Here is a new interview done with Paraguay's old-school death metal band Verthebral who discuss the bands debut release Regeneration and past and future plans.So if you are a fan of well played and written old-school death metal be sure to check out Verthebral.
Interview with Daniel L. guitarist for Verthebral done by Patrick
1.Hello Daniel how are things going in Paraguay these days?Please introduce yourself to the readers?
Hi Patrick and friends of Winter Torment web-zine, greetings from Paraguay-South America. I'm Daniel Larroza, Verthebral's guitarist, everything is fine here, i live in Ciudad del Este, the second most important city in my country, it's a border city. Paraguay is a mediterranean country, we are in the middle of winter but still it is very hot here, that's something normal for us.
2.What age did you first start listening to metal music? Who were the first bands you listened to and who are some of your current favorites?
Well, like most of kids , the first contact with this sound was when I was in school, with my friends, I was 13 years old and one of my best friends in that time had many albums from unknown bands, so many vinyls, tapes and CDs, I used to copy on tapes all those dark bands that fascinated me so much, in those times i was totally obsessed by Sarcófago and Sepultura. I remember i used to listen: INRI, Rotting, The Laws Of scourge, Schizophrenia and Morbid Visions, these albums blew my mind. It was mid-90s and it was very difficult for a kid to get some death metal stuff. Another very important moment was when I got the famous video TRACES OF DEATH 2, was a VHS banned in so many countries but you could get it clandestinely in any video rental shop, it was so scary, it was very violent, seeing all those ways of dying but better than watching the video was to listen to the soundtrack. There's so many dark and cool death metal bands, there were songs from MORGOTH, GRAVE, UNLEASHED, ASPHYX. I used to listen those bands and think "It would be so great if someday I could start a band like these ones". Currently i listen only old school death metal bands, honestly the best are always the classic ones like Deicide, Morbid Angel, Death, Benediction, Sinister, Unleashed, Entombed, Morgoth, Grave, Obituary, Dismember.
3.Verthebral was formed in 2013 what gave you the idea to start this band?How did you all choose Verthebral as the name of the band?What is the current line up of the band?
It was my dream, start a death metal band, i was born to play in a death metal band, for me it's definetely the most violent and aggressive type of music, a sense of strength and power. Verthebral started in 2013, we started playing covers and later writing the first songs. The idea behind the band's name, in spanish the word "vertebral" represents the backbone or spine that make us move, the bone structure that gives us mobility, the letter "H" in the middle is just to give it a touch of originality. In summary, its importance and how fragile it’s to be broken, the human race feels so strong and powerful, but at the same time we are the most fragile form of existence, we could break our bones and our lives would change forever, it's like a paradox or analogy. Verthebral's current line up is: Christian Rojas on bass/vocals, Daniel Larroza-guitar, Alberto Flores-guitar, Gabriel Galeano-drums.
4.For the readers who have never heard Verthebral's music how would you best describe it and who are some of the bands biggest influences?
I can define Verthebral's music like a classic death metal sound, with old school influences, it's the death metal style played like those bands from the 90's. Our music is heavy, aggressive but at the same time it's quite technical, vocals are guttural and it's easy to understand, you can understand what the vocals are singing, that is very important, our style is refined, all the guitars are extremely heavy, but they have clear tones, drums and bass work in a precise way, producing a powerful sound base to the songs. Our greatest influences are undoubtedly: Morbid Angel, Sarcófago, Grave, Unleashed, Obituary.
5.Regeneration is the bands debut release which will be released through Satanath Rec. how did the band come in contact with this great label?
The conversations with Satanath Records came since we release our first EP "Adultery of Soul", this material was self-released, we did it totally independently, so at this time we got in touch with Aleksey from Satanath, he liked the band, our songs, so when I told him we were recording a full album with new songs, he was very determined and interested in releasing "Regeneration", when he listened our new songs he liked and approved totally, so we signed with Satanath Records, this way was how we finally have released our first album through his label.
6.How long did it take the band to write the music for the debut release? Does the whole band take part in the writing process or does one member usually write everything?
The process to write songs did not take long time, most of the songs were written by me, songs and lyrics. I show the ideas and the structure that I have in mind, the other guys also have an important role, they bring their suggestions. There are opportunities for every one in the band, but i know very well the direction i want to take, the most important thing is not to lose focus.
For example the song Old Man's Memories was composed by Alberto Flores and the lyrics written by me, Spirit in Solitude was composed by Me and Alberto Flores and Beyond The Garden Of Creation by me and Christian Rojas.
7.Besides the debut release Regeneration does the band have any other merchandise available for the readers to purchase? If yes what is available and where can the readers buy it?
In this moment only the album "Regeneration" available on Satanath Records Bandcamp, before "Regeneration" we have released in 2015 the EP called "Adultery of Soul", this material came out in CD format with a limited press of 250 copies, nowadays they are almost sold out, but there's some chances to re-edit it later. We're already thinking about offering more merchandising, like shirts, badges and of course a Regeneration's re-edition on vinyl or tape.
8.Does Verthebral play live very often or do you prefer to work in the studio? What have been some of the bands most memorable shows over the years?
For the recordings process we decided to focus only on that, we did not mark any dates to play because any other distraction could hinder or delay the final result, so all this time that we were involved in the recordings we do not accept any invitation for shows. Vertheral don't play very often, we are an underground band and as such we do not make money with the band, we all have jobs and college, we analyze before deciding to play in any gig, if the conditions are not good we don't play.
The best show we had was with the Brazilian band RATOS DE PORAO, we were support band in this gig, the show was in Foz de Yguazu city - Brasil, and it was wild and violent, a very good show.
9.Are their any tours or shows planned in support of Regeneration if yes where will the band be playing and who are some bands you will be sharing the stage with?
We have no tours planned currently, only some gigs in Paraguay, Yes, it is in the plans to make a good tour through South America, but that must be very well planned to be able to realize it. We want to go slowly with this matter, as i said before, we do not make money with the band, we do it for love and because we like to play death metal.
11.Besides working in Verthebral do you or any of the members currently play in any other bands or projects? If yes please tell the readers a little about them?
Oh yes, me and our drummer Gabriel, we also play in a heavy metal band called Ariman here in Paraguay, the band has 14 years of trajectory, I am not one of the founding members, i join them a few years later and gabriel too, we have a self-titled demo and an album "Pacto de Muerte" released in 2011.
12.Daniel you handle the guitars for the band when did you first become interested in playing the guitars? Are you self taught or did you take lessons when first starting out?
I started a little late, at 18 years old, i was a fan of death, thrash and black metal, in the begining i took some lessons, but it was not what i wanted to play, i wanted to learn metal music tecniques, to play death metal, so i decided to be self-taught, i bought a bunch of magazines and books to expand my knowledge, when i started i was very bad, i played very bad but later i improved my way of playing, it really takes a lot of work and dedication
13.Who would you say are your biggest influences and favorite guitarists?Besides playing the guitars do you play any other instruments?
There's so many great musicians in the world, i like a lot of guitarists, but strictly speaking as musical influences, my main influences are Jeff Hanneman from Slayer, Trey Azagthoth from Morbid Angel, Chuck Schuldiner from Death and Andreas Kisser from Sepultura (the old era). I also play a little of keyboards. I recorded some keyboards parts on our album "Regeneration". it was just to create a darker atmosphere in some songs.
I liked to read, i read some books, i try to be inspired by somethiung i read to write lyrics for my songs, i also like to read metal magazines to keep me updated. When i have more free times i like to watch some movies and listen music. There are many new bands currently releasing good albums, it's always good to listen death metal stuff.
15.Thank you Daniel for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final comments for the readers?
Ok Patrick and Winter Torment's friends, i really enjoyed this interview, thanks for your interest on Verthebral, i would like to tell people who love death metal, listen our new album "Regeneration", you will see the sound is pure, brutal and honest, we are death metal fans and this album was made for you who appreciate this kind of music.