 2016 when we had the honor of having one of the biggest Finnish black metal legends, Kimmo Luttinen (ex-Impaled Nazarene and ex-Beherit, among others) record the drums for our single "Geometry of Music''. That was something of deep value for us, not only for the admiration and respect regarding to who he is but also the albums he was involved in creating and recording, which are definitely albums of reference and cult to every black metal fan like us. We, two basically unknown South American women, get to have his playing, with all the meaning of that on a spiritual level, his energy, his black soul was focused and integrated to our music. That was priceless and is there for everyone who wants to listen to it.

JB Romero (REQUIEM AETERNAM): To give a short answer to both parts of your question, I'll mention three points.

(1) To have released five records to date and have a double LP to be released this year (our first full instrumental albums);

(2) To have had some well-known musicians who have contributed to the band's history, including: Drummer Martin Lopez & bassist Martin Mendez, who recorded the band's first track, part of our latest album Eternal (Silver Edition, 2020 LP); Guitarist Eduardo Larbanois (Larbanois-Carrero) and keyboardist Victor Amaral (Pablo Estramin, Los Olimareños), who contributed to some of the tracks to our first album, Eternally Dying (1998 LP).; Drummer Alex Hernandez (Immolation), who recorded our second album, Philosopher (2004 LP); and finally, Keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo, Black Country Communion, Kiss, Alice Cooper) who recorded the first track of our upcoming instrumental release.

(3) Pioneering philosophical metal, a new artistic-scientific genre that includes not only philosophical lyrics but also philosophy-driven music compositions.

Gerardo Techera (APNEUMA): My biggest source of pride is to have recorded material. We have three LPs, two EPs, and a couple of demos. We played hundreds of live shows in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay and supported bands like Phil Anselmo and The Illegals, Hatebreed, Krisiun, Destruction, Dark Tranquillity, Brujeria, etc. Those are the things that when I look back make me feel happy about the story we have made.

What is it like to arrange an event for metal bands in Uruguay? Do you have many places where metal bands can play (please name some also), and is there support from cultural institutions, financially or some other way?

Max (PARASITAL EXISTENCE): I don't know what it's like to organize a metal show in your country, but at least in ours it's the same as in almost all of South America. In fact, I am an event producer myself and I have been bringing bands to the country for several years.

Uruguay is a small country, and the capital has 1,500,000 inhabitants. The underground metal scene here has always been relatively small. It has had ups and downs over the years, just like the rest of the continent.

Everything here, as we say, is "made by lung" behind my shows. There is no search for economic gratification, at least that is not the primary objective. Luckily, today, and for quite some time, we have had venues with very good infrastructure, both in sound and in the location itself. There are several places that I can name where metal events are held in the city, but the habit of doing shows in squares, outdoors and with free admission is also deeply rooted.

As for local places, "Midas Music," "MMBOX," "Complejo Sala Show," etc. are a few but the names are secondary because many times the same place changes names several times during its existence.

With respect to financial assistance on behalf of cultural institutions, it is zero. Metal is not considered a priority, culturally speaking. I don't see the flaw in that. Metal as far as I'm concerned is something countercultural, asking or crying for government support should be a reason for shame. Come on, it would be an insult to the genre. We cannot forget our roots. If governments contribute to the scenes of other countries in some way, it seems fantastic to me. If it happened here, it would be, but I think there are more important things for which to request the attention of governments. Work, health, and a more equanimous distribution of wealth.

Benjamín Machín (CRYSTAL GATES): It is hard. We usually organize the shows ourselves, so we take care of negotiating with venues, renting equipment, doing promotion, sales, all the tech aspects, of course, and whatnot. It's a lot of work, and most of it is not actual musician work. We still put a lot of effort into it, of course, and we try to make our shows as close as possible in terms of production to what bigger bands do. We want to give that to the people that support us. Regarding venues, there are not a lot, but there are some. Some of them have better stages and equipment (those are usually too big and/or expensive) and others not so much. There used to be a good place where most metal shows were done called "BJ" that existed for many years, but it didn't survive the pandemic. That was quite a loss for our scene, but it also gave way to new places, which is good, but I haven't been to them yet.

Freaky L. (VIRTUE IN MADNESS): To arrange a gig here is easy, you just need to talk with the owner of the place, arrange the date, how much it's going to cost to play there and rent the backline, and that's it.

There are not many places for a metal band to play properly. Five or six places are the ones that any metal band would be comfortable to play at any time. Some of them are "Midas Music," "MMBox," "Complejo Sala Show," and "La Trastienda."

Matthías Figueredo (DREAMS OF ETERNITY): Dreams of Eternity is a small project that started recently and because we are from a very small town where it is difficult to find musicians in our genre, we have not played live yet. Beyond this, I can tell you that the heavy metal scene in the country is very small and the opportunities to play live are few. Sometimes even the musicians have to pay to rent the venue, the sound engineer or the sound equipment themselves. Fortunately, in the last 15 years, many important heavy metal bands (Megadeth, Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, Sepultura, Epica, etc.) have begun to include Uruguay in their tours, which has been and is very good for the local scene.

Nykthuz (HEFESTO): Arranging things here can be very challenging due to the scene being quite small. There is no cultural backing, due to most city events catering to other popular genres. Regardless, there are great things happening here such as Carnival Festival, certain productions that bring international bands such as IDL Entertainment and Artes Negras. Venues such as "Midas," "Barrabas," "Iberia Bar," and "COLD Music Bar" host bands and are essential to the scene.

Joakill (JPI VIO-LENS KOMMAND): It's complicated, that's for sure, haha!! We have places where bands can get gigs arranged, mainly present in the city center, and bands have to pay to play, but that is just a hoax really. You have to sell a certain number of tickets at absurd prices when no one knows or wants to go see your band play live in the first place. You'll end up selling them to your mom or sister, which is sad. Paying to play venues outside the city center where you can do it for free is just stupid, but people prefer fame rather than the underground. There are a lot of bands stuck on this idea and still defending it, but I would rather not play live with my band than do so in those conditions. No one gives a fukk about underground metal in Uruguay, and the bands that proliferate in these ways are not underground at all, mainly modern metal.

Hugo Balbi (HUGO BALBI): No, there were always very few venues and small audiences because Uruguay is a very small country. I did not play in those places until 2019 when a place where more events could be organized called "BJ" opened, although I think that other places started to work a short time ago. Financially there was never any kind of support.

Hellish Bastard (MORBORUS): We haven't played live with Morborus yet. Not having a complete lineup and having to manage time being in other bands makes it difficult for me to bring Morborus to the stage, however, in my experience with Hefesto there are no specific places where bands play. There is "Midas," which is a place with good equipment, it sounds good, very professional but the place is used for metal bands or even techno parties. You have a lot of pubs, some more intended for rock, punk and metal bands like "Barabbas Pub" or "COLD Music Bar." But in general there is no specific place.

Alejandro Céspedes (BAHUAL): Organizing an event is complicated since everything depends on the bands. There is practically no cultural support from the state for this style of music. Uruguay has been doing metal since its beginnings, with bands like Graf Spee and Angkor Vat doing black metal before the Norwegian bands. Even so, this small country has produced many musicians in the metal genre, but the state doesn't take them into account, so everything depends on the bands, absolutely all the work. Although technology has helped to improve the quality of sound, lights, and settings according to what a metal show requires, everything is self-managed. Today there's a 3-day event called Carnival Fest, something like the Wacken Open Air on a smaller scale, where bands from all over the country and from some neighboring South American countries perform. All the work is carried out by young people from a city in the interior of the country.

As for places, many have closed due to the pandemic and others have had to diversify with other musical styles. There were about twenty stores in the capital of the country; today there are ten at most. Some of them are COLD Music Bar, Roxx Bar, and Montevideo Music Box.

Tamara Picardo (UPON SHADOWS): I have never been directly involved in the organization of any concert. Even in the '90s when I was playing in Eclampsy, the concerts were always organized by other bands, and we just played. In the past some bands organized shows and invited other bands to play. Nowadays, or let's say since the last 20 years at least, the situation has changed and there are different types of concerts like everywhere else. Big gigs with international bands, smaller gigs with big local bands, big and small festivals, and very small gigs in bars. People from El Lado Oscuro Metal or Artes Negras Producciones who actually organize these kinds of events would be the right people to reply to your questions as deeply as you need.

JB Romero (REQUIEM AETERNAM): We were active as a band in Uruguay from 1994/95 until 2001. Since 2002 the band has been in the USA. Back then, metal was very underground, and we had very limited resources. However, during the 21st century things have changed enormously in Uruguay, since the music market has been opened to international bands and technology has become much cheaper. In addition, social media has allowed much more integration and more access to marketing. Consequently, there's a huge difference between what was and what is the Uruguayan music industry today. Some of our colleagues who are nowadays located in Uruguay could answer this question better.

Gerardo Techera (APNEUMA): After the pandemic, a lot of places closed but we are diehards here in Uruguay. We always have some places to gig. The Roxx Bar for example is a metal bar where you can go and play easily. We don't have any support from government or other institutions.

Uruguay, as we know, really isn't considered a hotbed for metal music. Have you ever thought of relocating to some other country?

Max (PARASITAL EXISTENCE): If we are going to look at all the countries, I think Uruguay is practically unknown to many people, in terms of METAL. On that we agree. Likewise, albums from this country have been released that today are valued at thousands of dollars, as is the case with the first edition of the album Reincarnation by the band, Graff Spee. Alvacast, an old band from the '80s, settled in Canada in the early '90s. It doesn't change much for them to be there musically speaking. In my case, no. I have lived in this country for many years and at the moment I really have no interest in moving to another country. Our drummer is currently living in São Paulo for work reasons, but he often travels to Uruguay. In fact, during the past year he was coming and going because of the shows abroad.

Thanks for your time.

Benjamín Machín (CRYSTAL GATES): Actually yes, I've been living in Riga, Latvia for more than a year now. That opened some new opportunities for us. We worked with a local agency here for some time (THP Production), and through them we got the chance to release our album through Wormholedeath Records. It is challenging to be more than ten thousand kilometers from the rest of the band, but as I mentioned before, we are still working together and even managed to play live as though we were not so far away. We will continue like this and try to organize some tours here in Europe, while we work on our next releases. We are always hopeful and working hard!

Freaky L. (VIRTUE IN MADNESS): At the very beginning, I had the idea of moving to another country to make our way as a band if that chance came up, but some former members didn't agree with my proposal. So, my general idea right now is to make new music, shoot some videos and play gigs in order to get recognition and then, if possible, a tour.

Matthías Figueredo (DREAMS OF ETERNITY): Of course, we have thought about it and in fact we have already taken our first step. I moved to Barcelona in October 2022, and my brother (guitar) and Martina (vocals) plan to do so in the not-too-distant future in order to continue working and dreaming of a future full of music. In the meantime, we will continue working remotely and post demos of new songs.

Nykthuz (HEFESTO): It is not out of the question; however, our focus is to bring the best of ourselves to the scene and see where it can take us. We feel there is a revival with younger people attending shows. It is a matter of bringing some much-needed high energy brutality.

Joakill (JPI VIO-LENS KOMMAND): Not really. We know, just as you know, that our country does not have many (good) metal bands, especially underground acts. We have little to no metal culture, part of it may be due to the dictatorship ruining everything and as a result we are like 10 years late to the party. I cannot speak with propriety about it because I wasn't living in those dark times, but to relocate, at least in my eyes, seems somewhat of a cowardly act. What I think would be more accurate is to stay and fight! I was born here, and I will die here, might as well try to leave a footprint or change in the way I was taught to view things, change myself, thus changing the way other people see and deal with problems that we as Uruguayans have to face each and every day. To confront our shitty society and the people that do not want to work to change things for the better, because they prefer to live in a comfort zone chewing the same grey entertainment over and over again and not questioning anything. It may take you a lifetime and maybe at the end everything stayed the same, but at least you tried, and you did not flee.

Hugo Balbi (HUGO BALBI): Yes, in fact, I was very close to doing it on two or three occasions but in the end, it was not to be. It is always something that is kept in mind.

Hellish Bastard (MORBORUS): Given the possibility, I think it would be a great idea. It's not something I'm thinking about today but maybe in the future it could be something quite beneficial. Uruguay's problem is the low amount of committed metalheads. It's a hassle looking for members for a band who know how to play at a decent level or who can play the same music that one tries to do. Uruguayans in general tend to listen to mainstream metal or certain genres while ignoring the old school. The picture becomes disappointing every time you try to find people with the same interest in the underground. Sometimes by chance or luck it ends up working as in the case of Hefesto that we were able to consolidate a stable formation but if I had to consider getting a formation for Morborus without having to repeat any member of Hefesto, it would be frankly difficult.

Alejandro Céspedes (BAHUAL): Many times we have raised this idea. Maybe it's because of our language, or because they don't know us, but there are many bands here that could have become big in other countries. Perhaps the economic issue has prevented us from settling in another country, but it has been in our minds.

Tamara Picardo (UPON SHADOWS): I've been living in Finland since 2013, but for personal reason not related to my music goals.

I think it depends on what you want to do and the expectations you have. If we talk about Metal music on a big streaming level, then yes, I guess you are right, Uruguay is not offering a "living" for metal musicians. Now if we talk about extreme metal, the goal shouldn't be to make money or become famous. Those who look for money and fame being part of extreme metal have deeply mistaken the meaning of all this. A person needs to achieve other kinds of goals to be part of the extreme metal scene. I think, in general, Uruguayan metal bands exist because of the passion for this music, for the need of creation and the pleasure to share their time and lives with other metal people. Uruguay is an atheist country with freedom of speech, where people know very well and defend the value of freedom, so I don't think the situation for extreme metal is worse than other countries. On the contrary, in Uruguay you can be sure that every band you see exists only because of the passion for this music. Musicians need to have a "normal" job to make their living and that, of course, means a limitation in the time you can invest in music, but also gives you the freedom to create what you feel without the pressure of thinking that you need to sell albums to pay your cost of living.

JB Romero (REQUIEM AETERNAM): Martin Lopez understood this matter since the beginning and thus wanted us to immigrate to Sweden. I personally wanted to finish my degree in economics before leaving the country, even though I agreed with him on that regard and almost left with them back in 1996. I immigrated to the USA in 2002 with the intention to both work in finance and continue with the band. Today, things are different. Some rock bands from Uruguay are competing at the highest level, something that seemed impossible when we began in music.

Thanks for your interest in the Uruguayan metal scene and for selecting us to contribute to your publication.

Gerardo Techera (APNEUMA): You are right, Uruguay is not a place for metalheads. Here opportunities for our music really don't fall from the skies. Most of the people with a band here consider this a hobby, since we all have to work on something else and don't make a living playing metal. In time, we may consider moving somewhere else. Some bands before us tried to do that as well, they moved and never made it, maybe that set a bad precedent for the rest of us.















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