16 Feb
Interview with STEEL BACK


Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Hello friends of Filthy Dogs of Metal, thank you very much for contacting the band and for this opportunity to spread our music

Tell us a few things about STEEL BACK (Members, Starting Year etc).
SteelBack was born in early 2018, when several friends got together to revive a project that we left pending more than 10 years ago. This is how the passion for heavy metal motivated me, Jesús (guitar), and my brother Gerardo (drums) to reunite with our friends Mauricio on vocals and Daniel on lead guitar and start working on songs composed in the first project. A couple of months later, Miguel joined the band, completing the lineup with the bass and allowing live performances and preparation of new material. By the end of that same year, the demo "Después de Muerto" was released, followed by the albums "El Poder de la Bestia" and "Alligators" in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

You have recently released your album ''Alligators''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
"Alligators" would be the consequence of "El Poder de la Bestia", an album that received very good reception in local and international media. However, this new album, since its release until now, has had an even faster response with very encouraging comments for the band.

Label or DIY and why?
So far, self-production has been our working standard. The demo "Después de Muerto" was recorded live at CL.Studio, a rehearsal room in Los Andes, and distributed by ourselves. For "El Poder de la Bestia," we decided to record in a professional studio with "LV Estudio" (Nico Becker and Carlos Astudillo), continuing the work on "Alligators" with Nico Becker. For both studio albums, we partnered with the local label Sepulcro Prod. from Santa María for distribution, all of them being local managers and friends of the rock scene, thus maintaining creative control over our work, always aiming to deliver a result with the best possible quality but without losing the essence of how the songs are born.

Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?
More than a funny story, we believe that an event that greatly affected the band's progress was the arrival of the pandemic, as we were starting to record the first album when this happened, and here in Chile we were coming out of a social uprising that rallied people against the political class, causing internal rupture in the country, with harsh repressions by the government of the time, which caused deaths and mutilations that further increased people's discontent. It seemed during those first months of 2020 that the country would undergo a significant change in favor of the population; social and artistic groups were strengthening and raising their voices. In this context, we as a band and many others were preparing for events and shows in favor of definitive social change. During those months, we also entered the studio to record; however, all of that was stalled with the emergence of COVID-19, and we had to wait for over 6 months to see what would happen with the emergency. Finally, we decided to continue recording against the conditions, with the greatest possible precautions and one by one in the studio. This process also allowed us to create more compositions that we recorded during those years and later released two albums fairly close to each other. However, there was a period of about 3 years of media inactivity.




Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
We range between 30 and 40 years old, so we grew up with cassettes and CDs primarily, a format that we hold dear. However, when it comes to sound versus nostalgia, we chose the CD format to release our albums since it's still the most popular physical format in the local scene. As for vinyl, it's a beautiful format, whether for its sound quality in playback or for the size that allows for album cover and art, but it has a higher production cost, making it a privilege that many local underground bands cannot afford. Regarding digital format, I'll just say that it's a completely necessary format these days and it offers more options than the classics.

Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Our main influence is the NWOBHM, where Iron Maiden is our favorite band as you'll notice their influence in our music and graphic art. From that vein, we can name several British bands like Saxon, Angel Witch, or Diamond Head, but undoubtedly it is Judas Priest from whom we have drawn the most ideas for our riffs. From the German school, Helloween and Accept also strongly influenced our path. Later on, we were captivated by the new sounds of the nineties from Stratovarius, Hammerfall, and Iced Earth, which in some way are present in our compositions with subtle nods.



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?
Many things are sacrificed that for other people are important: family moments, pursuits of career achievements, leisure time, or vacations, but undoubtedly for those who love the world of heavy metal, the perspective is different. One builds their family within this world, or makes it a part of it; work blends with rock, and sometimes one even works in the rock scene. As for vacations, they are the tours, the trips to play in another city, the big events that end in celebrations centered around music; nothing more is needed. Finally, releasing an album is hard work, requiring a lot of focus and discipline, thus long hours of work 7 days a week for many months. Sacrificing a lot of time and dedication, and sometimes people are left along the way, succumbing to such pressure.

Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
An ideal show for us is one where we share the stage with many local heavy metal bands accompanying a world-renowned band, where camaraderie between bands is felt, and new bonds are formed among them in such a way that the audience also perceives that comfort when performing, achieving excellent communication between the band and the attending audience. That's what we experienced last year when opening for the Swedish heavy metal band "Ambush" in Chile, and it's an experience we would like to repeat with older bands from the 80s and 90s that are still relevant. It would be a great dream come true.

What attributes do you think that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Personally, I think that everyone's influences are so varied that simply letting oneself be carried away by the desire to make music ensures a very unique style, as each person mixes those influences in a very personal way until achieving a very distinctive sound. Always trying to replicate just one very specific style may limit the possibilities. So far in SteelBack, we have remained faithful to the traditional style as much as possible. However, there are hints in some songs that already indicate where we want to go, experimenting with new sounds in the future. We hope to progress in this process and show an evolution in our music.

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?
Digital platforms at the moment are a necessary evil in our opinion. We grew up with physical formats, and that's what excites us. That's why we always try to release our albums in physical format. However, the dissemination allowed by digital platforms opens up avenues for people from the other side of the world to listen to our music, and that's something that was very difficult to see in past decades.In fact, FILTHY DOGS OF METAL contacting us is related to that. In ancient times, for a local band without a multinational label, it was very difficult to be heard abroad, so we think it doesn't make sense to resist a platform that allows this openness nowadays, even though we always love the nostalgia of yesterday's formats.

Do you see any differences between the Chilean Metal Market & the EU Metal Market (Labels, Bands, Fans etc)?
Of course, there is a lot of difference. The metal music market in Chile is quite disorganized, to the extent that bands tend to distrust it and are always seeking self-management. In fact, I could say the same thing happens throughout Latin America. There's more of a passion-driven effort from the bands themselves and independent labels than a reliable market to work seriously for music. In Latin America, metal rises through self-management and underground work. The bands that make it to big European or US festivals do so thanks to their own management, self-investment, and the support from an independent label or a foreign production company that discovers them. It's quite uncomfortable and difficult to do metal around here, but I suppose that's what keeps the flame burning.

Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Chile (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
Awesome. In Chile at the moment, there's so much movement around the metal scene that it's impossible to name everything that's happening, but we can mention the circle in which we've been moving. There are several underground producers who have put together some very good things, such as Mr. Wolf Prod., Devil's Trill Productions, Evil Steel Records, Australis Records, and recently Nube Negra Prod., who produce the tremendous bands Demoniac and Vórtize. As for heavy metal bands, we can mention Acero Letal, who have already made their name in various places, Lucifer's Hammer and Iron Spell, great bands to our liking, our friends from Racer Steel and Heiligen who make excellent heavy metal, SteelRage, Inheritance, SteelMan, Lunacy, Vórtize, Emboscada, the recent Shadows who have surprised with their stage presence and music, thrash bands like Insecurity, Critical Defiance, Demoniac, Ripper, Skull Bone, Mental Devastation, Akramen, demonstrate a great quality that has nothing to envy to the world scene. And I can't fail to mention the local bands from our area, Dominio, Ofiuco, Daimhon, Perro Negro, Nekromio, or EvilGround just to name a few, since the scene in these lands is huge and I would like to mention several more, but the pages wouldn't be enough.

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
We have little exposure to music from Greece around here, especially regarding the underground scene that is happening there. However, personally, I recognize bands like Rotting Christ or SepticFlesh that I discovered in the 90s and listened to a lot myself. Suicidal Angels is a band that my friend Boris from the band Ofiuco from Chile has recommended to me, and I quite like them.

The last 4 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?
As I mentioned before, the COVID pandemic hit us amidst a social upheaval where we had the powerful on their toes, so besides being a blow to people's health, it also meant a strong setback to the loud cry of the Chilean people that was generating significant changes for the population. It was a heavy blow to the spirits of those of us who constantly fight to try to balance the conditions of human life in countries that are still developing. On a more personal note, for us as a band, it meant halting a path that was progressing very quickly, delaying us at least 2 years from releasing our first album. Moreover, personally, we lost loved ones who meant a lot to us as musicians and sound engineers, so it will be a period that we will never forget on this journey of life.

What are your future plans?
For now, we are working on composing new songs for the next album and preparing for live shows. The first two albums were recorded during the pandemic and with a lot of calmness, so when they were released, they came out very close to each other. However, the next album will be ready in no less than a couple of years due to everything involved in the process while we focus on what provides us with sustenance. We are discussing it as a band, but probably this time we will release singles as they are recorded until we again assemble a complete album to release it in physical format once more.

Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thank you very much to all the readers and listeners for listening to Heavy Metal, for dedicating time to it, for enjoying it. Thank you for listening to our music as well, for criticizing it, for giving us good or bad feedback, for allowing us to be part of this great musical genre that has already made a giant precedent in the history of universal music, such as metal. Personally, I believe that we have already lived, heard at least three or more generations of rockers who have let the world and history know that metal marked an era, and it didn't stop there, but it has been replicated generation after generation, and today we are listening to children who take that and transform it, pay tribute, study it, make it their lifestyle, and record it for eternity. We believe that metal has already marked an indelible place in human history, as powerful as classical music did in its time, and we trust that good music will never die, no matter how much the trend of the basic and marketable fills the shelves, the human need for music surpasses those limits, just as when people get tired of routine, something or someone always appears to say enough, and that gives human dignity back through a cry of struggle, and our cry of struggle is Heavy Metal, and no one will extinguish it, because it was born to never die! Long live good music! Long live metal!

By Steve the Filthy Dog.







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