Our brothers from Costa Rica are hitting the shit out of us again with a sledgehammer of a second album! Musically impeccable, they still deliver modern thrash influenced by the good old Bay Area (Exodus, Testament, Old Metallica), but the musicianship, song writing abilities and overall delivery went through a major uplift for The Act of Retaliation! Thrash is not back… it never went away! But… who are these Latin American thrashers? Let’s find out, courtesy of vocalist and guitarist Frankie…
We’re from San José, Costa Rica.
How did you meet?
Well, I (Frankie) met Sebastian in 7th grade. We were both new in that school and a year later I got expelled. So at the end of high school I asked him if he wanted to start a band with me since we liked the same kind of music and he agreed. Neither of us knew how to play at the time so we bought the guitars and started playing songs we liked. Then we started looking for bass players and drummers and a friend of mine knew a guy (Jorge) that had a brand new bass guitar and amp but didn’t know how to play either so of course we welcomed him to the band… I mean why the hell not? He knew a drummer (Jimmy Zumbado) that became the first out of four drummers that we’ve had since we started. And about 2 years ago Jairo contacted us cuz we had been looking for a drummer for some time already and well, he was a fit; an idiot just like us.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We started the band back in 2006 but we played our first gig officially in 2007 (I think) but we’ve had so many line-up changes that if you put all the years together we’ve been active for about 5 years. With Jairo it’s been about 1 year and like 8 months, something like that.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Well, we had to change cuz we didn’t know there was another band named Conqueror in Canada. We were recording our EP Radioactive Annihilation and our producer at the time (Jerry Ramirez) suggested something to be “easy to say” and aggressive, so, I went back home and started thinking about names and I guess I kind of put 2 words together: Chemical – Genocide and these guys were like “ok” so we went with it.
What are your influences?
Sebastian, Jorge and I grew up listening to Ramones, Misfits, The Clash, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys. But our main influences I would say are mainly Pantera, Slayer, Sepultura (until Chaos A.D.), Kreator and old Metallica.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Anything that I say here probably many other bands have said it, so, I personally think that live shows make us unique cuz we bring a lot of intensity and we are there to feed off the people and make their time worth it. Also that our music is extremely simple to play cuz honestly we’re not amazing musicians and when we write we try to make it easy for everybody (including ourselves!).
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
It depends, but mostly social injustice, chemical disasters and the decay of our society and race. The reason behind this is because for some reason we still don’t learn from our mistakes, we keep on going on the same destructive path and we feel like we can send a message through our lyrics and music.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
I dunno how many shows we’ve played. Right when we started we used to play at least 2 times a week cuz we wanted people to know the band but now we play way less than that. Our shows are intense, man. We go up on stage we say hello, introduce the band and after that it’s around 40 minutes without stopping. We try to play as fast as we can and try to bring as much intensity and aggression to every single show we play.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
We’ve done pretty stupid stuff on stage, me personally. Once we were almost done with the show and I jumped towards the drum set and I fell on my neck and almost broke it so I had to stay on the stage floor for about 5 minutes to get the air back into my lungs. I burst my eardrum playing a show. The bass player got almost electrocuted with one of the mics on stage.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Drum set: Mapex V-Series, Sabian XSR cymbals, Pearl Demon Drive double, bass Stagg customized FKS, Behringer BD121 pre-amp.
Then the lead guitarist uses an Ibanez (dunno the model) and I use a Dean Flying V guitar, because of Dimebag, and a Zoom pedal. We honestly don’t have a preference when it comes to AMPs cuz we use what we have at our disposal but Randall and Marshall are what we’ve used the most.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Hopefully go to Mexico and Canada to play a few gigs there. If everything goes as planned it will be a kick-ass end of year.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I think opening for Slayer or Pantera cuz we all love both bands and for Kreator or ’89-’92 Sepultura to open for us if we were thinking globally. Locally probably have Eternal (old Costa Rican thrash metal band) open for us and to open for Pneuma.
Courtesy of previous Band of the Day artist Ruben Altman: What phase of the creation process do you find most difficult and how do you cope with that?
I write most of the stuff so what’s difficult is to show it to the rest of the band, or for them I guess would be to understand my ideas cuz sometimes they don’t make a lot of sense! But since we’ve known each other for sooo long it makes the process easier.