!!!DEATH METAL FROM SPAIN!!!
We had a conversation with Kini (Vocals/Guitars). Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
The history of KARONTE started back in 1994. Kini, which are your memories from these days, and which were your main influences back then?
Hello and thank you very much for your interest in the band!. KARONTE was formed from the ashes of another band we were in since 1991 called BETRAYER. We decided to give a change to our music and focus on the style we liked the most, Death Metal. At that time SEPULTURA, SLAYER, DEATH were big influences for us, also the Swedish and Dutch Death Metal scene.
You have recently released your album ''Nacer, sufrir, morir''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
We are extremely happy with the reactions the album is getting. Both our long-time fans and the audience that has just met us are telling us that they love it, which makes us very happy. We think it's a great album and we've worked hard to make it so. Usually the press is surprised at how varied the album is, they find both mid tempo death metal and emotive melodies and that sets us apart from other bands.
Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?
Probably the most bizarre story that ever happened to us was when the band was very young, in our early years as band. At that time we were a quartet but sometimes our other guitarist couldn't play because of work. We had a gig in a catholic school auditorium (obviously they didn't know what music we made XD), and a friend of ours found out that our guitarist wouldn't play that night, so he showed up there to replace him... it must be said that our friend (R.I.P.) didn't play the guitar and he was drunk as fuck. So he came on stage with us with a guitar he didn't know how to play, with the cable unplugged so that "nobody" would hear that he wasn't playing. Three seconds into the chaos of distortion, double bass drums and guttural screams... our friend fell face first on the stage.Of course we didn't stop playing... and the sound technicians had to drag him off the stage, unconscious, even with his guitar hanging down... while the organisers were begging us on their knees to stop XD.
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
Personally, vinyl is my favourite format, but CD is fine too. I don't really listen to anything in digital format except for something on youtube from time to time, but I have a large collection of LPs and CDs so I don't need to use anything digital.
You have cooperated with some labels in the past. So, after that experience, what would you say that is better for KARONTE? Label or DIY and why?
We have never really been released on any label with the exception of a split EP where they co-released some. We have always released our music ourselves (under my own label Dead Sheep Productions), I don't think there is any underground label today that can offer us more than what we do for the band on a promotional level.
Your music style is Death Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Well, we are big fans of bands like Gorefest, Bolt Thrower, Benediction, Asphyx, Hypocrisy or Paradise lost. Powerful mid-tempo riffs, guttural vocals and good melody. I also have a great passion for bands like Judas priest or MSG and that has probably influenced the melodic form of some guitar solos. Those I think can be "influences" when it comes to playing, but as musical tastes we listen to a very wide range from blues to black metal or grindcore.
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?
I don't think success should be the goal of a band, and even less so if they make extreme music. You have to do this for passion. As you can imagine after thirty years in the band we have lived all kinds of situations ..... We have sacrificed a lot of time with our family or friends for the sake of the band. We have also had to deal with jobs in order to have time to play live.
What attributes do you think that a new Death Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
I personally think that a band has to compose with its soul, away from fashions and not impose stylistic limits on itself. Many bands seem to be obsessed only with speed, showing how well they play the guitar or drums, forgetting the main thing, which is to make good music and focus on songwriting.
Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Death Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
I'm an old school guy and I don't think platforms like Spotify, Amazon Music etc are positive for an underground band. Is it useful for someone to find you by chance if they live 4000km away? The real support for bands is buying their music in physical format and merchandise. These platforms may be fine for bands that are touring the world, but not for a band that has a relatively small circuit in their own country. You always bought cassettes and records regardless of the distance ... send a letter to the band and that's it. I think today there are many excuses not to buy music and one of them is to have these platforms for free.
Do you see any differences in today's Metal music business in comparison with the Music business back in the 90s & 00s?
Yeah man, first of all there are so many bands now... the scene is saturated with tons of new releases... there's not enough listeners or time for everyone. In the 90's there were some filters such as recording some demos before releasing a full album, or being supported by a record label. Nowadays you can release an album without leaving your home. Of course there are far fewer metalheads who support it by buying music. Everything has been geared towards the big festivals, leaving underground concerts aside. Another part that saddens me is that the world has become very impersonal and there is not so much band twinning anymore.
Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Spain (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
Well I make a printed fanzine myself! Written in Spanish (sorry) but you can check our website at www.epitaphmagazine.es. I can also recommend you another project with which I just released an album, it's an old school Black Metal band called BILESEED (www.bileseed.com). In Spain we have a few fanzines such as ORFISMO, ARGHURA, DISMEMBERED, GRINDING YOUR GUTS... There are quite a few webzines, the most veteran and professional is NECROMANCE MAGAZINE... some great podcasts such as El Sótano de TNT RADIO, Elektroshock, EL THRASHTERO, NochedeRock.com...Of course there are many bands, but if I don't mention any of them I won't forget any of them. Here in Cantabria we have the Beer Rock The New, which is one of the most legendary concert venues of the Spanish scene, totally underground and active since 1987.
You have been an active band almost 30 years! Are there any changes in the band as well as in the Spanish Metal Scene within all those years?
The Spanish scene is still a great unknown to the world. I think something similar to our Greek brothers happens to us, we are still unknown to the Anglo-Saxon world... they underate us.Extreme metal only interests a few, the majority prefers traditional heavy metal, power metal, folk metal or similar stuff. We have no major record labels and with the exception of bands such as Angelus Apatrida, very few have achieved a certain visibility abroad.
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Greece of course always had great bands such as Rotting Christ, Septicflesh, Nightfall...Back in the day I did trades with Greek labels for my own one and there was a very important thrash metal resurgence... the truth is that I don't love this "new thrash metal" either but some bands like Nightbreed I liked. I also remember Demon Prayers, Chronosphere, Bio-Cancer, Fatal Mutiny... I also remember an old band called Piranha Nightrage was always a band I loved, reinventing melodeath in their own way. Some albums are better and others worse but the first ones are of incredible quality.
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?
From a personal point of view they have been horrible, I can't deny that it has changed my life a lot in these last years and not for the better (work, relationships...). However on a creative level I think it has been the best time of my life. Not only did I finish the KARONTE album but BILESEED was released this summer and I was able to make a lot of progress on other projects that will be released soon. Without a doubt the whole apocalyptic and depressing atmosphere was inspiring.
What are your future plans?
In a couple of weeks we will start shooting a new video clip with a film director who has worked with great bands.In approximately two months we will release "Nacer-Sufrir-Morir" in vinyl format.In the middle of 2024 we will re-release our two previous albums, which were out of print for years and of course we have many concerts to perform both in Spain and probably Portugal.
Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thank you very much for your support. To all who have read the interview, thank you very much!!. If anyone wants to contact us or purchase the album/merchandise you can do it at www.karonte.info. Salud!
By Steve the Filthy Dog.