Sometimes you hit upon a band, that grabs you by the balls and won’t let go, until you like it. GUERRERA did that with me on their EP “Guerrera Of Metal”. What a great sound! Their seven track debut CD came out recently and you can sense the influence of bands like ACID (vocal wise) and JUDAS PRIEST (riff wise). Their music explodes right at your face and sometimes it also shows, that they don’t only like to walk the paved path. Here and there, there’s room for some experimental side steps and if you don’t mind that, you will have a great time with “To Hell And Back Again”. We got in touch with front lady Romi Guerrera and Nick Banger to find out the complete story behind this well-talented band from Santa Fe, Argentina. Our swords crossed over the email and here’s what these true metal heads had to tell us.
When did GUERRERA get together as a band and who came up with the name of the band?
Romi: “Hello everyone! I will make the story short. Previously, I had a band in my home town Santa Fe, Argentina and we were playing mostly eighties metal covers. I wanted to sing originals, but the rest of the band members were unable to compose material, so I had to relocate to another country and start looking for musicians. My first visit was Spain, but this first attempt didn't really work out. Sometime after, I had a serious talk with Nick Banger, the singer/guitarist of the legendary Greek metal band METALMORFOSIS. We were long-time friends and he proposed, that he could write the material for me and produce this project as well. So I took the chance and visited Europe once again to start rehearsing and enter the studio. Nick called two former METALMORFOSIS members, Steve Breaker on drums and Nikkey Energetic on bass, that were available at the time for rehearsing and recording of the first EP. Nick was always saying, that I am a female warrior of metal, so he came up with the band name GUERRERA (‘woman warrior’ in Spanish). He wrote the song “Guerrera Of Metal” describing me in the lyrics. Everything happened very fast and it was very exciting. That was in the summer of 2013.“
Who can we see as the biggest influences of GUERRERA?
Romi: “Well, I can say, that Nick (being the main composer) has his roots in the eighties metal in general and bands like JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH are some names, that we all love in the band. His advantage is, that he’s into Argentine metal and bands like BLOKE, KAMIKAZE, V8 and the EP had this Argentine flavor inside the songs. Many people were really amazed, when they found out or I told them, that the music was written by a Greek metal musician! Our new mini LP has the same eighties metal influences, but I think it's more U.S. metal sounding and has a more dark and horror feeling in some songs. If I can add some personal favorites that influenced me, it would be the great voices of Azuzena Martin Dorado Calvo (Note: ex-SANTA singer, who died in 2005) and Rob Halford of JUDAS PRIEST. Nikkey has been influenced by MERCYFUL FATE and CANDLEMASS and Steve has been influenced by ACCEPT and MOTORHEAD.”
Who writes the lyrics for the band and what are they about?
Romi: “All the lyrics are written by Nick. Of course I added and changed some words or gave him an idea or two to write about. “Guerrera Of Metal” is about a heavy metal warrior woman, “Oscuridad” is about feeling lost and lonely, while “Hombre de crystal” is about doing what the wise man said. Some of the lyrics on the new mini LP, that is called “To Hell And Back Again” are very dark and some turned out to be very prophetic and this scared me to death. The self-titled song is based on real facts and tells about the warning call, that someone is going to die. “Toys To Play” is when you take advantage of someone. “Savage And Hungry” is about vengeance, “Dead End” is about the results of choices in life and “The Incubus” is based upon own personal experiences.”
What’s your favorite GUERRERA track and why?
Romi : “For sure, “Guerrera Of Metal”, because this song identifies with me.”
How does the writing process of new GUERRERA material shapes up in general? Do you start with the lyrics first or with the music or do you just start to jam and see what comes out?
Romi: “The songs for the “To Hell And Back Again” mini LP were written and recorded in 2014 and the vinyl was about to be released in late 2014, but it finally came out in February 2015. Right now we would like to give some interviews to promote it. As for how the songs are being composed, it goes like this. Nick comes up with a riff and a melody line, we firstly work on this and later he makes the arrangements for the rhythm section. He is like a conductor!”
What’s the metal scene like in Argentina and are there many clubs, where you can play live?
Romi: “Argentina is a very big country and has tons of bands. There are many clubs, bars or other places and you can play live in every city.”
Do you have any nice stories to tell about live on the road with GUERRERA or any funny things that happened on stage while playing live?
Romi: “As I previously mentioned before, we never played any live shows. That is, because we were only available to meet and record during a specific time period of the year. Some great moments for me were when we finished the recordings of the first EP and I listened to the final result. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Later on, we were invited to some radio stations for interviews and to meet and greet parties, which was also very exciting. For me, that first experience was out of the ordinary.”
Do you have any touring plans for the future and do they also bring you outside Argentina?
Romi: “The thing is, that we were only able to meet once a year to make an album as we all live in different countries. As the distance is very huge, we never really made any touring plans. Let alone that some of us have families and daily jobs, so this makes it even harder to arrange something. Although it would be great to give one or two special shows somewhere in Europe and see how our songs turn out live, the reaction of the fans, meet them in person and hang around with them after the show. Me and Nick are very keen to realize this idea. If possible, we would like to do this in Germany or Holland!”
What will be the next step in the career of GUERRERA?
Romi: “Right now we want to give some interviews to promote the new mini LP and so far we got some very positive feedback. We are also looking to make a license deal for a CD version, so if any record label is interested, please contact us on our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/GUERRERAOFMETAL?fref=ts. I really do not know what will be the next step, but a new album next year would be a good idea, if we can arrange the whole thing for the third time.”
We are an on-line ‘zine from The Netherlands (or Holland, if you like) that is only focused on female fronted metal bands. Do you think that the ladies still need that special kind of attention that we give them or do you think that ladies already get the recognition that they need and earn so much?
Romi: “Well, it's hard to say. For example DORO or LITA FORD are famous worldwide with album sales of millions. I sing in an underground band with sales of 500-1000 copies of each release so far. So it's awesome, that this kind of specific on-line zine like yours exists and focus on female bands like us! There are metal fans out there that find the female fronted metal bands very unique and they are very interested to get news and updates on these bands. So yes, Metal Maidens is needed and highly recommended!”
Do you have any hobbies next to playing in a heavy metal band?
Romi: “I work a lot of hours. I have a daughter, a dog, lot of things to take care of, so my little free time I spend with them and listening to music.”
Do you have any personal messages for your fans and the readers of Metal Maidens?
Romi: “Yes! Get our new mini LP “To Hell And Back Again”! It's hot heavy metal for endless headbanging from start to finish! Copies can be ordered from our label Anger Of Metal Records or directly from us. All our fans and the readers of Metal Maidens are more than welcome to contact us on our facebook page.”
The last words in this interview are for Romi and GUERRERA……
Romi: “A huge thank you -muchas gracias- to Toine and Rita for your support!!! It really means a lot to us!! We wish you all the best for Metal Maidens!! Spread the metal!! Saludos metalicos!”
Visit the Reverbnation page of GUERRERA at: www.reverbnation.com/GUERRERA
or go to the Facebook page of GUERRERA at: www.facebook.com/GUERRERAOFMETAL