Interview with Dagon, Inquisition (USA)

A long-standing band with a particular style that had its origins in Cali, Colombia. Later to be part of the growing scene of American black metal. Inquisition has made their mark in the history of black metal for their style and for keeping a long career as a duet.

This is only a short excerpt from a rather extensive interview with the man behind one of the most iconic black metal acts of the last decades. 

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- What were your beginnings in metal and how did you later start creating your own music?

I was introduced to Heavy Metal in 1985. One day at school a boy had a tape recorder on during a break at high volume. The school was quite liberal, they applied more freedom in the methodology and some students met to listen to music during breaks... The fact is, one day I heard something that caught my attention, it sounded very heavy, before that I used to listen to Rush, Van Halen, electronic music; when I see that a boy was sitting alone by a small lake over there. I walked over and asked what he was listening to, and his answer was Black Sabbath's "Live Evil" álbum. That person would later become not only my best friend at the time, but the most important person in my music life since from that moment on we discovered the most important bands of Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal of the 80's together, and together we formed the first band I had called Coffin in 1986. We have no demos and only rehearsals that were lost. All this was in Cali, Colombia, at a time when merely Rock music was a problem for society and in an area of the country suffering from the worst salsa music crisis.

I know Incubus was introduced to Metal even earlier than me, by his brother and also by the school as a social factor. If I'm not wrong his first experiences with Heavy Metal were Motley Crue, Ozzy, Judas Priest and before that Van Halen and Rush. He was born and raised in the State of Oregon. That is between California and Washington. At a very young age he got himself a drummer and hence he played in various bands of multiple genres from Heavy to Punk in his early youth, then later Death Metal and obviously Black Metal upon joining Inquisition. I started composing from the first moment I had a guitar in my hands. I never tried to play music from other bands. That in itself is another talent that somebody may or may not have, I did not have that talent to learn music made by others, but fortunately I could compose. Right or wrong, I could create and gather multiple ideas and build what was a song. While friends and acquaintances there in Cali played solos by Kirk Hammet or Malmsteen perfectly, I could -at least- create a heavy and aggressive song without much technique, but it was my creation and my challenge was to develop myself as a rhythm guitarist more than anything, and as a composer.

Incubus always wanted to be a professional, but drummers who don't compose and don't play guitar depend on the songwriters in their band to determine in some way the future of the drummer. He went through various bands and when he met Inquisition it was the perfect moment for him and me. We were both “hungry” to create something powerful in our own way and to contribute something to the genre.

- Which bands from Central America do you know and what is your opinion about metal in this region?

Abyssum (GUA), Mortigor (CRI), Imperial (SLV) are some that come to mind. I am based on Black Metal, it is my favorite style so the mentioned bands and my opinion are based on the genre. I really like the scene, and they definitely have a style that identifies them, like a medieval Black Metal style, something very classic about Central American and South American Black Metal.

- Based on your experience and tours in our region, what can we do locally in our Latin American countries to give strength and growth to the underground metal movement?

It is a difficult question, because I look back at each point in the process that is required and I don't see that you can do something very different from what you have been doing. If you want to improve something, it is something that already depends on time, a natural progress. But in the immediate sense I see everything is well. Good sound, good teams, good promoters who work in the best way they can, the public very well behaved. Honestly, you are doing very well.

First I want to say something here and I have said it to the promoters: I think that it is our responsibility as bands and artists to contribute to the evolution of scenes by keeping costs, prices per presentation low so that professional events can be held. Much of the costs go to the artist performing, outside of flight costs. Inquisition always prefers good equipment and good organization in exchange for lower pay. It is something that artists must do, commit. We do not get anything when we receive a good payment, but play with terrible sound because the promoter has less funds and -in addition- leave the promoter bankrupt just for filling the pockets and drying up a scene that is still evolving. Tips: Check that the electricity in the establishment is good. We have played various events where the power went out for hours or never came back. Rent a generator or several ones. It is an extra cost, but it is worth it. 

To close. If I say "Thank you", honestly, it is because I am grateful for the fact that I was able to live my dream and spread our music around the planet, I hope Inquisition has contributed something that has enhanced your spirit. This is done because there are people who have invested their time, soul and money in their music. Be patient, your scene is going to reach something big if that's what you want, it's all a matter of time and culture. And know that it is always a pleasure for me to communicate with Latin America through such a zine in Spanish.

Ave!


Full interview was published in English and Spanish in Metal Extremista Vol. II, April, 2021.