Interview by Cristóbal Torres
Thunderslave is a heavy metal band from Monterrey, Mexico. They were supposed to release their debut album: UNCHAIN THE NIGHT through No Remorse Records (NRR), however, an altercation at a graveyard broke its relationship with the label. Although NRR said in a press release the band is free to join another label, Thunderslave has had some issues to find a new deal.
Despite all the problems the band has faced in the last months, Thunderslave is planning the long awaited UNCHAIN THE NIGHT vinyl and CD versions which are set to release this October. Carlos Wild (guitarist and founder) talks about this topic and some other more in this interview with Metal-Rules.com.
What did the band do between 2017 (after you released your first EP) and 2020 (before you release your debut album)?
During that period we faced different challenges since we had the idea of recording the first full-length album but we also wanted to continue on the map giving shows in different parts, the only drawback is that the line-up was very unstable. We dealt with Randy’s departure and had to go through 2 bassists before Eli joined the band. It was a challenge because, as you may imagine, being able to record or teach the songs to the new members needs dedication. Even so, everything was given so that 2019 would become one of the best years of the band.
Did Randy Lawless’ departure delay the band’s plans or how did you deal with his departure?
Definitely! But it was necessary. After his departure we had time to contemplate which way we are headed and if that is really where we wanted to go. Then we recruited Dany Rodriguez as a bass player who was with us for a year but we also had to let him go for reasons similar to Randy’s departure.
What was it like for Iván (Ranzig) to switch to guitar after starting playing bass?
Like a fish in water! (laughs). Although he has never been a bass player, he is one of my best friends and he was on the bass only to support my project. He liked what Alan and I were doing so, in some way, he wanted to contribute. Later, when he switched to guitar, that was where the magic began to emerge for the creation of this album.
How did you find Elí Arrieta and how much did he contribute musically with his bass?
Eli is the best musician we have in the band, I don’t think I know a better bass player in all Monterrey. He used to play with Ranzig on a project before Thunderslave emerged. After we decided to let Daniel go, Eli fitted in like a glove, added too much with his bluesy feeling and added the spark that Thunderslave lacked in every way! Both in the studio, rehearsals and projection on stage.
When did you start working on the songs on this album; did you recover pieces from the EP times or is everything new?
Everything is new, we didn’t want to add a song from the EP because there is so much creativity that sometimes it is difficult to decide which song should be on the album or not! Ranzig is a riff-making machine and that’s where we come back again to contemplate what direction Thunderslave should take according to the riffs.
How were the recording sessions; did they flow normally or did you face some challenges and problems?
It was chaos at first, we were totally lost! We recorded some songs and suddenly we wanted to add more things and more things and change solos, etc … It took a year to record 4 songs, which were: “Laying down your life”, “Warriors of the night”, “Black thunder “and” Maniac “. The strange thing is that, when Eli joined, the rest of the songs we recorded practically in 4 months.
Were the songs heard on the album all the material that you recorded or there are unreleased tracks?
That was all the material we recorded, there is no unreleased material unfortunately.
How much did Rodrigo Montalvo and César Salazar help you to achieve the sound you were looking for?
The truth is that Rodrigo and Cesar are very good at what they do, they helped us to solve certain knots that we had in different songs and were very professional when it came to getting the sound we were looking for. We were concerned at first with sounding very modern but when we saw the end result they achieved just what we wanted.
We still do not know exactly what damage could bring to the band because, as you have seen, music and art are totally paralyzed because of the pandemic.
What is the damage control that the band does after the graveyard altercation, do you feel it affected you in the diffusion of the album; has it brought you consequences?
Regarding the altercation, our name Thunderslave was involved in something that we believed did not have anything to do with; that led to not releasing our album with the record company. It was unfortunate that the person who spread that news through social networks, and that then it became known to the media, handled the name of the band and not that of those responsible. But, in the end, both cases have already been resolved, it is what makes us most happy!
What response did the Hoove Child Records release of your debut album get?
Very good! Despite not being advertised on social networks nor even by the record company, the tapes sold very well. We sold them out in a matter of hours! I don’t know if it was the same case with Hoove Child Records.
How is the process going in order to get a new label to release the album on CD; have you already talked to someone; do you plan some new editions?
Well this answer has changed a lot this last week. We have several labels interested in releasing our material, however, at the moment they are trying to reach an agreement with the first label, because, although they publicly canceled us, they have not wanted to break the contract. I think they want to keep us tied up as if it were some kind of a “punishment”, I mean in the end they decided to cancel us, right? Anyway, at the end of September we will announce who will be in charge of releasing UNCHAIN THE NIGHT, if both labels reach an agreement. This will be an “improved” version of the album which we are very excited to release and which we hope can get the public attention.
Are you working on some new material? What have you done in these pandemic times?
Sure! We are in the composition of new material, although each one from home. Unfortunately I have distanced myself a bit from the rehearsals, but we continue composing. We plan to release an EP in late 2020 or early 2021.
What can we expect from Thunderslave for the rest of the year?
If everything goes as we expect (which has never happened, especially in the release of this album, hahaha) by October we will be releasing the material under a Mexican label and another German label on Vinyl and CD. We also have 2 official videos that have not been released for the same reason that we also hope to close a deal with these two labels. Hopefully the shows can resume at the end of the year and we can continue our career.
Thanks for your time! Any final words for the Metal-Rules.com readers?
We want to thank all the people who still trust us! This is for you, believe that when you feel that you have hit rock bottom there will always be people to support you and a lot of heavy metal to let off steam! Raise those fists and never give up! Be true and fight for your dreams! Thank you!