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Monthly Archives: March 1999

Jo chats with Joe Espinoza of Dallas, Texas’s Detrimental
March 1999

JG: Could you give me some background on the band?

JE: Well, we used to play in another band called Disencumbrance, but we broke up at the end of 1995. Around November 1997, I (Joe Espinoza: Guitarist/Vocals) started jamming the songs again, then I hooked up with Ruben Rosas (Guitarist) in December. Around February of 1998, Karel Fiferna (Drums) joined again and we began creating songs like madmen. Actually Karel and I are the founding members because he is the only drummer I have ever jammed with and he used to bug me about getting something going again, after the break up of Disencumbrance. This time around though, he was wanting the band to be called a different name so we found Detrimental in the dictionary and thought that the definition was killer so that’s the name we decided to go with.  Since we got back together, we’ve had several different member changes, but Karel and I remain the same founding members.

JG: What is the current lineup?

At this point, the current lineup is:
Joe Espinoza (Guitarist/Vocals)
Adolf Alderete (Guitarist/Vocals)
Karel Fiferna  (Drums)

JG: How has the band matured and evolved since the beginning?

JE: I would say that musically we matured, but the most maturity would be through the members that have influenced us throughout the time we’ve been jamming. I pick up little tips and tricks from every member that we’ve jammed with so far and it helps in my playing style. Our current guitarist, Adolf, is a shred master behind the guitar. I see some of the solo work that he does and I think, “Damn, I wish I could play like that!” It takes time and practice though. I can see that we’ve all improved as musicians, since we’ve started jamming together and it really shows in our playing.

JG: When can your next release be expected? How long did it take (from the beginning writing stages to the final recording)?

JE: At this point, we don’t really know when we’ll be ready to enter the studio again, but we’re hoping by the end of spring sometime. We’re still in the process of writing lyrics as well as getting Adolf caught up on all the songs. He’s currently learning the last song. It’s taken about a year so far with the writing of material and teaching members here and there.

JG: Is song or lyric writing collaborative, or do certain members do certain things?

JE: I did most of the song writing, but soon, Adolf will start helping in the song creations as well. Adolf and I write the lyrics. Karel helps out some too, so we all pretty much take care of the creation process.

JG: What are your musical and lyrical influences or inspirations?

JE: The most influential band that blew me away is Suffocation. They’re style of playing has got to be the most intense style that I have ever heard.

We also like Cryptopsy a lot. There are also a number of bands that have influenced us in one way or another as well.  Lyrically, our influences come from the news, current events, or urban legends. Our first release is about the urban legend of the Kidney thieves. It’s a pretty brutal story.

JG: Do you find it hard coming up with original material, seeing how the scene seems to be flooded with a lot of bands just ripping each other off and just regurgitating the same material?

JE: Yeah, it’s pretty hard to be original in this style of music because it seems like all the killer riffs have been used. For me, I try not to listen to Death Metal all the time. Instead I’ll throw on the Doors, or Led Zeppelin, or Pink Floyd. I also listen to Classical music as well. I notice that if I listen to Death Metal too much, I start to create stuff like other bands and I have to stop myself. I appreciate so many other styles of music that I can get influenced in different ways. I usually don’t limit myself to one style because I know my music will sound like everybody else.

JG: Describe two of your favorite songs and their composition; key elements fans should listen for, etc… Why are they your favorite songs?

JE: My favorite song that we jam right now is “Organized Chaos.” There are just too many killer parts that I like in the song and it’s intense to play all the way through. This is the first song that we used some of Adolf’s riffs in. My other favorite song to jam is “Bronchial Rigormortitis C.”  This song just starts off brutal. The lyrics are pretty intense as well.  It’s about biological warfare.

JG: What do you feel your band brings to the scene?

JE: I would say that we bring a brutally technical sound as well as thought provoking lyrics about screwed up events happening in the world today.  We’re from Dallas, Texas, and most of the other bands jamming here have seen us jam in our jam room and they all pretty much say that we don’t sound like any other Dallas bands. They pretty much say that we’re intense and brutal in our own way, which is cool.

JG: What do you think of the underground metal scene? What do you think of your local scene?

JE: Overpopulated. I hear of so many bands that it’s hard to make any impact these days. There are a lot of killer bands out there that would really make a big impact to the scene, but all these cheesy bands are screwing it up for everybody. You also have your gore bands and it’s like, “How many ways can you mutilate somebody and screw their corpses and junk.”  Its stuff that’s been done so many times that you get tired of it. How original is that? Slayer was doing it long before any of these bands. Then you have your satanic bands, which has been done to death. Like I said earlier, it’s real hard to be original in this style of music. Just look at all the bands that are doing the same things over  and over again. The Dallas scene is pretty cool. I’ve been trying to promote most of the local bands by creating their Web pages for the Internet. We have Devourment, Prophecy, Embodyment, Sintury, and so on. <His pages are really good!!! Be sure to check them out, I was impressed! Kudos go out to those who do what they can to help support the scene!- Jo>

JG: What can fans look forward to seeing live?

JE: Brutal pounding blast beats, guitar riffs all over the neck and vocals ranging from deep gurgles to high shrieks.

JG: What do you feel are the necessary “ingredients” to a solid live performance?

JE: The main ingredient is your sound. If you don’t have a good sound coming out of the P.A., then nobody else at the show will understand what you’re playing. A killer sound will definitely catch people’s attention.  It’s a gamble though, you never know if the club you’re playing at has a good P.A. system, or if the guy behind the P.A. knows what he’s doing.

JG: Which show was your favorite show that you’ve performed? Now you get to pick through your last bunch… and come up with one.

JE: Well, Detrimental hasn’t played a show yet, but Disencumbrance has. My favorite show we played in Disencumbrance was our last one before we broke up. Mainly because the sound was killer, but our musicianship was real tight and every stop we did had silence. It was bad!

JG: If you could tour with with any 4 other bands, who would they be?

JE: Black Sabbath, Suffocation (If they were still around), Cryptopsy, and Gorguts. There are other bands that would be killer to jam with too, but you just asked for 4.

JG: What are your goals and aspirations for the band? Where would you like to see Detrimental in 5 years?

JE: My goals for the band are to grow further musically as well as continue writing intense music. I’m not sure where I see us in 5 years, but I hope that we don’t wimp out in our music like some bands have done. Actually, I will definitely quit the band if we start to wimp out. Hehehehe…

JG: Any words of wisdom to the masses?

JE: Stay in school… Brush your teeth… I don’t know. I guess just listen to music with an open mind. There’s a lot of talent out there.

JG: Any last words?

JE: Thanks for the interview and promotion of our band… We really appreciate it. Keep an eye out for us people.