If you like death metal as it was played back in the day then the Spanish trio Machetazo is difficult to avoid. With their mix of Autopsy, Repulsion and a meaty Sunlight Studio type of sound the band rightly capture the dirty and stripped down feel of early death metal and grindcore. In February No Escape Records put out the latest effort Mundo Cripta. A couple of weeks ago I got a brief talk with drummer and vocalist Dopi about Mundo Cripta, the decision to get it out via No Escape Records and the bands 15th anniversary among other things.

Jose "Dopi" Dopico interviewed by PSL

Mundo Cripta has been out for a while now. How has it been received by the fans and media?
The first edition that was released via Throne Records didn't get much attention because the label didn't do anything for it, but now with No Escape Records putting it out and promoting it we are getting great feedback.

I read somewhere that you've never had any lyrics prior to Mundo Cripta. Is this correct and if yes could you explain why that is?
That is true. We used to improvise throat noises and have short lyrics, Much like Obituary and Pan-Thy-Monuim did.

A production is not just a production. Did you look for a specific sound when you recorded Mundo Cripta and do you feel you found it?
Yes, we were looking for a heavy and dark old school sound. We got it thanks to Gonso Pedrido and his vintage analogue machines.

The different samples you use on Mundo Cripta were these all created specifically to this recording? I think they fit the music very well.
All of them are original and exclusive compositions made for the album by Scumearth - a harsh noise/dark ambient artist whom we have collaborated with for a long time. It occasionally happens he join us on stage.

I'm aware that a lot of your inspiration comes from horror movies from the 70's. Do you prefer that era or do you enjoy more recent horror and splatter as well?
We also dig 80's horror and sci-fi movies, but we don't give a fuck about any of the current movies. Terror cinema died when the computers began to take care of the special effects. Anyway, there is enough stuff to discover from the early days. Enough to last a lifetime so who cares?

Mundo Cripta first came out on the Spanish label Throne Records in May 2008. What made you put it out via No Escape Records as well? Better distribution?
We made a mistake working with Throne Records. I don't know why, but after paying a lot of money for the studio Throne Records didn't promote or distribute the CD. Now with No Escape Records the album is getting the attention it deserves. We belong to the real grindcore/death metal underground, so we needed a label that promote and distribute our music in those circles and No Escape Records knows how to do that.

Nor Venagruesa did the artwork. What made you pick him?
We have actually been working with him since the early days. He's the best. Nor's art whether it be on paper or skin are the real thing. Everybody can contact Nor and Hosteel Tattoo Studio through us - just email or leave a message at our MySpace page.

You've had your share of difficulties with the line-up. Do you feel you've gotten a stable line-up by now?
Yes, I do. Our new bass player is awesome, old school grinder and young blood at the same time.

How do you go about writing the songs - is there a certain way you write?
Personally, I write the best when I smoke hash or drink beer.

The addition of Santi on bass will this affect the song-writing in any way?
I'm sure it will and for the better.

I understand you have some shows coming up in Spain, Portugal, Austria and Germany among other. Do you prefer to play one off gigs or do you enjoy touring as well?

We prefer touring. We try to make two or three short tours every year, but as we all have jobs we try to play gigs in the weekends, mostly festivals around Spain and Europe. Here in 2009 we have besides a few fests a European tour coming up in June.

2009 is the 15th anniversary for Machetazo. Did you think it would last this long and could you see yourself going for another 15 years?
Actually we played our 15th anniversary show yesterday in our town. It was also Santi's live debut in the band. It was a great show and a crazy party afterwards. I'm suffering from hangovers right now. We hope to keep on going for as long as possible. If there should be a time when the motivation is missing I can always look at Lemmy and get some inspiration [laughs].

Do you have any new 7', split CD's or vinyl releases on the way?
This year we'll at long last release the Live at CBGB split LP with Splatterhouse. We'll also put out a mini LP of cover songs with a few special guests contributing.

Chris Reifert did the band logo. Could you tell the story of how this came around?
We have been friends since mid-90's, trading and supporting each other bands. I asked him to do the logo about eight years ago. Other collaborations have been the split CD with Abscess. Chris also sang on the track "Niebla Fúnebre" at the Sinfonías del Terror Ciego CD. We have total respect and admiration for Chris & Abscess - their integrity and die-hard underground attitude is awesome. You got the new Autopsy 7' that is out on Peaceville? - that release proves why they're the best death metal band ever.

Anything you'd like to add to finish this interview?
Thanks a lot for the interview Per. Take care and all the best dude.

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