1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Manuel: We started as a sludge/doom band, but in time we have incorporated different elements to our music that deviates us from that label. It is hard to label Asilo under one genre and that is something we are willingly thriving for all the time. It is much better to just listen than me talking to you about how it sounds, but if you need a rough guide I can say our influences come from various backgrounds including Swans, Amebix, Dystopia, Iron Monkey, Khanate, Corrupted, Killing Joke, Drudkh, Melvins, His Hero is Gone, etc.
Sebastian: Maybe we can be described as Third World Sludge, anyway it’s always about sludge.
Sebaxxxtian: In our facebook page, there’s a detailed bio of the band
2. Recently you have released your first full length, how would you describe the musical sound of the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Manuel: Our distinctive sound is driven by drums and two basses. No guitars. This characteristic gives us a wider range to play around in the studio with arrangements that include ambient sections, samples, noise generators, Theremin, saxophone, piano, synths. We like to work our music in the studio and we do it a lot. Still the final sound is always crusty and sludgy with an industrial touch, or at least that is what we are aiming at. Comparing to what is was before, we can say now it has better structure and dynamics, we are leaving the drone behind a little bit in benefit of more variety in the atmosphere of the music. The vocals also changed, now they are much more hardcore than the old sludge/death rants of the beginnings.
Sebastian: Maybe it’s a bit quicker and intense than the old stuff. I think that the original idea of the band was taken and rebuilded with more intensity and power.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Manuel: The topics are mainly politically charged, most of them with a metaphoric approach to the subject in hand, making them less explicit and less cynical than the typical politically charged lyrics we take our influences from (Dead Kennedys, Discharge, Dystopia, Disrupt, you name it). We cover many topics concerning capitalism, ecology, and sometimes local subject matters from the place we live like war and degradation of human life in the third world, etc.
Sebaxxxtian: Most of us grew into the punk culture, which it’s very alike to us not only in a musical way but also in terms of spirit or message. So, for me, asilo in a way is our contribution to the punk culture, but in our own way.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Asilo'?
Sebaxxxtian: asilo stands for the mental institution, for the Crass song “Asylum”, is also the word in Spanish for retirement home for old guys. There’s a connection between all these meanings which are related to the band nature. The name was given by asilo’s ex member Federico, who started the band with Ignacio and me.
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Manuel: We are very chaotic on stage, we try to create a huge raw wall of sound, using only our basses, drums and vocals, and we leave most of the extra production to the studio except for some noise generators and the sax. Khanate is a good reference to us at the moment of how to sound live. A thick wall of noise, with lots of bass, cymbals, screaming and feedback. Still I don´t have a favorite show yet, I feel that we still have work to do in the live performing area of our music.
Sebaxxxtian: It’s rawer and noisy than the studio recordings. We are very comfortable with both sides of the band, in studio and live.
6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Manuel: We play most of the time in Buenos Aires, at least once or twice a month, but we are planning to go to Chile, Uruguay and possibly Brazil in the near future.
Sebaxxxtian: me also would like to tour inside our big country and meet local scenes.
7. In the last few years the band was a part of a few splits, out of all of the splits you have done, which band did you enjoy working with the most?
Manuel: It is hard to pick one, at least talking from my behalf, I really like all of them and each have their own characteristic that make them so unique. Tzara (http://tzara.bandcamp.com/) was our first split band and it was nice to do a live split with them since both of us had some recordings that could be used for that. Fracción George Best (http://fracciongeorgebest.bandcamp.com/) was a nice fast and hardcore counterpart to our death/doom songs, like the splits Corrupted used to do with grindcore and crust bands. And Neh Czneg (http://nehczneg.bandcamp.com/) was great also, like the opposite of the FGB split: we did the sludge and Markus (from Neh Czneg) did the drone. Also check the remixes he did from that split, they kick serious ass.
Sebaxxxtian: I’m very excited in share a record with Desidia, for me, they’re the best band in our country (http://desidiadelahumanidad.bandcamp.com/).
8. The new album came out on Zann's Music, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Manuel: Zann’s Music (http://www.zannmusic.com.ar/) is a free label managed by me (Manuel) and two more friends. This label supports no style in particular, but it is focused on the human aspect of the music, it tries to support bands that have an ideological affinity to us, that is: free access and free distribution of music and information. The releases are in CD and tape formats. Digital editions are available for free and the physical editions are priced only to cover expenses. Many bands support these ideas, and from many different styles (and places around the world) like industrial/ambient/noise (C-Men, Fragmented Landscape Collapse, Life, Cheating Spouses Caught on Tape, Death Gutiérrez, Florido Pensil), sludge/doom (Hemisferia, El Caos Reptante, Uroboros, Asilo, Desidia), drone (Sarghuma Incoxis, Silence in First Degree, Bhutan, Lengua Mortuoria), grindcore (The Black Meat Procession, Motociclistas Suicidas en el Círculo de la Muerte), hardcore punk (Tzara, Teen Terror Idols), heavy psych (Gran Cuevo, Stilte, Jénifer Pérez) Post rock, (Joseph Merrick, Páramo) black metal (Human Bait, Homunculi), folk (Anne Des, The Twin Leaves) and so on.
9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge, doom metal and crust?
Manuel: It is hard to say, fans of fast paced crusty hardcore don’t like our slow parts (which is most of our songs), fans of sludge tend to love our raw sound, and people who like extreme music in general have reacted positively to the original and experimental sound of our music, so I guess we can´t complain.
Sebaxxxtian: We enjoyed the fact that people from many and diverse scenes could gather in our gigs and have a good time.
10. Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects these days?
Manuel: Yes we are, our drummer Sebastián Ferreyra plays in a highly recommended death/sludge band called Uroboros (http://cultodeuroboros.bandcamp.com/) and I play in Stilte (http://stilte.bandcamp.com/), Gran Cuervo (http://www.grancuervo.com.ar/), Tzara (http://tzara.bandcamp.com/), among others, all of them can be found in the Zann’s Music catalog.
11. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Manuel: Our immediate future is heading toward a more industrial, repetitive sound, think of Godflesh and early Swans. Expect some more songs in that vein.
Sebaxxxtian: I’d like to go more into Corrupted, Asunder sound and also these sludge/crust bands like Dystopia, Grief, Artimus Pyle.
Sebastian: We are planning many splits before start thinking about second full length, even we are start planning a new EP. From my drums, I’ll try to play stuff in the vein of Khanate, Monarch and more industrial beats like the end of our song “Arquitectura del Silencio”.
12. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Manuel: My all-time favorite bands are Godflesh and Neurosis, so that is something I am always trying to put into the songs I write or arrange. Nowadays I am listening to mostly noise rock: Big Black, Shellac, Unsane, Zeni Geva, Pigs, Cows, Tyranny is Tyranny, Slint, etc, a lot of the old Touch & Go and Amphetamine Reptile back catalogue, which is an aspect I also like very much but I don´t know if that fits into Asilo. We’ll see.
Sebaxxxtian: at home, classic bands: The Rolling Stones, The Clash, The Cure, The Smiths, etc; pre war music like country blues, jug bands or trad jazz; hip hop like MF Doom or Wu Tang Clan, early hardcore and punk music like Unbroken, Black Flag or Discharge. Old shit is the best. Last albums I like: New Swans is sick as always, new Liars album, new Chuck Ragan and Against Me!, the last from Column of Heaven, and Bleed The Pigs.
Sebastian: Nowadays I’m into Allochiria, Shining (Nor), Los Random (Argentina). But my favorites are always Melvins and Black Cobra, love those bands, love those drummers. Other bands I like a lot are Dragonauta, Judas Priest, Converge, etc.
13. What are some of your non musical interests?
Manuel: Physics and engineering. I am a PhD in Electrical Engineering and my day job is as a researcher for the Instituto de Tecnologías en Detección y Astropartículas (http://www.iteda.cnea.gov.ar/) and teaching for the Universidad de San Martín (http://www.unsam.edu.ar/).
Sebaxxxtian: Veg food and Boca Juniors.
14. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final word or thoughts?
Manuel: Thanks for the interview and thanks for listening to our music, I am always grateful and amazed at people liking or at least paying some kind of attention to what we do. Thanks a lot.
Sebaxxxtian: There’s a lot of amazing bands, not only in our country but also in whole Latinamerica. There’s a vast and rich hardcore / punk / underground metal scene in these country that is still unknown for people in other countries around the globe, not only USA. I invite you to meet it, using Facebook, Youtube, Bandcamp etc.
And once again, thanks for being interested in us.
Asilo on Internet