Thy Antichrist Interview with Andres Vargas
By Santtu Kaskela
Started their journey in Colombia in 1998 as “El Anticristo”, but soon… Andres (Antichrist 666) Vargas stepped out of the shadows with THY ANTICHRIST and released split-album “Southern Legions of Satan” with Utuk-Xul in 2002 and 2 years later in 2004 debut Full-length “Wicked Testimonies”. Ever since Thy Antichrist has offered every damn metalhead a very dark, extremely brutal and aggressive perspective of the world and earned their place as one of the biggest names in Latin America black metal scene. The time has come to find out some more facts, what’s been going on for the last 20 years. Let’s go, don’t want to be late for this !!!
*So honored to have this chance to have a moment with You. How are You doing ?
The honor is mine!I’m doing pretty good. Thanks for asking. Also very busy at the moment of answering this interview. We are just about to release our newest album and preparing to go in a massive tour across North America supporting Septicflesh and Dark Funeral for around 26 dates between February and March also finishing this tour we’ll be playing in a couple of Metal festivals in Guatemala and El Salvador in Central America.
* I just love to learn some facts from the past. Would You tell me and everyone who’s reading this the story behind THY ANTICHRIST ? How and when did Your journey start and how was the start, a real struggle or ?
I’m Thy Antichrist’s founder, songwriter, mastermind and general manager. I created Thy Antichrist in Medellin, Colombia, South America in 1998. At the beginning and a long the
band’s process throughout the time has been a hard process. You know, working into underground especially with non commercial music isn’t an easy thing no matter the part of the world you are, also the economical living in Colombia it wasn’t easy as well, so working with an underground band it’s a challenging task.
*What kind of reactions and comments did You get after Your first releases, 1 split album and Your debut Full-length by audience, media, those who seem to know it all (critics) etc.?
We received very good critics and response especially after the release of our album “Wicked Testimonies” in 2004. This album was well received into the Black Metal underground around the world.
*Black metal has that specific reputation, mostly thanx to “second wave” coming mostly from Norway, a fan or a musician is always violent, sacrifices animals, burns different buildings, drinks blood, looks like psychotic raccoon holding different kind of weapons high, worships S… etc stupid stereotypes… How would You describe black metal and people who just love it?
Black Metal is one of the biggest scenes into Metal and has one of the most loyal scenes. Unfortunately I think there are so many misunderstandings about this musical genre. For me, Black Metal it’s a way of express criticism or reflection against some social topics like religion and the dark human behavior.
*After 20 years of extreme aggression, . How would You describe Your journey so far?
I would describe it as devotion. I’ve been devoted to the art of my band for 20 years since I started it at younger age. As I said before isn’t easy working with this kind of projects. It demands a lot of time, effort, patience and money. Basically I’m not making my living from the band, I’ve been living to keep my band and musical career going on to this point with the only retribution of sharing my art to our friends and fans around the world and receiving their respect, and recognizement is the best satisfaction I can get.
*Tell us a little about Your songwriting process, do You work as a team, a well-oiled machine, or is someone(s) in charge ?
Basically I’m in charge of the musical direction of the band but I work close with my band mates so we can join different ideas until the songs starts taking shape.
*Sure seems like You deal with the darkness of human mind in Your lyrical themes… What is Your message to people ?
In the lyric contain and band’s philosophy I’m addressing a reflective message about the chaotical reality we’re experiencing as mankind into this modern time. You don’t find in the lyrics any anachronistic theme based in the medieval satanism. I’m just writing from my personal experiences and philosophical influences coming from some of the most well
known writers of universal literature like Friedrich Nietzsche about the dark, cruel and brutal human history and how we are living at this present time worst than the primitive man of the ancient caves. There is no a difficult way to guess that we as mankind, we are the makers of this modern chaos with failed economical, political, ecological and religious systems in decadence.
*Can’t even imagine life is just dark, brutal, angry, frustrated, bitter, living only with/for Metal 24/7. How do You relax and just take it easy and get away for a while… Or do You ?
haha that’s right! Despite the brutal reality of life we’re fueled by Metal 24/7! Keeping this spirit I wrote “Metal to the Bone” new single released just few days ago. The art of living for me it’s like a exciting movie with good and bad episodes with Metal music as soundtrack.
*During these years… What have been the most memorable, positive, rewarding moments and maybe some moments no one wants to remember anymore ? Has everything (or nothing) gone as You planned back in 1998 ?
One of the most rewarding things could be the chance of meeting good friends around the world that supports my art with their friendship, also one of the memorable times was a festival we performed in Colombia in front of 120.000 Metalheads just before Exodus, the headlining band of that night, and other great memories during these 20 years of career. I don’t want to remember the passed away of my drummer, band-mate in 2011. He committed suicide. Anyway, it has been a long and exciting journey to this point enjoying the making of this art.
*Nowadays it seems to be so damn important to everyone to label music and bands, be so very smart when talking about different genres. How do You feel about this labeling and how would You describe Your band and music to someone like me to whom those genres mean absolutely nothing ?
Well, in our case more than black metallers we’re Metalheads! In our music despite the fact we play Black Metal just to name an specific “genre”, you can find a variety of Metal genres, like Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Death Metal and of course Black Metal riffs.
*Coming to Your show… What do we have to prepare ourselves for ?
We offer an intense performance. I usually spend 2.5 to 3 hr applying my ritualistic “corpse paint”/body art prior to the show. We’re working hard to deliver an unique experience for our shows.
*Where do You find Your most loyal THY ANTICHRIST fans ?
The Hispanic community that lives in the US are some of the most loyal fans we have because we share the same spirit of Latin American Metal, also mentioning as well the Mexican scene, Central American and South American scenes.
*Your new album “Wrath of The Beast” will be released on 23rd of February…. What can we expect ?
We worked really hard and with patience for around 5 years in the making of this album, to get all the pieces I was looking for to make a good and unique album. I’m very satisfied with the way of “Wrath of the Beast” took shape. You can expect a great journey through different Metal ambiences.
*How does the future look like for THY ANTICHRIST… The best years are still to come and we (the fans) have seen or heard nothing yet ?
We as artists are condemned to work the double of hard! Haha! But it’s a personal and professional challenging task. Learning everyday about new things and improving ourselves as human beings and artists. I don’t like to see so far in the future, just doing the right things and living the best possible way the present time.
*Any last words (not literally) to people who are reading this, the Family of Metalheads Forever, Your fans and Your soon-to-be fans ?
I appreciate your interest and support to Thy Antichrist. Means a lot to me. I hope you enjoy “Wrath of the Beast” album, also I hope to see you soon in the road. All the best to you and Metalheads Forever Magazine. Cuernos Arriba!
MHF Magazine/Santtu Kaskela