EMQ’s with MEPHISTO
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Holguín, Cuba based Black Metal band, Mephisto. Huge thanks to bassist/songwriter, Alex Jorge, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Alex Jorge, alias “La Mole”.
I am a bassist and songwriter for the band.
I can tell you that the group emerged in September 1997 and at that time we were only four members. We were ahead of our time and thus we became the pioneer band of Black metal in Cuba. The success was resounding and we were invited to all of the island’s metal events, television programs, radio shows, etc.
We won awards on TV and in 2013 we starred in a concert with the Symphony Orchestra of our city; the show then became a DVD that was published under the Bis Music label of our country. Until now, this label had only released records of salsa, traditional music, hard rock, pop rock, but nothing like what we do, so it was a novelty and a bestseller.
There are only two founding members left. Many musicians have passed through this group. The current line-up is already 4 years old.
How did you come up with your band name?
A friend who now lives in London gave me the book Faust, by J. W. Goethe. The book is a play that consists of two parts, and it narrates the relationship between a doctor who wants total knowledge and for this he makes a pact with the devil, which in the play is called Mephistopheles (to add a name more to the devil). Mephisto is an abbreviation of that name.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are from Cuba, from the city of Holguín, which is located in the eastern region of the island. When the scene arose in this city it already existed in other regions such as Santa Clara and Havana, but it soon developed to the level of these. Bands have emerged in this city that are an important part of the island’s metal history.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
In January, the single ‘Pentafixion’ was released, in February the “Pentafixion” album was released on digital platforms and in March it was launched in physical format. This album consists of an intro and 12 songs that are: ‘Storming War Anthems’, ‘Pentafixion’, ‘The Birth’, ‘Rebellion’, ‘The Falling’, ‘Curse Of The Pharaoh’, ‘The Mighty Ring’, ‘From Hobbiton Toward The Mountains Of Gorgoroth’, ‘The Last Battle’, ‘The Undivine Blessing’, ‘Yavhe Sabbaoth (King Of Nobody)’ and ‘Burning Fantoft’.
‘Pentafixion’ (Official video)
‘The Mighty Ring’ (Lyric Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
As a composer of Black Metal: Cradle of filth, Dimmu Borgir, Septic flesh, Emperor, and I always use some influence from Death Metal like Morbid Angel and Death.
What first got you into music?
My brother played the guitar and I was never interested in it, I was more immersed in painting. In fact, everyone thought he was going to be a painter. I still meet people on the street who studied with me in primary and secondary school who call me “painter”. Then metal came into my life and it wasn’t enough for me to listen to it, to be just another fan. I wanted to play it too, get on stage, and that’s how I started to learn the guitar. At present I am playing bass in the band because of a need that existed at a certain time and I stayed on bass, although I was about 10 years playing guitar at Mephisto. In fact, on the DVD together with the Holguín Symphony Orchestra I am the one with the rhythmic guitar.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
From the national scene: Ancestor. Although they are currently residing in the United States. If we limit ourselves to the musicians who are currently in the country, I can mention: Rosario (Nergal), Ernesto Riol (Helgrind) and Juan Carlos Torrente (Combat Noise).
Regarding the international scene: Francesco Paoli and Francesco Ferrini (Fleshgod Apocalypse), Mustis (Ex -Dimmu Borgir), Ihsahn (Emperor), Christos Antoniou (Septic Flesh) and Nergal (Behemoth)
If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose and why?
In any of these five: Hellfest, Wacken Open Air, Bloodstock, Ozzfest and Rock in Rio. It’s my goal, which would put the band on the map globally. There are others, but these are the best known and most popular. You can’t deny that we would become a well-known group overnight.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
The strangest thing was in the 90’s at a metal event in the city of Camagüey. After the concert, when we were coming down from the stage, a girl with a gothic look was waiting for us who wanted a kiss from each of us with a tongue and everything. You know, we made a line…
If you had a message for your fans, what would it be?
That we will never disappoint them…at least not while I live. We are a band that defends our music without mediating fashions and trends. Firm.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Only one? Chuck Schuldiner.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate.
I enjoy the writing and recording process, the trips, the concerts. I hate red tape, haters, sound checks, dealing with indiscipline and internal problems, and I have a mixture of enjoyment and aversion to radio and television interviews.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Having to share expenses with record companies. Many talented bands cannot get access to the big labels due to this and have to sign with underground labels.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Mystic Places Of Dawn” by Septic Flesh.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl is the format that has the highest sound fidelity, so now it is gaining strength again. The cassette for me is crap, the worst invention in history, I have never liked it. I think the releases should be on vinyl, CD and download.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
In Contramaestre, a city belonging to the province of Santiago de Cuba. The sound was excellent, perfect. We have never had a sound like this again. I don’t remember the date. As for the audience…Camagüey, I think it was in 2002.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
It would be either a painter or a writer. Well, in fact literary creation is another of my hobbies, although it does not cause me as much satisfaction as music, because it has long-term results.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Sasha Gray, Alexis Texas, Abella Anderson and Sheena Shaw…or the Kardashians. Ha, no, seriously. To urban music producers, call yourself reggaetón, at a long table, and with poisoned food (minus mine)
Not seriously! To the members of my group and our manager.
What’s next for the band?
We are busy on another album, this time conceptual, about the myth of Dracula. In fact, we have material for three more albums that we will release little by little. For the rest, start touring when the world situation normalizes with Covid and promote our albums.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I don’t know what Jaffa Cakes are. That does not exist in our country.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
To the readers: don’t miss the opportunity to hear our latest full length album release “Pentafixion”, I assure you of an exciting experience and the irrefutable proof that metal is also made in the Caribbean.
Get ready for the “PENTAFIXION”
Single is available on all digital stores HERE.
Stream the single HERE.
Mp3 available HERE.
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.