Invincible Force Interview With Cristobal

Invincible Force has a wicked, sick old school thrash/death band and here is an interview with drummer Cristobal:

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

IF: Born and raised in Santiago, Chile.

What sort of kid were you growing up? Did you have many friends or were you a loner type of person?

IF: Yeah, I had a bunch of friends, hang out in the street all day doing stupid shit, hating school and everything.

What was the first kind of music you heard early on and what about the 1st time you heard heavy metal, what did you think of it?

IF: I was interested in classic rock bands early in my life and was always attracted to the most intense, dark, weird music I could find, good musicianship also caught my attention, so at around 10/12 years old I was listening to most bands from the 70s; Led Zeppelin a lot, some Pink Floyd, Grandfunk, Hendrix… then I heard Black Sabbath’s Paranoid and I was hooked for good, total addiction. At around 15 I began discovering the heavier stuff, having listened already to Maiden and Priest, I started to listen to Sepultura, Slayer, Metallica, Dark Angel, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, then onto Death and Black Metal; Morbid Angel, Deicide, Mayhem, Immortal, Suffocation, etc… faster, darker & heavier, couldn’t get enough of it man, also listening to guys play like Dave Lombardo, Pete Sandoval or Gene Hoglan in Dark Angel was unreal, just blew my mind. I don’t really remember the first time I heard heavy metal, but the high intensity, that huge wall of blasphemous sounds, the speed & darkness was just the best.

How did you discover the underground? What did you think of this style of music when you first heard it? What were some of the early bands that you listened to and liked? Are you still a fan of these bands these days?

IF: The bands listed above, and many more, are the answer to that, and yeah I always come back to those. I still enjoy the fuck out of some Ozzy era Sabbath, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Dark Angel, even Zeppelin, Hendrix, etc. immortal records for me. I discovered the underground slowly finding darker and more unknown bands trading some tapes in school, a turning point was through an excellent fanzine from Chile called Noise & Shit, i bought an issue and read about this insane universe of bands hidden in the underground and began the eternal search that still persists to this day. I remember being fascinated by these bands, there was nothing like it, the music was just so fucking good, and every band I found was just as good as the next one, weirder, darker, faster, pure violence, aggression and power.

Now, and this is before the band started, is there a good underground metal scene where you are based? By that I mean, were there many clubs or places to see bands play or record stores to buy metal, etc?

IF: I think there’s an excellent scene here in Santiago, Chile and also the whole country, especially since the 2000s, being more focused on the more bestial types of metal, in every gig, you will see excellent bands playing, there are people doing top-notch fanzines, great underground labels and artists involved. Never an abundance of places to play this kind of music though, but it always happened in spite of some difficulties, at least before this fucking pandemic.

Now I am not sure who is doing the interview, but were you in any other bands prior to being in Invincible Force and are you currently in any other bands besides them?

IF: I’m the drummer, I.F. was the first band I played on, now I’m also playing in Ancient Crypts and Praise The Flame. I’ve played with Apostasy and Evil Madness also.

Now how did the band come together and how many line-ups did you go through until you came upon the line-up that would record your 2008 demo cassette that came out?

IF: It’s always been me and the 2 guitarists, only changing vocals. Before the first demo, we went through a couple of vocalists until we got to Carlos Leiva, who recorded in the first 2 demos, then Carlos Falcon joined, who recorded the Nuclear Strike Split and the first LP Satan Rebellion Metal, and then we were with Cristian Contreras for a while before the second LP and after we recorded that one Benjamin Barrantes joined as our vocalist until this day.

What were the early practices like? Did you fool around with cover tunes at all before you started to write originals?

IF: Absolutely, we always fuck around playing stuff from Slayer, Priest, Destruction, Celtic Frost, Exodus, Sabbath or whatever stuff we’re listening to at the time, but always in between our own songs, which have always been the main focus of rehearsals. When we began rehearsing Enzo already had like 4 songs more or less ready, so no need to play only covers.

Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how you got your name, which is from a Destruction song. Were any other names considered and did care at the time that you might get some flak for naming the band “Invincible Force”? Does the band Destruction know of you?

IF: The first name was RIPPER until we found out there was another band named like that and there were playing for some time before us, so we changed it. we didn’t think much about people liking it or not.
I don’t know if DESTRUCTION knows about us, it would be cool though, even if they hated the band haha.

Now at what point did you decide to go and record a demo, which came out in 2008? How was it going into the studio for the 1st time? Do you feel this was a good or decent first recording? Thoughts on this demo these days and can you even listen to it?

IF: we were offered to record for free for a university test for audio engineering students, so we took the chance right away since we had the 4 songs of that demo ready. I think it’s kind of a decent recording, for our novice minds at that time it was ok, but now I think it’s kind of shit haha, 2 of the songs sound really bad, but it is what it is, the first experiments doing this, so it’s good in that sense. At the time it was good to finally hear something recorded but I almost never listen to it, I prefer our later recordings.

Now in 2009, you released a 2 song promo. Was this meant to send to record labels or did you just want to hear on tape some new songs that you had written?

IF: it was for record labels and people in general, it got us the deal to release the second demo on a pro made cassette on Mushantufe Recs. Which was excellent. I remember that CD-R was a really raw mix of a couple of songs that would later be on “Falsa Cruz del Tormento”. We sent it to a bunch of zines and labels and gave it away to some people in gigs.

Who came up with the band’s logo and has it changed at all over the years?

IF: The first logo was made by me and we used it till the first LP, then that one was made by Deadgoat, one of our guitarists. We changed it again for the second LP with another one made by me. We like having different versions of it, kind of like Sabbat or Nunslaughter do.

Now in 2010, you released another cassette tape called “Falsa Cruz Del Tormento”, this time this came out on a label called “Mushantufe Productions”. How did you hook up with them and on this you did a cover song of “Invincible Force” on it. Looking back do you think you did a good job on it?

IF: I think it was the best we could do at that time, in the sense of knowledge about studio recording and playing/composition-wise. We decided to record in a better place, and put some money into it, but the problem was that we had like 1 hour to record everything live and 3 for mixing, which really limited what we could do with it. I really like those songs, we were experimenting playing faster and writing darker stuff than the previous one, vocals could have been much better though. The Destruction cover was recorded because we were playing it live at that time, it’s a killer fucking song and Infernal Overkill is an absolute classic of an album for us so why not. I think it came out really good.

What was the response to this release? Were you able to play any live shows by this time? If so, how did the live shows go and who did you share the stage with?

We shared the stage with lots of thrash bands from those days, Faster, Ripper, Maniac Revenge, Chaotic Bastard, Disaster, Dangerous, Nuklear Strike, Massive Power, and a long etc, and sometimes with some death or black metal bands. The response was always killer man, all I could see from the drumset was people banging their heads off and bashing each other’s skulls, killer shit!

In 2011, you did a split release in which you had one song and the other band was Nuclear Strike. How did you hook up with them and how was the response to this release? Is this release still available?

IF: I think you’re referring to a promotional/advance cdr made to promote this split, the cd version has 5 songs per band. We shared the stage with them a bunch of times and then their bassist became our bassist/vocalist. Also, they made this really good mix of thrash/speed with Bathory, and Celtic Frost elements are thrown in which sounded killer and kind of set them apart at the time. That was their last release, their vocalist then began Ancient Crypts and shortly after I joined him on drums. I think you can still find it around here in Chile in some distros, it was later re-released in a 4 way split with 3 bands from Colombia, maybe that’s still available too. The response was really good too, but since it was really different from the previous stuff, also new vocalist, some liked it, some didn’t much, obviously people more into Death/Black metal were more interested than the Thrash public.

In late 2011, you worked again with Nuclear Strike and released a full split CD with them on “Mushantufe Productions”. Was it going into the studio for you with this release you had 6 tunes on this release and this was on an actual CD this time? What was the overall response to this release and did it help build your fan base at all? Is it still for sale at all?

IF: See above.

Now there was a 3-year break after 2011 as you didn’t release anything new except in 2014, you released a 3 song demo that came out on “Mushantufe Productions”. Why the 3-year break?

IF: I think that one was also a promotional advance for the first LP. Those 3 years were not really a break, since we still played live and rehearsed a lot of those new songs for the first LP, and then we had to wait some time for it to be released by Dark Descent.

Before I go further on, now your style, which was thrash metal, began to drift more towards death/thrash/black metal later on. At what point would you say that began and why did the change in styles? Was it because you were listening to more death and black metal bands as time went by in the band’s career?

IF: I think it began with the second demo, that was the first one with some blast beats and faster stuff, in spite of it being full-on thrash. What changed was not what we listened to at the time, it was much more that we felt more confident playing other stuff and we just went for it, we don’t give a fuck about keeping a style or whatever, we play metal the way we want to hear that’s all.

Now I know everyone in the band plays an instrument and the bass player also sings, so what made you pick up the instrument you currently play and what are some of your favourite players? If this is the bass player, then how was it chosen that you would be the singer in the band and what are some of your favourite singers?

IF: I’ve been fascinated by drums my whole life, but having drums in your house is impossible, and also they’re expensive as fuck, so the first time I had drums was in 2006, I instantly began looking and began playing with Invincible Force and haven’t stopped since. Among my favourites there’s Dave Lombardo, Pete Sandoval, Gene Hoglan, Sean Reinert, Dave Culross, Tony Laureano, John Longstreth, Mike Smith and many others… outside of metal, there’s John Bonham, Billy Cobham, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Virgil Donatti, Gavin Harrison… to many to mention them all really.

In 2015 you hooked up with “Dark Descent Records” and released “Satan Rebellion Metal”. Would you say at this point you were playing thrash/death/black metal? How did you hook up with Dark Descent Records?

IF: I think Matt heard the demo songs from the already recorded first album through a friend and got interested, so he offered us to release “Satan Rebellion Metal”. At that point, we were surely incorporating faster blast beats and overall heavier composition, but to me, it still has a speed/thrash feel, even in the new album.

How did the coming of your 2015 release come together? What are your thoughts on this release these days? How long did it take for the songs to come together? Is this release still for sale?

IF: I remember it took 2 or 3 months of composition, and I think a year before we were ok for recording, after rehearsing and adding the last details of the songs. We always take time in rehearsals to get to the final versions by playing the songs and improving on that basis. I think it’s a killer album, we really enjoy blasting it from time to time among many beers.

By now were you playing many live shows and how was the band’s following by now? Are there any live clips of the band floating around on the internet?

IF: I’m sure there are some on YouTube and shit, I don’t know if we have a following, but we get good responses always, and yes, we’ve had the pleasure of playing many killers shows with lots of excellent brutal bands.

Also in 2015, you were featured in a 4 band split on “Tribulación Productions” with the bands “Attack Fire”, Bloodlust”, and Inner Violence.. Are these new songs on this release, or songs you had left over from the Dark Descent Records release? What are your thoughts on this release?

IF: Those are the same songs you can hear on the split with Nuklear Strike. A really good release with good thrash metal from Colombia.

Now the band took a big break, not putting anything out until 2020. What did the band members do during this break?

IF: After the first album we didn’t do shit for a year I think, and then began the same drill, composing the second album and then rehearsals for a year or two before we decided to enter the studio again. Then we had to wait 3 years for the album to be released, that was a big gap since we had it ready all that time. But we still played some gigs, we even found a new vocalist in that time, so lots of rehearsals and infernal drinking sessions happened.

In late 2020 (October) you worked with Dark Descends Records on your newest and current release called “Decomposed Sacramentum”. How did you come up with the title for the album? After taking such a long break was it easy to begin to compose songs and lyrics for this release?

IF: Wasn’t difficult at all, it’s a process we really enjoy, so there’s no effort, we just get drunk, plug everything and start blasting ideas.

Where did you go record it and how long were you in the studio? Are there any leftover tracks or did you consider doing any cover tunes for this release? How did you come up with the cover for the release? Is it available on vinyl at all?

IF: Yes, it was released on CD and LP by Dark Descent Recs. There’s also a tape version coming from Death Division Rituals from the Chilean north. We went again to DM6 Studio, I think we must have taken 10 days in total or less to record everything, in between we decided to change the vocalist for the album also, and the rest was a couple of months of mix & master with Pablo Clares until we had the final version. No covers on either LP and no songs leftover, but we do have some shit done for the next vomits from IF.

What has the feedback been like so far with this release? For those who have not heard the band or this release, describe it in a few words.

IF: Feedback has been killer, only good opinions about it. I prefer anyone who gets interested gets to hear it and form their own opinion about it.

What are the plans for the band into 2022 and beyond?

IF: We will record new material this year, soon we’ll have more info on upcoming releases, besides that, just keep rehearsing and hopefully playing some gigs.

Horns up for doing this interview. Any last words to wrap it up?

IF: Thanks a lot for your interest and support. METAL OR DIE!!!

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