Morbid Cruelty Chat With Alvaro Llanquitruf and Matias Ubeda

Morbid Cruelty is a damn good old school sounding death metal band and here is a chat I did with drummer/vocals Alvaro Llanquitruf and Matias Ubeda bass/guitars answers a few questions as well:

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

Alvaro: I was born in La Serena, Chile and Matias in Santiago, Chile

What sort of kid were you and what did you want to be when you were growing up?

Alvaro: As a kid, I was a big fan of rock and some metal (Kiss, Thin Lizzy, Nazareth, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Black Sabbath, WASP etc). Influenced by my father, to who I owe everything about this music, since my early 7 years old.

Matias: I started to involve in music and metal when I was 12 years old. I began with the classic rock scene, Kiss, ACDC Metallica.. etc. Then as I researched more music I started listening to other things more extreme.

When you were young, did you start to get into music early on? Did you have any desire to pick up an instrument early on in your life?

Alvaro: As previously answered, yes I was very young with my music taste for rock or metal, I recall “playing” with some guitars I made out of some pieces of wood… until my dad gave me some drumsticks.. and then I started playing on pillows.. or making a drumset out of cooking pots.

Matias: When I was 12 y/o I wanted to imitate what Kirk Hammet, Marty Friedman, and Yngwie were doing. At first, I started covering Megadeth, Metallica, and Iron Maiden with an acoustic guitar, by the age of 14, I received my first electric guitar, thanks to my father, and I could develop my skills a lot better in metal with this new gear and sound.

Now, how and when did the heavy metal bug hit you? What were some of the first bands that you liked and are you still a fan of them these days as well?

Alvaro: The first bands that I listened to over and over again… I’d say it was Kiss and Iron maiden by far. Black Sabbath.Thin Lizzy, DIO, early Nazareth and so many more. I still listen to them and some of them I appreciate’ even more as I grow old.

Matias: Until today I still listen to the classics that made me involved in metal, for me those are immune to time.

Now I don’t know who is doing the interview, maybe even both of you, but if so, how did you decide to pick up your respective instruments and were you self-taught or did you take any type of lessons?

Alvaro: Well, I could have gotten into any instrument to be fair… but drums were more visceral and energetic for my personality… when I was very young I saw this huge drumset of Nicko Mcbrain (Iron Maiden-Chris) in the “Live After Death” VHS, or Peter Criss on Kiss alive…(Eric Carr’s drumset too) and that called my attention immediately. I was gifted a kid’s drumset when I was like 9 years old.. and then changed into a normal drumkit around 11. I was self-taught as many drummers in the Chilean scene.. but then I studied a drumming career in Santiago Chile when I turned 18.

Matias: I decided to play the guitar when I got to know this guitarist that I previously mentioned, at first I was self-taught until I was 18, and then I entered a music school.

Now how did the underground rear its ugly head into your life? What were some of the first bands that you heard? Was it something that you loved right away, or did it take a few listens and then you were hooked?

Alvaro: As a teenager, I listened to early Sepultura, early Destruction & Kreator and later Deathcrush from Mayhem.. that raw sound and such an honest way to play their instruments really captivated me… around 17-18 Years old I started searching for Chilean stuff.. and I found Pentagram and Atomic Aggressor, then I knew the “underground” was somehow more attractive for me than the bands that were sounding a lot like plastic in the 2000s.

Matias: The first time I listened to Never Neverland of Annihilator, what called my attention were some bonus tracks included, they were from a demo, those songs that were maybe not so “polished” as the finished songs from the album, they made me research more from this world of demos and their raw sound. Likewise, I liked the demo of the classic bands and the demos of new bands for me. This is how I got into the extreme underground… and I began understanding this scene.

Now I know this interview is about Morbid Cruelty, but you guys are both in other bands. If you would like to give them a plug for one question, by all means, go for it.

Alvaro: I’ll just add that all our bands have influenced us… in our way of playing and so many other things, for me (Valefar, Atomic Aggressor) and for Matias (Evil Madness, Perversor).

Now how did the 2 of you meet and how did the idea come up that you 2 would start up a band? Did you try and find any other members since you both have to play/do 2 different things within the band?

Alvaro: We met I think around 2010, Matias needed a drummer and a vocalist for Evil Madness, they recruited Zagan from my band Valefar, and then I joined Evil Madness to record a split and play some shows live. Since then we are good friends…then we both were together in Eaten Alive me as a session player and Matias as their guitar player.

I had the idea of making a band with people who were clear in their view of metal and that were good with their instruments. I thought of a couple of musicians, but Matias was my first choice as a guitar player. I knew he was creative with riffs and had very good skills with solos, so we decided to make an improvised rehearsal one day and that was how Morbid Cruelty started.

How long were you guys together before you started to write songs, 3 of which would end up on your 1st demo, which was put out by “Burning Coffin Records”? How did you end up working with them and how was your 1st studio experience at Morbid Cruelty?

Alvaro: The first day we got together to rehearse and see what would come up from our brains and we made “Horrid Death” It was so easy and fast that we both got surprised by this connection we made when playing freely, so we rehearsed another day to see what’s up and “Red Ripper” came out (of course without lyrics) when we got the third song in a row (Abysmal Terror) we decided the songs were ok to record them so they didn’t get lost in time, and we recorded the demo, which Kenny from Burning Coffin Records (also a friend of us) agreed to release the demo. This was a motivation to get this band into something serious, so we decided to make an LP.

I have my own home studio…so that helps a lot…problem was when we had scheduled a date to start recordings of the LP, Chile got into quarantine due to the pandemic…so we had to work and record everything separated through our houses…wasn’t so bad… but wasn’t the best way to do it

I think this uncomfortable way got reflected maybe in some little mistakes when playing or not making the album sound as good as we could have done it…but we are still very glad about the result

How was the response to the demo from the underground? Now how do you try and make sure the songs in Morbid are different from the songs in the other bands you’re in?

Alvaro: The response from the demo was better than we thought… Burning Coffin Recs did a great job with the distribution.

About making our songs different from our other bands…. I guess it’s impossible to not have an influence by our other bands… since we’re active musicians in the composition of them.. but the thing is we are just 2 members…things are more fluent than the other bands with 4 members (there are more elements converging towards a song or idea ) and we try to incorporate different influences in our songs than we do in our other bands..or sometimes we are a mixture of all our bands in one, I guess that’s it, who knows?

How is the underground scene where the band is based? Do many fans come out to shows and do many bands roll through any towns near you?

Alvaro: The underground scene here is one of the best…at least at the level of every band.

About our shows…not so many fans I guess (not so few also)…since MC is a new name for many bangers…and we just had 1 debut show with limited tickets (COVID restrictions) We are booking some shows very soon…our name is spreading fast. (hopefully, this interview will help-Chris)

Now we move onto your latest release, a crushing full-length called “Holodomor. What is the meaning, if any, of why you called your debut that?

Alvaro: We try to keep ‘death’ always as the central subject of our songs…the point of view of how death is reflected may vary of course, we decided to name the album “Holodomor”, because It’s a Ukrainian genocide that not many people know about, we thought it was a good idea to recall death on a historic event like this

Did you pretty much have all your songs ready, minus the cover tune, ready to go when you went into the studio?

Alvaro: Yes! All the songs were ready when we decided to record the album.

Now doing a cover tune by Incubus, the one from Louisiana in the US, is a no-brainer, but why the particular tune “God Died on His Knees”? How do you think it turned out?

Alvaro: We are trying to …get the dust out of many old songs or bands that were lost in time… but their music is just timeless… Incubus’s way of doing metal is something we felt close to what we were trying to build up on Morbid Cruelty…the title is just marvellous and Gino Marino’s riffs or Mike’s drumming are things that made this demo so valuable to us… It wasn’t easy to play the song… especially working separated by quarantine…you know the song is not so accurate in the beats sometimes…but we tried to make a version close to the original…. even with those inaccurate things that sound along the song…sometimes it was hard to decipher what they were playing.. but it’s something we enjoy, and we are glad of our version of “God Died on his Knees”.

Now I know there are only 2 of you, but would you ever consider trying to get some other musicians in the future to either join the band or have them be live musicians for live shows?

Alvaro: At the moment we are fine working in a 2 member band.. for live shows we have Karol Tapia (ex-undertaker of the damned) who is supporting our gigs with the bass…

For someone who has never heard the band, what would you say you sound like?

ALVARO: Morbid Angel, Massacra, at least that’s what we have been compared to, Cheers on that.

Do you feel you’re a band that tries to keep the old sound a float and that plays death metal the right way and not this garbage slam groovy shit that to me ruins the scene at times?

Alvaro: Absolutely, we are inspired by old death metal and that’s what we try to do and sound like.. we try to sound natural with no triggers or drum replacements.. tricks many studios do to sound “heavy or perfect” or tuning down guitars to a point any shitty riff sounds heavy or brutal. We understand others do it, but it’s not what we want in MC.

When you’re not doing anything related to music, what do you like to do?

Alvaro: Drink.

Now I know your album didn’t come out that long ago, but when do you think you would end up starting to put together music for album # 2?

Alvaro: We’re already recording our second LP, we’ve been busy but we wanna finish it soon. It’ll be titled ‘Samudaripen’.

Please plug any sites you have for the band and any possible merchandise you might have.

Alvaro: We don’t have any site for the band at the moment… or too much merch… but you can find Burning Coffin Records on social media… or Iron Bonehead (LP)

Burning Coffin Records:
Iron Bonehead:

Horns up for this chat, any last words, the floor is yours.

Alvaro: Thanks for the interview! We hope to play wherever you are and share some cold drinks and beers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 + 1 =

Related Articles

Back to top button