In metal music like in every genre, there have been artists and bands that stood real and unique, but unfortunately most webzines, music magazines and media promoted their own agenda, whose main goal is economical by promoting specific artists. The most important for us is that original musicians, no matter if they record in the studio or play live in the middle of the street, can still make the difference like in the early 80’s where in America and Europe bands tried to shape the so-called extreme metal hybrid. Somewhere, in Colombia, specifically in Medellin, a talented guitarist named Carlos Mario Ranirez Perez unleashed his debut with the band Parabellum, and his journey did not stop there; He continues to this day with various projects. to do what he believes and loves. to be a genuine musician.

First of all, I would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk to you. What is your latest news, personal or music-related?

Well, the same thing, I say hello to you and thank you for taking an interest in music and us; the latest news, I’m preparing a demand for people who keep taking Parabellum music without permission because we keep confirming that both Cipriano and I are the original creators of music and ideology, and we haven’t sold rights to anyone, absolutely anyone and we’re still waiting for some justice in Colombia that’s a little bottled , so it’s hard to do justice here. And on a musical level I keep playing with Hepres and Organismos now, because I was playing with Consequential punk of the 80s and 90s, it’s the last band I had with Alex Rios, Beto, Monica and David. We got 15 original songs out of which we took 12 on a CD, but I left the group for now, but with Organismosand Hepres we keep playing; we’re really at the pandemic and being locked up we haven’t been able to rehearse, it’s been very difficult now, and apart I’m going through a disease that hit me in the hands , gave me carpal tunnel, then I am in therapies and something bioenergy medicine that have been treating me the fingers that I have hurt, yet, but I have been practicing and releasing my fingers again, playing piano, cello, electric guitar, the acoustics guitar I have not yet been able to, the cello that sometimes beat it has left me difficult; for now taking off again, so I hope in a month or two to make music again, heavy as I like and just this better I’ll see if I put together a new melodic punk band; for now I have to get better. Hepres continues to play half-melodic and half-chromatic style and irregular scales, eager to make new themes, and in Organismos we continue with such heavy themes without the chords of fifths, rather differentiated and logically fast, not only in fifths but in thirds, fourths chords aumented, and things like that; that’s what we’re doing for now.   

Could you give us some information about how the music projects Herpes and Organismos came about?

Hepreswell, I had a band called Tempus (1986-87), with Harold Usuga (he was killed in 1994) (Reencarnacion, Instinto, Inteligencia Muerta (Dead Intelligence), Ataque de Sonido (Sound Attack) and Yolanda (she died of cancer in 2016) (Fertil Miseria) and we will soon release an LP album of this with Juan Bernardo (Mierdallo RecordsMedellin) who is collaborating with me on this, so we are waiting for the first LP to listen to it and give the order to press it and take out the copies;  That was between 86-87 that we played with Tempus. Harold and Yolanda are no longer with us, they left (died), Yolanda died of cancer and Harold was killed, they are no longer with us. Possibly the album (recorded in 1988) is named ‘Bajo Tierra’ (‘Under Land’), in honor of them. What else can I tell you? After Yolanda had a child and we couldn’t rehearse, I traveled a lot sometimes and when I came back it was difficult, but I had a lot of desire to form another band because I was playing a lot of music in my brain, that’s when I told Tato and Eder to form a new group, they didn’t know almost music like that and we studied music for a while, and rehearsed almost four years in the Pomales, (a natural place with tresand a contaminated river in San Javier Comunne) in Commune 13, where Operation Orion was made (a military operation against urban guerrillas and against civils, carried out between 16 and 17 October 2002 in the San Javier (Commune 13) of Medellin. The military operation sought to end the presence of groups of Urban Militias of the FARC guerrillas, the ELN and the Armed People’s Commandos (CAP). It was made under the Declaration of State of Emergency. There were 80 civilians injured, 17 homicides committed by the Public Force, 71 people killed by paramilitaries, 12 tortured persons, 92 enforced disappearances and 370 arbitrary arrests. This operation has been questioned by civilian victims who left a large number of missing -about 650-who were executed by State and paramilitaries forces after some weeks in extrajudicial executions, (many of them dumped at the site of La Escombrera, which is the largest mass grave in Antioquia);at that time we were no longer fortunate, but if we rehearsed for a long time in an order called the Pomales. There we formed and developed Herpesand entered John Jairo Usme on the bass (Reencarnacion), was and went out for a while, then new members came in, Nelson (vocals), Miguel Angel (guitar), Germán el gato (drums) (Ekrion, Reincarnacion) and already later as new musical information was coming out, it was when I started with Alexis and Alberto Correa (bass) with Organismosand developed the music starting from a theme that I had brought out for acoustic guitar (‘Configure; and ‘The Nefarious’- ‘Configurar’y el ‘Nefasto’) and there they started new chords, no longer fifths, were already second, minor or augmented thirds or older, etc., and to combine them quickly on the guitar; and on an ideological level we remained very anarchist, against institutionality. We remain apathetic and apart from all that, apolitical on an ideological level. And well so on we keep touching Herpesand with Organismos;; over time I was playing and collaborating with other bands and with orteous music groups from other bands that we liked very much, such as Motör Head, and another band called Masterplon and we played Plasmatics songs for a long time, the first four albums that were the ‘New Hope For The Wretched; Beyond The Valley of 1984, Coup D’Etat, and ‘Metal Priestess’; we put all the themes of them, that was a very special and fun thing for us, then I enter Consequence (Consecuencia) when we mounted Bluttat, Nights, Vice Squad,  Hypnoticssongs, that we liked very much and good countless bands, Ramones, Dead Kennedys. For now I keep playing in Herpesand Organismos but as I tell you, I want to play punk and hardcore, I really liked, outside grindcore and metal, and in that old guard rock line I still hear Black Sabbath, Led Zepellin, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, their old tracks, I like Thin Lizzyand more complex and experimental bands like King Crimson,Yes,Rick Wayman, Emerson  Lake and Palmer, I really like rock in general, so I keep playing and I’ll keep playing.

In your opinion, what is the ideal time for an artist to create music?

Well I think it is very personal of each, there are people who when they are depressed create good or weird things, or when they are very animated too, I think itis very independent of each person, I really would not know how to say, because to me music is born of dreams; I dream of a theme, or very rare images, and that’s why I keep the guitar to the foot of the bed, I wake up from one and I take the guitar and I keep a pencil and a notebook and copy the lyrics that them come out immediately, such as ‘Data Error’-‘Error de datos’- (Herpes) that came out of a dream, immediately moved my fingers and I came out with the riff I dreamed and the lyrics that came out at that time as very spatial , very rare, like a computer that dictated to me. It says:

‘Computer system, computer system,

Brain program

System brains,

just one line, data change,

just one line, data change,

Failure, failure, failure, chaos

Chronic failure … short’

And right there and that’s how it ends; I get a very fast music now, that’s why I make a music very fast, very fast, that comes out of time and dreams, and so on more than anything, but as a moment so special, no, or sometimes when it is sunny, or cold, or thunder falls, lightning … I find that very blown up, and I do issues about that.

Have you got any favorite albums or songs?

No, almost all the rock I like, for example when they ask me who is the best guitarist, the best band in the world, the best pianist in the world, better not, that seems to me an almost terrible thing, because really almost everyone is very good in their style, they all play very well, there are very good guitarists, a lot of bassist and drummer, they all have their style and their way, and say ‘as the best in the world is this or that or the other’, that is impossible both grind core or metal, hardcore punk, I like countless bands, both from Colombia and abroad, I don’t have a preferential band, no, I don’t have. It depends on times, now I’m hearing a lot about Anvil‘s ‘Forged on Fire’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Never say die’, Led Zepellin, Thin Lizzyvideo; I watch up video of bands commercials like Nirvana; I like a lot of music, even Bach, Haendel, Vivaldi, things like that about classical music and contemporary music like Iannis Xennakis, Stockhausen, John Cage; Oliver Messiaen, I think that’s very traveling, very blown-up music. Luigi Nono, there are very special composers and here in Colombia also as Blas Emilio, Atehortúa.  In general a lot of things I hear now.

What does it mean for you to express yourself in a Metal band?

That’s an incredible energy, so it’s…art must always be libertine and free so that one can express what I want, what I hate, sex, Satanism, violence, anti-religion, anti-politics, everything seems to me a special thing and gives me a lot of energy, that really more than when I am invited to concerts and festivals and sometimes they ask me that I feel about having played in that, as when I was invited to Rock Al Park (2017) in Bogota, and they asked me how I felt and I said ‘I don’t feel anything, not in those things’, I feel more having sex with women! Feeling that emotion, but if you go on a stage and play and the audience there screaming or jumping, that seems crazy, the same thing when I play classical music too, which is a very different audience, everyone serious, quiet and focused enjoying the music, I find that very traveler, I really enjoy it very.

Your musical career begins in the early ’80s; what are the changes you have experienced all these years both as a musician and as a person?

One is evolving at all times, it is no longer the same from that time to this other one has changed a lot, really much, really the only thing that has not changed is the respect that I have for people, both to all of us rockers and to different communities, blacks, women, whites, to everyone, I find it very blown up to respect them; everyone learns a lot of them. I have taught every one of them, the LGBT community has been taught, which still lacks a lot of respect and understanding for them as well; maybe you keep evolving and every time you change your mind many times, it has the basic shape generally, but that you’re going to say it’s the same, it’s not impossible, look how we’re born, that we’re such a little thing and look at who we are now, and we don’t know what we’re going to be tomorrow., it’s very difficult to know that but if we’re constantly evolving Undoubtedly, both we and the planet all evolve, we do not know if for better or worse but everything evolves. 

Tell us a few words about the metal scene in Colombia, especially the underground scene where there are many remarkable bands. What is the response from the fans?

From the fans? Hum, how crazy, because I don’t know anything about fans, we are rather iconoclast, we don’t like leaders, riding a man or a god there, an icon, we’re too bad for that; we also don’t make music to get to know us or anything but to express what we feel, what they call fans and all that is the people who like that kind of music and already admire one for that situation, as well as one admires the people who do good rock, not only national but international, as well as if here read to play Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, or AC/DC I will see them too, to have fun as well as any fans as you say; but yes, I have a lot of fun with music in general. And how it has evolved, speaking of Colombia in general, it is very difficult to do so because of the economic question, and the question of the commercial management of things, first because we do not handle those cases, by the way a gentleman once told us that he did not let us play at the Carlos Vieco on Cerro Nutibara (an open-air theater in Medellin that was used by bands of Medellin glamour); once we went to ask for a concert there to lend us the theater and he said ‘We don’t let them play corner bands here to come and put together the out of control’ and I think it sounded so much to me that yes, we’re corner bands that we put together the out of control, and that’s right, so we have evolved or developed music, we are bands that we don’t make much progress because on top of that we are bands that we do not drive manager, nor sounders, nor economist, nor light technicians, or any of that. We come to a concert, if there are three of us, the three of us come together, if there are four of us or five…We come to a concert basically to do what we do that is MUSIC, so sometimes we do badly in concerts, because people of bad faith appear that damage the sound, not only to us but to other bands too, like that to make some groups sound good, they have to damage the sound of the other; I find it disastrous that this happens, I think it still happens, it is a failure, we have not touched again because of the pandemic and that but evolution in Colombia is very difficult as I say, because we still do not handle the commercial part; we are musicians, and we make music and already, we do not go from there, so that is why it is difficult, there the advantage that we have had is on the Internet, which makes people know us and suddenly listen to our music and when we manage to record a video they see us but other than that does not happen from there, it is very difficult.

In an earlier article I did a tribute to your previous band Parabellum for their pioneering role in the extreme scene (Black Metal). At that time was no one to create such music which came a few years later from Norway. I noticed that bands from Europe and the rest of America are promoted, do you think Latin America is not getting the right attention?

Latin America now that we see on the internet we are part of discriminated countries, people when they leave Colombia and go to another country, especially from Europe and Asia or some other part, sometimes it is discriminated against, it is very difficult that situation so much that among ourselves also, when one goes to Ecuador or Peru , although there are very dear people too, in Ecuador people are very special, I have done very well but there is no lack of the person who discriminates and that is what happens in almost all countries, here in Colombia also here people are quieter in that sense, many times people see a foreigner and want to talk to them but I will not believe, sometimes it is very difficult to situation in that regard. I believe that Latin America remains, I don’t know, a community that we continue to be discriminated against, people discriminate a lot, a terrible thing, almost a religious thing.

Apart from metal music, is there any other genre that expresses you?

What do I like? As I said now, classical music, contemporary music, some jazz, some rare folklores of  the world, at one time I was studying flamenco, but I did not do very well, that has other styles and meaning, but yes, I am very amused to listen to different music, now I do not remember much, but as I said now the contemporary music that I liked very much, Iannis Xennakis, Oliver Messiaen, Penderezcki, Stockhausen, John Cage, Jaquelin Nova and there are also women that I have not mentioned because I do not remember, I like music in general and its expression, rather rare, which is not very popular; I couldn’t with popular music, I don’t like it, if weird music and rock.

What advice you would give to young artists?

I am bad at advice because if you follow me suddenly, I bottle you in life, the only advice that if I can give or mention is that whatever you always do, do it with a lot of energy, with a lot of heart, in a lot of spirit; if you understand me Let them make the music without thinking that they will be famous, or that they will meet these or those or that they will have many girls or boys, regardless of what they make the music with a lot of energy and with the healthy expression of being, rather.

What do you do in your free time? Do you have any favourite hobbies?

Now in the pandemic as I have been a little sick I like to be thrown into bed, sometimes reading, throwing laziness, watching TV and cartoons, The Penguins of Madagascar, Sponge Bob, nonsense of those, I laugh a lot. Sometimes I go to film with friends, we put all money although now this difficult money issue, I am very amused to go to movies, sometimes I would go to club movies or independent cinema, call smart or weird but also normal cinema, for fun. I like to tell jokes, sometimes alone, I get stilly and I get laughed, that’s what amuses me, already at the intimate level better not mentioned it, suddenly they get shocked.

I have nothing else to add, the last words are yours…

Well, thank you very much for taking an interest in us, from this region so far away where we are with respect to you, those are one of the very important things of the Internet and I think it is very special and because if we know each other in this way we come from such different cultures and countries, I think that is very special, Energy for all over there, very well.

Michael Natsis