Chile has become an incredibly strong country in extreme music over the last couple of years, especially when it comes to Death and Black Metal. But if you take a closer look at the country’s underground music scene, you will also discover some very good Speed / Thrash Metal bands. One of them definitely is APOSTASY. Ever since their origin way back in 1988, founding member Cristián Silva (aka Cris Profaner) has kept the band going and released a bunch of demos, two EPs and three full length albums by now. The latest (and also strongest) APOSTASY album “Death Return” was released via Fallen Temple a bit earlier this year and the reason for the following interview with Cris, who kindly answered all our questions…
APOSTASY originally started out way back in 1988… who was in the very first line-up and was APOSTASY’s predecessor DAMN SOUL basically the same band already? If so, what made you change the name?
“Hello, thanks for the interest in APOSTASY. I changed the name because I found the word APOSTASY, that’s the main reason. I was excited when I discovered that term. The first line-up was a friend of mine who taught me to play guitar, he got bored of Metal after a year, my brother played guitar and he went into studies, and the drummer went to play in another band.”
Which bands had the biggest musical influence on you when you started out and have those influences changed over the years?
“My influences for APOSTASY are the German trilogy, SODOM, KREATOR, DESTRUCTION, and the American one, SLAYER, DARK ANGEL, POSSESSED. I can also name INFERNÄL MÄJESTY, SACRILEGE (“Party With God”) and MERCYFUL FATE. You can also hear Heavy Metal influences in parts of APOSTASY that are big.”
Did you already send your very first two-song rehearsal from 1989 to any fanzine or magazine or did you wait with that until you had your first real demo “Fraud In The Name Of God” finished a little bit later?
“I have never sent tracks or demos to any label. Labels contact me when they are interested to release something.”
You re-recorded both songs from the rehearsal (‘Deceased In Funeral’ and ‘The Night’) for the “Fraud In The Name Of God” demo again… Had you re-worked the songs for that a bit or was it just to introduce your new guitar player Claudio Aguayo, who had just joined you around that time?
“Fraud In The Name Of God” was an EP. The main error could be that the tracks got included on “Sunset Of The End”. It wasn’t to introduce Claudio or something, I don’t know what to answer, it wasn’t planned like that.”
In 1991 you released your debut album “Sunset Of The End”, which featured those two songs plus the title track from “Fraud In The Name Of God” once again. Weren’t you still satisfied with the previous versions of the songs or had they become crowd favorites during live shows at the time that you simply had to include them on your first album?
“I wanted to include the tracks… I was 17/18 years old and wasn’t clear about a lot of things. I just wanted the tracks on the album, I think. I was never satisfied with the old versions. The drummer was playing in the band, but had some problems, and the vocals… I still don’t know why I didn’t sing on “Sunset Of The End” and the demo. I liked his vocals but nobody around here liked them and people were saying, “Hey, your vocalist doesn’t work for APOSTASY.””
Talking about live shows: how active has APOSTASY been in the early days? Did you play many memorable shows at that time already?
“No, only very little, like 6 shows with the old singer, until 1992, and until 1996 we played more, like 10 shows, I think, and I started to take over the vocals in those years.”
To get back to your debut album, how come it was only released on cassette back then and not on CD or vinyl?
“Weird question, my friend. Who would release a Chilean band on vinyl at that time? I did the cassette edition, it was very difficult and expensive, and it was terrible for me. I gave copies on consignment and more than half of the copies weren’t payed.”
The album and the demo have finally been re-released together on CD via Proselytism (in 2013) and a couple of years later (in 2018) once again via Fallen Temple… why did it take that long until some label was interested in doing that and have you never thought about releasing it on vinyl or CD yourself at some point?
“Man, nobody is releasing “Death Return”on vinyl at this time, I don’t know what to say. It’s a question for the labels. I think they are not interested, that’s all.”
What happened after the release of your debut album Sunset Of The End”? Did you really split-up APOSTASY in 1993 or was the band just on hold for so many years?
“Metal Archives don’t want to correct the info… APOSTASY played live shows until 1996. In 1996 we were recording the drums and bass for the second album, then I went to live in the USA. It was imposible to follow, the drums were really shitty.”
There was also talk of two unreleased demos, “Now Rules The Lust” in 1996 and “The Great APOSTASY” in 2011… did those demos really exist and if so, which songs would have been on them and why haven’t you released them in the end?
“Both exits, but I don’t have those recordings. I don’t care, they are bad recorded, that’s why they were never released.”
In 2011 your guitar player Claudio Aguayo unfortunately passed away… what happened?
“He got cancer.”
In 2014 you finally returned to the scene with a new APOSTASY demo entitled “Blackened By Sacrifice”via Proselytism as a CD-R, which featured the two songs ‘Virgin Sacrifice’ and ‘Blackened By Lust’. What made you restart APOSTASY at that point and what can you tell us about the new members Sebastián Palominos (guitars) and Cristobal (drums)?
“I finished my business and had time for the band again. I had tracks with programmed drums and I had an old guitar amplifier (Carvin). Sebastián wanted it and he offered me to record in his studio for the amp. I accepted. Then I talked to Cristobal and he said yes to a collaboration. Sebastián was invited after that to play live with APOSTASY, only the guitar solos are played by other guitarists on the albums. I record vocals, guitars, bass and the keyboard intros and do some arrangements.”
Both of those demo songs re-appeared on “The Blade Of Hell” EP again, which was released in 2017, together with ‘The Great Damnation’ (which was already recorded in 2010) and the new track ‘Strike Of The Tormentor’… Tell us a bit more about this EP and why you combined songs from different periods on it. Who was in the APOSTASY line-up at that time?
“I recorded ‘Strike Of The Tormentor’ and I thought it would be a good idea to make an EP of the three tracks. It was Cristobal on drums and two solos of Sebastián and two solos of Felipe (Raijin) who wanted to collaborate. If you don’t know, I record the albums and I rehearse for that only with a drummer, all recorded albums were prepared just with the drummer, I record all then and I ask for someone to collaborate on guitar solos.”
What can you tell us about the “Into The Rehearsal” demo from 2018, which you released digitally via Bandcamp? If I’m not mistaken, the songs were supposed to be released on an album entitled “Thrust Of Damnation”, but it seems that never came out, so what’s the story behind this?
“I didn’t like the final result and it was erased from the APOSTASY discography. It was a temporary dummer who wasn’t too good for this Metal.”
Instead of “Thrust Of Damnation” you released the second APOSTASY album, “The Sign Of Darkness”, in 2018… or was that the same album, just with a changed album title?
“No, it was different. “Thrust Of Damnation” was the aborted rehearsal, “The Sign Of Darkness” was meant to be the title and those tracks.”
For “The Sign Of Darkness” you re-recorded a lot of demo songs again. Is that the way you like to develop your material? To basically test the material on demos in order to find out how the songs sound and then to re-work them for their final versions on the albums that are about to follow that period?
“I change the tuning to standard E and I wanted the tracks on the full length with the actual sound. When I plan a full length I include previous tracks as you can see, but on “Death Return” I didn’t include the tracks of “The Unknown Path”. I wanted that EP with exclusive songs, besides I wanted “Death Return” with just speed tracks.”
A couple of wellknown APOSTASY songs resurfaced on the “Witching Fire” Demo in 2020 one more time… what was the reason for the new recordings this time? Same as above?
“The recordings weren’t meant to be released, just to try the sound. But I liked them and so I put them on Bandcamp, people asked for them, so I released them cassette.”
What made you record and release another EP in 2020 (“The Unknown Path”) instead of going for the next full length right away?
“A full length would take too much time. I wanted to release something, so an EP was good at the time.”
This year you finally released your third album “Death Return”… What made you work with two different companies (Cabalist Records and Fallen Temple) for the CD edition and how do you judge the album if you compare it to your previous recordings? It seems you’re very critical when it comes to your own material, so does “Death Return” represent APOSTASY in the best way at the moment from your point of view?
“I created the label Cabalist for the reason that I explained before. Labels are not too interested in APOSTASY, so I had to do it, because almost every day I got messages asking for material. So in order to be able to respond I did Cabalist. I think “Death Return” is very close how I hear the tracks in my mind, also “The Sign Of Darkness”. To get a good result a good drummer is neccesary and Cristobal and Adrian are very good, so I’´m happy with “The Sign Of Darkness” and “Death Return”. I think the vocals are not that good recorded, I recorded some vocals last week for “Witching Fire 2”, that includes “Death Return” tracks in a rough version. This sounds how I wanted the vocals, with more delay. I couldn’t get that result in Vardager, now I’m living in Santiago (capital of Chile) and im starting to record in a new studio.”
What is the reason that the album is entitled “Death Return” and the song which appears on it is entitled ‘Death Returns’? Or is it just a typo?
“No error, the layouts are revised two times before the print. It means what it means. Death Return (Return of death) and Death Returns. You know English better than me, you must know the difference.”
Since you returned to the scene in 2013, there seems to be a much bigger interest in your material now and a lot of it has been re-released via several companies in all kinds of formats. So, how do you explain that? Do you think the time wasn’t right yet for APOSTASY in the earlier days?
“I don’t know if the time wasn’t right really. Maybe now there are more labels and they get to know more bands because of the internet. And the possibilities to release stuff is more viable now, in the old days it was more difficult.”
What kind of status does the band have in the Chilean underground scene nowadays? How many people show up these days if you play shows and do you just play headliner gigs or do you also support bigger international acts if they play in Chile?
“APOSTASY never played with international bands in Chile, only small gigs. Because of this, it’s useless to have a line-up. I will just record, as I told you. I do the samples, I show it to drummer, I rehearse with him and record the drums, after that I record everything, besides solos. So now it’s just me with the drummer (Adrian), who played on “Death Return” and he is a very nice person, easy going.”
Do you consider APOSTASY more as a Thrash or a Death Metal band?
“More as a Speed Metal band, because it’s Heavy Metal, very fast, Death Metal and Thrash are “speed”, but I consider APOSTASY an old Metal band. It has Death, Thrash, Black, Speed, Heavy, Power, even Doom.”
Could APOSTASY ever exist without you? I mean, it’s pretty obvious that you are more or less responsible for everything that was written, recorded and released as APOSTASY over the years, so how much influence do other members have on the evolution of the material?
“Other members didn’t influence APOSTASY. I never could get musicians that are in underground Metal, they are always in their projects. So ex-members of APOSTASY were not in the style of APOSTASY. I do the tracks, both guitars, bass, vocals, vocal lines and lyrics. I don’t ask for opinions, I just compose and I finish what I think is good, and I record all strings and vocals, so no influences of others.”
When did you start using the name Cris “Profaner” and what made you do so?
“It was my name in old APOSTASY and DAMN SOUL. When I started again in 2013, I had the idea of “re-start” APOSTASY as if it was in that time, so I wanted to pick that name and riffs that I had from that time, like the first riffs of ‘Virgin Sacrifice’.”
What do you enjoy more, to write brand new music or to rework old material?
“Brand new music, I’m working on new tracks for APOSTASY and my new project SHADOWS which is obscure Heavy Metal.”
Ok Cris, thanks a lot for taking the time. All the best for you and APOSTASY. I’ll leave the closing words to you now…
“Thanks for the interest in APOSTASY, I really aprecciate it. Thanks to all the people who are reading this, see you then!”
Last live pic: Pamela Canales Venegas / www.facebook.com/rockymetalenchile
Interview: Frank Stöver