INTERVIEW: Puerto Rican Death/Thrashers ZAFAKON Discuss Their Humble Beginnings, Their New Album And The Puerto Rican Metal Scene!!

Zafakon were one of the first bands to ever be featured on this (ever expanding) blog. Their wicked form of death/thrash is something I immediately took a liking too, I even went as far as saying “Zafakon are death/thrash done right!” a statement I never plan on taking back. With that being said, one could only imagine my excitement when I discovered the Puerto Rican death monsters would be hitting the studio to record a brand new full length album a few months ago. Like any other good blogger would do, I decided to shoot the band a few questions about the band’s early days, the metal scene in their native Puerto Rico and of course a few questions regarding the bands future release. 

GLOBAL THRASH ASSAULT: I’d like to start off by thanking you for taking some time out of your day to answer some questions for me.
ZAFAKON: No problem, thank you for having us! 
Zafakon has been around since 2010, tell me how’d you guys get started?
Well we (Rafa and Marcus) had a band before this one which was called Slain by Treason. We played a few shows and went silent for about a year. After that we met Nicko and Weslie and we decided to restart the project with a new name and a new vision. And that’s how Zafakon was born.

You guys have the ability to fuse death and thrash metal together in a killer way that’s very enjoyable to listen to. What are some of your influences as a band?
Thanks! Some of our influences are Lamb of God, Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Death, Kreator, Testament, Pantera… things like that. A lot of thrash, death metal and groove.

Currently Zafakon has an EP out entitled Fall. It’s been out for a while now and fans every where love it. I’m curious to know, what was the writing process for the album like?
Fall, Slain by Treason and Metal Dawn where already written by the time Zafakon came to be. At the Mercy of Fate was the first song written by Zafakon as a band.

One of the tracks on Fall was a Toxic Holocaust cover of Nuke The Cross. Was there a particular reason you guys chose that song?
Toxic Holocaust is one of our favorite bands. We decided to record Nuke the Cross because we played it at a show with Exmortus just for fun and got a nice reaction from the fans. It’s a fun song to play too.

After Fall was released Zafakon went on to play a whole bunch of shows, is there one in particular that stands out?
We’ve played quite a few shows since then. Some of our favorites where the ones we played with Nuclear Assault, Soulfly, Havok and most recently the one we played with Toxic Holocaust was pretty awesome.

Right now you guys are working on a new album, how are things progressing?
The album has been fully written and we are now in the recording phase. Its going pretty well so far. The artwork is already done and its looking pretty damn brutal. Hehehe.

Was the writing process for the upcoming album any different than the writing process of Fall? If so how?
Well since most of the songs on Fall where already written when we where Slain by Treason, the process was very different, in a good way. This time around the songs have been built by us as a band. That means each member has contributed to the material on each of them.

On Fall you guys had a killer Toxic Holocaust cover. Will there be another cover on the upcoming album as well?
As of yet, no cover song has been planned for this album. We want to focus on our original stuff for this one. But there will be more covers in the future.

I’m curious and I think all your fans are curious to know as well, what can we expect to hear on this new album?
Since we’ve been considered a Death/Thrash metal band, we’re having both elements worked really well on the songs but, so far we’ve been heading more into a “thrashy” style of writing music. Fast tempos, lots of fast riffs are coming on this album, but we still have that death metal influence here and there.

Do you guys have a release date scheduled for the album?
There is no exact release date yet. But we are aiming to release by the end of 2012 or early 2013.
How about an album title?

The album is entitled “War as a Drug”.
How do you guys plan on releasing the album? Through a label or DIY all the way?
We are mostly DIY for now, but we are also getting some help from Khaosmaster Records on the distribution.
Is there any chance of a Zafakon tour once the album is released?
Of course! We are planning some US dates for the summer of 2013.
Besides releasing the new album what are some future plans for Zafakon?
Mostly the touring, possibly a music video, and whatever other opportunities we find along the way.
You guys are from Puerto Rico. What’s the metal scene like there? What are some bands we should all be banging our heads to?
Well, the Metal scene here is growing in strength. There has been some ups and downs but lately there has been a lot of unity. There are some PR bands that you should listen to. For example Severe Mutilation, Bastard Chain, Sacrilegio, Back in the Day, Dementium, Cab├íl, Salvation Denied, Sacred Guardian…there really are too many bands to name here. Lots of great Metal here in PR.

Thanks again for taking the time out and answer some questions for me. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
 First of all, we want to thank you for the interview, and we would like to say thank you to everyone that has supported us and to the new people that would like to hear us you can check us out in:

 Hopefully we’ll get to see you on the road by next year!!    

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