The following interview is with Raul Guzman of the black metal band Toxodeth, who hail from Mexico City, Mexico. Here Raul discusses his influences as well the history of the band and other subjects.
Could you tell us how you began playing music? Was it hard to find certain CD's and albums in your country?
R > Back in early 1982 I started listening to Motorhead besides I was totally into the NWOBHM, so also American heavy metal etc. Then Venom came into my life in late 1982 so this is when I decided to play, then even Venom was way to technical for me on the guitar, I was trying so hard. We started playing in our first gig in the fall of 1984 with Countess Bathory and Warhead etc, and yes it was almost impossible during 1982 all 'til 1985 to find any underground metal on stores in Northern Mexico, maybe in Mexico City 'cause it is the capital or main city, but so far I don't think so either. So, we used to travel to Texas and there we got all this Kill 'Em all, Welcome to Hell, Show No Mercy, Satan's Court in the Act, and many others. Also, my parents used to travel to Europe once every 2 years , so I remember getting from my Pop (rip) from England these neat records Black Metal and Iron Maiden's Women in Uniform albums! Great memories!
What was the first band that you played in?
R > All our first shows (1984-1986) we played under the name Hammerhead, and my brother J.Guzman was on vocals and bass, and me on guitars. We had many many different drummers. Then it was T.A.N. that stands for Totality Aggression and Noises, then Toxodeth name since 1987.
When did Toxodeth form-was theren agreement on how the music should sound?
R > No, the sound was created step by step. We were of course also looking to sound as heaviest as we can, but then to be realistic we just sound the way we sound regardless of line ups, you can always find this bizarre aftertaste of our sound.
Are you related to the other Guzman in the band?
R > Yep, He's my older bro. We started in this together, but by early 1987 we split, you know brothers' fist fights all the time for stupid reasons. He returned to the band again in 1991.
Who are some of your influences-could you name some of your favorite albums?
R > Fave albums? I'll never finish!! Well in a very young age Motorhead Iron Fist, Venom Black Metal, Satan Court in the act, Slayer Reign in blood, Metallica Kill 'em all, Possessed 7 churches, Destruction Total devastation, Sodom Sign of evil, Hellhammer Apocalyptic Rites, Celtic Frost Morbid Tales... King Crimson in the court of the crimson king, Deep Purple Machine head, Camel Mirage, Led Zeppelin I, Iron maiden Iron Maiden, AC/DC For those about to rock-Jailbreak, Ozzy Blizzard of Oz, Black Sabbath Born again and believe me my friend I wont finish! Hahahahah!
Influences: Venom, Hellhammer, King Crimson, Slayer, Frank Zappa (oohh! I forgot that "apostrofe" album!), Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Bathory etc.
Would you call Toxodeth black metal or thrash or maybe black thrash?
R > Well it was a mistake to write that thrash part on our cd Demons Black, we just mean you know THRASH METAL was the main word back then in 1983-84, so I refer to the underground metal. That term black metal, as you know, Venom were the first ones to use it, but it still was thrash, so we meant old underground metal. To be honest with you we have all styles of metal, but we really play DEAD METAL, that's the real one, Toxodeth it is dead metal music, or let's say just death black! But we also have some experimental metal!
Does the band enjoy playing live? Have you played in the USA?
R > Yes We played in California in 1994 and Texas a couple of times since 1988, and some jams with other musicians in New York, Boston, Dallas and Alaska. Well I guess we enjoy it! Hell yea!
Who writes the band's lyrics?
R > During 1987-1994 me, but then (after 1995) also my brother wrote some too, and me of course.
Do any occultists or occult writings inspire you?
R > Well we are in a very different times now, yes in the begining not writings but movies, in reality I was totally into all that 'til 1988. Then I found it too esoteric and useless that I prefer philosophy ever since.
Is the band currently working on a new album?
R > Well yes in a way, we might do something soon, but only a demo, I can't get too serious no more 'cause of lack of time and enthusiasm, so let's see. If we do something it will be ready early 2012 and it will be the worst ever, hahahaha!
What lies in the future for the band?
R > Tours to other planets, yes! We are dealing with some extraterrestrial people and....hahahahahah! No,no.
Well to be honest with you I think DOOM is in my future, it means my future in music is already doomed, so if something can happen as touring or recording it will be a mere miracle from the destiny, which I don't believe.
There are many different sounds on the album - does the band enjoy exploring different sounds?
R > Well hell yea! We were trying to sound so called "original" for back then 1987-1994, so let's say that we keep exploring the world of sounds for metal and music in general.
PLEASE check my page in youtube/Toxodeth1984, then you might understand all the bizarre sounds and recordings. This is the first time that those recordings are available, so it is not the big deal, but it is worth to check it out with an open mind. Please keep in mind the years when these productions were made.
Thank you so much for your time for the interview and take care, greetings!