Good Guys Wear BLACK LEATHER
Zvi Tacussis is a man for whom making music is as natural as breathing air. And the doctor of psych is not content with satisfying his metal addictions with just one outlet, but many musical entities- all with their own separate identities. Within the extreme metal underground, you may have heard of some of them- Diamoth or Anima Morttum, but one project that has really grown a life of its own has been Black Leather. With Black Leather, the style matches the message- raw, unembellished truth comes to us in a raw, crusty, gritty, throwback kind of metal with punk attitude. The world's gone to hell, and Zvi is not afraid to tell you how it is, or Who to turn to to save us. Listen in as I surf the web to Zvi's native Chile and talk about Black Leather's latest offering The New Liberty, which drops any time now.
Heaven's Metal: Hello Zvi! I send greetings from the United States. How are you?
Zvi: Hi! I’m very good, thanks!
I understand that by day you are a psychotherapist in Chile? What does making music mean to you- hobby, an escape, missions?
Yes, I'm a psychologist and I work as a psychotherapist trained in the treatment of addictions. I also work in Public Health as a technical advisor and supervisor of Mental Health programs. But the music is before I was a psychologist. Music for me is an extension of myself, isn't a hobby, nor an escape, nor a mission, it's rather an inherent part of me that moves myself towards the expression of my personal experiences and reflections about life and death. In recent years, I began to write my songs closely linked to what I see in my work, aspects centered on the stigmatization of people with severe disturbances, abandonment and homelessness, child abuse, as well as public policies in Chile (and in other parts of the world) about education and how it becomes an obstacle to creativity, spiritual and sensitive development in children.
Perhaps it's not very explicit to find in what lyrics I speak those things, but all these experiences of life, and with which I closely relate from my work, are an important source of inspiration to write. Anyway, as you can see, my music is very much linked to my work and life experience, so I could define my music as a way of being able to balance and rearrange some things that I see, with the faculty to express them freely. And you have not one band on the side, but three. Can you tell me about each band/ project and how each differs from the others?
Since I started playing music I have gone through several projects and bands. I currently have all my energy put into Black Leather, leaving my other projects on hold.
Where I have more trajectory is with Diamoth, a solo project of Black Metal that was built with varied musical influences (Black, Death, Thrash, Crust, etc.). Diamoth stopped abruptly during the recording of the last album, recording only one song with a drummer, nevertheless I was left many songs in sketch... Someday I hope to record them all. In 2013 I recorded an album after 10 years of my first band Anima Di Morte (which I renamed Anima Mortuum), in the line of Black Metal too.
Other projects that I have are Sacred Slam (Thrash Metal) and Punto Inflexión (Hardcore). I currently have many songs written in a Doom Metal-Stoner style, but who knows, maybe another project will be born, someday.
Each project is different from the other because I like many styles of music, so I always like to try new melodies, without affecting the essence of each project. In all 3 bands you play all the instruments and do vocals. Do you not play well with others (lol), or why do you play music alone?
Last year I was in Punto Inflexión, with other members and we play with Antidemon (as the opening band), but after the show we never met together again. It was something like “let’s make 9 songs to open for Antidemon". Many times we have tried to play again, but it has not happened yet. About playing music alone, it’s hard to find other member here in Arica who agree with a band that says “Christ is the way” in almost all of the songs. But on the other hand, I've never conformed with that limitation, so playing music alone is more like a solution than a condition. I’m open-minded to play together with someone who agrees with the lyrics, but I'm also open-minded if that doesn't happen. Have you played any live shows with any of your bands, or will they be studio albums only?
Yeah! Only a few times. I played live with Diamoth, Anima Di Morte and Punto Inflexión, and some other bands that I participated in. But I must admit that I find a recording studio more entertaining than live acts. However, I am looking for members to play with Black Leather, I feel that this project has so much potential that would be great to put into a live show.
Is metal music popular in Chile, or underground?
Yes, the Metal scene in Chile is very popular. Chile has a very strong history of bands that have a respected trajectory, such as Pentagram, Criminal, Nuclear, Necrosis, Poema Arcanvs, Atomic Aggressor, Dorso, etc. But Chile is a long country, so it has extreme zones that are excluded from being able to participate in more massive events and have an opportunity to emerge in music, generally everything is concentrated in Santiago, which is the central zone of Chile and there are more opportunities to emerge in music. I live in Arica that is the extreme north of Chile, so without much economic resources (worse if you are a soloist!!) it's very difficult to leave the under-underground. In Arica there are very good bands that have been able to leave this situation, such as Nuclear, Egregor or Conflicted, however there are other good bands too that have everything to reach a national and international popularity but they don’t get it. An example of this is a friend of mine who lives in the city of Iquique (also in the north of Chile), who has his musical project called Dustt, in my judgment is an excellent piece of Doom-Stoner, very good musically and lyrically, but has not been able to go beyond the circle of friends, despite being a high-quality musical project. To leave the shadow of the underground within Chile is very difficult, by saying that Black Leather is better known outside Chile than here!!
Let's get to your upcoming album The New Liberty from Black Leather. Where does the name "Black Leather" and your alter ego "Machete" come from?
Black Leather is like a motto for me, the name comes from my taste for black leather jackets and the pseudonym "Machete", it's more like a sense of humor among friends, I usually say things in a cold and direct way, in fact a great part of my lyrics have that sarcastic connotation and sometimes could sound harsh to say things in that way, it's finally like dropping a machete. The lyrics on your first full length album State of Freedom were bold and in-your-face. What topics or themes are on your mind with The New Liberty?
Well, it's characteristic for me to write in this way, but also I think that life is hard, and the rulers from this world are filthy and crude, so I will describe things as they are.
In The New Liberty I talk a lot about life and death, inconsistencies in the church and new social trends. We are in a world subject to pleasant stimuli and sensualism where people sleep in lies, unconsciously they are falling in a spiritual suicide. The whole album is like saying "Stop! Open your eyes! And see the difference between the freedom that this world offers and the unique and real freedom that God gives you". I firmly believe that this world is destined to perish, as the Bible describes it. And I'm worried that more and more people prefer the seduction of humanistic ideologies (which as we all know is based on the principles of Baphomet), which are like an infection to the brain! If I want to fight, I will say it firm and clear, and my only weapons are the words. I don't seek that people approve it or not, I will simply say it and who wants to hear will do so. In this album you will find an intersubjective trip from death to life.
How does the music on the new album compare musically with State of Freedom or the Hall of Pain ep?
State Of Freedom and Hall Of Pain have more marked tendencies from Black Metal, in The New Liberty the sound is defined more into Speed Metal. There are more influences of Warfare, Celtic Frost, Vengeance Rising, etc., so you can feel the Thrash vibe in each song. The style of Black Leather is growing into his own sound, even though I visualize this project as Speed Metal, you never will find a pure style with me. On what formats will the new album be available? (digital, regular CD, and special limited edition package?)
The album will be released in different formats, including the Standard Jewel Case, plus a special edition that will contain a six songs EP titled The Last Sign that will only be released this time with the limited edition. Digital downloads and lots of goodies associated with the album will be available too. What kind of goodies are included in the special limited edition package Nokternal Hemizphear is releasing? Last time, the special edition was bound like a leather book with patches for pages.
The special edition will be a black Leather handcrafted bag with The New Liberty and The Last Sign EP, also will contain disc holders (very cool things), wristbands, bookmarks and a comic titled Paradoxical Dimension Vol.1, a different way to say the same things from the album. Nokternal Hemizphear is an excellent Record Label, they take your music and turned it into an extreme artistic concept, so you always can be surprised by any of their releases, I am very surprised with the result of my album.
Do you have a special call from God for metalheads? What would you like to say to them?
Well, I would like to say thanks to the people who read this interview, thanks for reading this! And in Black Leather you will find not just Metal music, but also an honest expression of what is happening around us. Thanks for the support and keep making noise!