Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Interview with Juan Pablo Breña Romero of Maze Of Terror and Hydra Art And Design by Dave Wolff

Interview with Juan Pablo Breña Romero of Maze Of Terror and Hydra Art And Design

Where is your design company Hydra Art And Design based? What was your purpose when you started it?
Hi my friend. I really thank you for this space. And a big hello to all the bangers that read this zine!!!! Hydra Art And Design is a design company I founded a few years ago, seeking to emulate the design quality of this new era when vintage and horror-deco predominate. So each CD, Booklet, Tape, Vinyl and T-shirt represents the extreme proposal of underground bands well. We have had the opportunity to make flyers for the Abadon Fest here in Lima, Peru, and made designs for Witchaven, Ruin, Omenfilth and Maze of Terror among others. We also support concerts and events in my city, and we are proud of this small contribution to the underground scene.

How long has Abadon Fest been an event in Peru? Does it receive publicity in zines or webzines outside your country?
Well, I did not organize the event. I was only part of the graphic art, as I see it are many months of a very strong effort until what I manage to perceive the comrades who organize it are masters!
Of course there is a lot of support, and as there are always great comments, it is a great event with great dedication and always the bands feel comfortable in the presentations.

Does Abadon Fest host local bands and bands from elsewhere in South America, or have bands from abroad played there?
Legendary bands like Nasty Savage, Sadistic Intent, Atrophy, Chakal have participated, also bands like Inquisicion, Warpath, Massive Power, Atomic Agressor from the neighboring country of Chile, bands like Reencarnacion de Colombia or Peruvian bands like Kranium, Mortuorio, Darken, our band Maze Of Terror, Sepulcro, Nightmare TMB have always participated with a quality sound in the events.

How many fliers has Hydra Art And Design done for Abadon Fest? How did you hear about this event and get in contact with the organizers?
We did flyers for the first two events and other events like Profanatica, and Morbosidad.
We played with my band Maze Of Terror on the first event, they are cool guys, we received a message when we return from Ecuador to join the event, after that they seek a designer and I do the work that was really cool, always grateful for that. I hope the next events to enjoy metal music after this situation of the pandemic is solved, soon great events will return!!!!

Is Peru home to many fests each year? What is the scene in Lima like as far as clubs, record stores, labels and zines go?
Here we have few bars, but two that I can mention are The Drone and Hensley where there are events every day of the week. In Peru there are few festivals, I can only think of Lima Metal Fest and Abadon Fest. Our scene is small but we have a large influx of bands that come here to give concerts. There are few venues but good sound engineers and equipment which makes many bands happy to play here because of the good equipment and sharp bangers that we have. There are good labels like Postarmagedon - Pentagram, Inti Records that are assorted with good underground material. Also small distributors that are in charge of spreading material, all the good CDs always arrive here!!!

Who are the sound engineers who help bands for their performances?
We are small and don’t have any special supporters to play live. But In Lima we usually have friends in sound to help us like Rula from El Sotano or Paul Pinto from Quarter Note. Each time they do sound they help us make a great performance.

Do metal festivals held In Peru get publicity in North America and Europe? Would you like to see these events and the local bands who play there have more exposure?
I really love the idea to the people know how good a place Peru is for a show; good people, good metal, great food, great equipment. I knew people to visit Peru and would certify that, I think we still need the events and festivals in Peru to be even more publicized so that people know about the good work that is done here and also to get even bigger bands to come to these parts, they will not regret it!!!, I hope that too you can help me with it, my brother!!!

How often does Maze Of Terror have the opportunity to perform at metal festivals in Peru? Is the band active in the local club scene there?
The truth is that we have only performed for the Abadon Fest. We have not yet had the pleasure of performing at other festivals in Peru, maybe later I will have the opportunity. We have participated in other festivals outside of Peru, in Bolivia and Ecuador, always with the spirit above!!!!

Name some of the festivals in Bolivia and Ecuador where Maze Of Terror played. How did the scenes there compare to your home country?
We played in Bolivia at a festival called In Satanam Meis and opened for Pentagram. Another festival I remember was one in Ecuador opening for the band Ente for his 25th anniversary. It was really cool; we knew good people and musicians that played there for the first time like us.

Are you one of the founding members of Maze Of Terror? Does it help the band to have a graphic artist as a member of the band?
I am a founding member. The truth is it always helps a lot to be able to have control over that part of the work, to be able to save time, and above all to express in the right way, the perspective and power of the band!

Your Facebook community page displays the artwork designed by your company. Name a handful of the bands you designed for and how you got in touch with them?
Peru has a small scene. It is easy to contact bands. You only go to a bar or event and talk with guys. I usually do metal flyers and work with so many guys. I do flyers for shows of every band here at some point. I do work for bands in other countries like, Ruin, Omenfilth, SS and Baphomet etc. I love the idea of doing work for more bands outside my country.

How long has Maze Of Terror been active and how much material is available from them? Describe how the band got together.
The band was born with a concept worked by Leviathan (me) and Hammer in 2011. We had the idea to do an extreme thrash metal band with a powerful style and polished sound. We have been active for nine years. We have an EP “Skullcrusher” (2012), an album “Ready to Kill” (2016), a split ”Death for our Rivals” with Witchaven, another split with Amken, the EP “Evoked Black Souls” a demo “Death Worshipers”, a split “Savage Warlords” with Wolfstorm, and a second album coming soon, “Offer to the Fvcking Beasts”.

Considering how small local bands are in Peru, how easy it is to meet fans and form bands over there? Does promotion come as easy to bands in Peru? Does snail mail or social media help more in that regard?
It’s easy form a band in Perú play and promote inside of my country, is a little bit difficult in South America, but really difficult obviously in the world, is because exist so many bands, is because we play only for love to metal, we use more the media than Youtube, Facebook and Bandcamp to promote our music and concept, and is really util!!!! , but I think the greatest goal is play in live to other countries, we work on that.

Are the bands you released splits with based in Peru or other countries? Did you come into contact with those bands through advertising and correspondence?
generally not even we do a split with an Peruvian band is because we try to use the distance to promote themselves and ourselves in their countries, but we usually likes be part of compilations, we do constantly, and we are always able to share beers contacts and time with our friends, we use only the media to contact other bands, usually our splits are proposals of the producers of the same, we like the idea of share music with people of so many countries.

Do most Peruvian and South American bands have their own studios where they record? How do those brands achieve such a raw sound on their recordings? How much does the equipment have to do with it?
Usually is more technique than equipment, more gain, the style of the drums, the scales, are more darker, the voices, we think more in strong than perfection, but is not easy, we need so much force, and the inspiration os malevolence to do the things correctly, is part of the herency of the first South American bands, is more inspiration and the riffs than the equipment, is because the sound is part of different countries at this continent.

How long did it take to compile a full band after you and Hammer started out? Did you want to find musicians with interest in the same bands with similar amounts of passion to write thrash metal? What bands do all the band members listen to?
Well it really takes a long time because each song is made to be a world apart, not necessarily to form an album or another, and also we always try to use different scales and different historical or literary concepts,
We always try to show the bands that we like to new members so that they understand the concept and techniques to use, obviously each genre has very different things from attack or fingering, scales and others, bands that really inspire us, I could tell you bands like Sepultura, Vulcano, Whiplash, Venom, Desaster, Metallica, Infernal Majesty and Slayer are important to get into what we do but above all we always look for a new sound within what we do.

How long does it usually take to complete an EP, split or full length? Are you generally pleased with your sound and production?
Our idea is not to delay too much in the productions to minimize the time to a minimum, but concerts, tours, study times sometimes take work, what we try is to do things in parallel, for example work albums together with Eps so that it flows from the productions are constant, for example it took us two years to finish the new album but in parallel we will launch an ep with new songs, a little before or after along with reissues and tours that we did between 2016 and 2017 and important concerts between 2018 and 2019.

Is Maze Of Terror signed to an independent label or are your EPs and full lengths self-released?
Our current deal is with Xtreem Records for the second album, they are helping us a lot and they are extremely kind and nice with us, we are happy about it, Dave Rotten is a nice guy!!!, usually each production goes by a different label, we have not yet signed permanently with a label, but we do not rule out joining a permanent one later.

How many bands inside and outside Peru have you designed artwork for to date?
For example Ruin, Maze of Terror, Witchaven, Baphomet, SS, Omen Filth, but to be honest I only have contact with the labels usually, they contact me as well.

Are you a self-educated artist or did you attend any art schools before you started?
I self-educated in everything my friend, mistakes are the best masters hahahaha, internet helps always to learn some things but I really need to learn so much things.'

Were you and the members of Maze Of Terror around during the 80s thrash era or did you discover the bands sometime after? What most appeals to you about that era?
Well I have 35 years, my generation is about 2000, everything in the 80s is pure love, NWOBHM, South American death thrash, black metal. The 80s are for me as the mythological era for the romans, but we try always to see from the future I see tons of bands in this era that would make proud to be an 80s banger.

How did you hook up with Xtreem Records to promote and distribute your second full length?
They contacted us, and we are glad with it, honestly this just start, our cover art is on works, after this we will shoot our first bullet, we are really happy with it.

Is Hydra Art & Design doing the cover artwork for the new Maze Of Terror album? How much of the cover is complete?
Not, this time the cover art will be made by Karl Dahmer a magnificent artis that do works for bands like Exhumed, Midnight etc, they do the also cover art for our split with Witchaven , I hope we get the cover soon.

Do you have a title in mind for the new album? How many songs do you intend to include on it?
The title of the album will be "Offer to the Fucking Beasts" this will have 10 songs, that soon I will show you my friend.

If the next album generates enough exposure for the band, will you be staying with Xtreem Records for future releases?
I dont know really but would be great !, for the moment our plan is keep doing new releases like new Eps, before start a third album, but we will do it so much faster than this one, we are really happy to launch this the album with Xtreem Records.

-Dave Wolff

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