Recently I had the pleasure of attending Rock the Coast and managed to grab an interview with Guillermo from Angelus Apatrida.
Hi, thanks for your time. Great set by the way! We understand you are not the original singer and you had to pick up the reigns after the original singer left. How did that come about?
It was a long time ago, I am the former guitar player, but I was not a singer I was just playing the guitar. Alberto was the former singer and left after 8 months.
So you said, “Ok, I am going to be the singer”?
No, officially we are still looking for a singer. I am still just filling in! In the early days, I was doing backing vocals. After that we were just rehearsing and they were like “Guillermo, you can sing this song,” and I was like “I don’t like to sing, I don’t know how to sing.” So they said, “Now let’s just play some songs like Metallica, Megadeth or whatever as that’s more suited to your voice.” We started playing some covers, I didn’t like it but we worked it out and meanwhile, we are searching for a new singer still and that happened nineteen years ago and we are still searching for a new singer.
The 20th anniversary is coming up. Are you going to do something big?
Wow! I don’t like to think we are already old. Every year we feel younger than ever. We are 35/36 years old. For us, every time we release a new album, we feel it is a new beginning. We have been playing together for nineteen years but professionally for only nine. The only thing I can say is we are like a huge family and we are gonna keep it that way. I am living the dream and want to keep it that way.
Talking about that dream, you have supported some big names, Slayer being just one of them. I was wondering who you would love to have support you out of all your heroes and idles?
Wow – one of my favourites is Pantera but sadly that’s impossible. Iron Maiden is my other favourite band but to be honest, I don’t think about whom to play with next. We have played with Slayer and Megadeth twice; we have toured with them both. We have only toured with Megadeth once and that was amazing but we toured with Slayer twice. The second time they came to Spain we got a call asking us to tour with them again and we thought “Wow! Every time Slayer comes to Spain, we are going to tour with them.” But yeah, playing with Iron Maiden maybe. But I would say another band I love and would love to tour with is Mastodon or Machine Head.
In the current times do you feel it’s important for bands to get involved in politics and what’s happening around the world?
I believe that musicians or artists have a responsibility to maybe try and make this world better. But I don’t think that music or any other type of art should be used to teach other people what to do. But this is a hard thing to explain because of some people, I don’t know why, but right-wing people especially say that you are using your speech for teaching people… I don’t support any politics and I don’t support publicly any political party or ideology. The only thing I support is human rights which I think is something universal; there should be no racism or homophobia. I don’t believe in religion, I don’t care who the fuck you believe in, everybody should be the same and I just believe in human rights. It’s something universal that everyone should support.
But the thing is when you say publicly say you are against for example fascists or against Nazis etc. you already a communist or this… No, it is nothing to do with that, it’s just a matter of human rights. But to be honest I do think artists should support human rights but as I told you before, I don’t know why all the right or extreme right-wing people always say that you talking about human rights makes you a communist or left-wingers. I don’t give a fuck if you’re black or white, if you want to fuck women, you want to fuck men or you want to fuck cows, I don’t give a fuck, man. Everybody is the same and we should respect each other always! I wish we would support each other.
So how does the writing process work within the band?
Normally the music comes first but then one thing I really like is I have a lot of things to talk about and when I listen to the music I know what it is going to be about. I prefer to write lyrics after the music. But sometimes I have something in my mind. Something I want to talk about, sometimes it comes with the melody like I remember the time when I composed “End Men” the first thing I composed was the chorus.
Obviously playing here at Rock the Coast is almost like your back garden as it’s quite a local gig for you. What do you think of today and how as it for you?
You take a look at the bill and there are not many thrash metal bands but in the beginning, when the intro was playing, I was looking at the people I was like [approving whistle] not bad, not bad even though it was so early. It was so good at the end of the solo section; it went crazy. It was so good and that watermelon guy with the watermelon helmet, I know him from a festival last year. When I saw him I was like “You! You are gonna do the first pit”. He was like “OK!”
You are playing Wacken this year are you looking forward to that one?
Of course, man, of course. That’s like a fucking dream come true. It’s gonna be awesome. We were there 9 years ago, Century Media made a media article with us. We didn’t play there but we were there for the first time and we were like wow! We were used to playing big festivals but we haven’t played Wacken yet, the biggest fucking metal festival in the world and we are gonna play this year for the first time. One thing I am proud of is it took us 19 years to get to Wacken, we didn’t have to go to any contests and do something special, we just kept playing gigs and being ourselves and finally we are at Wacken. I don’t give a fuck, I’m gonna play on Wednesday and I am gonna play at 5pm but I don’t give a fuck what time. I am playing Wacken for the first time! Going back to the question about goals, you don’t really plan to play Wacken but our record label always said “The day you play Wacken you have to do it by yourselves,” and we did it! We are there after 19 years!
Photos by Shellstar Media