SOL DE SANGRE is a Colombian death metal band that blew me away. So much that I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
Kike:Sol de Sangre became a project/band around 2015. Long story short, Rolando (guitar player) had a bunch of songs he had written sitting on his computer at home. I listened to a couple of those songs and recorded some vocals for it at my own home studio. I sent the tracks to Rolando and he liked them. So, he sent me about 8 other tracks and I did the vocals for all them. Once we were done with the vocals we realized we had something we liked, but it was still in a pre production stage. We decided to record all instruments and vocals properly and we got our first record.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
Kike: I may have to give you the usual response to this question. I personally find it hard to come with a sound that is all yours. It usually takes bands years to create their own sound or their own signature and even after a long time you can usually hear some the influences permeating their music. So, there will always be some sort of influence from other artists in your creation. It is just like energy it keeps transforming and mutating into different things, but you are always going hear some influences in there. There are bands today that are constantly bringing new material which baffles the minds while Gods like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath keep the origins of Heavy Metal music.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
Kike: In 2018, I would say creating and recording songs is the easiest part. The hard part is to get people to listen to your music and generate some attention from music enthusiasts and press. When it comes to the creation process in Sol de Sangre Rolando writes all the music and I write the lyrics and come up with the vocal patterns.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
Kike: Yeah, it seems that the single format is back. However, I feel that most people who listen to extreme music still want to listen to a whole album or a whole piece of work. Isolated songs obviously do great in more mainstream genres. You know how that goes, an artist releases a song that becomes a hit and BOOM; they get millions of views on youtube or millions of streams. I’ve been listening to and playing Heavy Metal for quite sometime now, and I can’t really think of too many bands that aim to get just one song out there that will take them to stardom. I feel that Heavy Metal musicians put a lot of work and time in their music, and releasing just one song thinking that it will be a hit is unrealistic. Bands like to have a product that reflects their hard work and passion for this type of music. I may sound a little idealistic right there since I am a little disconnected from the newer generations of metalheads, but I hope I am correct.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
Kike: Nobody lives to see the future, right? I don’t know man. It is hard to predict. A few years ago it seemed that online piracy was the end of music. Now, we talk about streaming services, and the main focus doesn’t seem to be piracy and illegal downloads. It seems that the issue these days is to figure out the royalties from streaming for artists. I do agree that sometimes this feel more like the tshirt business instead of the music business since records do not sell as well as before. But personally, I didn’t start playing extreme music to make money or become famous or any of that bullshit. Heavy Metal music will be fine. There are lots of artists out there creating great music and finding creative ways to attract new fans.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
Kike: So far it has been great and way beyond our expectations. I would say that what has gotten more attention is the fact we decided to do the whole record in Spanish since it is our first language. The participation of Tomas Skogsberg, and the intro/outro of the album ,that are two acoustic pieces of traditional colombian music, have gotten great comments as well.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
Kike: Well, the most surprising for some people would be the fact that this record has been done all thanks to the advantages of technology. We all have been friends for a long time but we currently reside in different parts around the world. We are spread between Colombia, Canada, Australia and the U.S. As a matter of fact I am currently in Singapore due to work and plan to stay here for a bit.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
Kike: Yeah, I guess the extreme music gives you some sense of belonging to something. I enjoy meeting people who love this music as much as I do.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
Kike: I am a firm believer that a band is made on the road. You know, that’s where you really get to know your bandmates and where you find out if this is what you want to do. I toured intensely for about 6 years. However, these days I do it way less and try to do it smarter. But, there’s no feeling that can replace playing live.
What plans do you have for the future?
Kike: We are currently writing our second record and we will probably release an EP or an split the second half of the year.