Ill Nino: The Return of the Energy
One of my all time favorite bands Ill Nino is on the eve of releasing their brand new album Dead New World on Oct 26th. This album, which will be Ill Nino’s first on Victory Records and their fifth release, is set to be their heaviest yet and from the reviews so far possibly their best work to date. Recently I met up with Diego Verduzco and Ahrue Luster from Ill Nino at the Illustrious Productions studios in Denver, Colorado about the new album Dead New World.
HMM: How did you come up with the name Dead New World for the new CD?
Ahrue: The record kind of has a concept that Chris came to us with and maybe a lot of it had been fueled by some of the things that had been going on with the media in Arizona and all the things that are going on with that. I don’t think he was necessarily trying to take a stance one way or the other but I know he wanted the record to be about what it’s like through the eyes of an immigrant coming to this country and all the different things they would go through. I think at the end there’s feelings of betrayal when something that you dedicate yourself to doesn’t love you back. I’m sure he could talk about it a lot better because he’s actually writing most of the lyrics. The title was kind of like coming to a new world that you think is going to be the answer to all your problems and it’s a whole bunch of new problems. It’s not just the case in this country it’s actually something that happens all over the world. There’s always people trying to move from a bad situation to a good situation and they find out the situation isn’t necessarily any better.
Diego: We only know our issues with immigration in this country but if you pay attention to the rest of the world there’s other countries going through similar problems which could be called racist I guess. Some people here call it racism but they have no idea what the other problems are around the world that are similar but also unique to their geographic location.
HMM: You are writing and recording this album in several different locations. What is the creative and also the song assembly process when band members are a thousand miles apart?
Ahrue: We spent about 3 months in pre-production and that’s where we wrote most of the music and put it all together. We all went to New Jersey for pre-production and we wanted to have the songs as close as they were going to be on the record. We actually demo’d the whole record and recorded it on not as good equipment just so we knew exactly what it was going to sound like before we split up to do our own tracks in our own places. So the record was about 90% recorded in another form and then re-recorded and maybe a couple things here and there were changed and then done better. The creative process, you know every record is different, but on this record between Christian and I had a lot of ideas that came just together. We were in a studio with a control room that was attached to a live room and Christian and I were sitting in the control room for hours and hours writing music. Other people would come in and have ideas, maybe opinions like, “This rif sounds too much like that rif you gotta change it.” (Laughs) But after we finished writing the songs we all jammed them as a band and then Dave put his mojo in the songs and changed things to make them sound more unique and then everyone else put in their elements and then we had all the songs.
HMM: What about the sound of the record?
Ahrue: We intentionally wanted to write a lot heavier of a record than the last time. Last time we were being more experimental and trying different things and exploring the Latin element a little more. There’s a lot of Spanish lyrics and songs that were inspired by traditional Latin songs. For Dead New World we realized that when the band started people liked the band because of the raw energy and even though the music is a little different we wanted to capture the same energy as Revolution that got lost a little bit especially on the last record. So we tried to recreate that energy but with a more modern approach. The guitar riffing is definitely more intricate. The drumming is more intricate and the vocals are more reminiscent of things that Christian did on the first and second album. We’re trying to bring it back, and at the same time keep it in the present, but the main thing we are focusing on is getting that energy back again.
HMM: I have heard that you might be working on a DVD. What’s the scoop on that?
Ahrue: We are planning on doing a DVD sometime in this touring cycle we are just deciding where to do it. There’s a couple places in the world where we have insane shows like Brazil, Mexico City, Australia and recently Moscow. So we are thinking one of those locations to do a DVD because we know the fans will do their part at those shows and we just gotta make sure we do ours. (Laughter)
HMM: What’s the plans for Ill Nino for 2011?
Ahrue: We’re going to be doing a lot of touring. We’re looking at doing a main support slot tour for the U.S. once the record comes out. We’ve been talking to some bands that we have toured with before that do pretty well. I just know that we will be doing a lot of touring and we will be pretty busy.
HMM: So what do you want to say to the Ill Nino fans?
Ahrue: Just that I know we probably had more fans on the first and second records than the third and fourth records and that we just want to bring that energy back. A lot of it was we were thinking why people liked the band in the first place and we wanted to bring those elements back and I think this record will be a fan favorite. They will enjoy the return of the energy.