Interview with Danny Maggotz, Deathrockersorrow Records (USA)
"Deathrockersorrow Records" is a record label founded by a Salvadoran based in Lancaster, California. We can find his name in Salvadoran metal productions over several years, this is proof of his faithful commitment to metal from Kuskatan.
This is an excerpt of a lengthy conversation with Danny Maggotz on which we talked about his story, his project, and his experiences outside our borders, giving rise to a constructive critique of the Salvadoran metal “scene”.
- We have seen your name in the acknowledgments of productions such as "Voces de la Tumba" from Disorder, “The Man of Sorrows” from Soul's Dying Path, etc and it seems that you have been an "actor in the shadows." What has been your relationship with Salvadoran metal throughout the years?
NOT at all hahaha I have been in communication with many people and bands over the years therefore I do not consider myself an "actor in the shadows" One thing I can tell you is that I have been following many bands since 2000, many of them don't even exist anymore (Efestos, Sepelio, Soomdrag, and Arcane to name a few). The reason why I appear in the acknowledgments of Voces de la Tumba is a way in which Jorge thanked me for the support I was giving at that time to the band and Pus Records, if you look at the acknowledgments in your Salvadoran metal collection my name appears on a couple more CDs if I'm not mistaken. That relationship with Salvadoran metal has been direct with Jorge Montesinos for almost 20 years. I was supporting him long before Conceived by Hate and Morbid Skull Records had those names. Through Jorge I got to know most of the bands affiliated with Deathrockersorrow Records today, therefore my support for their bands/projects and labels is full. I can also mention people like Chuck Guerrero, Rodrigo Salguero, Luis "ZopiLopes" and yourself (R.P.F.) included who have helped me to get a lot of Salvadoran material.
- As a long-time follower of Salvadoran metal, could you give us your opinion regarding its development since you started contacting local bands, up until now that you are producing their music?
Musically speaking, many bands in El Salvador have international potential as long as they present their music at a more professional level. Due to the economic situation of the country It is very difficult to achieve it, which is why many times in other countries they do not take (Salvadoran) bands so seriously. I know it from my own experience, Europeans telling me “It's a good band, they sound good, good presentation but in a CD-R? "And I have to give them an insight about the economic situation that many Latin American bands not only Salvadoran go through to get their material released. Today, access to home studios has made it easier for most bands to record their music and release it in a semi-professional physical format which helps to promote bands internationally. (But) worst of all is that the Salvadoran scene is completely divided, everyone going their own way without much mutual support. El Salvador has a scene of black metal and a different death metal scene and the occasional band that plays between both. This makes the scene fragile and without 100% support from the public. Fans have to divide and support the 'A' side or the 'B' side and from here bands throw shit at each other hahaha and they forget that the root of the broken underground scene to which they belong is, was, and will always be Rockers Club. In the early 90s, you had Edwin Marinero going against all odds to achieve something that no one had done back then and over the years it was easier to build and extend on the basis of Rockers Club. It wouldn't be so easy if they hadn't had that base for years.
I stopped contacting bands because of this very attitude many band members keep, trying to obtain material from certain bands, certain individuals sent me to hell hahaha Pathetic!!! With the exception of Jorge and the rest of the bands that I have produced music for, I've lost any kind of friendship or communication with other people there until a couple of years ago. Jorge got me music from Apes of God and he told me if you want more material contact Rodrigo Salguero, he can provide it to you as the band's founder. As for the Salvadoran metal I'm producing, having released the Conceived by Hate LP with Morbid Skull Records is something I've wanted to do for a long time, and being my label's first release means I'm on the right track!! Through Rodrigo, I was able to contact Mike, Neto, and Aldaír to get the Genetic Disorder tape out and it became my label's second release. With Hazardous Mutation I listened to the music on YouTube a couple of years ago and I asked Salguero to get me their music in physical format. By the end of February, I asked Salguero if he could get me the contact of Carlos Najarro (if I'm not wrong he got it almost instantly) Carlos and I reached an agreement I had a couple of delays with that release for reasons I could not control (Mail closure due to the pandemic) and the rest is history. The bands that I have produced are bands that I admire and respect for trying to get their music out to international levels without tripping the ones who come beside or behind them. Bands with years of work, effort, dedication, and without so much shit are opening doors internationally. With the help of old allies in Europe and South America, I am spreading Salvadoran metal worldwide.
- In your opinion, what are the greatest strengths and weaknesses of the Salvadoran metal movement?
The greatest strength is that most bands, with their economic limitations, release their material in physical formats, there is a government that allows metal shows with or without international bands, there are a couple of bands that stand out and have potential at an international level, I think that -with the help of better recording in a professional studio or better mixing/mastering- these bands could sound much better. But this brings us back to what I mentioned at the beginning: the financial part. By saying that I am not detracting anyone because of their mixing or mastering or because of the studio they used, nor am I saying that some bands are better than others because of it. Among those bands I can mention Aure, Infección Zombie (RIP), Kraner, Pagan Spirits, Darlament Norvadian and Satanic Priest. It is worth mentioning that these last two have signed deals with my label.
Beyond what has already been said, the greatest weakness is the division within the local scene, everyone going for themselves, and it is necessary to implement better security in the shows of both local bands and those that include an international billboard so that no more tragedies would occur.