Interview with guitarist Walter Crucifier
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: February 11, 2024
Peru has always had a pretty strong underground scene among South American countries. There's a good number of bands from the Peruvian metal scene that have also become internationally known acts over the last 3-4 decades (way too many to start name-dropping) and one of the most promising and talented is this 5-piece act from the country's capital, Lima, known as Metal Crucifier, formed in 2013.
Since the formation of the band, they have released two albums; a self-titled debut album in 2016 and the follow-up album, The Strike of the Beast, in 2022, plus a 6-song EP, titled Nightmare! in 2021, all decent releases in their own right, to say the least. That's a good enough reason to contact the band to find out who they are, how they see themselves as a part of the national and international metal scenes, what kind of future plans they have, and so forth...
Walter Crucifier, who's one of the two guitarists in the band, stepped in to talk to us.
How's life in Lima, Peru? Steady and calm, or hectic and busy as one would expect in any big city in this world?
Walter: Hello, Luxi! I appreciate your invitation to participate in this interview. The truth is that life in "the grey" Lima is extremely chaotic, but it comforts you at the same time. Currently, if you want to go out for a beer or go to a metal concert, you must first dodge bullets due to the insecurity that reigns in the country.
STRIKE OF THE BEAST IS DEADLY
I came across your second album, The Strike of the Beast, just a few months ago and was very impressed by it. It reminded me of all the good things in heavy metal music, generally speaking, so I have to ask you what are some of the band's main inspirations and/or influences musically and lyrically?
Walter: Thank you! I'm glad you found the album interesting. Many old-school metal bands are definitely my influences whenever I compose songs for my band. They range from Exciter, Running Wild (old), Tyrant (Ger), Stormwitch, Raven, Heavy Load and many others. They all have influenced me since I was a teenager. In relation to the lyrics, our bassist is the one who writes about topics related to cosmic horror, darkness, rejection of religion, and other similar topics.
How would you in your own words like to describe the music Metal Crucifier does?
Walter: Fast and aggressive music, but with the classic feeling of traditional heavy metal.
What was it like to make this album, knowing you have had some line-up changes? Was it easy to find the right members to carry the torch in the name of pure speed/heavy metal joy?
Walter: I worked on this album and the previous EP in the middle of the pandemic and took advantage of having the recording studio very close to my house and I worked on it until I had all the songs ready and in the same way we started recording it with the band.
What are some of the lyrical themes of the songs on The Strike of the Beast album?
Walter: As I mentioned in the previous answer already, we touch on various topics ranging from cosmic horror, darkness, and rejection of religion, etc.
How would you guys describe your evolution from your self-titled debut album, released in 2016, to your follow-up album, Strike of the Beast, which came out six years after your debut?
Walter: This album has a better production and compositions in contrast to our first album. This evolution can be perceived on the Nightmare! EP, without leaving aside the speed and aggressiveness that kind of characterize the band's sound.
POSITIVE FEEDBACK POURS IN
What did you think of the album's feedback, both in your home country of Peru and abroad?
Walter: We did excellently with this album both in our country and abroad. A vinyl reissue was even released by Alone Records from Greece and is about to be reissued on CD by Storm Atoom Records from Brazil.
Whose decapitated head is on the cover of The Strike of the Beast, by the way?
Walter: It is the head of Jesus Christ as a rejection of everything that religions and established dogmas represent.
Continuing to talk about your music, how do your new songs differentiate themselves from the rest of the stuff you have created on your previous albums?
Walter: Right now, we are preparing new songs for the band's third album. I don't think the sound will change much, but there will be a perfect balance between darkness, violence, and speed.
GUESTS AND CELEBRITIES
Many bands tend to use some "metal celebrities" on their releases as special guests. Has the thought that it would be nice to have some special guest appearance on a Metal Crucifier song someday, like getting Dan Beehler from Exciter to do guest vocals or persuading guitarist Herman Frank to play a solo crossed your mind?
Walter: On our first album there were actually two guests, a great guitarist friend of ours who recorded tremendous solos as well as some other well-known Peruvian metal figures such as Neyra from Evil Damn/Goat Semen and Mario Romanet from Psicorragia who helped us with the evil choruses.
On The Strike of the Beast, the same apocalyptic warriors could not be invited for the choruses because we were in the middle of a pandemic. I even had to record the choruses alone over and over again to capture the energy and rudeness I was looking for. I hope to invite some international metal celebrities in the future.
Making videos is a great way to promote your band. You have published a few videos already (for "Metal Crucifier," "Merciless Sinner," etc.), so do you have some plans to shoot more videos in the coming months?
Walter: We have only two promotional videos for the songs "Metal Crucifier" and "Nocturnal Curse" and some live performances on our official channel. We have some ideas for a new video, but it's more likely to happen for the new album.
PERUVIAN METAL SCENE
Peru has always had a very strong metal scene with many quality acts that have made it to the international scene. Can you see any reasons for this phenomenon? Is your culture open-minded to metal music?
Walter: No, not at all. Peru does not have a rock or metal culture if we compare it to countries like Chile, Argentina, etc., quite the opposite, actually. However, as you mention, there were always bands like Mortem and Hadez, among others, raising the fist of the underground!
In general, how would you say the Peruvian metal scene has evolved since the formation of your own band back in 2013?
Walter: It has improved, the bands have better instruments, there is a better backline at shows, and the sound and production of events are better. It is important to reiterate that there have always been good metal bands in Peru.
SHARING STAGES WITH INTERNATIONAL ACTS
As far as playing is concerned, you have played with quite a few international acts so far like Primal Fear, Agent Steel, Skull Fist, Evil Invaders, and so on. Which show has been the most special for you personally in your career so far?
Walter: Well, as a musician I have played with different international bands from Metallica to the gods Possessed. However, speaking of Metal Crucifier specifically, our live debut with Grim Reaper and Picture was very important for the band and a dream come true to play with those bands. Another concert that was brutal was when we shared the stage with Exciter! Violence and force!!!
On May 3, 2024, you guys will have the privilege of sharing the stage at Teatro Flores with German heavy metal veterans Accept. What does that mean to you?
Walter: The truth is that I never expected to play on the same stage with this legendary band. They have definitely influenced us since our adolescence, and it would be a true honor to be able to share the stage with them.
Do you remember playing your first show with Metal Crucifier? What was it like?
Sure! As I mentioned above, the debut show with Grim Reaper and Picture was monumental due to everything it meant to the band, and it was also sold out which gave it the right atmosphere.
OK, I have one more question for you and then we are done, at least for the time being. What are the band's plans for the future?
Walter: As I mentioned, we are working on the band's third album, and we are looking at putting together a Latin American tour in 2024 to promote the album. We will take our horde to all the countries we can and, as far as our short-term plans are concerned, I would like to be able to play at European festivals, we just need to be invited by the festival organizers, haha!!
That was it. Thank you for your time and all the best with all of your future endeavors with the band. Any fitting closing words perhaps?
Walter: Thank you very much for the interview and giving space to the band, greetings to your followers and to you, Luxi.
You can follow us on the band's social networks to find news, videos, etc. about us and if you want to purchase our material, you can write to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Yaaaaaaaaaarrrgh!!!
|Other information about Metal Crucifier on this site
|Review: The Strike of the Beast
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