Interview mit Martin Lazarte Castro Jr.

Can you introduce Aardvarks to our readers.

Hi all there. First of all: Sorry Matrin, that it took me so long to return this interview, but the last period of AARDVARKS was very unshure and mixed line-upwise. Now we have a more or less fixed troop. For the many readers that do not know us, we are a German Thrash-Death-Heavy-Metal band. My brother Andreas and me founded the band in 1992. He left the band a few years earlier due to his studies. After many lineup changes we’re now me on rhythm guitar and vocals, Hernan Andres Martinez Riveros (a guy from Colombia) on lead guitar, Ömer Hamzaouglu (from Turkey) on Bass and Patrick Schröder (Germany) on drums. As you can see we are quite international.

What can you say us about your discography, with what labels have you worked?
Besides some tracks on compilations we released the demos „Eyes“ (1994) and „Farkas‘ Lemma“ (1996) which we by now distribute together on one CD-R as our „Demo Collection“. Then we released the MCD „Profondo Rosso“ in 1999. And 2002 we recorded a few songs in a studio session that until now were only released as CD-R promo with the name „Conglomerate“. Well, all over the years we did not have one proper offer of a trustfull label for a contract. We always recorded, produced, promoted and payed everything by ourselfes. But for seven years now we’ve an important help from my friend Oliver Weiskopf, who together with me records all the stuff we want to release in his Stonehenge Studio. He’s somehow the fifth bandmember and all these years we worked really good together because we both have the same vision of the sound of AARDVARKS. The first offer of a label we loved to accept was the deal with the colombian label YAHUAR MALLCU. Two or three years ago Diego Rodriguez, a friend of mine asked me if I would like to put a track of our last MCD on a compilation he was planning to release together with his friend on their label. I was happy to and gave them „Meat“ from our Profondo Rosso MCD. The feedback was great and it turned out that the South American folks liked our style of Metal. So they asked if they can put out a longplayer made of our last two MCDs. Thats how the CD „AARDVARKS – Conglomerate“ came together. It contains the Material of „Profondo Rosso“ and the newer „Conglomerate“ and comes with a full color 12-page booklett. In that form it will be released exclusively in South America. As it is ready finally I will tell Diego to send you one piece. I am really looking forward to the reactions of all those metaleros.
Do you have spanish roots, no, was it a problem with nazism or any like that?
Actually my mom is from Bolivia, so I definately have a connection to the southamerican spirit. I can speak Spanish also, but I do lack in practice especially in writing, so that I prefer to answer this interview in English. In Gemany there aren’t as many nazis or fashists as people might think. Due to the historical legacy of the Hitler regime the Germans are very sensible towards rascism and political right wing tendencies. Shure there will always be a few dumbheads that still preach this retarded attitude but they are very few. I for myself and my family never had any problems with racism or fashism.
What is the main line of your lyrics, do you read a lot to write them?
The lyrics in general have no main theme. Every song has its own intention. I write about movies, the human mind, life in general, philosophical or religious questions or even abstract maths. Just what comes to my mind and I feel good to write about.
What do you (think) of Peru or Southamerica?
A good friend of mine is from Peru. He plays the Irish uillean pipe intro on the song „Merry-Go-Round“ from our „Farkas‘ Lemma“-Demo. You know your people. When there is a latin community in a town they often meet to drink and party. I have a lot of friends from all over South America. Countrywise I think it is kind of hard in some of the South American countries. You know about the economical and political problems. Corruption is a major problem. And for example in Bolivia; every new president knows he probably has not very much time to rule. So instead of working for his country he works for himself sothat when they kick him after a few months or years he at least has its own benifit. I have no detailed information about the politics over there, but as it seems to me this is a general problem in South America. Well, I hope it will be worked out some day.
Are you into 80’s scene, what do you think about the reunion of old acts, do you think that they do for feeling or money?
The thing is, I never was a big fan of this whole True- and Power-Metal thing. I always was more into Thrash and Death. There are a lot of acts (like MANOWAR for example) that just kept on doing their thing all over the years ignoring all trends and criticts and know that there are suddenly so many young kids that like their music, they have a revival or at least sell more records. That is ok with me. I disrespect bands that just try to jump on the train as we say in Germany. They haven’t been active for years and now reunite trying to sell out their old stuff. That is shit but you cannot change that. This kind will always exist but never be respected.
About your shows: Where and with who have you played?
We played many shows in differtent locations but only in Germany. And it was mainly underground gigs with bands from the german scene. The only popular bands we played with were Atrocity (with their awful „Werk 80“ shit) and Tankard (great old thrashers). Due to the fact that we have no label support, we unfortunately never had the opportunity to play a tour or outside of Germany. We would love to though.
How do you define religion and its participation in the scene, do you think that the metal scene hasn’t touched that matters?
I am agnostic. That means that I do not have the knowledge to state that god does not exist, but as a christian believes in god, I believe that there is none, although I cannot proove it. Therefore religion is nothing that I need for myself, but I am very interested in its sociological and psychological effects on others. Exactly as political extremism and nationalism to me religion is for those who are not confident with their situation, personality or existance. The strongest influence religion has on the metal scene is probably Black Metal. I cannot identify with it neither musically nor with their ideals. Although there are a few bands that I quite like (for example NECROPHOBIC). I think a rather big part of its popularity bases on the fascination that occultism always had especially on young people, that are still developing their personality. So it is not very surprising, that most „believing“ black metal fans are between 15 an 25 years old and often change their minds when matured. As for metal in general religion has been and always will be important for some bands. And as I am tolerant towards religion I do not care when the music is good and the lyrics are well written. A lot of people need religion to strengthen their confidence and to give themselves a reason for their existance. They believe in their soul, they hope for eternal live or a live after death because they fear their total end. That is ok with me. I would never try to convince them of my belief. But as I said before, I do not need that for myself. I am a non-praying guy who has a lot of friends, who likes to fuck, eat and drink and I have my own definition of moral, ethics and social behaviour. I believe that I only have the life I am living right now, so I have to make the best out of it. When I die one day it will be the end. I am able to accept that right now and I hope I will be when the time has come. That’s it.
Any future plan?
Oh, for now I will do the recordings for the new BETHLEHEM album where I sing and play rhythm guitar. AARDVARKS are pausing as Hernan is in Colombia at the moment. He will hopefully return in the beginning of the year and maybe there will be a new AARDVARKS release during 2004. We are writing songs and collecting stuff but no concrete plans yet. But maybe Hernan can organize some gig in Bogota. Playing live in South America would be a dream come true. So maybe we will save some money for the tickets and bang the metals over there a bit. Who knows?
Any last comment?
So then. Thanks for your patience, keep up the great work. I will keep you informed about us. To all the Metals out there. Visit our page, download a lot of songs, a video and sign our guestbook. No matter what language. HEAVY METAL SHALL BE THY ONLY LAW!