I’ve had some of my greatest metal experiences coming from Chile. In the 80s it was Pentagram. Later on it was Bewitched and most recently it was Six Magics and BATTLERAGE. Interview answered by Francisco Vera (drums). Anders Ekdahl ©2012
Can you please give us a short introduction to Battlerage?
– BATTLERAGE is a Chilean True Heavy Metal band formed back in 2002, by me, Francisco Vera. We recorded our first demo called “Metal Slaughter” in February 2003, and the second one, “Return of the Axeman” in December of the same year. Our debut LP, “Steel Supremacy” hit the streets in September 2004, and it was followed by the EP “Battlefield Belongs to Me” in 2006. In 2008 we signed a deal with Metal On Metal Records, and in the same year they released “The Slaughter Returns”, featuring both our demos and some bonus tracks, previously unreleased. In 2009, we released our second full length, “Blood, Fire, Steel”, again through Metal On Metal Records. The last year we released our third LP entitled “True Metal Victory”.
You have a new album out now. How pleased are you with it? Would you say that this is the ultimate Battlerage album?
– I’m very happy with “True Metal Victory”, the result was exactly what I was looking for. For me every BATTLERAGE album is the ultimate album, even the next one.
How would you describe the progress you’ve made since the inception of the band?
– We have grown as musicians, obviously now we play better than before, but BATTLERAGE’s style remains the same, True Heavy Metal with no outside influences and no compromises. And so it will continue.
What is metal to you guys? Does the way you look upon heavy metal differ if you come from the US, Europe or South America?
– Metal for me is life. I enjoy other forms of art and entertainment of course, but in the end, Metal has the deepest roots in my heart, and the deepest scars in my soul. The country of origin of a heavy metal band can show me some hints of how it’s gonna sound, specially if this is the first time I listen to it, but for me there’s no other difference except for if you play real metal, or trendy melodic MTV’s bullshit.
Why do you play the kind of metal you do? What is it about this style that is right for you?
– Everything about True Heavy Metal is right! This is the way metal is meant to be played, so this is the Heavy Metal we want to play!
I would say that you have more in common with bands like Bewitched and Doomsword than with Hammerfall or Blind Guardian. Where do you find your inspiration?
– My main influences are Manowar, Omen and Running Wild, and the 80s US Metal scene in general. From the bands you name, Doomsword was a big inspiration to start BATTLERAGE, and the others had great albums too.
What makes a metal album great? What ingredients must a great metal record have?
– The main ingredient for me is that metal sound, with no trendy pussy influences. Songs with passion and attitude, not just complex exercises of musicianship, and a powerful sound. Traditional lyrics about Heavy Metal, power, darkness and violence, no vegetarian or tree hugger bullshit! And a great and epic cover, not some photoshopped crappy pic!
What kind of lyrics do you guys write? Are there certain themes that have to be there for it to be true Battlerage lyrics?
– I write about Metal, war, violence, darkness, horror and everything you can expect from a real metal band. No orthodox religious bullshit, no satanic forest pussy worshiping, no vegan or tolerant gay speeches. Just True Heavy Metal!
What kind of a metal scene is Battlerage a part of?
– BATTLERAGE is no part of any scene, we stand alone, we don’t want to be the “friend band” of anyone. When I discovered the Chilean underground scene, around 1990, it was a great thrash and death metal scene, with tons of real metal bands, fanzines and gigs. But when I started playing drums, around 1993, that same scene began to “modernize”, to open to influences from outside of metal, and to sound more normal, wanting to reach a “new audience”. Fuck that! The same people who built a strong underground scene wimped out as whores! You can listen to really shitty decadent recordings of a band that used to play great and dark metal before. It’s pathetic. Well, I know great bands in my country (like Metal Grave, Condenados, Attacker Bloody Axe, Eternal Thirst), but it seems to me the bigger part of the kids wearing black T-shirts are more concerned about the technical and musical side, than metal itself.
What would you like for the future to bring to the band?
-I hope we can play some day in Europe. Now I’m looking forward to write our new album. Thank you so much for your interest and support.