I talk about all things Heavy Metal and Mad Max with the up and coming Spanish Speed Rock and Rollers.
Wastëland Riders are one part Venom, one part Motörhead and all-parts post-apocalyptic. By mixing these three ingredients and adding a splash (okay, a whole bottle) of Jack Daniels, the band creates a furious cocktail of speed and attitude on their first self-titled EP. I have listened to it numerous times and will continue to do so; it is infectious, heavy and a hell of a lot of fun.
If you’ve been paying attention you will notice that Wastëland Riders is not a new band to the Toilet. You heard them on Episode 8 of the Toilet ov Hell Radio and read a mini-review. In between band rehearsals and finals, the gentlemen were kind enough to answer a few of my goofy questions, both collectively and individually.
The band members are as follows:
D: Diego – Guitar/Vocals
J: Javi – Drums
L: Laka – Guitar
P: Pizarro – Bass/Vocals
How did the band come together?
WR: We were just friends who wanted to play some songs in a local studio. The first rehearsal day we composed our “Wastëland Riders” track in few minutes, so we decided to go on with the project and make it serious.
Your band’s name is what struck me first. Wastëland Riders is a very descriptive name that provokes very specific imagery, one that I enjoy very much. How did you choose the name?
WR: We’re freaks of Mad Max and all that post-apocalyptic stuff. We were talking about some ideas for the band’s name until one friend of us came along with the Wastëland Riders name, as a influence from the typical post-apocalyptic wasteland warriors. (The umlaut on the name came from our Motörhead passion).
Speaking of imagery, the album artwork is killer. Who designed the band’s logo and album cover?
WR: The logo was designed by Diego, our guitarist/vocalist. The designer of the album cover of the EP is Anton Atanasov, from our comrades Skull Bastards.
The lyrics to “Headbanger Bitch” make reference to bands such as Motörhead, Judas Priest, Celtic Frost and Sodom, just to name a few. Was there anything specific, other than your love for metal, that inspired this song?
P: This song is inspired by our own life. Our passion for the metal bands and all that’s all over a good show. This song is a claim to heaven for all the special moments we all have listening to metal, all friends we’ve done, all the beer we’ve drunk and all the problems that go off your mind while you listen music with your heart.
“On my journey to the stars/I saw a dark throne at my back/with Bathory reigning in glory/The vomit queen rises from the tom/ the witching hour has begun/we must fulfill a circle of tyrants/The king of hell came with his roar/an evil killer of the road/Beware! It’s stronger than you!/Worship him or die tonight/under a blazing northern sky/the graveyard is full of people like you/Play it loud! Stand up! Shout! Raise your fist! Headbanger bitch!/ Omission will play on the club/Retrofaith’s doing the warm-up/while in the air…there’s a lurking evil/The iron fist will ram it down/The iron curtain break your town/we’re maniacs of real fucking metal/All the scoundrels from this realm/have been all reunited here/pounding the world with a beer of steel/The agent orange from the sky/attack the people of the lie/Deathriders! Come here tonight!/Play it loud! Stand up! Shout! Raise your fist! Headbanger bitch!”
One of my favorite aspects of your EP is the name “Speed Rock & Roll.” It is undoubtedly a heavy metal EP, why did you choose to use “Rock & Roll” in the title?
WR: We think that metal comes from rock & roll as its best. Everything changes, everything can be older or newer…but the essence is there…and we play it fast and loud.
I have watched videos of your live performances and though small, there is a lot of energy in the crowd and on stage. How is the metal scene in Spain right now?
WR: It’s difficult to say. There’s a big commercial heavy metal scene in Spain, but we don’t like it at all. It’s always the same bands, the same sound and the same people that don’t like heavy metal the way we enjoy it. But fortunately, there’s an underground scene all around our territory, commanded by some clubs and independent guys who like to see some different bands on stage. You know…some people want to change the world, but it’s necessary that all the metalheads stay united and join this proposals (in fact, not all people do that, so you can see here some amazing bands at live playing for just 10 guys…). Mentality in Spain should change if we want to make our music go through our country.
I have read that you tell stories before shows to “set the mood” of the post-apocalyptic wasteland your music dwells in. Could you give me an example of one and tell me what inspired you do them?
D: Yes, we tell a little story on Wastëland Rider’s facebook advertising the gigs. We “set the mood” with stories about skirmishes of wild riders of the wasteland. Sometimes they have won battles (after gigs), they were in league with the lord of the wasteland (Humungus) or they had captured a old truck with a full tank of gas, tools and good tires (when we have to announce some news) for example…
In these stories I liberate my imagination and I begin to write and write. Maybe these stories are a product of a lot of boredom, maybe a product of imagination, I don’t know. The people says that they like it because they imagine it and it is really cool for me. I like [to let people escape for] just a few seconds.
Are there any other bands you would like more people to be aware of?
WR: People should notice the existence of some of our Spanish comrades bands like Skull Bastards, Lurking Evil or Maniac. If you want to know some underground Spanish metal bands just ask us, we’ll be glad to share our fellas’ music. (Seriously, you can ask them, they are very responsive. And check out these bands, they slay ~ BtR)
What are some non-musical influences on the band?
WR: MAD MAX (beers and sex are welcome too)
What are some of the band’s favorite post-apocalyptic movies/books/tv shows?
WR: MAD MAX MAD MAX MAD MAX MAD MAX MAD MAX MAD MAX
MAD MAX (I’m starting to see a trend here ~BtR)
P: Tank Girl comics are good, and some of Italian b-movies too.
What is it about the Mad Max franchise that is so inspiring for the band?
D: The post-apocalyptic world, the cars, the fights for gas, petrol, oil, tools, the car persecutions, the modified muscle cars, the gas smelling, the one and only lord of the wasteland, Humungus and his warriors, etc…All of these things mixed with Motörhead or Venom are really a inspiration for make some noise and bang our heads. In my opinion the mix of cars and rock n’ roll is the law, don’t you? (YES I DO! ~ BtR)
If you had to order the films from best to worst, what would the order be?
D: Obviously, Mad Max II ‘The Road Warrior’ is the best in our opinion by far! I think our order would be: Mad Max II, Mad Max, Fury Road and Mad Max III.
Further thoughts on Fury Road?
D: Honestly, when I watched the movie at the cinema I was really surprised, I was in love with the movie but I didn’t like that Mel Gibson doesn’t appear in it. The movie is really good but could you call this movie “Mad Max”? Well, in my opinion no, because there is no a Max Rockatansky in it. The characters, the ambient, the essence, the cars, the costumes, the story is really cool, I liked it but, I would have called the movie by another name.
If each band member had to assume one of the character’s role, who would be who?
L: The guy who is playing the electric guitar upon a truck.
In the post-apocalyptic wasteland, what vehicle would you choose and how would you equip it?
J: Harley Davidson for the win.
D: A rusty Hot Road with nails (with a Jack Daniels bottle inside of course).
L: A Seat 1430.
P: A rusty interceptor with a machine gun and flames.
What is your favorite Manowar album?
L: Do you like this one?
Of course I like that one! I would like to thank Wastëland Riders for the excellent interview and the best Manowar album answer that I’ve gotten yet!