Sex, Drugs and... Porno?
CoC interviews Jesus Martyr
by: Adrian Bromley
Just one listen, my friends, and you'll be hooked. Hmmm... more like crushed. To the faint of heart, if you can't handle an abundance of sex and powerfully-charged metal chaos, then stay clear of the debut disc _Sudamerican Porno_ from Argentina powerhouse Jesus Martyr. Bible thumpers, you've been warned.

This sexually obsessed, powerfully intact industrial metal machine band -- consisting of singer Santiago, guitarist Martin, drummer Guillermo, bassist Bruno and keyboardist Hugo -- has managed to snag a deal with Repulse Records and spread their leper-like ways of painfully sadistic metal numbers to the metal legions of the world. It's a tough regime to ignite, but Jesus Martyr has the goods to do so.

One of the main spokesmen of Jesus Martyr's intentions is guitarist Martin. He discusses the abundance of sexual, pornographic ideas and themes spread throughout the recording. "Our lyrics are mainly inspired by the ways of philosophy and religion", he starts. "I studied philosophy as a career and everything I read and learned influences me to come up with such material, or at least to try to get the ideas into the main source of what we do."

He adds about the pornography element, saying: "We didn't use porno in its contemporary sense throughout the record. Maybe in some areas, but to note, the word "pornography" in Greek means something like "to write on bitches" and our album is no more than a chronicle about the South American bitches, like media, institutionalised religion and political parties, for example. All of them are looking for a bit of power and money, just like bitches. Like I mentioned before, we have many topics in our lyrics; sex is an important part of it, but this album is very personal and introspective, everything has a different meaning when it comes to the lyrics I write."

What's the band's take on today's society and censorship? Martin starts: "I hate everything that has to do with having your rights taken away, and to express yourself is one of them. Argentina (and Latin America in general) has a long history of situations like that arising, military governments did what they fucking wanted with the rights of the people, they didn't even respect some people's right to live. You wouldn't believe the history we have to deal with from 1945 to 1982. Argentina's society suffered a lot and now it is in transition into something better; so nowadays things are quite different, but democracy in this part of the world is as fragile as crystal. In two months we are voting for a new president and all the candidates are shitty!! Argentina is a wonderful country, but the political parties here are nothing but clowns. Our society has unfortunately lost all its combative spirit with the terrible economical situation and the unemployment that is oppressing us and taking our strength. We'll see what happens..."

Initially starting out as Martyr in 1994 and over the years demoing new material (with elements of hardcore, death, punk and the like moulding into their current sound) and adding a keyboardist, things are looking much better for the band now as they start to work more with Repulse. It's looking pretty good currently.

"We did everything you can imaginable to get the name out in the beginning", tells Martin. "But we were really stupid, as we just looked for labels in Argentina and all those idiots (that now are distributing our CD!!) didn't want to release it at all, saying it was "too uncommercial" and nonsense like "it is in English, it won't work". Fortunately, Repulse came into the picture for us, but it was totally by chance. The fact is that we gave a tape with eight songs from our _Sudamerican Porno_ to a guy who had a label in Chile, he showed it to Repulse and then they offered us a contract. We took our time in getting back to them and luckily when we replied they were still interested in our CD and it all worked. They are doing a good job. We have another album coming again through Repulse next year."

While most foreign bands seem to do extremely well in Central and South America, very few bands south of the United States (other than Sepultura, Angra and maybe Overdose) get proper exposure and make something for themselves. It's a hard scene in South America. Martin explains.

"The musical situation in South America in general is not really bad. Brazil has an incredible scene. On the other hand, in Argentina heavy music is exactly the same as anything else, it's in crisis, about to collapse. The scene is really big and we have lots of bands, but the economical situation is really destroying every chance to do something and music is no exception. Fortunately, we are being lucky and our CD is selling okay. We're happy and are now gaining a lot of fan support which is stemming from good press. I think we are in a good situation right now and it should be that way 'cause we worked a lot to achieve this. I'm glad it all has turned out 'cause this time last year we were on the verge of splitting up. Things weren't working. It's all turned around for the better and we can only be happy with the exposure and respect that Jesus Martyr is getting from metal fans worldwide."

(article submitted 12/8/1999)


ALBUMS
5/19/1999 A Bromley 9.5 Jesus Martyr - Sudamerican Porno
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