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Interview: Ill Nino

Ill Nino
04/18/01
by Pedro

Related Links:
Official Ill Nino Website

PRP: Ok, let me start the interview by asking you guys to inform the readers a little bit more of your past. The information about Ill Nino is pretty scarce for now, so let me hear it all. Who's who, how did you guys got together, and anything else you might feel like sharing.
Dave: Our lineup is: Cristian Machado on vocals, Dave Chavarri on drums, Marc Rizzo on lead guitar, Jardel Paisante on rhythm guitar, Lazaro Pina on bass and Roger Vasquez on percussion. Ill Nino formed as Cristian, Marc and myself joined up as a writing team. After we'd done a lot of writing and recording, we finally settled on the sound we wanted and went in search of other members with the same attitude and goals we had. Roger came in to play percussion, Jardel took up second guitar, and Laz filled the bass spot.

PRP: You are now about to release your major debut album, titled "Revolution Revolucion". How much have things changed for you since the deal with Roadrunner?
Dave: The band went from working 30 hours a week to 60 hours a week during the recording of our record. We've been rehearsing and recording like crazy, in preparation of our upcoming tour with Soulfly, and for our dates with Hatebreed. Our album is coming out June 19th, and there is much to get done before then. All these responsibilities and different time issues lead you to work endless hours until the completion of our project.

PRP: I don't mean to underestimate your work, but myself, as well as loads of other people, have never heard about you and all of a sudden you got a deal with Roadrunner Records and a huge buzz started to form around you. How did that happen exactly, how did you manage to get noticed by the label?
Dave: I personally had known Mike Gitter (our A&R) for some time. When I knew I had the right material, I approached Mike with it. He then came to check out our live performance at WSOU's ski show, and shortly after we were signed to Roadrunner. From there, we kept gigging and working our asses off to help create a buzz.

PRP: There are numerous fake mp3's of you guys all over Napster, and some people downloaded them thinking they were actually listening to Ill Nino. Has that prejudiced you somehow, and what are your opinions towards mp3's and Napster in general?
Dave: There really hasn't been much confusion about fake Ill Nino mp3's as far as I know. But if there is, Ill Nino fans would be able to tell the difference between our sound and anyone else. As for Napster, I think that people should be able to download a few mp3's free of charge, so the buying public can get a taste of what the band sounds like. However, I've always thought it was ridiculous for anyone to be able to download a full length CD. It's not fair to the artist, to the record label, and to the other fans who support the music with their hard earned dollar.

PRP: How it was to work with Ron St. Germain, and why did you decide to work with him instead of Andy Sneap, the person who was originally called upon to produce your album?
Dave: It was great to work with Ron. He and I got along great. We chose him because we thought he could add more life and energy to our debut cCD. The reason why we opted for him instead of Andy Sneap was all a matter of timing and politics. Hopefully, we'll cross paths with Andy some time in the future, as I think very highly of him and his talents.

PRP: Did the fact that Ron had never worked with a band as heavy as Ill Nino before leave you worried?
Dave: Not at all. Ill Nino has a sound all it's own. The band is very heavy and very aggressive, so I was never worried that the sound would be too polished or not heavy enough.

PRP: Did you at any moment consider once again taking the role of the producer for your upcoming album, considering you were the person behind the production of your independent EP?
Dave: Yes, we did consider having me produce once again for this record. Instead, we decided to use Ron St. Germain as well as myself. By producing the Ill Nino EP, I had good insight and a great vision of what I wanted the debut CD to sound like. I thought Ron could only enhance my goals, and we made a great production team for the record.

PRP: In April, you'll be touring with Soulfly and Insolence, what are your expectations towards that tour?
Dave: It will be great to tour with Soulfly and hang out with the guys once again. I toured with them briefly, filling in for drums, and we all became great friends. I feel this will also be a great opportunity to introduce the Ill Nino sound to the U.S., and can't think of a better tour to be on.

PRP: How has Roadrunner Records been treating you so far?
Dave: Roadrunner has truly been supportive of Ill Nino. They're always working hand in hand with our manager (Andy Gould Management), to achieve goals that are needed for the success of this band.

PRP: Do the constant comparisons with Puya make you mad or upset in any way?
Dave: There hasn't been many comparisons to Puya as far as I'm aware. Although I would be very flattered if there were, since I think Puya is a great band with very talented musicians. I am best of friends with Sergio and the guys, and I always wish them the best of luck.

PRP: Will DJ Pookie be adding his turntables in the album, as he did on your independent EP?
Dave: Pookie was awesome on our EP., but we needed to go in a different direction with the scratches on our new CD. The perfect man for the job turned out to be DJ Skratch. He totally kicked ass on our new recording.

PRP: What latin instruments have you used on the recording sessions of your album, and who played them?
Dave: We use everything from bongos to congas, timbales to tambores and tribal toms. For the most part, all the latin percussion is performed by Roger Vasquez. When it comes to tribal drumming, Roger and myself shared the duties. He and I had a great connection when it came to playing on this record, and we are both very in-tune when it comes to performing together.

PRP: Do you guys already know which tracks gonna be your first single, and is a video for the song planned?
Dave: There are three different ideas for our singles. I believe they will be "Unreal", "What Comes Around" and "Nothing's Clear". There is a video planned in the near future, although I don't yet know for which song.

PRP: What's currently going on with your ex-singer, Jorge Rosado?
Dave: Jorge is now recording a new record with the band Merauder, on Century Media Records. The release is due out some time this summer. Jorge and I talk frequently and we're still great friends. I wish him and Merauder the best.

PRP: Any last comments, shameless self promotion, shout outs, thank you's or fuck you's?
Dave: If you haven't checked it out yet, take a look at our new www.illnino.com website. It gives you a lot of info about us, our tours, and a ton of news about the new record. It's a phat site, and we've been getting a lot of positive response. Thanks to all those who have written to us, and thanks in advance to all the new fans we will make in the future. And a big pimpin' thanks to ThePRP for being the big pimp daddies that you are, and asking us to do this interview. Keep it phat!

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