The Bloodstock Interviews – Criminal Print E-mail
Written by Linzi A   
Friday, 08 September 2017 20:00

Criminal are a Chilean thrash metal band who have been around the block a few times. Forming in late 1991 in Santiago, with the years clocking up as a band they have pretty much seen it all. After releasing eight studio albums, two live albums and two demos, it’s fair to say they have a hardcore attitude which has kept pushing them to where they are today, their passion for music recently brought them to Bloodstock, where they played the Sophie Stage.


Criminal band pic


We caught up with frontman Anton Reiseneger – who pulled double duty over the weekend, also performing on the main stage with Brujeria - to see what he and the band had been getting up to and get the low down on the bands future plans…


“It was a bit rushed,” he said of the Brujeria set, “in the sense that we just got here, we went straight to set up on stage early. There was a huge crowd there, so that got the buzz going, you know. Everyone was in high spirits.”


You will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of your most emblematic album, ‘Dead Soul’, in December. How do you feel about it being the 20th anniversary of this album? What is your secret? Most bands don’t make it that long.

I don’t know… maybe it’s just stubbornness… I don’t know.


We love what we do. Obviously there have been line up changes along the way, and periods of lesser activity - but at least we have never called it a day. That’s a good thing; sometimes you need some down time, but you have to keep going as a band - if not for you then your fans.


This particular album, ‘Dead Soul’, was the one that really established us as a major name, so it’s important for us to go and revisit it, so we are going to go over to Chile and play the entire album out there.


Looking back on the album is there anything you would have changed on it or anything you would have done differently or added to it?


Obviously we were still quite inexperienced when we did it back then, so there’s a few things about the production I would have done differently - the mix and so on. But hey, life is a learning process, and it documents what we were at the time.


What is one of the biggest hurdles that you have had to overcome as a band?


We started out with quite a promising outlook, given the fact that we signed to a major label and we started supporting a lot of bigger names, then we put out this album that we were talking about and we got to tour in the US for the first time - and this was when the music industry started to slowly fall apart. So, upon returning from that tour our label let us know that there wasn’t really a budget for a new album, and we didn’t really know where we stood with the label: we didn’t know if they were going to drop us. Everything was really up in the air, so at this time I decided to come and live in Europe.


Being in the industry for such a long time, seeing all the changes happen over the years, do you think it’s become harder for newer bands to break out of the underground scene to make themselves more established and known?


I’m not sure you know. Probably if you want to go down the traditional route of not using a label then it is; but on the other hand, bands have a lot of tools they can use to produce their own music nowadays, without having to depend on anyone else. If you have good ideas you can go to the internet for good marketing ideas, and make videos. With social media people can push their music out there for people to listen to.


Talking of anniversaries, next year it will be 25 years since you guys supported Kreator: what are your memories of touring with them?


I was actually helping the promoters at the time, who weren’t really clued up about how to put on a show, so I said “I will come on board and help if you let me support you”… so, yeah, we went on tour with them, and played three songs - which to some might seem insane but it got us out there, it got us noticed. It was insane: people were tearing the place apart.


Crazy times for the band!


Your last album, ‘Fear Itself’, was released back in March 2016: can we expect any new product in the near future?


Well, since I have been quite busy with Brujera lately, Criminal has sort of taken a back burner, but next year I’m hoping to resume activities with them. We will discuss making another album… I can’t really say much as we haven’t started working on anything yet.


We have a new guitarist, who already contributed a little it to the last album, and on the next album he will have input into this.


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