Nuclear – Escape From the VoidMonday, 2nd November 2015
The clear-cut first name in Chilean thrash, the long road taken by Nuclear hasn’t been without its bumps. Hence, that’s why they call it the “long road.” Given their home country Chile’s remoteness to any viable scene, the band has had to rely on good ‘ole fashioned hard work, networking, and of course, their spiteful, Slayer-inspired brand of thrash. After 20 years of going at it (in various formations), the band is finally getting their shot after UK/US label staple Candlelight Records picked Nuclear up for the release of Formula for Anarchy.
As so discussed below, you’d be hard-pressed to find a harder working, more passionate band than Nuclear, which, when combined with their scintillating thrash tactics, makes them an easy band to get behind. So here’s guitarist Francisco Haussmann, able and willing to be subjected to our queries…
Dead Rhetoric: You’ve been a band in various forms since 1995. Can you describe some of the struggles and hardships you face being a Chilean metal band?
Francisco Haussmann: First off, thanks a lot for this interview. Well, we have probably faced all the problems a band can possibly face – from money problems to lack of creativity and everything in-between. Now, I think that being from Chile just adds more problems to the picture. Living in the ass of the world and not having a real metal market are the main problems. The distance from Chile to –let’s say anywhere- is a real pain in the ass. It turns really expensive to go out touring and sometimes it is just impossible. I think the distance-related problems are the main issue why South American bands have so hard times to get noticed and stand out in the metal music scene. Despite this, we have managed to overcome the problems and keep with it.
Dead Rhetoric: What’s the one thing that has kept the band together for such a long time?
Haussmann: Friendship, without a doubt. Besides being bandmates we are all friends and for me, it is the key to remain together this long. You can always argue, discuss with someone but that should never get to the point to become personal or offensive. That respect from one to each other is what makes the difference. It may sound cliché but it is what it is.
Dead Rhetoric: How did you hook up with Candlelight Records?
Haussmann: It is actually a good question as I am not quite sure how they knew about us. We were touring last year in Europe with Hirax and Bonded By Blood and we received an email from them while in Czech Republic. In that email they said they heard about us from another Candlelight band and would like to work with us. I never knew which band was that. Anyway, we are really happy it happened.
Dead Rhetoric: Thrash enjoyed a revitalization several years ago, but, you’ve been playing the style well before it got popular again. What do you think of all the so-called “retro” thrash bands who were rather popular seven or eight years ago?
Haussmann: I like some of them still. If you name bands such as Warbringer, Havok, Evile or Angelus Apatrida, most people will probably say they are the future of thrash metal and they were precisely the ones starting this retro-thrash movement in my opinion – at least they were the ones that stand out. There are tons of bands that did not get noticed but if you give them a listen, you’ll be amazed. It is difficult to play thrash metal and not because it is technically too challenging, it is difficult because thrash is the father of the extreme metal movement and it is difficult to keep up with the pioneers. People out there will always compare your band to some other from the 80s and that puts an extra problem to your career.
Dead Rhetoric: Formula for Anarchy is your fourth album and first in five years. Any particular reason why it takes you guys so long to do full albums?
Haussmann: We have been putting out full albums every two years since 2006. From 2011 to 2014, we did an EP, a DVD, and a 7” split vinyl and toured a lot in Latin America and Europe and it is probably the reason why we did not do a full album. We expect to return to writing mode soon and have another one out by 2017.
Dead Rhetoric: As for the album itself, it’s a great combination of old and new thrash, along with killer, blazing solos. For you, what’s the key to writing a great thrash song?
Haussmann: To put yourself in the metalhead shoes. I’m a metalhead myself, it isn’t that difficult. It isn’t about a formula; it isn’t about a rule to follow. It is just writing something you will instantly love and give you goosebumps. It is hard to explain but not so hard to accomplish once you have the right elements.
Dead Rhetoric: A lot of your lyrics detail corruption and evil. Are these drawn from real-life experiences?
Haussmann: All of them. It is not so difficult to get inspiration when you live in a fucked up country like this. The everyday in Chile is filled with inequality, corruption, briberies, you name it. The clown we have as a president is just going from bad to worse. Every single thing she does is wrong. Politicians are the number one thieves in here. While the country is falling apart, they figure out a way to make more money. We get inspired by this kind of ridiculousness, from what really matters and actually disturbs people every day.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you have any tour plans in support of Formula for Anarchy?
Haussmann: We did one already in Europe/Russia during August and September this year and we are now touring Chile promoting the new album. We would like to go to more places, like Asia and US but we have not been able to reach those places yet. I think it is a matter of time. Formula for Anarchy is our first album under Candlelight and it takes time for people to get to know you. I have no doubt that we will have a chance to visit more places in the near future.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you think of the new Slayer album?
Haussmann: I’m a big fan of Slayer and despite of what some people say about them, I think it is one of the most consistent metal bands out there and Repentless proves that. I’ve given the album a few spins and it has all the Slayer elements: It is fast, violent and dark. It does not make it to my top 3, but it is still a good record to hear.
Dead Rhetoric: Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2015, going into 2016?
Haussmann: Keep touring, promoting the new release. By the end of the year, we would like to enter writing mode again. As we will probably return to Europe next year, we would like to have some songs ready before that. Also, Candlelight is also releasing our back catalogue in November – it is going to be a 3CD Boxset including our three first albums. I think this is going to help metalheads to know a little bit more about the band, can’t wait for it to be out.