Posted October 6, 2013 by Jeff in Tunes

De La Tierra: Four very intense guys from the land

De La Tierra
De La Tierra

Maná’s Alex González, Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs’ Señor Flavio and A.N.I.M.A.L.’s Andrés Giménez finally put together their new heavy metal band De La Tierra. Eight years ago, Giménez and Kisser started talking about playing together; last year, they finally went into a Buenos Aires studio with their two other bandmates. The full-length doesn’t come out in November, but González and Kisser recently phoned in from Miami where they had just finished filming the video for the first single, the heavy-hitting “Maldita Historia.”

You come from bands that are quite different from each other. How were you able to find a common ground?
Alex: Andrés came from A.N.I.M.A.L. They were the biggest Spanish-speaking metal band from Argentina. We were good friends. About eight years ago, Andrés went to a show in Buenos Aires and he saw me playing. He said it would be great to do something. I told him that I would love to but it was difficult because of schedules. Fortunately, at the end of November 2011 when I was back in Argentina, we kept going back and forth. We wanted to make it happen. He called a good friend of ours, Señor Flavio. He comes from an amazing background. He can play hardcore and dub and reggae and metal. He’s not a limited musician. When we told him about the project, he said he was in. We had three guys but we were missing the main character. Andrés told me he would love to have Andreas because it would close the full circle by having one of the best guitar players in the world. I knew Andreas from playing in Sao Paolo where I would play with Mana. We would hang out and have beers and I sent him an email. He said, “I’m your guitar player.” There were no managers that wanted to put us together. We don’t like being called a supergroup because we’re not. We’re friends who have known each other for 10, 20 years. We’re people who share a love for metal music. We financed the record and did all the negotiations. It’s a very honest band. We did the record very quickly.  It either sounded fucking awesome or we didn’t like it. It was so easy to understand. Communication is very easy in this band.

How does the fact that you’re all from different countries affect your music?
Andreas: We come from different countries but we come from different musical backgrounds as well.

Alex: We’re not close-minded musicians. There are some musicians who just want to play one type of music.

Andreas: Even the name is about having the freedom.

Alex: There are too many bands out there who are worried about what people will say. We don’t want  a label put on us. It’s metal, but it’s music. Thank God I have three friends who are amazingly talented. We can play and go in any direction we want. That’s hard to find in a band.

The single is pretty heavy. Tell me about the sound you are going for.
Andreas: When Alex called me, he said he wanted to do a metal band in Spanish. That was fucking exciting. You cannot fake it. That was exciting from the start. I have to admit that I was a little confused at the beginning. I thought they wanted to do metal but something more experimental. I sent them some things and they said they wanted the Sepultura stuff and then I went in that direction and it clicked for me. Andrés came in with so many great melodies. He can use his voice in so many different ways. He has great choruses. We’re doing something new. It’s great for us to hear the demos. The first week of practice we had in Buenos Aires, that was it.

We come from the old school of bands where bands would sweat and get the crowd going. You won’t see four guys just standing there. That’s fine, but not our case.

Talk about shooting the video.
Alex: We were talking with the director Carlos Perez and we said we didn’t want to do a story or narrate anything. We just wanted to capture the brutality and the adrenaline and the aggressiveness of how this band plays. We played in a shitty warehouse in downtown Miami. Nature helped us because the whole night before it rained like a mother. It looked like we were in a gutter. The images are amazing. It’s an artistic, in-your-face video. It’s going to blow people away when they see us live. All four of us are very intense guys. If you look at each one of us in our own bands, we are the guys who stand out on stage. Everyone’s jaws were open at the video shoot. When we hit the stage, it’s going to be great. We feed off each other. We come from the old school of bands where bands would sweat and get the crowd going. You won’t see four guys just standing there. That’s fine, but not our case.

Andreas: It was great. It was a long day. It’s one of the hardest videos I have ever been a part of. I did so much stuff with Sepultura but I never played live for a video before. We have such great chemistry. We didn’t play the song the way we love to but the energy there was great. We gave 110 percent.

The song is called “Maldita Historia.” What is it about?
Alex: This is very important. Once the album comes out, we’ll have all the lyrics translated in English on our web page. If you like the song but don’t understand it, you’ll have a perfect translation of what the song means. The reference and by the way the translation for the band name is “from the land.” Some people say, “from the earth,” but it’s “from the land” because we come from the land of Latin America. Talking about the history that we keep repeating in Latin America, there’s so much poverty and corruption. History keeps repeating itself. It’s not a good history; it’s a bad history. It’s a calling to see that this new generation needs to speak up more and change their attitudes and make it a better place for its people. We need education and infrastructure. It’s about waking up and making a change. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. There are moments on the record that sound very dark like everything is about to fall apart, but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

Is Latin alternative rock in a good place?
Alex: The scene has never died. You look at any band from Slipknot to Iron Maiden, it doesn’t matter which genre of metal. They go to Latin America and they sell out stadiums. Those are some of the most loyal fans. The situation has to do with the record labels. The digital media exists but the radio stations seem to be afraid of it. It’s just musicians expressing themselves. In the ‘90s, Latin America enjoyed a boom. I don’t know what happened. We’re not here to save Latin metal. Right now, we want to play this music. If we find a way of opening that road or trail and other bands can come out and expose themselves and be part of a bigger scene and we can regenerate what is there still, more power to us. Something needs to detonate the thing.


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected]