Greetings, Martin! First off could you please give our readers a brief history of JESUS MARTYR?
- Hi Kai and everybody there! What can I tell you?... We have been together for almost five years, we released 2 cassettes by ourselves (“Fear To Be Born” (1994) and “Humanize” in 1996) and we finally got to our first album “Sudamerican Porno” (1998) with a lot of effort. The band's line up is Guillermo (drums), Bruno (bass), Santiago (vocals, guitars), Hugo (keyboards, vocals), and me (guitars). Hugo joined the band a little more than one year ago.
Why did you take "Jesus Martyr" as the band name? Are you a kind of religious person, or everything's quite the contrary, and your main aim was to make a good laugh at christianity?
- No it was not a joke at all, it's something I do believe. You see, “Jesus Martyr” is a name that turned up from a song I wrote many time ago called "Fucking Jesus Martyr". There I wrote that Jesus's martyrdom consisted not in being crucified but in being his message, his doctrine misunderstood. I imagined a Christ as a human being, trying to show he was a man like you and me, not a divinity. His martyrdom was to be considered the son of God and to be the foundation of a religion like christianism. Jesus was the first martyr of christianity, they killed their own Icon, the one that gave them a reason to live. I don't agre with Jesus thoughts (if we can trust that the Bible shows it) but nobody can deny he was an special man, as special as for example Socrates. Our name has nothing to do with christian stuff, we are not christian at all, we have no beliefs connected with substantial gods, we believe in God (to call it in a way) is order and has nothing to do with will, punishment, evil or good. Check Taoist doctrines or Stoicist doctrines and you'll learn something on that notion of order.
Now I feel that you have to introduce the outstanding CD you made your debut with to those lost souls who still haven't heard it…
- Oh! Thanks for that! Well, "Sudamerican Porno" is definitely an intense album. It's written with the heart, with all our passion, anger and strenght. Lyrically it's very wide and also musically. I think it's a very enjoyable melange of many streams of music that flows into a brutal mixture. We are very proud of our album, it's the result of an incredible effort. It was recorded and mixed in only 80 hours and it shows accurately what we are on stage.
What brought you to those musical metamorphosis – from typical death metal to the complicated mix of death, thrash and power metal, hardcore and industrial?
- I don't know. We composed our totally death metal cassette "Fear To Be Born" when we were 16. Now we are listening many kinds of music, we are interested in other sounds, you compose what you want to hear and that mixture is what we want to hear now.
One of your promo pics feature the band using makeup, and this fact perplexed me a bit. You see, as far as I know, only two kinds of bands use makeup – these are black metal acts as well as the ones performing so-called 'dark wave' stuff… however I doubt if you have anything in common with suchlike projects, so please clear the things up…
- The fact of make up or our outfit is due to the fact we don't like ADIDAS-KORN clothes! We just feel that the best frame to our music is that, it just appeals to us to dress that way. Very direct.
Your bio says that the lyrics featured on "Sudamerican Porno" are "… inspired in philosophy (Nietzsche, The Greek thinkers, etc.) and religion"… Sounds pretty interesting! Any comments in regards to the verses you compose? And what such song titles as "100% Organic XXX-tasy" or "Next Biologycal Crisis" have to do with religion or philosophy??
- As I said in another interview Philosophy means all to me, I write all the lyrics in the band and I always write about philosophical stuff. That is what I'm interested in. Sometimes I feel some lyrics are a bit old and they don?t express exactly what I feel now, but anyway it's me there! Greek philosophers inspired many of the songs of the album, and so did Nietzsche, but there are more authors I love, nowadays I'm very interested on Indian philosophy and I'm planning to learn Sanskrit. My favourites are the Greek, I study Greek in order to read their text in their own language, I study philosophy as a career. But replying your question, "100% Organic XXX-tasy" talks about hedonism, pleasure (which is a strongly philosopical topic, check Epicurus or Aristippus philosophy) in our days and its risks in our AIDS world (which is another philosophical topic). "Next Biologycal Crisis" is a song where you can find very (very) hidden a critic to progress, to positivism, where is all this process leading us? I think that mankind will loose every contact with itself, everything will turn a posture, a fake believed by everybody, progress is a lie. That ideal of a perpetual going ahead leads to a return to zero, we should respect the order things developed, we are not to be the clock of the world. Another song, which is the concept of the album, is "Sudamerican Porno" the word "Pornography" in Greek means something like "writings on bitches". I always liked that concept and I had it in mind while writing the lyrics. In a way you can say I wanted to show Southamerica's bitches (media, religion as an institution, etc.) they are all bitches that do their deals for power or money, which is unfortunately the motor of all nowadays. The album also shows feelings that I always had in my within but never got a better way to be expressed than in this album. The name of the album means "Writings on bitches and other shameful stuff from the South" but told by South America itself.
How did you manage to get a deal with European label? Something tells me that it wasn't too easy for you…
- To be honest Repulse came to us. It was a strange story, they got a tape with 8 songs taken from "Soudamerican...", they listened to it and sent us a fax to offer us to be released, we were with many problems at that time and we lasted 6 months in replying!!!! but fortunately they still were interested in our album!!
Name a few books that you have read recently, and were there any good ones?
- Mmmh, I've read many... one I loved was an anthology from Kafka, one called "The Nausea" from Sartre, those are novels, but I read more on philosophy like "De Rerum Natura" from Lucretius, "De divisione Naturae" from Scotus Eriugene and Werner Jaeger's "Paideia" all of them very enjoyable. And of course all the books you ought to read for the university, I've read Popper, Lakatos, Kuhn and all that stuff on Philosophy of Sciences.
What are some of the bands that you are listening to lately? And what about your all-time favorites? Judging by your vocals, I'd say that PANTERA seems to be one of them…
- No! We don't like PANTERA very much. We listen many, many music. But the classical band for us is SEPULTURA, TYPE O NEGATIVE is another band we love or STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and then a lot of music of different genres.
What is your local scene alike? Any impressive gigs? Do you have any troubles with police during the live shows?
- It's quite active but unfortunately we are running out of places to make shows. We have many bands and many people interested in this kind of music, but the economic situation doesn't help much at the time to go to a concert. In a week we?ll be able to see a show called "Monsters of Rock" with IRON MAIDEN, SLAYER (gods!), SOULFLY and many more.
By the way, regarding gigs… Would you like to play in Russia if someone invites you?
- We'd love to!
Do you know anything concerning my country? Have you ever heard any metal bands coming from these lands?
- No I've heard no metal bands from Russia, but send me something right now! I don't know if you are asking me about your general situation as country or musically, but I know you are livimg quite a difficult political moment there, I heard Yeltsin was very ill, is that true? Hey, I want YOU to tell me something about your country!!!
Is it hard to be a metal band in Argentina? Will you agree if someone offers you to change a place of residement, f.ex. from Argentina to England?
- We want to live on music, that's our dream. If we need to move to reach that goal we'll do it, Argentina is an incredible country but it's impossible to live of this kind of music here.
Will I be right saying that Argentina is one of the few South-American countries which has a very small amount of black-skinned population…? Also, I heard some rumours like there're a lot of 'nazi-minded' individuals over there…
- You are right. There are not many black skinned people, we are really close to Italian or Spanish. Our population is the product of many migration streams (Italian, Spanish mainly). The natives were almost exterminated with the colonization process and they are only a little minority of the country, a land that's theirs. It's really a very sad situation. According to Nazi movements, well, our country was a kind of "Promised Land" to many Nazi criminals, Peronist government helped them to enter here, I'm talking about year 1945 more or less, we were living a fascist government too, criminals help criminals. Nowadays you can find some stupid Nazi groups, but they really make laugh, they are South American and if Hitler lived today they would be the first in dying if they were in Germany.
What is your view on black metal and it's development? Are you listening to any bands of this genre?
- Not at all. I don't listen to black metal music, I used to when younger but not now, I loved BURZUM when I was 16!
That's it, Martin. Would you like to wish anything to our readers? Or, perhaps, there's something you'd like to add?
- Just thanking
you for all your support, this is very encouraging for us! We hope to play
in Russia some day! Support underground bands, that's the most sincere
metal, greets to all the people that reads your magazine and for you that