INTERVIEW: Juan Brujo (BRUJERIA)
Extreme metallers BRUJERIA released their fourth full-length album, titled "Pocho Aztlan" on September 16 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The release will be followed by a U.S. tour this October alongside CATTLE DECAPITATION and PIÑATA PROTEST.
"Pocho Aztlan" is the band's first release since "Brujerizmo" was released in 2000 via Roadrunner. It was recorded over the course of many years and at several studios around the globe. The end result was mixed by Russ Russell (NAPALM DEATH, THE EXPLOITED).
BRUJERIA frontman Juan Brujo recently gave us some insights on the recording process and current state state of the band
About the recording process of ‘Pocho Aztlan’...
"After the last record it was hard to get everybody together so it’s always been a problem. I think in 2008 we decided to make a new record. We’d been touring for a while so that’s when we started the process. But just trying to get everybody together to record was hard to do because we would get offers for shows and we’d do that instead. Finally we got some time together to write some songs and do pieces back and forth but then things got in the way, like the guy who was going to mix it had back surgery and was out for a year. Things like that would happen each year. We finally got it together this last year and it’s coming out now.
It's always hard to get everybody together to write songs and with touring going on we spend a lot of our time with that. The actual getting together with everybody and trying to get things done is like, “Email me this, and email me that track.” When you start doing the email thing it’s hard to put together fast. We learnt that the hard way. Everybody’s in different bands and they’re on tour all the time and blah blah blah, so it’s hard to get them all together.
About the album title Pocho Aztlan which in English translates to ‘Wasted Promised Land'...
‘Pocho’ is a bad word Mexicans use to describe Mexicans born in the United States – it’s like calling them trash. People from Mexico are calling us trash over here. It’s like we’re not wanted in Mexico and then over here if you’re Mexican they say, “Go back to Mexico!” so it’s like we have no real place of our own. And then ‘Aztlan’ is the Aztec Indian’s Promise Land. They’re all mythical – the city in the sky or whatever. So we take the Aztec Promise Land and put it together: ‘Pocho Aztlan’. That’s the whole thing behind the title.
The songs themselves are basically fairly like the old ones – songs that talk about crossing the border, illegal immigration into the United States, drug dealings and other things that are going on between Mexico and the United States. It’s just updated of what’s going on now compared to the old records that told what was going on then.
On why BRUJERIA didn't start performing live until 15 years after their formation...
We started doing the live thing in 2003 and it was after 14-15 years of just making records. We could never get everybody together doing any shows or touring because everybody had their other bands that got big. I used to say if you’re touring for Brujeria then your other band will get big and famous. Finally in 2003 one of the other bands broke up and our members had free time so we actually started doing some shows and we got hooked on it. We didn’t expect the big reaction we were getting so we kept touring and playing as many gigs as we could and enjoyed ourselves. Later on a new record came out but basically it’s just really hard to get the members together.
Check out the music video for 'Plata O Plomo'!