True Criminals of Heavy Metal: Santiago’s CRIME Talk the City’s Metal Scene, New Record [Interview]

Santiago metal-punk outfit Crime released their debut effort, First Crime, on Shadow Kingdom Records this January, and it’s quite the record. With influence from the guttered, gritty punk militias of the late 70s, to the innovative riffing speed metal powerhouses of the early 80s, Crime’s first record screams of energy and danger. Underground soldiers that Crime are, they have no current Facebook or Twitter, and work completely through their labels in true fashion. Dungeons Magazine got in touch with the two-man street gang comprised of M.A.O.T. (all guitars) and Noizemaker (drummer and vocalist) for a few words after their regular weekly rehearsal.

Firstly, thanks for speaking with us! We’re glad to have you on board from Chile.

M.A.O.T: Greetings from the end of the world. “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

Noizemaker: Well, we got a few of “Malta del Sur (Chilean beer)” and Magnesium (Japan) turning loud… Great! And here we go.

Just to get it out the way, I gotta know- what are the origins on the samples in tracks one and three on First Crime?

M.A.O.T. : As adolescents, we had a friend who recorded us a lot of material on tape,
Mainly heavy metal and thrash. Almost none of us had money to acquire material,
practically it was all exchange of tapes and pirate CDs, as the most common tapes were of 60 minutes almost always. Leftover tape after recording an album, in this space he recorded about 4 or 5 tracks of bands that he knew we did not know. To be able to get us to record the full albums where those tracks came from we had to find out by our means (who) that bands were first. Imagine what it cost without internet. Part of that mystery is preserved with the Intros of Crime, that’s why we will not give its origin… If you do not know where they come from you should find out for yourself and get the material!

Your influences are very easy to detect on that EP. We hear a lot of Motörhead, a bit of Venom, a little Celtic Frost. Are there perhaps any influential bands from your home country of Chile, the capital city of Santiago, or neighboring areas in South America that metalheads from other parts of the world might not necessarily know about?

M.A.O.T.: Our influences are not yet fully declared, we just gave a little taste of what we are plotting for our first album. As we already declared the sound of Crime, now it is time to expand our musical spectrum. We don’t want to be like the current bands that only clone or cling desperately to a style to attract attention. Ours is much more serious than that. With respect to the local bands that influenced us- or my part- I enjoyed much of the demos of Vastator, Anarkia, KK Urbana, and the first release of 8 Bolas. Rust is the first speed metal band from Chile.

Noizemaker: Okay… I don’t want to be misunderstood but Chile has nothing much to do musically speaking with the rest of South America so I’m not able to recommend bands from neighbor places. And yes, we love Motörhead, Venom, and many other rock n roll bands like Rose Tattoo. I love Slade, Sweet, and Pink Fairies (they’re back). But man, is there much more in our musical macrocosms.

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Give me some insight on the current state of underground true metal in Santiago and in Chile. Is there a scene? This is also a good time to name drop any friends or other local bands that you think deserve some attention.

M.A.O.T.: If you mean to a “scene,” I know there are death/black/heavy metal shows every weekend where the same bands are repeated on the flyers. Followed, now, if you mean the underground, there are a lot of bands working hard and quietly releasing demos, EPs, LPs, by whatever means they can. From my country I would recommend Consecrate, Ataud, Enforcer, and Kratherion.

Noizemaker: Personally I don’t belong to any scene. I consider myself more as part of the working class people that tries to make music. And yes, there are very good and talented bands here and there but I think that many of them preach without practicing what they say in their lyrics. It’s more. I’m completely convinced that many of them are nothin’ more than a bunch of leechers, neo-vinyl collectors, and kids that are afraid to go out to the streets, Well, that’s just a personal opinion and, well, there are some who dominate the circuit that they called the “underground scene”. Many of these people own distros or music stores, they came from accommodated sectors of Santiago, and declare to be occultists. They don’t have any idea of what heavy metal is.

The lyrical themes of Crime, which revolve more or less around, well, crime itself,
are a breath of fresh air in a genre ruled predominantly by the same soulless, generic, Satanic ramblings. Your lyrics seem to focus more on the harsh realities of the material world. Human nature and instinct. Manifested evil. Physical freedom.
Where’s the inspiration for Crime’s crimes and tastes for trouble come from?

M.A.O.T.: There is no real threat in Satanism, or in the fantasies of someone making metal and who has grown up in places where there is no poverty. He could be a good musician, maybe make dark music, but he will not understand the dangerous and marginal essence of real heavy metal. Crime will not talk to you about something that we have not seen with our own eyes in any of his lyrics, that is one of the things that will always differentiate us, of any band playing “power metal…” The inspiration is totally in the place where we grew up and the experiences that we live there.

Noizemaker: Well, we grew in poor neighborhoods where most of the youth ended hooked up on drugs, prostitution, killed or commit suicide. I had many friends that ended like that. It’s a shame but if this does not inspire you to make music, I hardly would believe in what an artist that came from an accommodated family sings.

Tell me about your first LP, Second Crime, which is due to be released sometime in the not-too-distant future. Do we have a slated release date/time? How many tracks are we expecting on the album?

M.A.O.T.: Second Crime is still in the process of creation. We have something like 5 songs so far, our main idea is to make 8 songs for the album. But compositively we never restrict ourselves until everything is ready. I think we will finish it within this year, we do not have any trouble in doing it either. Our first EP/demo was released by 3 stamps, formats and on different continents. It is good to spread the infection before the album sees the light. I can tell you that it will have all the essence of the demo but taken even more into the night- we want you to know the worst places in our city.

Noizemaker: We are still working on the compositions but if you liked First Crime, Second Crime will blow your heads off, that’s for sure.

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Has Crime performed live? If you have or plan on it, how would that work? Do you have any specific session musicians in mind that could fill the void on stage left by a two-man band?

M.A.O.T.: Even we have not talked about that. I think we have not much to do with the bands that play in my city, they like more of a heavy metal, which is not to our liking, are bands that sound very produced and worry more about their clothes than their lyrics. Obviously at some point we will in the right place and conditions. For a presentation I think I would ask for help from our blood brothers Sins of the Damned. I also play guitar with them. So Noisemaker can play bass and sing. Maybe two guitars and a drummer with power. I think that SOTD’s Tyrant is more than ready for that.

Last but not least… Where and when can I get some damn Crime merch?

M.A.O.T.: You can search the pages of the labels that have supported us: Shadow Kingdom Records, Forgotten Wisdom Productions, and Iron Goat Commando. Plus, you are in freedom to contact me by the email “crimesofheavymetal@gmail.com“.

Thanks for speaking with Dungeons Magazine!

M.A.O.T.: Thanks to you for the interest in our music. Play your vinyl to the loud volume and drink with the best company possible.

Noizemaker: Thanks to you. It was a pleasant moment. Stay drunk and proud! Only the real remains.

You can find Crime’s debut EP for purchase on Shadow Kingdom Records’ Bandcamp page, and on cassette and vinyl through the distributors mentioned by M.A.O.T. above. Due to their clandestine nature, we‘d also like to thank Nathan Birk and Tim McGrogan at Shadow Kingdom for getting us in contact with the band themselves.

Don’t forget to follow Dungeons Magazine on Twitter and Facebook for more rebellious speed metal madness.

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