Interview with bassist Victor Tello
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: November 23, 2014
Exodia hails from Valencia, Spain, and has been making waves around the world with two fierce Thrash Metal albums; Slow Death, released in 2012, and its follow-up, Hellbringer, released in 2014 (thanks to a crowd-funding campaign). Despite their somewhat short existence, Exodia have gained quite a lot of experience playing live and sharing stages with both established international bands like Destruction, Overkill and Angelus Apatrida as well as lesser known acts as like Reek and Leatherface (among others).
One thing is certain; Exodia's highly aggressive and riff-based Thrash Metal has reached many curious, mine included, and therefore The Metal Crypt wanted to know a bit more about this promising Spanish Thrash Metal. I contacted bassist Victor and he was kind enough to enlighten us about Exodia's past, present and future plans...
Luxi: I hope you are doing well and are ready for this chat with me. First off, what's new in Valencia, Spain?
Victor: Hi friend! I'm preparing to answer your questions with a beer in my hand and Sponge Bob on my TV, ha ha!!
Luxi: At the beginning of this year you released your second album, Hellbringer, so let's start with that, shall we? Ten songs of pure, ripping Thrash Metal aggression describes the album in a nutshell. How pleased are you with the record and do you believe you created the Thrash Metal album that you hoped to?
Victor: We're very happy with this album and all ten songs. It is exactly what we wanted when we started composing songs; speed, melody and aggression. The result is very satisfying, I think.
Luxi: When you started the songwriting process for Hellbringer how much were you thinking of your debut album, Slow Death, and how your follow-up MUST be better and kick more ass? You wouldn't be satisfied with anything less, correct?
Victor: When we started the songwriting process for Hellbringer we wanted to do a different album compared to Slow Death because we needed to find a more personal sound. Slow Death is a great album but we were looking to take a step forward.
Luxi: You have a song called "150% attitude" on this new record in which you basically raise your middle finger to the norms and rules of today's society. I hear a lot of sheer Punk attitude in Exodia's music so I need to ask you what your favorite Punk and Hardcore bands are.
Victor: Hmmm...We don't have big Punk fans in Exodia but if I have to name some bands from that genre that we like, I would go with The Offspring and Hatebreed and acts like that.
Luxi: The last song on Hellbringer is a fun song titled "The Art of Drinking" and gives one million reasons why one should drink, ha ha!! :oD Are you all heavy drinkers (real "party animals") and does this song also have something to do with some real events?
Victor: Hahahaha... yeah, we enjoy that particular scene described above. We really enjoy drinking like the world will end tomorrow, ha ha!!
Luxi: What made you decide to cover Van Halen's classic song "Ain't Talking 'bout Love" and even shoot a video for it? Why didn't this song get added to Hellbringer as a bonus?
Victor: This song is not included on the Hellbringer record because we came up with the idea to cover it after the album was released. However, we are considering including it on one of our releases as a bonus track in the future.
Luxi: The reviews of Hellbringer I have read have been thoroughly positive which undoubtedly has put a huge smile on your face. Does that make you think that you did at least a couple of things right on this record?
Victor: Yeah my friend, we are very happy with the reviews so far. It is the reward for all the hard work we put into this record. We spent a lot of working hours on the songs for this release. These reviews keep us motivated and doing things even better.
Luxi: I also have to ask if your original plan was to release Hellbringer on your own or if you tried to find a label to put it out? What happened with your previous label, Art Gates Records, if I can ask?
Victor: I prefer not to speak about A.G.R. The relationship with them is broken and we just walked away from the label. We wanted release Hellbringer ourselves but unfortunately we didn't have the cash in our pockets, so eventually we went for looking some help from a crowd-funding campaign, which turned out to be successful.
Luxi: So far so good which I assume means a bigger load of positive things and the future must be looking pretty bright for the Exodia camp these days, correct?
Victor: Yes and we're trying to make sure this is displayed in our concerts. We want to demonstrate how we can pull off a great performance live and that we have a good trajectory going on.
Luxi: Talking about playing live a little bit, you played at this festival called Aquelarre Metalrock II on September 20th (2014). Were your expectations of playing at this festival running high?
Victor: This festival was very interesting for us because it also featured some very important bands from the Spanish Metal scene. We were really excited to play at this fest and the party was guaranteed. ;P
Luxi: You just recently signed a management deal with Hueso Producciones. Now that you have them taking care of your merch sales and stuff you can concentrate on creating new songs, which is a good thing, of course...
Victor: Yes, Hueso producciones is our management agency and we're very happy with the decision to work with them. Jesus is a hardworking man who truly cares about his bands.
Luxi: Do you have any more gigs coming up, either at the end of this year or early in 2015? Anything you can announce?
Victor: Our manager is working hard to get Exodia booked for many events next year. We really cannot announce anything officially yet but it's certain that Exodia will be playing a lot next year.
Luxi: How eager are you to go out and play live? Is that one of the reasons Exodia exists in the first place and does playing live keep you guys going?
Victor: Playing live, above everything else, is the main reason we enjoy our work. When you play live and people start singing your songs there's always a huge feeling of satisfaction, you know?
Luxi: Spain seems to have a strong and vivid Metal scene nowadays, especially for Thrash Metal. Do you believe this has something to do with the strong Thrash Metal resurgence over the last 10 years and many once disbanded Thrash Metal acts getting back together, plus all the newer Thrash acts arriving on the same wave? Are the younger metalheads from Spain finding the joy of playing Thrash Metal?
Victor: Thrash Metal has a lot of energy and therefore it sounds very good. The new generation of metalheads and their bands are mixing old school Thrash with a modern sound and sometimes the results are amazing indeed. We enjoy seeing talented, young kids that are just 18 years old making this type of music with a quality to their stuff that you couldn't hear in Spain a few years ago.
Luxi: Are there some newer Thrash Metal acts from Spain that you would recommend to fans around the globe?
Victor: There are some very interesting bands in Spain like Estampida, Mutant Squad, Diabolus in Extremis, Crisix and a few others.
Luxi: Would you consider Exodia as a popular and well-known act in Spain? What are some of the areas around the world where you have witnessed a growing popularity of Exodia?
Victor: It is interesting because the album has been selling quite well in Japan in some stores but unfortunately it's hard to sell physical albums these days simply because people tend to download their music through the Internet. Many bands' knowledge is based heavily on social media webzines they have been featured in. We are working to get our name more recognized among the fans, via the Internet, of course.
Luxi: What do you hope to achieve in 2015 with your band and how realistic do you think Exodia's chances of realizing some of your goals are in the coming year? What kind of dream-come-true things are still waiting to happen for Exodia?
Victor: A dream for Exodia is get out of Spain to play gigs around Europe and/or America. We don't know when this will happen but it still is a dream for the whole band. For now we have settled on playing at important Spanish Metal festivals, but you never know what will happen. The future is unpredictable and full of surprises.
Luxi: Here we are at the end of our conversation Victor. I want to sincerely thank for taking some time to get this interview done for The Metal Crypt and I wish you all the best in the future with Exodia. Thrash on, man! Any last words for the readers of this site?
Victor: It was a pleasure to answer your questions and I am very happy with this interview. I also want to encourage people to listen to our latest album Hellbringer, especially if you have not heard it yet. Thanks and cheers to everyone.
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