The Chasm – Interview

int_chasm_headerMetal is more than just a word or a style of music, to many of us, it is an all consuming way of life. It subconsciously molds the way we conduct ourselves, the clothing we wear, our attitude, hair… To those obsessed by the crushing beats and de-tuned, screaming guitar mayhem, it is a colorful extension of ones personality. No one realizes this fact more clearly than The Chasm’s own Daniel Corchado, as he also conducts his life under the flag of metal as one of its most decorated soldiers. His band isn’t just another hobbie, or means to vent off the days frustrations, The Chasm is a violent entity of death that explores the creative and emotional demons that dwell in a persons head… A living entity if you will that is more vital to its creators existence than his own life blood. Upon hearing the progression amassed by The Chasm on their latest effort, “Deathcult For Eternity: The Triumph”, and having several opportunities to meet the man behind this punishing music, very rarely have I come across someone so genuinely dedicated to the scene and the metal way. I wanted you all to learn more about this band, for it is a definite force that is growing more powerful and will someday claim a spot on death metal’s tarnished throne. The mail interview below transpired during the winter of `98/`99 and I hope you take the time to sit down, enjoy and understand. -Marty – (Taken from Worm Gear #8)

Daniel, we meet again! I hope the fires of metal still burn strong on your end of the postal service! Lets start off with some basics… Looking way back, what was the album or band that first made you decide to play guitar/create music? How has this band influenced your playing style today, if at all?

Looking back into the dark past, I’d have to say that it was definitely Black Sabbath. Iommi’s riffage is some of the most original, heavy and obscure I think. I still listen to Sabbath a lot these days and they’re always a good source of inspiration for my spirit. I still get the chills when I hear “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” or “Technical Ecstasy” as I did a long time ago. They are the supreme masters of heavy metal in my ears.

Could you explain the Cenotaph years? How were your releases received worldwide and what made you decide to leave this ultra brutal band… Personal conflicts? Possibly the desire to create something new on your own?

When we reformed Cenotaph, everything was still so fresh and our restless creativity (which I still have of course) was at the top. We just wanted to play the heaviest/most brutal metal ever. In those days we were more influenced by bands like Incubus, old Sepultura, Immolation, old Napalm Death, Messiah, Grave and Carcass. Our releases had a great response in the underground realm and the band was doing great. But as usual, some problems started to show and at the end of 1992, after almost 5 years of being with Cenotaph, I decided to quit. Besides the inner conflicts, another reason that made me take this decision was the extreme urge to create something more personal and different. My creativity and hunger/passion for metal pushed me to start to work on The Chasm as soon as I quit Cenotaph, so The Chasm was officially procreated in December `92. After several hard days of rehearsal, we recorded our first and only demo “Awaiting The Day of Liberation” which has sold so far almost 2000 to this day. It was the first step in the definition of The Chasm’s style of death metal.

How did you discover the twisted sounds that became The Chasm? I find this band to be far more musical and focused on incorporating melody than your previous projects. Would you agree that The Chasm is more concerned with setting moods and instilling darkness than the full-on destructive attack of Cenotaph?

I agree 100%. I have always felt the immense anxiety and necessity to incorporate the darkest and most grotesque landscapes/visions/sounds into our music. Even if on stage, we are and unstoppable force, you can feel the weird and bizarre atmospheres that are part of our style. All this can be created with the motivation of my gray and wild spirit… It’s just a reflection of my personality, the paintings of my cosmos within our cult of metal and death.

I understand Cenotaph is still together and has relocated to Chicago as well… Are you still in contact with them or possibly involved with them musically these days?

Well, they came here with the idea of doing more for the band, but things got fucked up so a few months ago, they split! The band exists no more. On one hand… This is good (for several reasons), but on the other it is really sad. They were the main death metal act in Mexico, but things happen. So now Julio (lead guitar) is part of The Chasm permanently, as well as Roberto (bass). They are both totally dedicated and extremely talented, so our line-up feels like it is the best ever… Hopefully it will last a long time. Everything is working really good so far.

I’ve heard on many occasions that Mexico’s metal fans are among the most rabid/maniacal upholders of the underground the world has ever witnessed. Could you tell us about the metal scene in Mexico along with everyday life, the fans and some other notable bands we should keep an eye on in the future?

Mexican fans are fucking crazy, but sometimes all the support goes to American/European bands. One of the reasons we moved the band here was the lack of interest and understanding for The Chasm. But whatever, that’s the past. The scene is really good there and there is some true metal warriors down there. Some bands I really appreciate and support are Disgorge and Zephyr. Both are totally committed and dedicated to do their own will and fight for real metal.

What made you decide to move The Chasm out of his metal hotspot to a less enthusiastic American market? Was it the chance for new opportunities/better quality of living? Have you found what you are looking for in the U.S.? Why Chicago of all places?

int_chasm_pic1Mexico is totally screwed. Economics are really bad and that’s why the quality of life there is low. We as a band were in a situation where we couldn’t go any further, we were trapped in the misery of our country. I needed to find something better for The Chasm where we can grow and improve more than in Mexico. Living in the USA is boring and the scene is not the best, but for us, every time we play live, the response has been great. We are still pretty unknown here, but I’m sure that will change in the near future. We came here to conquer the States… It’s gonna be hard, but we are hard workers. We miss a lot of stuff from Mexico, but in order to improve our life (personal and for the band), we had to make some sacrifices. We chose Chicago `coz we have several friends here and the scene is really good. Also we come from a big city, so we needed a big city to live and not feel the sudden change… We can’t live in a hillbilly town! Ha!

Do you see other bands possibly following suit and crossing over to take their chances in the U.S.? Why do you think this is beneficial?

Maybe some bands will do it… I don’t know. It’s a hard step to take, I know it personally. You have to give up a life in your country in order to take your band and music to a greater level… I left a lot of shit in Mexico. A lot of stuff that cost me a lot of money and sacrifice through the years, but if The Chasm is going to be in a better place to have the recognition that we deserve, I don’t give a fuck. Music is the motivation of my existence and if I don’t play metal loud and proud, I’ll die for sure. I think we are doing the right thing and the future will show it. We are not a garage/hobby band, we are a full destructive force of heavy metal of death!!

I’ve noticed that The Chasm’s past works were far more dark metal influenced… Being slower, exploring more bizarre melodies and vocal dynamics. “Deathcult For Eternity: The Triumph” still utilizes these characteristics, but you have worked in more of a heavier/fast death metal presence. Has perhaps your time spent with Incantation influenced you a bit, or is this growing medium of aggression a natural progression for the band?

First of all, I have to say that “Deathcult…” was recorded before I joined Incantation, so there is no Incantation influence for sure! Every time we have recorded something, my personal life and mood is in a different stage than before, so it reflects in our releases. Even before I was asked to join Incantation, I had plans in mind to move here. I was so sick of living in Mexico, going nowhere and being surrounded by crap, that it made me create extremely aggressive music. I had to release my anger, fury and hatred and you can hear it on “Deathcult…”, even if there’s a couple of songs that have The Chasm’s traditional sound, like “Apocalypse” and “A Portal To Nowhere…” real pieces of heavy, dark and depressive metal.

How did you become involved with Incantation and are you pleased with the music you guys created together?

I have been friends with John McEntee for several years and back in `95 I helped `em to finish an American tour (with Enslaved and Absu). At the end of `96, he asked me again to help them with some tours, so in March `97 I left Mexico to join the band. Almost all the music for “Diabolical Conquest” was already composed, so I just did a few things here and there. I think the CD came out pretty good. I definitely gave Incantation a slightly different sound than they had before. It was a good time when I was with them.

Did you plan at one point to stay with this band as a permanent member? What changed your decision to remain a part of Incantation after being a large part of the amazing “Diabolical Conquest”?

The idea was to stay with them for a longer time, but as usual, in every band some problems started to show. I wasn’t happy with some situations, and if your not happy in any circumstance or place, you just have to get out of there. I quit in the middle of the Morbid Angel tour, so you can realize how unhappy I was. Even if I had done a lot for the band, it was time for me to get out. Also I had this anxiety of doing what I enjoy more than anything… To play in The Chasm. It was the right time to quit… I had a good time with `em and it was great to tour and meet some cool people. Hopefully they will have a steady line-up soon and lasting.

Even during this time, did The Chasm take precedence over all you side work with other bands? Are there any other avenues of music you feel you need to explore or new bands you’d like to create?

In my mind and soul, the main band is always The Chasm. Sometimes I feel the need to create slower music, sometimes faster, etc., but I just can’t do it all. My concentration and focus goes to The Chasm and I try to channel all my ideas and feelings into this band. My mind is so fucked up, that I think that’s the reason why we have a totally unique style… Our personality as a band is totally defined. I give all my time and dedication to The Chasm.

“Deathcult…” seems to be tied together lyrically by vengeance, revenge and death. Would you consider this CD to be a concept album and I was wondering who has inspired your thirst for vengeance?

To live in this misery, in this traitor earth makes me write such lyrics full of anger, hatred and revenge. Life is so miserable and empty sometimes, and existence meaningless, all the lyrical concepts of The Chasm are based in personal experience, feelings and ideas that I emanate from deep within. All our releases are conceptual in a way and all are tied together. I wait for better times to come, but the wait is endless… The chaos that rages in my inner self is the core of all my depressions, bitterness and sadness. To balance this endless war, I conjure the strongest feelings of hatred, power and victory… I claim for the revenge of my ancestors and to revenge all the lost years that I have lived in endless pain, to crush the false ones, the mediocre ones and the stupid low-lifes out there. I want to reach the point of no return and every day that passes by is a battle won… A new lesson in my preparation for the final destiny when I’ll reach the portal.

Once again, the fascination with death is a strong part of your lyrics… Would you agree that those whom become obsessed with death, never truly live life to the fullest? Maybe since they are more aware/respectful of their eventual end, maybe life in turn sheds more meaning? Where do you stand on such topics and how has the “great unknown” influenced your character?

I’m obsessed with death in every possible form `coz that’s the last goal to reach in this utter simple life on earth. It is the gate that will give me liberation, and I can’t wait to finally reach it, but I’m not ready yet… My preparation is not completed yet. So meanwhile, I try to survive in this rotten land and live my existence like a human being to the max. Being trapped in this cell made of flesh has given me an ulterior motive to cry for the freedom of my spirit. The merciless reaper is an idol that we all have to respect and await with immense happiness. There’s some losers out there who don’t understand this and that’s the reason why we live surrounded by stupidity and mediocrity in these days… Fuck!

With a crushing performance at this years Milwaukee Metalfest, quite an ambitious promotional campaign from Oz Productions and your involvement with Incantation, it seems like more people are finally beginning to take notice of The Chasm. Have you noticed an increase of mail and interest in the band this year? What’s the next step? A tour or possibly a new album on a bigger U.S. label?

The interest is slowly increasing, but there is still a lot of work to do. We are trying really hard in getting a tour for `99 and of course we are looking for a better record deal. Anyway, the most important thing is to procreate our most obscure and destructive songs to date in order to fulfill our gray spirits.

Knowing how much a part of your life metal is Daniel, I was wondering your thoughts on the current status of the underground? Do you think the music today holds up to the excellent sounds of our forefathers such as Mercyful Fate (the fucking masters of all things metal and creepy), Frost, Slayer, Maiden, Destruction and Kreator?

To put it simple… I breath, eat and bleed metal. This music has given me a lot and now I am a part of the creation of this extreme art. The scene these days is so full of shit. There is a lot of things that are wrong that misconceive the true meaning of metal and underground. In a personal view, the past years, the lost years were 100% better than now. That’s why we have the masters and creators of such amazing and unforgettable albums/styles. A lot of bands don’t have the personality and the guts to create something that comes straight from the heart and are disrespectful to the laws of heavy metal. Anyway, I have learned to not care for those losers… My devotion and dedication to metal and The Chasm is beyond any words and people that know me, know what I’m talking about. I just care for the ones with pride, force and respect for the authentic and pure. The elite is getting smaller, but it’s getting stronger.

How has the massive popularity of black metal along with its previous criminal activities effected or changed (for better or worse) the way people perceive metal music? Are there any bands in this genre that you fully enjoy?

The situation with black metal was something new for the masses and the kids who still don’t have enough brains and personality, get hooked on black metal. Of course it got out of hand and suddenly it became something pretty lame and cheesy. It’s unbelievable how many bands out there don’t realize how stupid and un-original they are. Of course there’s a few exceptions and there are leaders (like us) that don’t follow any stupid trend or anything. Some bands I really enjoy for their musical qualities are: Mayhem, Dissection, Keep of Kalessin, Old Man’s Child, Thornspawn, Dark Throne, Ancient Wisdom, Absu and a few more.

Well Daniel, I guess we are nearing the end… What lurks on the horizon for The Chasm? (Be sure to plug any and all merchandise!)

If everything goes as we’ve planned, in January we are going to hit the studios to record a 3 song promo tape. This promo will be sent to several labels and see if we can get a good record deal. We already have 7 new songs completed and hopefully in the middle of 1999, our new album will see the dark light. We’ll keep trying to book a tour soon and definitely we’ll keep the flame of metal and death burning high. To anybody interested… We have a limited edition T-shirt for Deathcult… ($15) and we still have the CD for sale ($12). Again, the most important thing is to procreate the darkest, extreme metal of death to fulfill our souls… That’s our main priority.

I’d like to wish you continued success and I hope you are getting settled into the Chicago rat race. Best of luck with everything. Take care and stay metal till death! Last rites, comments or shout outs…

I just wanted to say that we really appreciate your support and understanding of our musical concept Marty. Hail to you! The interview was really good. Good luck in the future, spit in your dreams, kill the false ones and hail metal eternally!!

~ by scottsplatter on January 4, 2009.

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