Interview with Maldek (El Salvador)
Maldek is one of the bands that is giving something to talk about. They have participated in some compilations, now with a full-length album released in 2017 and an EP released this year, they make their way as a serious band that has only one goal: Making Death Metal.
For this interview I had the opportunity to do something different, being the first in-person interview that pandemic normality allows. I sat down to talk to the band prior to one of their rehearsals at “Hades Metal Bar”, a noisy bar in downtown San Salvador run by Efra, guitarist, and founder of the band and which serves as their base of operations. Between jokes and serious moments, we reviewed their history, plans, and opinions regarding Salvadoran metal.
This is a short excerpt of a long and relaxed conversation with all band members.
- How did the name of the band come about?
Efraín: In one of the band's gigs at Búho’s under the name “Necromortem”, we realized that another band from Guatemala with the same name came to play. So we decided to change it, reading some books I found the name, I passed it to the band and they liked it, we all agreed. We take it for its dark meaning, which goes perfectly with the metal music we play.
- How were your beginnings, how did you come together to create the band?
Efraín: In my case as a musician, since I was a child I liked music, I was 7 years old and I listened to the band The Moody Blues from England, Led Zeppelin with Jimmy Page amazed me, along the way I met Randy Rhoads, Ozzy's guitarist, Andy LaRocque from King Diamond. I am from a small town, San Esteban Catarina, and there were few people who liked this music. I met Douglas years ago, from time to time I would visit him in rehearsals with his previous project, sometimes at Jar Rock or Soyapango and then the idea of putting together a death metal band came up. We liked Vader, Morbid Angel, Deicide. He started writing (lyrics) and the other musicians joined in. The ex-bassist Jorge Echeverría was my co-worker, and I talked to him about the project: "Look, we're putting together a band." The first thing was to buy a drum kit, we already had guitars, although basic ones because that's how everything starts. We would meet at my house and drink playing guitar and bass. When the drums arrived we looked for a drummer, it was almost impossible because no one was up to play Morbid Angel, Hypocrisy, Benediction, Slayer, Sepultura covers. In search of a drummer, every single one gave up because they didn't like it or they weren't up to the challenge. This was November 2012. We had another drummer, but he left, he brought a lot of ideas but it wasn't what Maldek was looking for. Then Esau "El Muñeca" Rivera came in. I called the guys to a bar and gave him the setlist for the covers we wanted to play, in a month we were already playing and I admired him for that. Like Diego, they are some of the best. Even now we are experimenting and moving forward.
Douglas: We didn't really know what direction we were going to take with the band, we didn't know whether to play death or thrash metal. We would meet at Efraín's house at the end of 2012 and we would even play songs from Angeles del Infierno, we would play everything. When we decided to play death metal, the drummer from Era de Miseria didn't want to because he was used to playing heavy metal, we ended without a drummer until Esau from the black metal band Lamentos Ancestrales arrived. I already had the lyrics for "Pesadilla Sangrienta", it was the first song they started working music for and when we played live we played covers until other songs were ready.
- In your opinion, what can we do locally for the underground metal movement to grow in our country?
Efraín: It is important to do concerts, we started playing before Hades Metal Bar emerged. But you always have to consider paying for the bands, since this place was founded I have always paid the bands, reaching an agreement first.
Douglas: For me the only thing that can be done to improve this comes down to one word: Unity. This doesn't exist now, support each other no matter what, without individualism or anything like that. Only in this way can we move forward, and as long as this does not exist, we will all go our own way, doing whatever we can.
Enrique: We as a band try to do things in the best way and there are many people who see it. It fills me with satisfaction to see that we serve as an example for other bands that say “These bastards have started from the bottom”. We want to go one step beyond, continue to improve in every aspect, and as Douglas said the keyword is “Unity”, but as long as there is no unity we will work from within, from the core of the band to be an example to others.
Julio: I have tried to work with other bands, and all along I have seen people who don't take it seriously. If you start any project you have to do it with a positive attitude, decidedly. There are many bands that do not go further because of this, for that reason they remain forgotten. Others want to make music but don't want to play live, the thrill of a rock band is to play live.
Diego: For me, it would be good to use the spaces that are if I use to do weekly shows, music clinics, art exhibitions. In San Salvador, the spaces are currently limited, four or five bars and venues. Playing frequently is like a live practice, it helps make yourself known and prepares you to be better.
- After a full-length and an EP, what can we expect from Maldek in the near future?
Efraín: We already have enough advanced material for a new full-length, at least by the end of this year we expect to have something and start recording next year. We thought of a new video with a remastered song from the EP to make it sound better. We are going to keep working on that line.
Enrique: We want to follow the sequence with steady feet, the next thing would be the new video. The last video we made was very well received and we hope next year to be close to releasing the new album. New stuff that contributes to the growth of the band.
Diego: We are also working on the live performance. We analyze ourselves to apply it to future concerts or improve song arrangements.
Full interview was published in English and Spanish in Metal Extremista Vol. III, August, 2021.