!!!HEAVY METAL FROM NEW ZEALAND!!!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Tell us a few things about DESPERTAR (Members, Starting Year etc).
Hello mate! My name is Martín (MT), I moved to New Zealand from my country (Chile) in 2016 to find new horizons. The cost; leaving behind an amazing, powerful and vast Metal scene. After a couple years of working here in NZ I started writing and recording samples for a heavy metal project where I play all instruments and sing. Around 2019 I decided to record my first song ¨Libre en el viento¨ and from there I got the inspiration to continue writing songs to finally put my heavy metal out there giving birth to Despertar (Awakening). All of this inspired by bands such as Motosierra (where I used to play guitar), Acero Letal, Lunacy, Asedio, Hemisferio, Insight and many others.
In 2022 you released your demo ''Demo MMXXII''. What was the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
Demo MMXXII is the second demo of Despertar and this one got way further beyond my expectation and reach of the first demo. Demo MMXXII grabbed the attention from many fans of the South American heavy metal scene since the recording is better and the songs are more elaborated than the first demo but some people think that songs like ¨Olvida el tiempo¨ from Demo MMXX have the same spark. Also demo MMXXII is longer, incorporates female backing vocals and keyboards on some songs. Demo MMXXII was first uploaded to YouTube just to share the new release digitally to my friends and the few Despertar Fans, but it got a quick and huge feedback from many fans attracting new ones and quickly after the digital release I got a message from my friends at Nube Negra Prods offering to release Demo MMXXII on tape under the their label. This piece contains two songs in Spanish (my native language) and two songs in English, this opened the doors for New Zealand fans to dig on Despertar. The project was firstly aiming for South American public but its based in New Zealand so this was actually a big step up for the project.
Label or DIY and why?
Both, I often begin DIY stuff and end up being somehow tied to labels, zines, friend collaborations, distros, or even small labels that at the beginning where just DIY projects as well, plus in these times of the self-production boom its good to support both sides. As an amateur producer it´s quite easy for me to to start DIY projects, that might be the reason why I lean to DIY, but I'm open to both concepts and I’m very conscious of the strength and power that a bigger label can offer to bands. Development and learning all aspects of DIY can add a lot to your experience as a musician or producer but I would definitely take on any honest deal from the professional label/studio side.
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
I´m lately a big fan of vinyl and also coming back to CD since the audio quality is the cleanest but I have to confess that my favourite overall, best of all times, is the almighty TAPE! As a kid a tape was the easiest, cheapest and most accessible way to listen to some metal tunes. I will never forget those amazing times of trading tapes, re-recording them on virgin tapes and trying to copy the band logo (with your own drawing skills) on the cover, borrowing (forever) tapes from your mates haha! And the best thing, the roughness and size was the best to take away and blast tunes at any place or party that a tape player was available, or even on those shitty portable cassette/radio we used to carry around on nocturnal visits to the woods or old abandon cemeteries to drink and listen to heavy metal.
Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Way too many to mention, as a kid my first favourite bands (like most of us) were Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden but soon Death, Deicide and Carcass among others came along. I remember seeing Cannibal Corpse live back on 2002 when I was just 13 and I did not know much of them at the time but it was fucking killer! Years passed and like many teenagers, Norway black metal ruled my world for a couple of years. Mayhem, Emperor, Gorgoroth (early), among many others but when I was needing an extra punch of metal or when I was looking for more metal to fulfil my mind, l always founded myself going back to the classics of all time Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, among other pioneers. From there, I started discovering about the the NWOBHM and also the Spanish and South American early scenes of heavy metal that got me addicted to classic, traditional, new, and true heavy metal. The bands I mentioned in the first question as influences of Despertar are are among my favourites but I will add as an influence and favourite among heavy weight bands, the almighty Barón Rojo from Spain.
Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
Money and time are my biggest sacrifices when it come to making music. Sacrificing money feels right when you´re buying a ticket to support a local or international act, putting money aside for jam room rent, musical gear, travels to get to jam room, renting a gig venue (even if the crowd does not cover 100% of the cost), paying for a percentage of a production, release or tour, etc. It always feels like a great and honourable sacrifice doing any of these as long it is for heavy metal.
Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
I used to play many gigs back home with my band mates of Hades Server, Hereje and Motosierra but sadly Despertar hasn´t stepped on a stage yet since it´s hard to find musicians in the New Zealand scene that are keen on traditional heavy metal. I had a couple of amazing experiences touring locally in Chile with the band Motosierra, sharing stage with many powerful Chilean acts like Force of Darkness or Slaugthbbath, I recall opening for the Argentinian heavy metal cult band Retrosatan (80´s), that was a fucking killer and amazing underground experience, on stage playing metal for your friends and then thrashing with them in the pit screaming along to Retrosatan songs!
What attributes do you think that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Being unique for me sounds a bit like stepping away from the traditional ways of metal. Some bands have achieved that amazingly with out taking away the old school spirit, sadly other bands take this further and go over my limits of what is metal or is not, I pass on those bands that try too hard to be different…also a huge ton of those bands are into new/nu/slammy/dropped tune/simple riffs-metal and I´m definitely not a fan of that branch. Attributes? I would say having tunes with a brave attitude and worthy of a full listen are the most important things, also be true to themselves, non-commercial motives and proudness of being a head banger is what I look for in band attributes.
Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
I’m firstly a fan of the old school way of doing things, my mind always works this way: Start a band, practice a lot, write good tunes, record a sample or demo tape/CD, spread it cheap at your first gig…but then in this modern times I would add to that; also upload it to the digital platforms when you´re ready for your first gig, in case of any success reaching more potential fans through it...saying that, I did the opposite with Despertar, skipping the practice a lot, demo Tape/CD, and play a gig steps I went and recorded a basic demo and then straight to YouTube since I just wanted to share my music at the time. This opened the door for a second recording, interest from labels to produce physical copies and it gave me the punch and motivation to keep going with this to soon get on the stage with Despertar as a full 4 or 5-piece band. YouTube and Bandcamp, these two are for me the best ways to get music out. It works similar to a promo CD or demo tape (that are almost obsolete but never dead!), people can listen to them for a cheap fee or often free and also you get to see the cover art and listen to at least a full song.
Do you see any differences between the New Zealand's Metal Market & the EU Metal Market (Labels, Bands, Fans, etc.)?
New Zealand market is quite narrow since it´s a small country and with a huge lack of traditional heavy metal. New Metal/Modern-metal and War/Death-metal are the most prolific genres here. In saying that, there is a bunch of decent and impressive bands here like Exordium Mors, Exaltation, Winter Deluge, Heresiarch, Malevolence, Pervertor, Stalker and the more well known Diocletian, among others. All of these bands are extreme metal acts with the exception of Stalker (speed heavy metal), one of the very few bands aiming for a more traditional sound. Labels, studios and gig promoters here are reduced to the same old band members and metal community/circle in the biggest cities like Wellington (capital), Christchurch and Auckland, but also as a small country a lot of amazing bands come from all around New Zealand smaller towns. Fans of metal here are spread everywhere making it harder for them to grow the local scene and have access to the main city gigs but I have hope that the new generations will find the flame of heavy metal. Valhalla touring is one of the few touring agencies (one very motivated guy) that brings the big traditional acts to NZ and I always will be thankful since without him there would not be any awesome bands coming here.
Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in New Zealand (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
When I came here I was a bit disappointed that the scene was quite dead, but throughout time you always find the right bands and metal community hidden in between all the new era of modern metal. Metal here is quite small, I think big bands in NZ like Diocletian, Ulcerate, Vassafor or Dawn of Azazel are still unknown/underground around the world. Places here to go for a local underground gig are few, Whammy Bar (Auckland), couple of bars in Christchurch and the only metal ¨club¨ in New Zealand ¨Valhalla¨(Wellington). Webzines and fanzines? Haven’t found one yet but that’s lack of research. Labels and distros: there are a few dormant labels here but again, since it´s a small country, they are very limited to few bands per label or sometimes (like everywhere else) the band creates their own label to produce and release their stuff. Praetorian Sword and Centennial Conflict are the active entities in the late years releasing the latest Exordium Mors album, and Pervertor´s latest album. I will name a few bands worth to check, not many of my taste, but to promote a bit of what NZ have to spread: 8 Foot Sativa, Abysm, Blindfolded and Led to the Woods, Bulletbelt, Carnal, Corpse Feast, Dark Divinity, Exaltation, Execrate, Total Violation, Soul Void, Stormforge, Sciolism, Plague of the Fallen, Organectomy.
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Of course! As I mention before I´m a huge fan of black/death metal so I could never leave behind Hellenic acts like Varathron and Rotting Christ (finally will get to see them live on this year’s tour!!!) Also I´m a big fan of almighty Kawir, since I saw them live back in 2016, I had never listen to such a mighty, mystical but furious and disciplined black metal, so fucking great! It was amazing, I realized what a big scene I was missing. I became a huge fan of Necromantia and Thou Art Lord through a couple friends and it was the same feeling! Fucking awesome, you just know it´s hellenic when you hear that glorious, darkened, mystic and powerful way of composing metal. Lately I have been listening to the last Acherontas album…I have no words… its just as we say back home ¨la wea wena weon¨ meaning ¨fucking good shit man!
The last 3 years, worldwide in the world, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
It was positive in some aspects specially on writing music and focusing on creativity. I started playing more drums and ended up in a band with my Chilean mate here in NZ as drummer, and in my personal life it allowed me to stay longer in NZ and I ended up getting married here and becoming a New Zealand Citizen. But definitely the economy went straight to shit, even here in NZ where the Government didn´t do too bad we´re paying the price in cost of living now… I supposed? I´m used to it cause I´m from South America where it´s more like survival than working and paying your bills and mortgage, but is still hard for the country and makes everything unaffordable, probably like in all the rest of this planet haha!
What are your future plans?
The plan is to track the seven songs from the two Demos plus a couple more to release an LP. For now I´m just tracking the guitars and have lots of work to do. On the side my mates and I have founded two more bands here in NZ that I´m working hard on as drummer and bassist and its actually drawing my time, but as soon as these bands get into a solid state I will push Despertar recording and I already have two possible members here in NZ to be part of it and start jamming as a band. My last work was a song in collaboration with VORTIZE, an amazing side project from my mate Hea-vier Mortiz (Demoniac, Chile) where he plays all instruments and sings. The song is part of the second album ¨Desde bajo tierra¨ and this album has many other collaborations from amazing and talented bangers from Chile.
Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thanks a lot to all heavy metal and Despertar supporters and to FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine for the interest in Despertar. All of this comes just from the desire to create metal and keep the flame of metal alive through time, Despertar is just one more drop of this everlasting mighty poison that runs through our veins! Keep an eye on the NZ scene this 2024, Despertar and more heavy metal acts made from metal heads for metal heads are coming soon!
By Steve the Filthy Dog.