About Me

Interview with Angelus Apatrida

This time, Metal Imperium brings you an interview with Guillermo Izquierdo, from Spain’s important Thrash Metal band: Angelus Apatrida. The iconic guitarist and vocalist gives an insight into the new album that was released via Century Media, on the 20th of October 2023. It's worth reading!

M.I. - Hola, Guillermo! Hope you are all good! Thank you for this once of a lifetime opportunity to interview you!

Thank you! Thank you for your time!

M.I. - Your new album was released on the 20th of October 2023, via Century Media, and it sounds amazing. Well done!!! How was the writing process, since it’s your most sincere and powerful record to date? 

We’ve been touring a lot since the last two years and the album was mostly written during the tour. On the road! So, we didn’t have enough time to write it on a studio or at home. So, it was mostly composed and written during the tour. On the road! We only got like two months before we entered the studio to prepare the songs and to do a proper pre-production. So, this is why I believe that the album is really fresh and really spontaneous, at the same time. And I say that you’ll get all the important things of Angelus Apatrida. Altogether, because we were able to put all these ingredients altogether in the songs.

M.I. - In terms of music, we can hear a more direct version of yourselves, connected with heaviness. How did you create it and what formulas were important this time?

We didn’t change anything in this way. All the experience we were gaining during all these years, touring and realising albums, all the various experiences that we got within the pandemic and after that, we started touring in 2021. Nothing changed at all in the way that we recorded it. Actually, the recording process was exactly the same: the same place with the same person. The master and the mix were done exactly the same way. We counted with Zeuss again in the United States. So, it was exactly the same people doing the same things. We recorded with the same gear, with the same key, in a way. Nothing changed in the way it was composed but, of course, we have all the experience and professionality that we gained during the years.

M.I. - “Disposable Liberty” is very direct: our liberty is being wasted and we don’t have full control of it. Who is responsible for it: the media or us? What can we do to obtain our liberty back?

We are not responsible for that. I would say the media got a really, really important role in this. I mean, the mass media, not the middle media or that kind! Journalists and the mass media got us to say the truth, to tell what was going on in the country or in the world, but most of them, the powerful people, want to be told what’s happening in the World. So yeah! It’s more a responsibility from the media, from the powerful people and the companies of the businessmen than the regular people. Our only responsibility, to believe it or not, critics that we gain and don’t believe everything that we read and see. I’m not here to tell anybody what to do or to think. Everyone is responsible for their own actions. 

M.I. - “Vultures and Butterflies” is another song that has another meaning. Care to explain?

Yes, of course! “Vultures and Butterflies” is a very personal song! It’s the last song of the album! It’s like a power ballad, like we did before, in the past. We talked about a past relationship, bad emotions, a bad relationship and what happened about that. Like a personal experience! That’s all and I’m really happy that we got helped from Todd La Torre, from Queensrÿche, to sing along with me. He did an incredible job with this song, and it was really impressive!

M.I. - “Cold” is the catchiest tune of this year, especially thanks to the riffs and the solo. How cold are we? And how “the weight of the world seems so strong” for you?

“Cold” is a sensation, it’s just a feeling. The song that most people with depression and anxiety will understand perfectly: sometimes we’re duelling with a duality of persistence and yeah, of course, there are many, many times, in my life, that I feel very “Cold”. I feel lost. I feel alone and sometimes I feel the way the world is very, very strong. Sometimes it’s really, really hard to cry, to carry on with everything with your life. I think that would be a lot of people identify with this feeling as well, especially after the pandemic. This is another song with big lyrics. Just to be emotional, let’s say that!

M.I. - “To Whom It May Concern” is like a letter. And to who may concern with this track in your opinion?

This is another very personal, emotional song, like “Bleed” as well. Also duelling with anxiety, depression and that stuff. I think it’s very important to pay attention to mental health like everybody. We take care about our health: we go to the psychotherapist and even more important stuff, pay attention to mental health and even go to the physiotherapist to get all the shit out of our head. I hope we have someone to speak to, try to reach a helping hand and all that stuff. So yeah! I really like the concept of trying to write the lyrics of “To Whom It May Concern”. Like I’ve said before, it would be an honour if people identify with these words and situations. The most difficult thing is to realize that you’re suffering with that kind of situation and it’s also very difficult to explain and try to find help for anybody, to reach for help! This is another song to try to encourage people and say: “It’s quite normal to feel this way and it’s very normal to feel like this! There’s also someone waiting for you to help you! There’s a helping hand! Someone prepared to listen to you and help you!”. It’s mostly the intention of the song! That’s why I wanted to share these things and get them out of myself. On the other hand, I want to tell people they are not alone, of course. You’re never alone in this situation! 
The best thing you can do, is trying to search for somebody, try to search for help, talk about what’s happening and try to heal. Letting people know what’s going on!

M.I. - Zeuss once again helped mixing and mastering the album. We cannot forget Gyula Havancsák (Annihilator, Destruction and Stratovarius), the responsible for the cover. Tell us more about this dream team, please.

As I told you, we’re working again with the same team from the last album. We counted again on Zeuss (the producer of Rob Zombie, Overkill and many other bands) and I say they both made an incredible work. Our artwork is, again, a job from Gyula Havancsák. He’s the guy who is doing our covers for the last five albums, I would say! Four albums! He made already four albums! We started working with Gyula in 2015, with “Hidden Evolution”. Then, he’s already doing all our covers. He’s really a nice guy, a talented artist! Like I’ve told you before, we wanted to repeat the same team, because everybody is so involved in the band. Everybody wants to improve, and everybody got something to say. It was a good opportunity to improve everything, not only the music, but our work and everything. And, so far, I think we will repeat the same team for the next one!

M.I. - The list of special guests is remarkable: Jamey Jasta, from Hatebreed, Pablo García dos Warcry, Todd La Torre from Queensrÿche and rapper Sho-Hai. How important were these musicians and how did you think the tracks would fit their voices?

We’re not a band that is used to count how many guests we collaborate with in our career. It’s something that comes naturally or because we’re friends or something like that. So, this time, the situation was like this: We had the opportunity to play with these people, and most of them are friends of ours, long-time friends, newer friends, like Todd La Torre or old-time friends, like Pablo García. We just came to the situation, that we were able to do some guests appearances in this album. The artists were free, and they wanted to do it for the love and friendship between each other, respect for each man, each artist. We’re really, really happy about this! And I think the older songs, gained something very special with the parts of the guests! Not only from the solo from Pablo García, the Rap section of Sho-Hai (it made really special that song) or Jamey Jasta, which is the singer of Hatebreed, one of my favourite bands ever. Getting him on my album is incredible! And of course, having someone like Todd La Torre, which is one of the most incredible voices right now! Knowing these collaborations happened out of the respect we feel for each other and the friendship we have within the band makes it really special! 

M.I. - You’ve released “28 Months Later”: A Post-Apocalyptic Metal Documentary, which deals with the period between the preparation of the latest album, its release through the time of the pandemic as well as the way leading towards this release. It was directed by Mike Casey. How did the idea for the documentary come up and what new stuff did Mike bring to your new music?

Mostly, we wanted to show how the pandemic affected the band and ourselves personally. So, we’ve been working with Mikey for already four years, who recorded many shows and he’s doing a lot of videos that happened in Portugal. So, we decided to make something bigger, something special and tried to tell people how was everything that happened to the band in the pandemic. So, we tried to do this documentary to explain how it started, how we got through that, how we tried to get past that, recording a new album. How we we’re struggling with all the situation in 2021, with the reactions on the pandemic. Not being able to go out to play, to tour, because we were not able to survive without playing and how everything turned out, how everything changed in the summer of 2021. Things turned to be better and better and better… until now! Until the day we entered the studio! So, it’s like almost a two-year story, what happened during the last two years of the band! I think it’s a very, very nice documentary. It was a two-year filming with Mikey. He made an incredible work! Really open-hearted as well! We are explaining every situation and with all the people involved, like the crew, light engineer, sound engineer, the guy who edits the videoclips. Everybody involved during the last two years with Angelus Apatrida! 
I think it’s a really nice documentary! It will help a lot to understand how a band like us would survive to something so awful, like a pandemic. The next experience that I would really like to repeat in the near future, would be a documentary, not the pandemic, of course! And I think it is something that makes the band closer to fans, you know? Maybe we can do it in the near future!

M.I. - The live DVD “Hidden LIVEvolution” can be received if people buy a copy of your album on your website. It was recorded between the 27th-28th January 2017, in the cities of Madrid and Barcelona. What do you remember of the recordings?

It’s been already six years since then. I can’t remember everything that happened during that weekend, because it was a really, really intense weekend. Those shows were the last shows of the “Hidden LIVEvolution Tour” and after that, we started composing “Cabaret de la Guillotine”, in 2017. So, yeah! I do remember them very, very well and we’ve been watching the DVD, during the last day. I think that it’s really, really good stuff, but I think that the best thing is the band growing a lot and being able to do that kind of live show nowadays but way bigger and better. The DVD features a really, really good show: it sounds very good and very raw! People went crazy and it’s really good! I think you can have it officially almost for free, I think for one more Euro, you get the DVD, which is a very, very good bonus. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I don’t know if we’re going to do something like this again. Maybe we will do, but just a digital thing, not a DVD, not a Blu-Ray, but this is something that we promised to our long-time fans. We promised six years ago that we would release a DVD. During these six years, we wanted to find the right moment to do it and it was in 2020. And of course, the pandemic came. So, that it is something that we always wanted for the fans and decided to do it for free. To give it for free! We spent a lot of money, recording, editing and doing all. So finally, we decided to give it for free! For everybody who wants to pre-order the album in Spain. Of course, you can do it outside Spain as well, especially in Portugal, because it ships worldwide. It’s very easy to ship to Portugal. We’re almost near the territory. It’s something that we wanted to do for the fans all those years.

M.I. - Congrats on being in first place on the charts of your country. How does it feel for you?

It’s something really important and I think it’s the first time that it happened, in the Spanish history. Normally, the first positions are for the mainstream bands and mainstream music and all that stuff. Of course, there have been many others like Iron Maiden, AC/DC or other Rock or Metal bands going to number 1, but I think it’s the first time a Spanish Metal band is doing this. So, it is important, because you get much more recognition and, of course, it means that you show your album. Older artists and other mainstream music that is mostly streaming, like Spotify, Tidal or other services, it means that it steals a lot, lot, lot of physical records. I think it is very important for the Rock music and the Heavy Metal scene in Spain. So, I don’t know what’s going to happen with this album. The album is very, very good, but this is always changing. It’s not cold. This is not something that we’re searching for, it’s something that happened! If it happens again, it will be more than welcome! But it’s not like our main goal! It’s not something we’re searching for! The most important thing for us, is to keep on selling albums, trying to spread our music as much as we can, trying to sell as many records as we can all over the world, especially here in Spain. Of course, it’s really good to be on top from time to time!

M.I. - Favourite bands and musician to listen anytime and any mood.

My favourite band ever is Iron Maiden. It is the band I listen to since I was a kid. My other top 5 bands would be Pantera, maybe Megadeth, Testament, for example. My favourite guitars players will always be Dimebag Darrell, Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde. I’ve tried to listen to very different kinds of music and different bands. Something even not Metal! For example, I’m watching you’ve got Placebo posters on your room and I really, really like Placebo, for example! I like things outside Metal. I like Hip-Hop, Punk Rock, Hardcore. I listen mostly Hip-Hop, Deathcore, Nu Metal. I listen to Metal, no Metal stuff, but my favourite band, will always be Iron Maiden.

M.I. - Gracias Guillermo! For this interview! Any final words for the Portuguese fans and readers?

Thank you to for your time, patience, and for doing this interview. I really hope to see you all in the future. To all the Portuguese fans, it’s been a long time without seeing each other, we can’t wait to be there again. Stay safe out there! We’re coming with a new album. I really hope you enjoy!

For Portuguese version, click here
Listen to Angelus Apatrida, on Spotify

Questions by Raquel Miranda