Xibalba Interview




– Hey Brian. Hope the preparations for the Suburban Scum split is going good. Can you introduce yourself and what you do in Xibalba for the readers?


Everything with the split is going great, I can’t wait for it to get released next month. It should be being pressed as we speak. I’m Brian Ortiz, I play guitar for Xibalba.



– You put out your debut LP – Hasta La Muerte – 2 years ago on Southern Lord. Do you feel its aged well on your own self, considering you’re the guitarist of the band?


I definitely think it has aged pretty well, the influences that we’ve taken from over the years are timeless bands with a timeless sound, so I’d like to think what we’re doing and our sound will age well.



– Xibalba’s sound has consistently evolved since the early days, getting heavier and incorporating more Doom and Death Metal influences as time has went on. With that in mind, would you say that the influences have changed compared to when the band first started out?


I don’t think our influences have changed by much, I listen to the same stuff I was listening to when we first started, but I do think that we have gotten a little better in song writing and knowing what we want before we do it. When we first started it was, lets get some of the heaviest riffs and make a song out of them, which is what we still do, but there is a little more structure behind it. The death and doom metal elements will always be a part of Xibalba, it’s not the only type of music we listen to but, it’s what we know how to write.





– The emphasis on the band’s hispanic roots is something that has stuck throughout. Is the Hardcore/Metal subculture strong within the Spanish-speaking community in the US? I ask this because you have some songs written entirely in Spanish.


Hardcore and Metal are strong with all types of backgrounds, ethnicities and creeds. We’re from the Los Angeles area and there is a lot of Hispanics and latinos of all kinds. In southern California you will see a lot of latinos and Hispanics at shows. I love it, our parents might not “get it” or understand it, but it’s all good. I can’t speak for the entire U.S. but in Southern California the Hispanic and latino community is a huge part of this music. We are proud of where we come from and where our families have originated from and will incorporate it in our music.



– Your upcoming release is with East Coast Hardcore band Suburban Scum. Both promo tracks for the split are dark and heavy as fuck. How’d the idea for the split come together?


I’m not really sure exactly how it came to be, but Suburban Scum and us have been friends for a few years now and it’s been talked about since we became friends. Closed Casket wanted to do a split for Scum and asked us if we were down to do it will them. Of course we said yes because those are our boys.



– Closed Casket Activities is putting out the upcoming split. You’ve also worked with them on the Incendiary split. How do you feel about the label?


I think it’s a great label with some of the best records in the past 5 years. They have a badass track record and have kill bands on that label. I feel they are one of the best labels out right now.



– California has a badass scene these days – some of the newer bands are among the best bands ever to have come out. Who are your current favorites from your region?


We have so many but my personal favorites are Skinfather, Nails, Twitching Tongues, Gods Hate, Forced Order, Soul Search, Downpresser, Take Offense, Disgrace, there are many more too.




– There are a few big Hardcore festivals going on every year in the States, and you’ve played at This Is Hardcore too. What’s the main difference from playing small venues to moving to big stages at festivals? Is it better or worse for Hardcore bands?


There is a big difference, smaller venues are a more intimate then the big fest shows. But I will say that both are fun to play. Seeing a grip of people in one big ass room watching you is pretty crazy and makes you feel good. But playing small spots where the kids can actually feel your music and go ape shit is something special too. I don’t think fest are bad for hardcore bands at all. Fests bring people from all around the world to them and makes kids have the time of there lives meeting new people from around the globe, its pretty badass. Fest and Small shows are two different atmospheres and are fun, but just different. I love playing both.



– What albums/EP’s/Splits are you looking forward to this year?


I’m drawing a blank but the new Crowbar record, new Skinfather LP is killer and I can’t wait to get my hands on that press. The new Mournful Congregation EP. That’s all I can think of right now.



– Thanks for your time Brian, much love and respect from Pakistani extreme music fans!


You’re very welcome! Thank you for you this interview and supporting us! Xibalba/Scum split drops May 13, 2014 on Closed Casket, get it when it drops!





Xibalba on Facebook

Closed Casket Activities

– Hassan Dozakhi

Skinfather Intervew

A few years ago, a new ‘wave’ of bands blending Death Metal with Hardcore started coming out. However, this new crop had fuck-all in common with the skinny jeans and mascara deathcore bands before. Bands like Nails, Xibalba, Black Breath took the HM-2 sound of old Swedish Death Metal and fused it with their roots in the Hardcore scene to create a completely fresh, and musically authentic sound that pleased metalheads and hardcore kids alike. This was stuff you could circle pit, headbang, and mosh to. Enter Skinfather from California, a band that takes its name from a Dismember song and plays some crushing death metal while being relevant in their local hardcore circuit as well. I heard their Atheos demo last year and was instantly hooked – I was listening to them in my car and in university every day. They got signed to Life and Death Records (who put out the new Goldust record) and further cemented their place in my playlist with an EP “Succession/Possession” that further developed their unique take on old school death metal. Imagine my elation when they agreed to answer my interview questions!

Skinfather logo

– Hello, and thanks for the interview! Which member of the band am I speaking to and what role do you play in Skinfather?

My name is Scott and I play guitar.


– Not much is known about the band’s initial history. How did you guys come to form, and what was the initial purpose?

The band was formed by our drummer and our first singer who wanted to create a band which paid homage to classic Swedish death metal. I actually joined the band after the release of Atheos, and since then Skinfather has continued its growth into our current form.


– Skinfather plays a curious mix of styles. Though the name stems from a Dismember song and the music armed with a classic Swedish style production, the band’s roots come off as being in the hardcore scene. Even now you share stages with bands like Nails, Alpha/Omega, Soul Search, Xibalba and the like. How does that affect the music you create?

We all grew up going to hardcore shows and playing in hardcore bands, and I’ve been booking and working shows for some time, so that’s how we all know each other. It’s just a part of who we are. Musically we are a death metal band, but I think that coming from a hardcore/punk background gives us a certain sound. Playing live is the most important thing for a hardcore band, and that brings a certain energy and a level of intensity to the music which I think you can hear in Skinfather, even if we’re not a traditional hardcore band.


– 2013 heralded a bit of a change in your sound from the Atheos release. The coming of your 2nd EP “Succession/Possession” on Life and Death Records brought with it a musical evolution, with the Old School Death Metal side becoming more apparent. The logo and artwork also came off as being more ‘Metal.’ To top it off, an Unleashed cover was thrown into the mix as well. Was this a deliberate, conscious change or did it come naturally?

Both. It was the only logical direction for the band to take, really. Me joining the band definitely had a big impact on the songwriting, and I think that the 7” is much more in tune with Skinfather’s original intentions as a band. That old school death metal element was there on Atheos but it just needed to be fleshed out and brought to the forefront. We were very pleased with how the record turned out.



– Tell us a bit about your relationship with fellow local Hardcore/Thrash band “Creatures.” I believe the two of you shared some members in the past and continue to do so; often performing in the same gigs.

We have a very close relationship with Creatures, we played our first shows with them and they’re close friends of ours. As for shared members, our drummer Taylor started Creatures, and Stephen (vocalist of Creatures) recently took over vocals for Skinfather and he has been crushing it. Sadly they’re no longer a band but you haven’t heard the last from those guys…


– You guys recorded both your EP’s at “The Pit” – Taylor Young’s studio. I’ve always been a fan of his production work and his ability to take a band to the brink of ultimate heaviness. How was the experience of recording with him on either occasion?

I love working with Taylor and couldn’t imagine working with anyone else. He’s a hardcore kid and a metalhead who likes and understands the music on a deep level. He really knows his shit when it comes to dialing in the right sounds for a record and can bring out a band at their best. He also won’t hesitate to tell you if something you’re doing sucks, and I appreciate that level of honesty.


– Considering that the new EP has been released on a German label, what are the chances of you guys taking your hate-drenched riffs outside North America into Europe soon?

I hope so! After we release our new record there will be more touring, and hopefully we make it to Europe sooner than later.


– So, two releases and two appearances on compilation albums, one of which spawned a cover of Dismember’s Casket Garden. But what’s next? Another 7″? A split, perhaps? What about a full length?

We will have a full length record out first half of next year.


– Favorite releases from 2013?

Nails, Inquisition, Grave Miasma, Magic Circle, Carcass, Tribulation, Hatred Surge, Impalers, Power Trip, Warmaster, Portal and Acualli.


– Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Any parting words?

Thanks for the interview. Listen to Disgrace.


Skinfather band


Skinfather on Facebook.

Skinfather on Bandcamp.

– Hassan Dozakhi