The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Cristian Machado Ill Nino - Interview
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Ill Nino are making their way back to Australia for Soundwave Festival for a third time but this time around, we get to experience something pretty special as the band treat the fans to a performance of their first album "Revolution Revolucion" in it's entirety. Released back in 2001, it launched the band into the spotlight and became widely synonymous with the band's latin metal sound. We spoke to vocalist Cristian Machado about that album and what fans can expect at Soundwave.



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Andrew: How are you doing?

Cristian: Hey how you doing brother, good man!

Andrew: Good to hear! We got a lot to talk about in a short amount of time but the first thing we want to touch on is your appearance at next year's Soundwave Festival. It's nice to see you coming back!

Cristian: Yeah man, excited to be making the rounds around beautiful Australia once again. Just excited and honored to be able to come back and to actually tour there. I love the country, been there a couple tmes and just excited to be going back. Obviously with Soundwave Festival it's one bad ass production and the shows are always killer so I'm very much looking forward to it.

Andrew: We last caught you at the Soundwave Festival in 2011 right?

Cristian: Yeah we were there in 2011 and I believe 2014 and now this should be our third time and trying to make it the most special one. Hopefully we will be able to just put on a bad ass show, we really want to make this as special as possible and try to bring back a little bit of that old school nostalgia.

Andrew: Well speaking of nostalgia, I hear that you are going to play the entire "Revolution Revolucion" album in full which is a pretty cool idea to be doing.

Cristian: Yeah it's something that we've thought about for a couple of years now, we knew that the anniversary of the album is going to be coming up. It seems like it's an interesting thing for bands to do now and definitely having Revolution been our initial debut onto the world I guess, it's a pretty cool feel to be able to say, 'Hey that record is still relevant nowadays with the changes in the music industry and people's taste and opinions'. To be able to bring back our debut album for us is an honour and truly a gift.

Andrew: Yeah I guess it's coming up to nearly 15 years since that album came out which I can't believe it's been that long so it's an amazing run. What do you remember from that time when you actually wrote and recorded that album?

Cristian: Oh man those are some of the best memories of my life! Definitely not something that I will ever forget. I remember it just being a really creative time and a time when nothing mattered other than just writing something cool and original, something that pushed the envelope and something that disturbed the current metal formula. Even though we weren't reinventing the wheel or anything, I think that the flavours and ingredients that we chose to bake Ill Nino soup with was a pretty cool thing and that's kind of allowed us to be around for so many years and still offer at least our version of what culture metal may be or latin metal. To me the couple of years where we were just basically writing those songs and just kicking around the local scene and not having a record deal and struggling to be able to make demos and record songs and to do it all while having a normal job was some of the greatest memories of my life. As tiresome as it was and as influential that music was at our time, it's just...I tell bands all the time, cherish the time when you're first trying to come out and really try to dig deep and make your first album as special as possible. You get a whole lifetime to write those songs, you'll never get that again once you're out there and putting out albums and on touring cycles and coming back to make sure you write for another album to put it out. Once you're in the game of releasing albums, you don't get that same kind of time and creative freedom where there wasn't really a deadline. So a lot of those songs were songs that meant a lot, that I had carried for many years. So I think that the fact that at that time, riffs that I had for 8-10 years, we were able to write songs out of them on a record that came out in 2001 is pretty interesting. I can't quite put it into words, all I can say is it was some of the best memories of my life to be honest with you.

Andrew: Yeah and I think a lot of bands will agree that certainly the first album is a pretty special time in a band's career. Since that time almost 15 years later, what do you think has been the biggest thing that has changed in the band in any way possible, musically, personally or whatever?

Cristian: Well we've changed band members since then, we've grown as individuals to be honest with you. When we first put out that first album, we were in our early 20's and I think that there wasn't anything to really hold us back from leaving home and not coming back for many years which is what we did! When we put out the first record, we went out there and toured our ases off and there wasn't anything that would hold us back. Not to say that we're being held back by anything now but there's a lot more at stake with us having families and having lost loved ones and things like that. And having a family is a little bit more crucial, you can't just pick up and leave but we changed a couple of band members and we try to grow creatively on each album to make some kind of growth and not really do the same thing that we did on any proceeding album. I think we've done the best that we could as individuals that we are and certainly that first album to us will always hold a special moment in our hearts.

Andrew: As far as Soundwave goes, aside from playing the album in full, will we be expecting any other songs from your back catalogue including your latest album "Till Death, La Familia"?

Cristian: I think we'll just be doing the debut album in it's entirety, I don't think we're going to get much more time to actually play anything else. We're going to try and stuff 12 songs in a 40-45 minute set so it will pretty much be shotgunning songs one right after the other and try to get as much of the album performed as possible.

Andrew: Yeah I mean for a band that's been around as long as you have, one of the problems that some bands have is putting a setlist together so I guess this time around it should be pretty easy playing the album in full. Some bands play around with that idea, mix it up or play the album backwards so will you be pretty much playing it from start to finish?

Cristian: Yeah I think we're going to do just start to finish. It's not something that should involve too much thought with our debut album, we should just play it the way it is on record and try to sound like our album as much as possible and do justice by it. Just for nostalgia, just to be able to give those songs a little bit of a new life I suppose.

Andrew: Have any of the songs changed in any way because of the number of times that you have played it over the years?

Cristian: The songs have changed a little bit but not too much. We try to keep our music pretty simple and not try to overthink anything. Melodically I do a couple of things that were not on the album, at the end of the day it's just music and feeling and scales so as a singer, naturally sometimes live I sometimes sing a little differently but I try to keep it true to the album as much as possible. Sometimes we'll expand certain parts and put different endings on them and things like that but for the most part we try to stay true to the album. I was never really a fan of, at least metal bands, that would go and change their songs drastically or anything like that. And especially a vocalist who would try and sing differently than on the album all the time, I would always have a hard time swallowing that as a fan so from a musician point of view I don't want to make the fans guess. They know the songs, I want to be able to just deliver them the song they know as best as possible.

Andrew: I guess one of the big things that you get performing live is the interaction with the fans and them singing along which is a big part of it.

Cristian: Yeah absolutely. Crowd interaction is something that plays a big role in our shows but even given that, we want to try to stay true to the songs for sure.

Andrew: Well we are looking forward to hearing this album live for the first time. I did want to ask if this is for Soundwave only or will you be doing the album on other tours as well?

Cristian: As of right now Soundwave is the only tour that we have this booked for but later in the year we might. Maybe later down the road, not necessarily right after Soundwave but it might be something that we can do a couple times next year. I'm not 100 percent sure but to be honest with you, Soundwave is the only thing we have booked for that right now so it's about as special as it gets!

Andrew: Yeah definitely! We feel privileged to have the honour of being the first country to experience this so looking forward to it! Thanks for your time and we will see you at Soundwave next year!

Cristian: Thank you brother! Super excited to be making it back there and maybe this time I can stay for a little bit after the tour because it is a beautiful country and I enjoy going there very much and having a good time.

soundwave festival 2016


January 23rd - Brisbane
January 24th - Sydney
January 26th - Melbourne

More info on the festival can be found at

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on November 20th 2015