Deep Emotions and Darkened Images
CoC interrogates Mexico's Hocico
by: Adrian Bromley
Fueled by life's hardships, society, and all the other bad things that has or continues to happen to themselves, Hocico creators Erk Aicrag and Rasco Agroyan have done what most musicians do when they experience such things: they write about it. The band's debut LP, _Odio Bajo El Alma_ - on the Mexican record label Opcion Sonica - is a intense journey through darkened visions and harsh realities. With each listen and each track, the music on _Odio Bajo El Alma_ paints a rather disturbing picture of society and life in general as seen through Aicrag and Agroyan's eyes. Radiating a harsh industrial/metallic/ambient sound with a dash of Skinny Puppy, Hocico takes us through numerous emotionally-filled and electronic-sounding songs that lash out at us with hate and destruction. Erk Aicrag took time out from wreaking havoc to talk to Chronicles of Chaos by e-mail about the band, their music, and living in Mexico. Here is how it went:

CoC: Tell me about growing up in Mexico and how it inspired you to be in a band? What got you into music? What topics or ideas do you express in your songs?

Erk Aicrag: Growing up in Mexico City has been very special for us. As you know, we have a lot of ancient culture in here. But it is much like other cities around the world, cities that are dealing with too much information, drug trafficking, etc... Here, it is a very violent environment that we live in, and we have seen that since we were little kids, and personally, we have had a lot experiences with those situations and we gained a lot of anger from it. We write about it now in Hocico's songs, and we have always wanted to be able to vent all of these feelings into our music. Hocico speaks about how we perceive life here.

CoC: How did releasing numerous demos prior to this LP with Opcion Sonica help the band?

EA: Releasing numerous demos before making this record helped us out a lot. We got a lot of experience from recording and also, we learned to trust ourselves in what we decide to do as a band. We also gained a lot of support from the people who have believed in us.

CoC: Explain to me the music scene there? Is it very competitive? Any other good bands we should be on the lookout for?

EA: In the last three or four years, the hard music/electronic music scene has grown continually. Bands to look out for are Ogo, Deus ex Machina, Dulce Liquido (Racso's solo project), Artefakto, and Encefalisis. There really is no competition between any of these bands.

CoC: Like numerous other bands that consist of just two members (Ministry, Trial of the Bow, etc...), what has been the hardest part of creating music and seeing eye to eye with ideas? Is it hard to make music? Why do you sing and write in both English and Spanish?

EA: The hardest part is creating the structure in the song's concepts. We discuss the feeling that we are trying to express in particular. We go through a selection process to see what songs will work for us. The way the creating of works, it goes like this: Racso focuses in the music, and I primarily on the vocals and lyrics. About why we sing in two languages? We sing in English and Spanish because we try to keep in contact with two types of cultures and people. We aim to sing/write in Spanish because we are talking about specific themes that people in Mexico will understand and relate to what we are singing about.

CoC: Where do you think the music of Hocico is headed to in the future? Have you started writing new ideas for the band's music?

EA: Well, music is our way of living, so we can't leave it. We feel very close to what we do and that we are able to work together to create music. We want to do this for a long time. As for the future of Hocico? We are always searching for new sounds and experiences to bring to our sound. Right now, we are working on a new MCD for release sometime in September of this year.

CoC: What does the band's album title mean to you? I know Spanish, so I am familiar with the translation, but to others who may not know, what does it mean? And the band's name? Are the ideas/points of view within the record able to go hand in hand with the album title?

EA: This album title (_Odio Bajo El Alma_) means 'hate under your soul' or 'soul full of hate,' and signifies the hate that we've hidden for a long time. To show that all this hate exists and is part of us. The songs are very close to the title of the album because they talk about situations and desires that enclosed us in those moments of rage. Not all the songs on this album are full of hate. Also, we try themes about spirituality and introspection within the songs we write for. Hocico translates into English as 'muzzle,' and in our country, this word is used to offend; i.e 'Te voy a romper el hocico!' - meaning 'I will beat you!' The name encloses a great capacity of aggression.

CoC: What does success mean to you? How do you know you have been successful?

EA: Success for most people is like: girls, money and fame. Those things are not important for us. Success is a very simple thing for us. We just want to be able to create good, honest music with a lot of quality, and then good things will come later on.

CoC: Is there a big difference, do you think, between Mexican electro/industrial/metal outfits and those from around the world? What makes Mexico's music different, do you think?

EA: Good music depends on the capacity of creation and this is not representative of each homeland. What gives a special touch in Mexican music is their musical tastes. I think that is important and healthy for people to have many tastes when it comes to music."

(article submitted 12/8/1997)

7/14/1997 A Bromley 8 Hocico - Odio Bajo del Alma
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