Interview mit Juli Bazooka von Crisix

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CRISIX are hot! After „The Pizza E.P.“ including their own pizza creations, sauces, a cookbook and massive tour activity, the Spanish thrashers are now really heating up the pizza oven with their sixth album „Full HD“. On this album CRISIX show themselves improved in all areas and present probably one of the best genre works of the 21st century at the spearhead of the „New Wave Of Thrash Metal“. We talked to singer, guitarist and songwriter Juli Bazooka about the new wave of thrash bands, the close bond in the scene and the meaning of love and hate for „Full HD“.

Crisix Logo

Hi Juli! You just finished the World Needs Mosh Pt 3 Part of your tour. How was the tour and how have the songs from „Full HD“ been received so far?
The tour was amazing! As you said, this was the 3rd part, and with Insanity Alert we’re like family. Everything was perfect, full venues, the best tour buddies… For now, we only played a couple of songs from the new record and “WNM United”; without the collaborations except Heavy Kevy in some shows, for obvious reasons. (laughs) People really get crazy with this one. And the other song we played was “Speak Your Truth”, we were so amazed of how well this song works! Amazing reaction every single show! In April we start with “Full HD release shows” in Spain with three shows with special guests Evile and Dust Bolt and then we immediately leave for 20 dates co-headlining tour with Tagata Jones as Hellfest Warm-up tour in France. There we will add “Macarena Mosh” and maybe some other new additions to our set.

Crisix Bandfoto Full HD
CRISIX; © Arnau Montfort

Almost as important: How was the food on tour? Are there any new inspirations for „Speed Metal Kitchen Of Doom“ Part 2?
Our dear friends brought us so many delicious gifts this time. From costumized vegan cake in a shape of a pizza. Another fan from Bonn brought us original Napoli pizza from Bonn. Cake, Burger… Javi got a special Gin and we get pizzas in all shapes and forms including puzzles, paintings and home made CRISIX pizza boxes. To me, one of the most special days was in Germany, specifically in Karlsruhe. Amazing vegan options, as a vegetarian I’m always happy with this. You know, there’s always inspiration for “Speed Metal Kitchen Of Doom”, from the shittiest McDonalds to the best gourmet stuff… we only need chef Klaus to transform everything in the best meal you can take. (laughs)

I think the „Pizza E.P.“ and the extensive promotion with your own pizzas and stuff gave you guys quite a buzz. Do you see it the same way and what do you think is the reason for that? Are you guys better now than ever before?
We are literary on fire for some time now. “The Pizza EP” was really a big step with all the activities. Licensed pizzas in over 20 restaurants in Spain. Licensed spices and sauces. Comedy shows and delivering pizzas personally, just a day before going on a European tour. We are a group of friends that really enjoy in what we are doing. With our management we plan crazy stuff like that all the time.

Crisix Full HD CoverartworkI have the impression that your voice on „Full HD“ sounds more aggressive and at the same time more pleasant than before. Did you work with your voice in particular?
I’ve been working with my voice since we started, step by step. I love to try new stuff in every record and, it’s true that with this “Full HD” I feel better than never before. For now this is the best Bazooka you can get. (laughs) We worked so hard on the vocals this time, studying every single detail with everybody on the rehearsal place. Then, with Gerard Rigau at amplifire studios – where I recorded vocals, same place where we recorded “American Thrash” – we worked so hard on the vocal production also when we were recording. After that, Pete Rutcho did his magic in his studio in USA and really made the vocals stand out in best possible way. It was a real teamwork, and I feel so proud of the result.

How do you think you have developed musically since „Against The Odds“ overall?
Now we can see how much sense a title of “Against The Odds” has. It is quite dark album. It represents a very difficult period for CRISIX when we were not breathing as one. The magic of CRISIX is that we have to be as one. At the time we started to tour a lot. We had a member that could not take it anymore, being away from home so long. He was not satisfied, and this affected the process of the band I guess. It even took us away from our original form for a bit. We had to compose it on the road in our van. We went in the studio and were touring at the same time. I mean our schedule is really crazy. But anyhow it is a good album with really good songs. We got Pla as a member in a band on “Against the odds” tour and things were getting back to normal again.

Crisix Bandfoto Full HD
CRISIX; © Arnau Montfort

I think the album is more varied, especially because of more midtempo passages. Due to more slow, heavy moments the level of heaviness has increased again. Would you agree, was that an intentional evolution in the songwriting?
We were writing “Full HD” for quite some time. We had a lot of pre-production material, demos and riffs you know. At one point we had like 20 strong songs. We selected a few for “The Pizza EP” and the strongest are present on “Full HD”. Yes, the album takes from on different levels as the opener is very mysterious. “Extreme Fire Hazard” and “Speak Your Truth” are very true thrash let’s say. Then we got another side with “Full HD” where we research the crossover and HC side of thrash, or with Macarena mosh we go deep into European melodic metal and pack it Thrash CRISIX way. We even touched catalan influences with “Boc De Biterna”, Spanish roots with “Escape Electric Fate”…

I think the hardcore elements in your sound have become a bit stronger, especially in the title track and in „Shonen Fist“. Where does this hardcore influence come from and what significance does it have for CRISIX?
Hardcore in CRISIX is defined by very few bands. What we consider as Hardcore is probably more like Crossover thrash bands with Hardcore influences. I mean we like S.O.D, Suicidal Tendencies and Biohazard. This would be the main hardcore influences. It comes very naturally; we don’t really think of the riff when we write it. If it’s a good riff it’s a good riff, you know. “Shonen Fist” is Japanese influenced song. It’s like a day of fury through the lense of different attack techniques from Manga/anime characters I love. Yes, I’m a fucking nerd and I love Japan. (laughs)

„Shonen Fist“ already indicates from the title to your preference for manga and anime, I could at least hear “Kame Hame Ha“ from Dragon Ball in the song. Which manga and anime are your favorites and are you especially into action and fighting series?
I am a huge Dragon Ball fan, actually one of my first memories as a kid is to start watching Dragon Ball anime when they started on TV in Catalunya back in 1990 (the anime is from 1986 but here it came 4 years later). But I love other classic stuff of course, like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Akira, Saint Seiya, Mazinger Z… For this song we focused only in Shonen stuff, as you can imagine. (laughs) Apart of Dragon Ball we mention more things like One Punch Man, Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, One Piece… This song is a wet dream come true for me. (laughs)

I particularly liked the YouTube comment „Thrash Avengers assemble!“ What would be your superpowers in the fight for thrash metal?
As a massive Marvel comics fan since I have memory I couldn’t be more happy when I read this comment. (laughs) Probably my superpower would be the capacity to eat pizza more than twice a week. On tour I could eat it every day –  does this help with the fight? (laughs)

The „HD“ in „Full HD“ means Hate Definition. On what have you had the most hate lately or presently?
It’s funny. We were working on the song in our rehearsal place, the first part is a fucking neck breaking crossover bomb, and then when the fast part hits in your face you go completely crazy. We knew that this was the perfect therapeutic occasion to let our hate flew free, but the definition of hate takes on totally different sarcastic meanings in this song, of course I don’t hate all the stuff I wrote in the lyrics but that’s the point, you know? We started to think about this duality and how you always can see things from different perspectives, we thought about vision, about the filters (in a metaphorical way) we always put unconsciously on our sight… We thought “Hey, this is a maximum expression of hate… it’s Full Hate Definition. HEY! How about “Full HD”?” We laugh, and we got a name.

CRISIX Bandfoto Full HD
CRISIX; © Arnau Montfort

Is hate one of the emotions that particularly drives or fuels you as a musician? What other feelings do you let flow into CRISIX?
Not really, we are very friendly and kind people. We don’t have a lot of grudges or hard feelings you know. Of course, everyone hates something, but in general we are very positive people. Everyone’s right is to hate, but we prefer love. (laughs) With “World Needs Mosh” we wanted to send out the message of how people need to relax, stop worrying and fighting over non important things and value what is really important for them in their lives. In our case is Mosh and mosh is love. (laughs)

„World Needs Mosh“ from the „Pizza E.P.“ was one of your best tracks and a strong statement for the unity in the metal scene and community. Therefore it fits perfectly that you have developed the song into „W.N.M. United“. How did you come up with the idea and the bands involved?
As you said, “World Needs Mosh” was a strong statement in “The Pizza EP”, we thought this could be the perfect track for something we’ve been thinking about over the years. One of the best things about thrash metal is that we really have a strong scene, this “new” generation, all we started by the same time, more or less, we are good friends, we played with all of them … we though, hey, why not to invite them for this? It’s the perfect occasion! We wrote them and all of them were super happy to be part of this! And we cannot be more proud about it. “WNM United” is the living proof of the huge potential of the “new” international scene. And as you saw in the video, we have the blessings of the chief Chuck Billy himself, what could go possibly wrong?

Yeah, it’s really cool to see and hear Testament’s Chuck Billy among the members from younger bands! What are in your opinion the main differences between the New Wave Of Thrash Metal” and classic thrash heroes like Testament, Metallica or Slayer?
Classic bands started it all and we watched and learned. Now we have the opportunity to continue this important musical tradition in the best manner. Chuck is the best example of a real godfather of thrash who was active since the first album without stopping. Testament is one of those bands who never stopped recording and touring. Even in not the most beautiful times for thrash metal. They are a big influence for us. Not musically only, also their working ethics. They represented thrash in the best way. Look at them today. Lombardo is back, with Steve DiGiorgio. It is one of the best bands in the world. They are very hard working. Look at their schedule. They are nothing but a huge influence for us. When it comes to differences, there are mostly musical I would say. If we look at their influences. Those guys have a bit different influences, so all the execution is different. They come from different school and times when music and music education was cherished differently. I mean there will never be another Slayer or Metallica. But there will be generations that will awake the spirit of thrash in years to come.

Schmier from Destruction said in a recent talk with us that thrash has always been and will always be underground and the thrash community is a sworn community because the music is commercially hard to grasp. „It’s music for the maniacs“. How do you see that?
Schmier is a really cool guy. And he is a great warrior for the underground. As much as he is a good businessman, he is also a fan. He will not cross the border of aesthetics that by his believes fit or don’t fit to a term thrash. We have a big respect for Schmier and Destruction! When talking about German thrash I think we should also mention Mille and Kreator who are playing huge venues and are regularly present at charts. Look at the success of last Slayer album cycle. It really depends what type of thrash too. Thrash today is a huge word. It is impossible to limit it to one style only. I would like to believe that ‘the boundaries of thrash’ are still expanding.

Crisix Bandfoto Full HD
CRISIX; © Lopes

Let’s conclude with our traditional brainstorming. What comes to your mind first when you read the following words?
Current favorite album: Ghost – Impera.
Ukraine: Innocent people always pay the price of the same old motherfuckers.
Best beer from tour: Actually I don’t drink when I’m on tour. (laughs)
Funniest moment on current tour: Grand finale in Austria with stage invasion from our friends from Insanity Alert.
Best Movie-/Series-/Book-Universe: Everything with John Carpenter’s before the title / “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” / Marvel – DC.
Best way to relax: Ice Cream, good company and good music.
Thank you once again for your time, Juli! The last words are all yours.
Thanks for your time and I hope to see you soon! If we are near your place, try to catch us! “Full HD” era is here baby!

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