Interview with bassist Ignacio Arévalo
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: August 12, 2019
Chilean thrashers Critical Defiance, formed in 2013, have made quite a name for themselves since their debut album Misconception was released by Unspeakable Axe Records in February 2019. The band continues the heritage of Chile's quality underground Metal acts that the country has become known for.
As of late, the band is trying to book as many gigs as possible to promote their debut album and really working their asses off toward both their short- and long-term goals.
We here at The Metal Crypt wanted to know more about this very promising Chilean Thrash Metal outfit, so we sent some questions their way to get some insight into the world of Critical Defiance. The band's bassist Ignacio Arévalo kindly sent an update as to what's going on with the band these days despite being a very busy man...
Luxi: How's life in Villa Alemana, Valparaiso, Chile? Cheap? Nice? Marvelous? All of the above?
Ignacio: It's actually pretty good! Thanks for asking, and so sorry for the delay regarding the interview man. We have been very busy these past few months!
Luxi: There's not much information available in English about Critical Defiance, so would you kindly tell us about the early years of the band?
Ignacio: I can't say much about it since I joined in 2016 but I met the guys a few times in 2013/2014 and I really liked the band. I could see they were serious about what they were doing. They really enjoyed playing raw, fast and visceral Thrash Metal and we always will!!!
Luxi: When you started demoing the first songs did you have faith that the band would go somewhere?
Ignacio: When I first joined the band, I immediately knew that they meant business. They had a lot of plans for the near future and those plans are always on the move. We always want to keep improving things regarding the band.
Luxi: Would you say that each member of the band has the same vision of what Critical Defiance should be all about, both musically and visually?
Ignacio: We are all big fans of Thrash Metal as well as other music. Apart from enjoying the power, rudeness and speed of Thrash and demonstrating that on stage we also enjoy and respect the complexity of music in terms of its variety. We want to balance both aspects, musicianship and raw power in order to create an original way of reflecting our emotions. That is what moves us really; music is always a means to an end.
Luxi: In which platforms did you start spreading your music at the very beginning? Were there any special music platforms that really helped to get the band's name out back in the early days?
Ignacio: I remember having seen things on MySpace and SoundCloud. YouTube was also a good platform to spread the music that they were making at the time as well as Facebook. The songs at that time were super "proto-critical defiance", haha!!
Luxi: Your debut album, Misconception, is hands down, one hell of an amazing Thrash Metal album, bowing deeply toward the old school, especially the Bay Area sound. When it was fully recorded and you listened to the mastered version for the first time, what kind of reactions did you have? Did you all think, "Man, this sounds really fuckin' good... I guess we did some things right on this one", or something along those lines?
Ignacio: Thank you very much, man!! At first, we were amazed with the result. We were able to accomplish one of the things we wanted the most and that was capturing the energy of the whole band in a focused and raw way. We wanted the record to make an impact and to capture that essence as closely as possible. We also realized that we can do things better next time and as I said before we always want to improve things and recording is certainly one of the most important.
Luxi: The response for your debut album has been overwhelming. Did you expect such a great reaction from people regarding Misconception?
Ignacio: We are really happy with the reviews, but I think the most special thing is that people were able to understand what we wanted to transmit. The fact that there are a lot of people hungry for a violent, fast, raw and visceral style of Thrash Metal fills us with an enormous amount of motivation for things to come. WE WANT TO BRING YOU VIOLENCE!!!
Luxi: Did you face any setbacks during the recording session of Misconception?
Ignacio: Well the process was very long since we had a really tight budget and we also needed to find a person to
Luxi: How did your deal with Unspeakable Axe Records come about? Was it tough to find a suitable label you wanted to sign to?
Ignacio: We knew about the label because some other Chilean bands had signed with them (Ripper and Hellish) and we thought that it was the best option for us. And we were not mistaken!!! Unspeakable Axe is an unbelievable label that is releasing unbelievable music. We are totally grateful to them. They showed interest towards us when we sent them a promo with two songs that are part of Misconception and they agreed to release our album. I think we are really lucky to have found a label that believes in us.
Luxi: I have to believe Unspeakable Axe Records wasn't the only label that cast their eyes on the band. Which other labels were in the mix?
Ignacio: Well, to be honest as soon as Unspeakable Axe Records spoke with us we immediately put our trust in them, but after the release of Misconception we were offered a deal to make a limited number of cassettes by Pub Metal Shop in Taiwan and we also worked with an underground label from Chile called Faces of Terror that also released some tapes in the past month.
Luxi: Chile has had a noteworthy and promising underground Metal scene for many years. The country has produced some great names over the years (no need for any name-dropping at this point). Do you see any special reasons for your long-lasting, quality Metal scene and why it has produced so many good/great Metal acts over the years?
Ignacio: I think is due to the attitude and the things that need to be said. Music is certainly one of the better ways to channel one's emotions and Metal music (Thrash, Death, Black, etc.) is the perfect way to spit out the inner anger in the face of what oppresses us. People are really moved by the power transmitted by the bands and they go to shows because they have a lot of energy to be released! And that is super cool, in my opinion, the speed and anger must always flow through all of us.
Luxi: You have obviously played a good number of gigs in your home country of Chile so far, but is the ultimate goal to get the band outside of the country for gigs?
Ignacio: That will be great for us!! We know that it requires a lot of work but if we have the chance, we will surely make the most of it. It's a goal that is set in the horizon.
Luxi: Have you considered relocating outside of Chile for better gig opportunities?
Ignacio: We haven't thought about it really. We like the Chilean scene very much since it has a lot of bands that pursue the same goal of releasing all their genuine aggression and the fans are wicked, too!!! This country and its scene are super important to us.
Luxi: Promotional videos are very important tools to spread your band's name. Have you guys thought of making one someday?
Ignacio: Personally, I don't like those kinds of videos; I think music can speak for itself. The video Unspeakable Axe Records put out for the sake of promotion was important and we liked its simplicity, it cut directly to the chase!!! That's the way it should be.
Luxi: What do you hope to achieve with the band in the next 2-3 years or so?
Ignacio: We are currently working on another demo/promo that will include three new songs. Those songs will be on the next record which we hope to be working on as soon as possible. We obviously want to keep making fast, violent and sincere music and keep playing shows with all our energy. Bringing our music abroad is also one of our important plans. Stay tuned!!!
Luxi: Thanks so much for your time, Ignacio, all the best to you and the band. If you have anything to add, feel free to do so now... ;o)
Ignacio: Thank you very much for the interview man and if you are interested in our work, there are still a lot of things to come from Critical Defiance. THRASH TILL DEATH!!!!
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