– 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!
– Hassan Dozakhi