Ill Nino – Cristian Machado (Vocals)

We at SMNnews recently got the opportunity to check in with Cristian Machado, vocalist for ILL NINOILL NINO has been pounding the pavement for a good while now embracing the Latin metal culture.  Their latest album Epidemia was just released this Oct 22, 2012 via Victory Records, and is surely one of their strongest releases yet.  Epidemia is distinctly ILL NINO, yet there are a few new tricks up their sleeve for you the listener to find.  From getting an inside look at Epidemia, Cristian?s own Soundwar Studios, futbol (soccer), and more fun stuff, read on…

Ill Nino

Alex Gilbert (SMNnews): Cristian, I am digging the new album Epidemia!  The album has such a great flow from start to finish, and is filled with instantly distinguishable ILL NINO hits.  Epidemia comes out this Oct 22 ? cheers, you must be pretty excited?  

Cristian Machado (ILL NINO ? Vocals): I am very excited for the release of Epidemia. I truly feel it embodies who the band really is without compromising musical growth. To define our way of Latin Metal was the intention and, if we got 75% of the way there, we succeeded. The feeling, at the end of the day, should be had by the fans and not the band. The more we focus on our songs & just that, the better we are as band. Too much outside influence can sometimes ruin creativity & focus. In our case, we’ve walked the fine line between being focused & having identity crisis for a long time. These personal creative differences are not audible on Epidemia, making it one of our strongest & more focused efforts.

Alex: You guys do a great job with the mood swings on Epidemia.  ?La Epidemia? is quite possibly the heaviest ILL NINO song I?ve ever heard, and your vocal collaboration with Frankie Palmeri of Emmure is great. Also, the hooks in ?Death Wants More? are super rad, and ?Time Won?t Save You? is one of the most melodic (and catchy) songs that I?ve heard from the band.  I could talk about each song, but what are some of your favorites off of the album?  

Cristian: It’s so tough to pick favorites because, having recorded 85% of the album at Soundwar Studios, I do have a bias. I can say “Eva”, “Time Won’t Save You”, “La Epidemia”, and, “The Depression” are on par with some of our early hits. There is creative growth & the focus was put on the music & not outside influences. We can never allow ourselves to make the same record twice and I think that’s part of our charm as artists. After all, music is art and, to repeat art for the sake of consistency, isn’t what we are interested in as musicians.

Alex: I saw Static-X had to drop off their most recent tour with Emmure and Ill Nino, which is a bummer, but it was an awesome tour billing nonetheless, looking at it on the bright side.  Care to give us a summary of the tour portion that did play through ? did you have a blast on the road?

Cristian: It was an absolute pleasure being part of this package. It is a shame Static-X dropped out but, I am not one to live in the past anymore. I’ve been there, done that, & have realized it doesn’t do anything to bring a brighter future. I wish Wayne a speedy recovery & I hope to do more tours with them. The Emmure guys pretty much became family from the first show. I am a big fan of their brutal but original sound, from what I gather, they were fans of the band since our beginnings. I am honored. We did a lot of hanging with those guys & we have built a bond that can only be described as a brotherhood. We also look forward to touring with them.

Alex: Since the beginning of ILL NINO, you guys now have a deep bag of anthems, plenty of fan favorites, and some killer new material which I can only see going over very well live.  What does a typical ILL NINO set list look like these days?

Cristian: Our set lists differ but, we are doing a lot of songs off “Revolution” & “Confessions” with a hint of “One nation”. We are playing “The Depression” and “La Epidemia” as our newest tracks but, I can certainly see us adding more new songs very soon. The power these new songs have cannot be held captive to a magnetic recording, we would like for each song to be delivered in person.

Alex: When on tour, where are some of your favorite cities to stop at?  Consider this a worldwide question.

Cristian: So many amazing crowds man, this is a really tough question. The Australian crowds really impressed me on the 2011 Soundwave run that we did. To go on right before Slayer & receive the love we did, really solidified my Latin Metal heart. I also look forward to going back to Japan. Our first trip there was a life changing experience. NYC & NJ will always have a special place in my heart, as will, Texas. They bleed the Latin Metal in those American states & I think it sets the precedent of what’s to come for our Sub-genre. Holland is a lot of fun for me, considering the organic freedom practiced there. I also hold a very strong feeling for our South American fans. They are absolutely amazing to us and, in many ways, they justify who we are musically.

Alex: Cristian, I?ve heard that you record bands.  Care to give some shameless self-promotion for yourself in this category? 

Cristian: Absolutely. The studio is called Soundwar Studios. Not only was most of our new album engineered & produced there by me but, I have also recorded many awesome bands. Laz & I own the studio & focus on making bands be the best they can be. If there is one thing that I can do for the scene, it would be to show bands different ways of being more original while using a new business model. you have the power, not the labels. Some of the artists that have had great regional success after working with me are Iratetion, Serosia, Through The Flood, Elisa Meri, Artwork, & Jgarc (Duheart). Please go listen & you will realize quickly that these artists all sound like themselves, that is my main goal. Anyone interested can find us online: Soundwar Studios.

Ill Nino

Alex: So when we come visit you in New York City and New Jersey, where are some places you recommend to grab a bite to eat, catch a show, party it up, etc.?  New York City and New Jersey are very diverse, so this is always an interesting question to me.

Cristian: NYC is an amazing city & to pick favorite places for you might be out of my realm. Personally, the East Village, NYC is a definite hot spot. As is Hoboken, NJ. Those are great places to party without braking the bank. For more historical sightseeing, I would suggest The Intrepid & also The Museum of Modern Art.

Alex: Who are some of your favorite sports teams?  

Cristian: I don’t follow sports or politics at all anymore. Nowadays, I would rather take that time to write a song. I truly feel certain things are constructed by the powers that be in order to keep the masses entertained with things that will not only make society more violent but, also less conscience & more detached from real life. There are some guys in the band who do follow sports but, luckily, they aren’t madmen about it. Ahrue likes the 49ers/Giants, Laz is a Yankees/Jets fan, and Diego follows the 49ers/Dodgers. I was a huge futbol (soccer) fan for many years but, I have since changed my ways for the love of music.

Alex: Here?s a fun and tricky question.  If you could organize a dream tour, who would be on it? 

Cristian: I would put together a culture metal tour: System Of A Down, Ill Niño, Skindred, Sepultura, Puya, & Brujeria.

Alex: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us.  The future looks very bright for you guys, and this is the strongest I?ve heard ILL NINO.  Any upcoming plans you can let us in on?

Cristian: Plenty of touring so be on the lookout for the closest ILL NIÑO show!! To all our fans, thank you for your dedication, without you, there is no Latin Metal. Please show your support by acquiring a legal copy. Our longevity & the Latin metal Sub-genre is in your hands.


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