Interview with Miguel (guitar)
Interview conducted by Lars Christiansen
Date online: December 18, 2006
Spain is renowned for its brutal death metal scene, with an enviable list of bands to make any underground death metaller worth their salt drool all down their neck at the thought of the scene being in their own country. Although Human Mincer may not be the first band to come to mind when asked to name a Spanish band, there's no denying their existence and two albums on the infamous Xtreem Music label has helped to further and inspire upcoming bands within the scene since their inception in 1996. Lars Christiansen hunts down six string strangler (try saying that five times fast) Miguel to find out what's going on in the world of minced humans...
Greetings Miguel, thanks for taking the time out to answer my questions. Firstly, something that always interests me, how did the band name Human Mincer come about?
Hello!! Well, we have had various names since we started out... Septicaemia, Execror, Untied Brutality...but none really suited us. We've always hated humanity in general, so we decided that mincing people would suit us best!
With such a gory band name, it seems that your lyrical stance moved away from gore on your 2nd album compared to your debut – what brought that about? Were you fed up of trying to 'out-gore' yourselves?
Yes, we have always liked gore films and the gore thematic... our two demos and first album are totally disgusting... guts, necrophilia and other such gory things appeared in our lyrics but we are now a little bored of gore. It doesn't do anything for us anymore. Now we're more interested in such things as psychopathic and psychological behaviour, as well as the general madness that is reigning our world at this moment.
Were you ever into gore and horror films, as it seems that quite a lot of bands of your ilk are? If not, were you simply inspired by other gore bands early on?
Yes, all of us are fans of films like Braindead, Burning Moon... and many more gore films – too many to list here! But in music we haven't been inspired by gore bands per se, but we do love a fair amount of gore bands that are playing today! Guts are most welcome in our ears! hehe
It seems you've had a few line up changes recently, with 'personal problems' cited as the reasons behind them. Would you care to expand on this?
Well, yes we have a new bass player and singer. The reasons are different for Antonio (old bass) and Carlos (old vocals)... Antonio has left the band because he works in a important theater in our country and he works a lot and all weekends too, for this reason we'd not toured as often as we wanted, and it was difficult to play concerts as much as we'd liked to have. He decided to leave the band because we want to play in all possible places of the world and with him it just wasn't a possibility. As for Carlos, well, he decided to leave the band because he didn't want to play with us any longer... hehe!!
Would you say having the new members in the band added anything to your sound?
Of course, Phlegeton (the new vocalist) has a different voice than Carlos. Phleg is a really good vocalist and he works a lot on his voice with our music, and of course is sicker than the old one. And Guillemoth (new bass player) takes playing the bass to another level and his riffs are fucking slamming and rabid! We really think we are a tighter unit together now!
What's the latest news on your 3rd album? Do you have an album name as yet, or any song titles? How do you feel your music has progressed from your earlier releases?
We still haven't decided on the name of the CD and songs titles as yet, however I can tell you that we will be making a conceptual CD, and we are working on the story and lyrics of it at the moment. It's going to be fucking insane! The story will be of a man living with insanity, we want to reflect his thoughts like a personal hell inside his brain. Each song will be one of his "hells", and in each hell he feels, sees and reacts differently.
I think our music is a lot more elaborate now than it was in our earlier releases, a lot more effort is put into the composition process at the rehearsals to push things that step further, and I think that anybody who listens to one of our new songs will be able to differentiate between that and our old stuff in an instant.
How do you go around writing a Human Mincer song? With the technicality of the music, I'd imagine it'd take a fair while to arrange the music. As a fairly prolific touring band in the past, are you forced to write on the road a lot?
Well, the lyrics of our two CDs were written by David (drums), but now he and Phlegeton will work in the lyrics for the third album. Our composition process is very simple, we make the music at the rehearsal and we work with the lyrics at the same time and try to assemble the music and the voice simultaneously. Sometimes we have to reform some riffs for the lyric... it's funny to play with the phrases and music but sometimes is difficult to get everything perfect. Perseverance wins through!
Have you ever thought about experimenting with your sound, or do you save that for side projects?
For Human Mincer we just want brutality. Direct songs which blow brains out when you listen to them. All of us play in other project bands, so we can test out other things with them. I play in a band called Hybrid, we make a mixture of brutal death and grind with math-metal... It reminds me like Cephalic Carnage with a little of Suffocation and Meshuggah...you can hear something at www.myspace.com/hybridmetal. Phlegeton and Guillemoth play in Wormed... I think Wormed is the best band of the new bands of brutal death.... (www.wormed.net / www.myspace.com/wormed). Phlegeton also plays in Godüs (www.myspace.com/godusphamtomgrave) and Unsane Crisis (http://www.myspace.com/unsanecrisis" target="_blank">www.myspace.com/unsanecrisis). And David (drums) plays in his black metal project called Ildur.
I agree with the Wormed comments in particular, they're insane. But which band(s) would you say made you want to pick up a guitar to blast out some brutal death metal in the first place, and who would you say is the most influential musician on your own personal playing style?
We all love Suffocation, I think they are definitely the most influential band for us. They were the first band of brutal death I listened to, and since then I've only wanted to play brutal death. Later we 'discovered' bands like Disgorge, they were a good influence too. Personally my favourite guitar player was Doug Cerrito from Suffocation.
What motivated the move from Xtreem Music to Unmatched Brutality? Any juicy gossip on a fall out with Dave Rotten perhaps?! (just kidding) ? Is there any difference in dealing with a new label in a different country to the daily band duties?
Haha! Our contract with Xtreem Music was for two CDs, and the conditions for the new contract of the third CD didn't really suit us – no real juicy gossip I'm afraid! For this reason we decided to search for another label, and Unmatched Brutality agreed to our conditions and sounded like the best option for us to move forward. We always loved this label, they have produced some really good and brutal bands like Brodequin, Inveracity, Liturgy... and we believe they're going to be making a great piece of work with us!
With the Spanish death metal scene as strong as it is at the moment, are you 100% happy with the support you receive? Do you think it could possibly get any stronger than it is at the moment, or has it peaked?
Yes, the underground scene in Spain is exceptional, there are brutal bands like Wormed, Kevlar Skin, Caustic, Cerebral Effusion... but the problem is with the people. The people of Spain don't really support the underground scene and bands as much as they could in my opinion... You make a fest with five or six Spanish bands, but a lot of people prefer go to drink beer somewhere else while listening to your music on MP3 downloads... you know what I mean?! But of course many people still support death metal bands and go to the concerts and buy CDs you know. To me, they're the real fans.
Continuing the topic of the underground scene, you've been a regular fixture in the Spanish brutal death metal scene for a fair while now; can you name any up and coming bands that have caught your eye for future greatness?
As I said in the previous question, In Spain is now getting many bands that are getting much deserved recognition, and albums produced by different labels from outside of Spain. The bands that spring to mind off the top of my head are No Fate (www.sindestino.org), Haemophagia (www.myspace.com/haemophagia), Mońigo (http://www.myspace.com/monigo" target="_blank">www.myspace.com/monigo). There are many more are working hard now and I'm sure they'll all be getting their sounds around the world soon enough!
What's on your play-list at the moment?
I like the new CDs from Guttural Secrete, Defeated Sanity, Ingurgitating Oblivion and Suffocation. I also love doom bands like Torture Wheel or Shape of Despair... and of black metal Anaal Nathrakh are killer.
Well, that about wraps it up Miguel - thanks once again for taking the time out to answer my questions. Good luck in the studio, keep it brutal, and I'm really looking forward to checking out your next release! I'll leave the final words to you….
Thanks a lot for this interview, I hope you understand it OK because my English is real shit! Haha! Keep informed of our shows and news at www.humanmincer.com and www.myspace.com/humanmincer. Keep it sick!
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