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Show Preview: ILL NIÑO at Detroit's I-Rock w/interview and swag giveaway!


Show Details: 
Date/Time: Friday, October 11th
Location: I-Rock Nightclub – 16350 Harper Ave, Detroit, MI, 48224
Ages: All

It's been almost a year since Epidemia released, and still riding high on the success of that album, you are kicking off another headling tour. What are you looking forward to most this time around?
CHRISTIAN: I couldn’t be happier with the response from our fans. I am also incredibly flattered at the immense support Victory Records has given us. Looking forward to this new American tour called “American Epidemia Tour” & also excited to play songs off our latest album “Epidemia”. No matter what the state of the music industry is at the moment, I am truly grateful and feel blessed to have such an amazing career. This tour is going to be very special & I hope all of our loving fans can get out to a show.

Q: You decided to dedicate this tour to US Military personnel here and abroad, offering specials deals as a tribute to all who have risen up, served and sadly sometimes fallen, in the name of defending freedom. What led you to this decision at this point in time?
CHRISTIAN: I am very proud to be doing this tour in honor of our brave men & women in the military. Speaking from personal experience, I am a product of the great sacrifice put forth by our American military during WWII. My grandmother was a WWII escapee. It is by the great sacrifice of the incredible American soldiers who put their lives on the line that my grandmother’s freedom was made a reality. She is solely responsible for having brought my mother, my sister, & I to this amazing country. At the time we lived in Venezuela during the pre-Chavez years. Upon Chavez’s rise to power she requested for our visas in an attempt to offer us an escape from that extremely defunct political reign. Truth is I would have never had the chance to realize this American dream that I am a part of had it not been for those brave souls. She passed away this past spring & it literally brought me to my knees. I held her hand until her very last breath. And even in that case, I could never repay her for all that she has done for my family. Perhaps in doing this tour, we can pay honor to those who sacrifice their lives for the freedom of others.

Q: Laz, as the son of a Army war veteran, can you give some insight as seen through the eyes and mind of someone growing up in that environment and how it shaped your view of the world and influenced your music?
LAZ: As a son of a war veteran I was taught to live life it with a certain appreciation. In my household life was taught to viewed as fragile therefore, my first lesson was survival. However, I was also taught to stand up for the things I believed in, to experience life and chase dreams. My viewed of the world was that we were all generally the same and that sometimes we clashed heads over fundamental differences in our cultural believes. Music is the greatest tool for bringing the world together.

Q: Epidemia contains a fine balance between harmonious melodies and crunchy death undertones, there seems to be an underlying duality of emotions behind the recording of this album. Where were your minds at when it came time to produce this album and looking back, how do you feel it stands compared to your prior work?
CHRISTIAN: I feel it is one of our strongest albums to date. There is a duality of emotions but that is only natural as this album was tracked as we were getting ready to welcome the end of 2012. Our concept was strong & certainly spoke of many different feelings regarding people & how they would meet the end. It was a character driven album. It involved 10 songs about 10 completely different people. The intent was to speak for those who have no voice. The message was that of purity & acceptance for the end of life. Although these are very morbid topics, it can also offer many life affirming undertones.

Q: One of the things that stands out to me about Epidemia is the multiple layers of sounds that permeate it. It's very well produced and thought out in it's presentation they way it all hooks together. What approach did you take that was different from prior albums you did?
CHRISTIAN: I am very proud of this record & I am flattered that you observed the production style. “Epidemia” was actually self-produced & recorded in its entirety at Soundwar Studios in Hoboken NJ. It is a studio that is owned by Laz & me. We take a lot of pride in offering young acts a place where they can rehearse, record, & also gain knowledge from us. It is a very tough industry to break into so any advice & help we can give to talented young artists is well deserved on their part. Having done so many productions for other bands out of our studio, it was only natural to bring the next Ill Niño record to Soundwars. The approach I took during the production was that of a conductor more than anything else. As the lead engineer & also lead producer of the album, I simply wanted my guys to be as creative as possible without any outside interjection or time restraint. I pushed them as hard as I could while offering all the freedom necessary in order for them to create comfortably. I did make suggestions to the guys regarding parts and arrangements but, we all contributed our best effort to make this album a reality. Working in this way, really was an amazing experience & I do believe it led to a very intense album. Though it was endless hours of work & many broken nights for me personally, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I felt very responsible for simply being conducive to a creative atmosphere and we did all we could to offer the guys that. We all did have a very clear vision of what we wanted this record to be. It is that strong vision that actually led to this album.

Q: I seem to catch a bit of melodeath overtones on this album, what influences have you guys found in bands from that genre such as Dark Tranquillity or Insomnium?
CHRTISTIAN: To be honest with you, I don’t listen to much new death metal although I was a devoted death metal monger for most of my teen years. Upon coming to the US, I was turned onto punk rock & metal and I have never been the same since! It’s obvious that it changed my life in a good way & I wouldn’t have wanted any different. My all time favorites are the founding fathers of the death genre, to be honest. Bands like Obituary, Death, Deicide, Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Carcass, & Napalm Death were the groups that I really adored in my teens. The influence is also obvious on our first album “Revolution, Revolucion”. Perhaps I let those old influences slip by during the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th album however, I am now in full swing & reliving my most extreme influences. I’ve always been one that is attracted to the more obscure side of music. Still to this day I am very picky with what I listen to. There are great new death acts that catch my attention: Carnifex, Internal Bleeding, Jungle Rot just to name a couple but, I still can’t experience the same thrill that the founding fathers of death offered me. And that is in no way negative, I guess I just like listening to the classics.

Q: As a Latino-American metal band, where do you guys go to find musical influences from your roots when you are looking to decompress at the end of the day?
CHRISTIAN: I listen to a very wide variety of genres. We all do actually. We may be metal heads at heart but we are musical at soul & always look for ways to expand our musical efforts. There are many great Latin artists that I have a high appreciation for but in finding peace and decompression time, I would most likely lean towards the darker side of Latin styles with such artists as Alejandro Sans, Santana, & Buena Vista Social Club. There is also a part of the band that is highly influenced by Latin jazz acts. There is always a good flow of Afro-Cuban rhythms constantly playing on our tour bus & I guess we all have an inner desire to connect with classic & life changing music.  We also appreciate such artists like The Gypsy Kings who magically carry an intense energy within their very nude musical style. I could keep going on and on!

Q: You guys will be here in Detroit, MI. October 11th at the I-Rock nightclub. What memorable moments do you have playing in the Detroit area over the years? Any Detroit artists you admire or would want to collaborate with on projects?
CHRISTIAN: The first tour we ever did was with Factory 81. They are a Detroit band that is no longer around. I remember we played St. Andrews Hall and that was probably one of the most memorable moments in my career. For some reason, that theater holds a very special place in my heart. We also had a day off afterwards and those guys had a bbq at the singer’s house for us. It was a very awesome time in music & it has firmly stuck with me. Detroit has a great musical history & I’d be a fool to not want to collaborate with acts like the Parliament Funkadelic, MC5, The White Stripes, Eminem, or Death the band. All of these artists influenced music in more ways than one. I would be thrilled at any opportunity to create with them. Let’s just face it Detroit is the Rock City! Looking forward to the Detroit show!


In an industry of big egos and even bigger drama, it is seldom a metal band manages to stick together for over a decade, but that is exactly what ILL NIÑO has done. Bone-crushing melodies, versatile vocals, and intelligently spaced riffs have won over hundreds of thousands of metal fans worldwide.  For a little over 14 years, the men of ILL NIÑO have been creating unrivaled Latin-infused metal and they have only just begun.  

ILL NIÑO’s story begins in New Jersey in 1998 as “EL NINO” founded by drummer Dave Chavarri. Creative juices flowing, EL NINO released a four-song demo that year with vocalist Jorge Rosado, formerly of MERAUDER. While successful, the band believed that their then bassist, Cristian Machado, would be better suited as a front man, replacing Jorge the next year. Utilizing Machado’s boundless vocal range, the band began to fine-tune their new sound, releasing an EP in 2000 that landed them a contract with Roadrunner Records shortly after. Their unexpected breed of Latin- infused metal sent fans flying to the shelves to pick up their debut album, Revolution Revolución, released September 18th, 2001. With the album’s major success came a major tour, as ILL NIÑO was picked up for both Ozzfest and the Jägermeister tour in 2002. Breakout single “What Comes Around” received plays on MTV and dominated the airwaves, leaving fans desperate for more of their trademark hybrid sound. Suffering a few lineup changes, they welcomed percussionist Daniel Couto and guitarist Ahrue Luster, and was ready to release their second album Confession on September 30th, 2003. This album catapulted the band to the top of the Billboard charts, getting the attention of both the metal scene and mainstream rock critics everywhere. The release of their third album One Nation Underground(2005), however, was greeted with mediocre reviews and ultimately resulted in the separation from Roadrunner Records the very next year. ILL NIÑO moved to Cement Shoes Records in 2006, replacing Jardel with shredding guitarist Diego Verduzco, ready to work on a new dynamic. After releasing a stellar cover album, The Under Cover Sessions, the guys dropped their fourth full length project Enigma in 2008. Receiving overwhelming support in the US and Europe, the band parted ways with Cement Shoes Records in 2009, only to ink a contract with Victory Records one year later. One thing became increasingly obvious – metal fans ate up what ILL NIÑO was dishing out. Surprising the world with their Latin rhythm, Spanish guitar riffs and controlled blasts of snare, the band’s following continued to grow by the thousands. Through Victory Records, Chavarri produced Dead New World, released October 25th 2010, which landed ILL NIÑO on the main stage at Soundwave Festival 2011, playing for an endless sea of headbanging fans. In response to the flood of support, even ESPN enlisted the guys to write a custom track to play during their NFL Latin coverage. Their ability to infuse melody into dangerously dark metal continues to get metal-heads on the edge of their seats waiting for what they’ll unleash next.

The wait was finally over on October 22nd, 2012 with the release of their latest album Epidemia. Staying relevant and heavy as ever, critics and fans alike have welcomed Epidemia with open arms, delighted to hear the clean vocals, creative drumming and powerful guitar chugging they had been missing for so long. Both longtime and new fans agree that ILL NIÑO have cemented themselves as major players in the metal scene, as they continue to grow individually as musicians.  While the saying goes “It’s not where you’ve been, it’s where you’re going”, in the case of ILL NIÑO, they have, are and will always be the undisputed kings of metal. 

Keeping their Latin-infused metal alive, ILL NIÑO will be showing their true colors as they headline theAmerican Epidemia Tour which begins September 28th in Houston, TX. Giving back to the fans that have given them so much in return, ILL NIÑO will be honoring the US Military personnel, offering free and 2 for 1 admission to the shows. With strong ties to the cause, the American Epidemia Tour will reintroduce metal as an integral energizing force for the human spirit, that keeps them pushing and persevering.  Long live metal and long live ILL NIÑO. Stay tuned.