music is moving in all corners of the known world. Also in the
Basque country, the north-western part of Spain, where the thrash
combo Legen Beltza have been around for some time now.
four thrash maniacs released their debut, ‘Insanity’, in 2003,
and now Powermetal.dk is curious to hear what going on with the
band and their forthcoming release, ‘Dimension of Pain’, set
to hit the streets in September. Talented guitarist and song
writer Ekaitz fills us in.
I’ve been familiar with your music a few years now, but I’m
sure there are a lot of our readers who don’t know you. Describe
your style for us and tell us how the band came together in the
Hey, thanks for the nice words. Well, let’s say that actually
Legen Beltza is making music for every crazy headbanger out there
who loves fast, thrashy stuff and singing some melodies from time
to time. We are mainly a band that gives its best during live
performances, and if the crowd is feeling good, the created
atmosphere is of total madness, hehe. About the beginnings of the
band, I think that most bands are created this way. Some friends
meet together to rehearse a bit playing covers of their favourite
bands and having some beers, and then time tells you that you need
your own stuff, so that way Legen Beltza was born in mid 1998.
And just to set the record straight: what on earth is
Good question! Even most Basque people don’t know its
meaning! haha! Its a old composed Basque words, which was used for
the deadly black plagues in the Middle Ages, but let’s say that
it means LEPROSY (R.I.P. Chuck).
I had the opportunity to listen to a couple of your new songs
during the Wacken festival. The songs sound markedly better and
heavier than the tunes from ‘Insanity’. What are your
expectations to ‘Dimension of Pain’?
Oh, they finally put it out in the PA systems between the shows?
LOL! Well, I’m glad that you got the difference from 'Insanity'.
In the Insanity-era, even Jeff Waters told us that it would be
difficult to make a better album than 'Insanity', and we thought
the same, but nowadays we see it as a not so mature album. We just
made 11 tracks for the album, and all went in. There were not
tracks for choosing. But after releasing it, we began to write
songs like machines, hehe. We made like 35 new killer songs in one
year, and only 10 went into the new album! Yes, we could make a
triple CD!! haha! But this way we are sure that all the tunes are
killers, no fillers! It was really hurting not including some
songs, there were like 7 songs that we really loved, but we
didn’t have enough money to spend on recording them all. Maybe
in the future we will record them ourselves and upload them on our
website or something. Oh crap, I almost forgot the question itself
lol! We are really willing to hear people’s opinions of 'Dimension
Of Pain'. We hope that it will kick lots of asses out there, and
if the distribution and the promotion is done correctly, we should
go up another step on this hard ladder. The next album is getting
prepared meanwhile, and believe me that we are willing to show all
the world how our music works live, so we will do everything in
our power to go touring out there and create the biggest mosh pits
ever all around :-D
Who is going to release the album? Will it be distributed
worldwide or just in Spain?
It will be released by the legendary Belgium based MAUSOLEUM
RECORDS. It will be distributed in Europe, Canada and the USA, and
we have a deal for a next album too, so we have a lot of work to
What inspires your writing? Both in terms of the music and the
Musically, I never realized about the inspiration concept. If I
had to say something, it would be the music I listen to, but I
just start playing guitar in front of the computer and the riffs
flow. There are some days that maybe I’m tired or whatever and
it isn’t so easy, but if I stay more than an hour playing,
there’s always something that I like. About the lyrics, [bassist
and vocalist] Xanti used to write them till now (I will start too),
but he is always referring to what he sees on the news or any film
that he likes. It’s pretty often about paranoid or crazy people
or wars or zombies or whatever, haha. He is a bit schizo.
Let’s go back in time a wee bit: Annihilator mastermind Jeff
Waters mixed ‘Insanity’ – how exactly did this come about?
We sent him some donuts, LOL! As you know, Jeff uses to write in
his Annihilator forums, so we knew him from there, but Xanti once
bought himself the bass from Alice In Hell era, so there we
started a closer relationship, and when we got the deal with the
American Crash Music Inc., we asked him if he would be willing to
mix it, and after listening to the material, he accepted. We were
really lucky and pleased to work with him.
The Basque country is sometimes pretty lively in terms of the
separatist movement. Do you feel that many of the bands around you
are politically motivated – are you yourself?
Yes, it’s pretty normal to refer to the political situation on
the lyrics anywhere, and specially if there are any special
problem in your region, but it has become such a typical thing
here, that everybody uses this as a commercial tool for success,
so we decided from the beginning not to use it in our lyrics, as
we hate the idea of taking advantage of the situation.
How about the music scene in the Basque country? Is it alive? Is
it easy to get gigs?
Yes, it’s very active, but there’s a radio formula that
moves all, and if you don’t fit there, you don’t have much to
do. Only if you resist, work hard and go on through the years you
can get a fan base and go on.
What do Basque thrash musicians do for a day job? I take it that
Legen Beltza is not (yet) full time?
Hehe. Yes, here if someone asks you “what do you do?”, and you
answer “I’m a musician”, the answer is, “but in what do
you for work?” haha!
all must work, and it’s a pity when sometimes you can’t do
this festival or that tour because you can’t leave your job.
Sometimes we have some flexibility if we ask well in advance, but
it would rule so much spending all day making music, rehearsing
Which five albums would you bring on your iPod to a deserted
Wow, a hard decision! Don’t the iPods have more storage
capability? LOL! Well, I think it would be half Blues and half
Metal. Ok ok, 2 blues 1 Hard Rock and 2 Metal. Blues: JJ Cale’s
“Five” and Gov’t Mule’s “Deepest End” live CD (double
CD counts one ok?). Hard Rock: HTP-Hughes/Turner Project (the
first one) or maybe AC/DC “Highway to Hell”. Metal: Oh crap,
take out the JJ Cale one, no, leave it there, oh no, what a mess!
What can I do with only two metal albums? Here we go: King
Diamond’s “Abigail”, Suicidal Tendencies “Lights Camera
Revolution”, Testament “First Strike Still Deadly”,
Metallica “Master Of Puppets”, Exod… crap memory full!
Haha, yeah, it’s the iPod with very small memory I got you there…thanks
for answering my questions, Ekaitz! Any last rants for our readers?
Thanks to you bro! It has been a pleasure. Only to say that I hope
to see you all someday out there onstage, and I want you
motherfuckers to headbang like true metalheads do, not like those
nu-metal posers, LOL!! Keep checking out our site for any news!
the band’s website here: www.legenbeltza.com.
Video from the new album is available online here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdvo1PP8nqE%20