Sexual sadism, asphyxia, drugs, murder, and ruthless beatings, it’s either Friday at the National Rock Review compound or Asphyxiator is up on deck next!
Miguel “GoreGrinder” Medina (vocals/programming), Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia (guitar), and Rafael Diaz (bass) are three interesting dudes from Chicago, IL that make up the band, Asphyxiator. National Rock Review caught up to the guys while they were getting ready for Full Terror Assault 2015. Eternal Eclipse Records is the label sick enough to put out their album, Inhaling Fluids of Thoracentesis. We like it when we’re not the sickest anymore, but we’ll take that title back eventually. Sit down, buckle in, and hold on for this ride err… interview, but you knew where we were going.
NRR: What’s been going on with Asphyxiator in the last year to catch the Full Terror Assault fans up to speed?
Rafael Diaz: I believe Miguel and I have always kind of joked and toyed with the idea of playing bass for the band. Knowing him for many years as well as Frank. One day it just all came together really. We got ready in a brief amount of time for a gig with Corpsefucking Art, Kataplexy, and a few other local bands as well. We then went on to the very first Domination fest and spent the rest of the year working hard on the new music and recording of the debut album.
Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia: Back in June 2014 I was asked by Miguel Goregrinder to fill in for guitar to play the first Chicago Domination Fest in July. Soon after we decided to record the first album. Rafael and I spent the majority of the Winter working and recording the instruments. We finally tracked the vocals in late February 2015. We played the second Chicago Domination Fest in June 2015.
Miguel GoreGrinder Medina: 2014-2015 was by far Asphyxiator’s most productive period to date. Throughout the band’s ten plus year existence there has been a constant revolving door of members which was finally resolved when I asked longtime friends, Frank, and Rafael, to officially join up for what originally was meant to be one or two shows it then ended up with them as full-time members. In that time we’ve written and recorded our debut album Inhaling Fluids of Thoracentesis and played a handful of high profile gigs and shared the stage with the likes of my long time favorites: Devourment, Gorgasm, Necrophagia, Unmerciful, Corpsefucking Art, Viscera Trail, Putrid Pile and many more. Now we’re preparing to close out the year at the first annual Full Terror Assault Fest.
NRR: Hopefully you guys have a great time on stage this year. Are you looking forward to anything in particular at FTA?
Rafael Diaz: Unfortunately for me, due to some schedule conflicts, I will not be able to play along side my brothers in Asphyxiator, but I am very ecstatic and proud of this. They will have a great opportunity to share the stage with some killer bands and to spread our music to a wider audience. All great things!
Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia: The camping, outdoor concert experience is always fun. I had an opportunity to play one in my other band, Waking Chaos, back in 2012, Northern Wisconsin Metalfest 9. It was intense, and all the people were cool to the very last minute. I’m looking forward to checking out Obituary and Napalm Death; it will be the first time seeing them in an outdoor environment.
Miguel GoreGrinder Medina: This is no question the biggest event this band has ever been part of so the level of excitement is through the roof to be on the same bill with such iconic bands while exposing our brand of heaviness to a much wider audience. Personally, aside from the party and camping aspects there is ONE band above all I’m there to witness live and will not miss a single second of…. TERRORIZER!
Asphyxiator Suicidal Asphyxiation Fetish live
NRR: Lisa Jablonski will be filling in on bass for your set at Full Terror Assault 2015. What happened exactly?
Rafael Diaz: Yes, due to some schedule conflicts I will not be able to be there, but we have Lisa Jablonski filling in on bass and I’m sure she will kill!
Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia: Yes, she is. Our bass player is doing a Horror Fest at the same time as this fest. Lisa offered to help, and she was able to learn the songs in a short amount of time.
Miguel GoreGrinder Medina: Lisa is a very talented musician who offered her live services to the band and was able to learn our entire set in a very short amount of time. We’re happy to have her on board, and we’re very confident that she will be bringing nothing short of total low-end destruction to our set. We look forward to having her join us on stage in Rafael’s place for this fest.
NRR: Sexual Sadism, Asphyxia, Drugs, Murder and Ruthless Beatings are among the typical subjects covered in Asphyxiator. Why those subjects and not others, puppy dogs, ice cream, and family ideals, (laughing)?
Rafael Diaz: As Frank stated, Miguel writes all the lyrics, as for me, I’m more into lyrical content of humanity and its constant rise and fall, as well as stuff from the unknown.
Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia: Well, Miguel writes all the lyrics so he can probably answer that. I prefer paranormal and historical stuff, but I just play the strings.
Miguel GoreGrinder Medina: Those subject matters reflect an older time period in Asphyxiator’s history when it was more of a Porno/Grind style band trying to lyrically emulate bands like Lividity. Many of the song titles and lyrics in our current set existed before both Frank and Rafael joined the band. Moving forward on future material we’re gonna change things up and I’m gonna explore more diverse subjects. Who knows, there could even be a song about ice cream? I like ice cream (topped with blood and gore), and it’s crazy enough to work thanks for the idea, (laughing).
NRR: Does having Eternal Eclipse Records behind you as a band make a huge difference in this time of DIY bands?
Rafael Diaz: I believe it does. We are a DIY band, and I’m sure will always be. We have the freedom to do what we please.
Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia: It helps out a bit, but not as it would have twenty years ago. Indeed, many bands are doing the DIY thing and are doing well.
Miguel GoreGrinder Medina: Eternal Eclipse Records is my own personal DIY label created for the sole purpose of self-releasing my music. Its has no effect on what we do as band since we all equally do our part to self-promote, and all the recognition and fans we earn is a direct result of that work alone. For the foreseeable future, we’re likely to remain a DIY band as it’s what works best for us currently. However, there is one actual successful underground label I’d consider signing to if the circumstances are right to reach a larger audience.
NRR: What can we expect from the band after FTA is a dark, maniacal scream of a power mad, German ghost until 2016?
Rafael Diaz: We will continue to promote this album and definitely keep our music as intense as we can, and continue to push even further.
Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia: Maintaining the level of intensity in the music and promoting this new album will be the focus for me.
Miguel GoreGrinder Medina: Absolutely, Although I wouldn’t put it quite as eloquently as you just described, (laughing). Future plans are nowhere near set in stone but being that FTA is gonna be the final live gig of 2015 I plan to continue promoting our current album while I begin assembling ideas for the next one. On the next effort, I hope to bring something heavier, darker and even more intense than our current material. There is already a big show in the works to kick off 2016! We’re gonna get ready for a bigger and even better year in 2016. For updates on that and all other band-related news its best to follow us via our official Facebook page.
NRR: You’re self-described as Brutal Death/Thrash/Slam. What will that translate to for the crowd when you hit the stage in a short amount of time?
Rafael Diaz: I believe the crowd will get a brutal wake up! I can see the Frank’s vision of tree limb beat-downs happening!
Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia: The first song will deliver a brutal blow for sure, but the last three are the most recent songs will definitely have people moshing and beating each other with tree limbs.
Miguel GoreGrinder Medina: We’re tasked with being the first band to kick off the final day of FTA on the Last.FM stage at 11 a.m. People will be hungover, still drunk/partying, sleeping or possibly dead which is of little concern to us because for better or worse we’re bringing a very rude awakening to the masses with our own blend of brutality. If we don’t incite a full on tree limb beat down riot, I’ll be slightly disappointed.
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=677505197 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=e99708]
NRR: How important is the merch table for a band like your and what do you do to keep the selection fresh for the fans?
Rafael Diaz: As Frank stated, we do not have much at the moment. But those who are interested can most definitely reach out to us, and we will hook’em up with a digital download!
Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia: Honestly we don’t have much at this time since we only just released this album. But we will have stickers and a few hard copies to give out. Hopefully next year we can come with some shirts and posters.
Miguel GoreGrinder Medina: I suppose it’ll become important once we actually have merch to sell aside from Cd’s and stickers, (laughing). There are a couple of t-shirt designs that have been created by myself as I’ve always handled all the artwork for the band personally, and there will certainly be no shortage of options once we have the funds to manufacture those items.
NRR: Inhaling Fluids of Thoracentesis, your latest album, was to hit this spring, right? How are things with it and what would you want a new fan or old fan to take away from giving it a spin for the first time?
Rafael Diaz: Yes, we released the album in spring on Bandcamp. It did start a bit slow, but we have gained some killer fans by doing what we do best… playing heavy and ferocious. We have also done some great promoting for the album with even more to come and it has helped big time!
Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia: We released it on Bandcamp in April and things have been slow with that but at the shows we have played, people have come away with some hard copies. I sent several to zines for review recently and are waiting for those reviews to start trickling back. Miguel recently offered free downloads on the BC site, and the people responded well to that. We hope people enjoy the songs, and they can hear how the progression of the music goes from slam and brutal to more technical and intense delivery on the last tracks.
Miguel GoreGrinder Medina: Inhaling Fluids of Thoracentesis was released on Apr 01, 2015 of this year and much like the other guys mentioned it’s been slow turning people on to it. I think that’s mainly due to how over-saturated the underground metal scene is these days. It’s hard exposing new people to this type of music because it gets quickly buried by 100 other releases it’s hard keeping up with what’s out now. But with each passing show we gain new fans and those people eventually seek us out and find a way to get our music. If there’s anything I want fans new or old to take away from the music found on Inhaling Fluids of Thoracentesis is the raw passion we put into writing that album. This album definitely displays progression that will only get more intricate and powerful in our next release as we grow together as a band.
NRR: Give me a good history of the band, and why are you trying to make records with the amount of previous band members, spontaneously exploding drummers etc, or otherwise?
Rafael Diaz: Ahh, that is a Miguel question being that he is the sole original member of this band, but now we look to the future, and there will be more to come from us! Cheers!
Frank “Arte Mortifica” Garcia: Since I am still new to this project I better let Miguel answer that one.
Miguel GoreGrinder Medina: Oh man… where to start? I began the band in 2003 as a solo project which went nowhere for two full years. I then met and joined forces with Dorian Rainwater of New Mexico’s Noisear in the three or four years I jammed with him on and off again we recorded a four song demo which never got released and played many random gigs locally trying to establish ourselves. Throughout the mid to late 2000’s and beyond many people joined and shortly left the band leaving me to rebuild at square one each time so as you can imagine it was quite the hassle even trying to record an album with all that instability. There have been two drummers in the bands ten-plus year history, needless to say that never worked out due to the spontaneous combustion issue so it’s always been far easier for me to write and maintain this project as a drum machine based band. Our Metal Archives page list’s an obscene amount of members who never really did much in the band. I believe that information found its way there due to outdated MySpace profiles from ages ago which despite many attempts those jerks still refuse to correct to this day. Despite all the hardship this band has faced I’ve never given up on it and I finally have some great friends and full time members that are pouring a 110% into making this beast fire on all cylinders with the only goal in mind being to create the most intense music we possibly can. The future is looking very bright, and we’re merely getting started!
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Full Terror Assault
Website | Facebook | Twitter