THE FORCE is a thrash band that took me back to the 80s and the second wave of thrash metal. Being a huge fan of that era and having grown up on that kind of music I just had to interview this Paraguan band. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

For all of us new to The Force could you please introduce the band?
The Force: Thanks for this interview Anders! The Force is a Thrash Metal Band with a lot of N.W.O.B.H.M influences from Paraguay, we are Mike Martinez on guitars and vocals, Juan Barrios on bass, Edu Valezuela on guitars and Bruno Romero on drums, we started in march 2007, released our first demo “Old School Metal Onslaught” with 4 tracks in December 2007, then we got a deal with Kill Again Records from Brazil, and released 2 albums so far “Possessed By Metal” in 2008 and “Nations Under Attack” in 2011, we also appear in the “Schizophrenic Lunatic” compilation of the same label featuring among others Violator, Hirax, War hammer etc. We also have a live demo called “Live Assault” from 2009, and a split album called “Thirsty Of Metal” released in Colombia with the bands Dominus Praelli (Brazil), Ursus (Colombia), Strike Master (México) and ourselves.

What is it about thrash metal that is so great you want to play it yourself?
The Force: Previously Juan and Mike already had a band called Overlord, playing thrash metal in the mid 90’s. So is the style we always loved, the classic sounds of thrash metal, the speed, aggression and violence mixed with great riffs from the traditional metal bands.

Listening to you I get the impression that you feel that the 80s thrash metal scene that started with Metallica’s “Kill ém All” is the best. What is wrong with the newer thrash metal and what is so great about the old school?
The Force: That is the sound we identified ourselves from the beginning! There’s nothing wrong with the newer thrash sounds, except that the old way of thrashing is waaaay better!!!!

How much of an influence is NWOBHM to The Force? What is it that is so great about the NWOBHM that it still 30 years later influences people?
The Force: Since we started out as headbangers in the early 90s we always loved the traditional metal bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden; Accept, Riot etc. We discover more British bands from the early 80s as time went by, such as RAVEN, ANGELWITCH, TANK, TYGERS OF PAN TANG, and we fell in love with that sound. I think people still love those bands 30 years on because they did great metal music in its purest form, there was a lot of talent plus honesty, and that translated to the music.

When we speak of South American metal we tend to think of the whole continent as one country. What is the thrash metal scene like in your country Paraguay? Is death/black metal bigger?
The Force: The scene here is strong but kind of scattered, Thrash Metal was always a big influence, the first metal bands in the 80’s like RAWHIDE, BATALLÓN played thrash. Then in the 90’s there was a big Black Metal and Death Metal scene, but from 2000 on there was more variety of styles, I mean there always were Traditional, power, speed metal bands but nowadays there a more of them and each with its own audience. We usually play with Heavy and Thrash Metal bands, but from time to time we play with the extreme metal scene and even with the punk/hardcore scene.

With so many great bands coming from all South American countries is there any sense of competition between the bands as to who’s the greatest band on the continent?
The Force: There are great bands in every country, depending on which scene you are referring to, if we talk about Thrash Metal, there’s no denying that currently VIOLATOR is the biggest in south America plus they really are a great band, specially live!!, But if you refer to the scene in general SEPULTURA, SARCÓFAGO,RATA BLANCA from Argentina and CRIMINAL from Chile and MASSACRE from Perú are the more popular bands out of south America, and we are not big fans of either of those bands, although we like some of their stuff, we are more into bands like BYWAR, ANTHARES, TAURUS, RIFF, V8, ARKANGEL and RESISTENCIA from Venezuela, WITCHTRAP, SPLEEN from Colombia etc. From Paraguay we love SACRO, KHYRON, POWERDRIVE, THE AXE, SLAYGROUND, PATRIARCA, EVIL FORCE, 220 VOLTIOS…

How important is it that everything (band photos, cover artwork etc.) looks the correct way? Is there a theme to the bands aesthetics?
The Force: WE think is very important but not in the “selling the band” way but to reflect tha attitude and sound of the band. Since we are a very traditional band, that would be the theme to our visual side.

What kind of live scene infra structure is there in Paraguay for small metal bands? Can you tour the country in support of the band?
The Force: Here we have many great recording studios and places to play live, but all of them are in the nations capital, Asunción and nearby cities, there`s also a big scene in Ciudad del este, but is very difficult to tour the rest of the country, the costs would be too high for the local promoters. I think that we lack more magazines and underground network radio to strengthen the metal scene in Paraguay.

Is it easy to get support from the local/national scene if you are a small band releasing records on small, badly distributed labels?
The Force: The local support is always strong for Paraguayans band, I mean the headbangers really go to the shows and buy the demos, records, t-shirts and patches. But the difficult thing is to get sign to a label since there are almost NONE here, except for some more mainstream pop/rock labels, so the majority of bands in Paraguay are signed to Brazilian, Mexican and Colombian labels.

What kind of future do you see for The Force?
The Force: We are currently working on the songs for our third record, and then of course we will continue to play to those who are there to listen. We are metal fans and get a lot of excitement from playing it and we gonna keep doing it as long as we possibly can, there are a lot of more fucking riffs to be played!! Thrash till we die!!

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