Imperio del Terror: First Look! Peruvian metal and the birth of Hadez.
To promote our upcoming special on extreme South American metal, we’re throwing back the curtain and giving you access to an uncut version of one of the new issue’s special features. HADEZ are widely credited (along with MORTEM) as one of Peru’s pioneering extreme metal bands. Relatively unknown above-ground, the band have enjoyed legendary status in their home country and widespread praise in the global metal underground, once earning the attention of Mayhem’s Euronymous and his label Deathlike Silence Productions. As part of Alex de Moller & Andres Castro’s 12-page journey into the dissident sounds of the South, they called on ERICK NEYRA, frontman of Lima band GOAT SEMEN and unspoken ambassador to the realm of Peruvian noise. He in turn sought out Lima’s own legendary drummer (and toxic crusader) Antonio Amador Laiz – aka Toñyn Destructor – best known for his work with Hadez, Coprofagia Anal Vomit, Sarcoma, Necrofucker and more recently, Recrucify. In this obscure and comical exchange of memories, two warriors of the old and new school discuss the origins of Peruvian metal and the birth of the legendary Hadez…
Neyra: It’s January the 5th in the year 2014. I’m in a noisy street in downtown Lima, talking with one of the most determined and restless metal warriors that has ever come out of South America: Toñyn Destructor. Looking back at his 30 years as an extreme metal drummer, Toñyn talks about how he started out.
Toñyn Destructor: “Back in ’84 I started playing in a band called Mejjet with my friend Jhon Capcha… we used to play covers of the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. After a short period of time, we finished that band and I wanted to make something harder, as I started to listen to Judas Priest and some other harder stuff…”
N: Where did you get your first metal records/tapes?
TD: “It was at “La Colmena. [a street in Lima where metalheads used to sell home-made copied cassettes with xeroxed covers.] I used to see the Albums that Vicente or Walter had(some old guys who used to sell tapes and second hand LP’s there) and I really liked the Judas Priest stuff.I started to listen to more of their albums and I was really impressed by Unleashed in the East: the smoke, the guitars, the motorcycle, everything about it!”
N: How did you meet Jhon Capcha (Agressor, Hadez guitarist)?
TD: “I used to play drums alone. I practiced at Sifuentes, a rehearsal place in the La Victoria district. I had a drumkit my mother gave me when I was 8 or 9 years old. I used to go with her to her performances at the Crillon Hotel, as she was an actress [Leontina Laiz, a famous Argentine actress living in Peru]. I used to see the guys from Telegraph Avenue there [Peruvian ‘70s psych-rock band], but they weren’t playing their own stuff – they were backing musicians for a singer called Eddie Guzman. When the drummer was in the back, I remember that I used to jump on the stage and start to play. This guy used to give me my first tips.”
N: You met Jhon there?
TD: “No, I used to go to this rehearsal place in La Victoria I told you, and always played alone. One day the owner of the place told me about these guys: ‘Hey gringo! Why don’t you try to play with these other guys who come here, they have a drummer, but it seems they don’t like him anymore and he’s no good!’ So one day I went there and met Jhon and the other guys… I don’t remember who they were now.”
N: So it was 1984!?
N: What did you play?
TD: “We used to play covers, even Beatles covers – but actually I don’t like the Beatles… I never liked them.”
N: Me neither. I prefer to Paint it Black than see a Yellow Submarine! (laughs)
TD: “I don’t think we even played live with that band. Later I formed a band called Niebla with Jhon”
N: Was it the same guys as the previous band?
TD: “No. Marco Espinoza on guitars, Jhon on Bass and I played drums and vocals.”
N: Did you always play at this rehearsal room?
TD: “We started there and later went to Filderes in the San Martín de Porres district. We played a few gigs and later we got a singer, because I couldn’t keep singing and playing drums at the same time. We got Fernando Peto, who was an actor. He also sang, but we played just few gigs with him – I didn’t like him because you know back then we had the terrorist movements here and he wanted to make lyrics against cops and such.”
N: Political lyrics…
TD: “Yes, I don’t like that! You know I like always to talk about sex, perversion and lust! This guy didn’t like it and shortly after he just left the band. The guitarist also left because he said that the lyrics were satanic – you know I did all the lyrics! We had songs like “Mensajero del Infierno” (Hell Messenger) “Niebla” (Fog) “Bastardos en la Noche” (Bastards in the Night) that I had composed.”
N: Are there any recordings of this band?
TD: “A friend of mine has some. Live and studio stuff.”
N: How long did Niebla exist?
TD: “Until ’86. It was very tight back then when we formed bands. Shortly after Niebla disbanded, I formed Hadez.”
N: So how did Hadez appearon the scene?
TD: “I formed the band with Armando (Mutante) and Rafo (Basura). Jhon was not part of the band in the beginning.”
N: How did you met these guys back then? There were not so many metalheads around.
TD: “I knew them from the Ingenieria. There was this neighbourhood [Rímac] where there were many musicians.”
N: This is near San Martín de Porres!There were always rotten guys there – even the two singers from the classic Hadez line ups [Ron King and Noise] come from the same neighbourhood, Valdivieso.
TD: “Yes! Since Armando had his own equipment and instruments (that he himself had made), I told him to create a band and we were very enthusiastic. We started to talk about the name and someone said: ‘“Hades! It means hell!” but it was first Hades with S and after we decided to use it with Z. That line-up disbanded because Armando did not want to play live – he was not a confident person. We couldn’t waste time, and Jhon Capcha (Agressor) was into the band. He worked at the Expreso newspaper, earned money and had bought his imported equipment by 1988. He replaced Armando, who disappeared – I have not seen for 30 years now. Rafo left shortly after and Satan Eyaculation replaced him – by then the band started to have an incredible sound, so we started to talk about recording a demo.”
N: Up to this point, what bands were you listening that made you create the Hadez sound?
TD: “Sepultura, Kreator and Sodom!”
N: Do you think that the Brazilian scene had a big impact on the bands that formed in Peru?
TD: “Yes, because its the first stuff we could get. Before getting bands from Europe or North America, it was easier to get stuff from Brazil.”
N: How was the Guerreros de la Muerte demo recorded?
TD: “It was recorded on an old tape. Jhon had his Sanyo tape recorder, back then it was like the top equipment you could get! Hehe, so we put it onto Jhon’s bed – the rehearsal place was Jhon’s bedroom and we recorded the first demo in there. The results were incredible, really incredible, it was the first demo that impacted the metalheads in Peru I believe.”
N: For sure it was then that the backstabbing started too…hell it’s something that has always existed in Peru, it seems.
TD: “Yes, unfortunately it happened. I remember that Jhon thought of it like the supporters of Alianza Lima and the supporters of U (two of the most popular soccer teams in Peru) haha!”
N: Back then the followers of Hadez were not on the same team as those of Mortem…
TD: “Yes… I don’t know if they recorded their first demo before or alter us, but we had been playing live long before.”
N: What makes a band like yours, and your drum playing in particular sound so savage? What are they feeding you!? (laughs)
TD: “Attitude, Attitude! I simply don’t pretend to be something I am not, I believe that the way I play reflects the way I am!”
N: How did Ron King (singer) join the band?
TD: “Satan Eyaculation was very rooted to his neighbourhood and his friends there and later, he left the band because of his studies. Hadez looked for a singer for a while, and one day I went to La Colmena – where I met Ron King selling tapes as always I mentioned to him that we had no singer, so he said: “You should find a singer who dresses in black, has long hair and personality!” So I asked him, WHO?! “Like ME!!! So we tried him and he knew the lyrics, as he always used to go to our gigs. We recorded our classic demo “Altar Of Sacrifice” in the studio of Miki González [one of Peru’s most famous rock and post-punk musicians]. Wicho (of cult Lima punk band Narcosis) was on the sound board and we paid 12 Soles [So-les: Peruvian currency pre-1990s] per hour back then, well i don’t remember if was 12 soles or 12 Dollars, but it was 12 something! The Studio was in San Isidro, which for me was very strange as it always used to be in our neighbourhood. It was very hard for me to go to another place! So the four of us went to the Studio to record, and by noon we wanted to go and eat but there wasn’t a market like in our neighborhoods where you could find cheap food. We had to find a place to eat dinner – it was so expensive that all four of us ate from the same plate!
N: Tell me about the artwork for the demos?
TD: “The Altar of Sacrifice artwork was created by a friend of mine called Yoyo. He was from the circle of friends of [the band] Currículum Mortis as I used to visit them once in a while in Javier Prado; He lives in the USA now. The artwork on Hadez Attack was made by Mario “Pajarito”[avery active musician from the grindcore scene at the time].”
N: What happened back then with Currículum Mortis and the other metal bands from Lima – it’s well known that they weren’t that close…
TD: “Yes, they were closer to their circle of friends and didn’t play much in Lima…”
N: What can you tell us about the scene itself, and the other bands who existed?
TD: “There were good bands! Good heavy metal bands like Nexo and Hastur who were well known. Darma…”
N: How were the ‘bangers?
TD: “The scene was larger I think, ‘bangers from all parts of Lima use to come to the gigs.”
N: I think that many of the ‘bangers come from the central and northern part of Lima… what about the southern part of the city? I think that only Currículum Mortis was the only band that really made the effort to make some demos – the others that existed back then didn’t even record a rehearsal.
TD: The fact is that Javier Prado and the Miraflores districts were mostly into heavy metal, and the central and north sides of Lima were more into thrash and black metal. At the extreme south in Barranco Chorrillos, they were into hardcore, nothing else.”
N: Were there any gigs where death and thrash metal bands played with hardcore or punk bands?
TD: “Yes there were a few, but fortunately it was just a few. I didn’t like their ideas. For example, when I wanted to drink with someone from those bands they started to question our points of view and ideas and vice-versa, as I did not like their political language.”
N: How do you think the political situation in the country affected the development of the scene back then?
TD: “I think that it had nothing to do with metal; I personally did not feel affected, because even if I was very poor I always had this strong will to make metal. It gave the the strength to go on.”
N: Back to Hadez… what was the impact of Altar Of Sacrifice on the local scene and international scene?
TD: “I actually did not notice such things until 20 years later. I just thought back then: ‘Well we just recorded our demo. Let’s continue.’ Now that I’m old, I think that we did really something great!! Don’t you think so? For me the best was when we toured with Hadez for the first time – it was the very first time a metal band played outside of Lima! We played in Trujillo.”
N: I’ve been checking the old gig flyers, but I never saw a gig where Hadez, Kranium and Mortem played together… why?
TD: “It happened that the bands who used to spend time together were Kranium and Hadez that’s all, also Curriculum Mortis played more in Barranco too…”
N: Moving on to your second studio demo Hadez Attack…
TD: “They were hard times. The problems started because Jhon wanted to change the logo, and wanted “Pajarito” [vocalist of the band Insaner] to join on vocals – he did not like Ron King and wanted him out of the band. He also wanted to have two guitarists. I didn’t like those changes – maybe they were for the better, but I just didn’t like anything – he wanted to change the lyrics etc. I left Hadez in ‘91.”
N: One important point I want to talk about is your invitation from Euronymous to release an album? The letter I had was sent to you… was this the only label that offered you a deal?
TD: “Yes, Deathlike Silence Productions and Euronymous were the first to offer a deal to Hadez! I actually did not know too much English, but I showed this to Jhon and he xeroxed it hehe, I just read Euronymous and I didn’t know what the hell it was, but then I saw it was the band Mayhem and I knew of them from a ‘zine from Singapore in which Hadez also appeared.”
N: Which other ‘zines wrote about Hadez back then?
TD: “FETU from Japan, also Black Vomit from Brazil, hell, there was a lot of letters we received back them. Jhon copied the letters and showed them to people proudly!”
N: Was DSP the only label interested?
TD: “Yes, although I sent many letters, mostly within South America. I sent letters to Masacre in Colombia, I don’t remember who in Chile with Death Yell, in Brazil with Zombie, Escarnio…”
N: Back then all these bands had a different but great original sound don’t you think?
TD: “There was not so much technology and everyone had their own style, then. Now there are 5000 bands, but none have originality – they all want to sound like Cannibal Corpse and not even try to sound like the good days of Morbid Angel. They all want to sound like the latest mainstream bands.”
For more on the origins on extreme South American metal, check out “Imperio del Terror” our 12-page special feature in the coming issue [#057] of Zero Tolerance Magazine. Onsale in all good newsagents 30/1/14.
Interview by Erick Neyra. Edited and presented by Alex de Moller.
Photos of Tonyn & Neyra with skulls by Jack Latimer.
Erick Neyra Morocho is the frontman of Goat Semen and Evil Damn. He is also the owner of Austral Holocaust Records, one of the Lima’s premier underground metal labels.
Thanks for dropping in!
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