Here is a new interview with the Phillippines old-school thrashers PaganFire who has released a lot of demo's,E.P's and one full-length to date.If you are interested to find out more about the band and Phillippines metal scene take a few minutes and read this great interview.
Interview with Nonoy vocalist and guitarist for PaganFire done by Patrick
1.Hails Nonoy when did you first get into metal music? Who were some of the early bands you listened to?Who are some of your current favorites?
N: I heard metal via my older brother’s dub tapes of Anthrax, Ramones and Metallica when I was 8, I rediscovered it when I was 11, alongside with bands like Beatles, Queen, Guns and Roses and other popular stuff at that time, then in ’93 I met our drummer Jay and he had tapes of other bands that I never knew, like Sacred Reich, Danzig, Slayer, Sodom, D.R.I. among others, and from there as we always say, the search for heaviest, fastet and nastiest band on the planet never ceased!!
2. PaganFire formed in 2003 what gave you the idea to start this band?How did you choose the name PaganFire for the GROUP?
N : Me and Jay, have been rehearsing since 1999, in a Slayer, Sodom cover band that after key line up changes was renamed PAGANFIRE, our 1st bass/vocals Dennis thought of the name in ’01, and we have used it ever since.
3.What is the current line up of the band?How do you feel PaganFire's music has changed over the years?Who are some the bands biggest influences?
N: PAGANFIRE is Jay – drums, Nonoy – axe, Vro – bass/vocals and M.A. – axe, we have been together for quite a while and I think this is the most potent line up we ever had, the music is still thrash metal that is meant to melt people’s faces, since day 1! Nothing much has changed, if any perhaps our new gears, and other hardware, as far as I am concerned the evolution is naturally metal, no trends, no sugarcoated crap, just pure underground d.i.y. thrash metal!!
4.PaganFire's debut full-length "Wreaking Fear And Death" was released in 2013 how long did it take the band to write and record the music for the debut?
N: it took us a couple of years to finish the entire eight songs, most of it was due to a key line up change happening in ’06, and when we thought about going on as a trio or getting a new axeman, some songs on the album have already been sitting around for years, and yes there were freshly penned anthems on it too, overall we can say that it was worth the wait, so play it loud!!
5.Who usually writes the lyrics for the band.What are some subjects/topics you all write about?
N: it is Alvaro at the helm, all lyrics are done by him, topics range from perversion, violence,tyrants, disease, universe, religion etc. although me and Jay did some lyrics for a pair of songs ten years ago, now it’s all Alvaro.
6.Has PaganFire started work on a new full-length or demo?If yes how many songs will you write and record for the new release?
N: as we speak, we have locally released a new demo with 3 songs, “ANG SUSUPIL! ANG KIKITIL!” last March ’15, and we did a follow up single “ THE EXECUTOR IS BACK” last Oct. 9, ’15, we have 4 new songs, and they will reflect the direction of the new album,we plan to do at least 8 tracks or more, we have 4 down, and we will do some more, I am thinking of systematically re-recording our songs from 2006, as we feel that they never got the production they deserved, but all of this extra activity is not sure, only thing sure is the follow up to “wreaking..” will be made soon enough.
7.What Merchandise and releases are available for the fans ?Where can the maniacs find your releases and merchandise?
N: as stated above, we did two new releases, and on top of that our DVDr and LIVE ep series are all put out by Alvaro on his Metal Havoc productions, there is also stuff out on various labels: WREAKING cd – BESTIAL INVASION RECORDS, DEMO 2004 REISSUE TAPE – WARMASTER and INCONSPIRACY RECORDS, MALAYSIA, WREAKING Euro press – KAMPF RECORDS, POLAND, a PAGANFIRE/SABBAT split tape is out too on STYGIAN SHADOWS, HUNGARY, CD and LP versions to follow shorlty on BESTIAL INVASION, and ANGER OF METAL, Anger of Metal also did the “Wreaking” LP version, anyone interested to get any of this just let me know or try and google the labels, they are all cooperative and true maniacs of the underground! if any label is keen on re-releasing the live series, contact us: email@example.com
8.Does PaganFire play "live" very often or do you all prefer the studio?
N: we play at least 5-6 times a year, that is all, but we rehearse regularly, at least 1 hour per week, I prefer the studio as it is more productive in my opinion, playing live is getting bothersome at the moment, as there is only one venue where we played for the last 3 shows, haha playing live in different cities is better, let us see if this will change in 2016. Argh!!
9.Who are some bands you all have the pleasure to share the stage with? What have been some of your most memorable shows over the years?
N: there are many, but more often than not we play with CORRUPT INSANITY, PATHOGEN, SACROSANCT, KARIMLAN, some memorable gigs were the nights with INFERNAL CURSE, BEAST PETRIFY, RIVERGE, AS SAHAR, of course there are tons more of bands we have played with for the last 16 years, listing them all here would be tedious!! But the 1st four bands mentioned are all worthy of a good listen!! Most memorable was the Iron Maiden tribute in 2005, that turned into a good old fashioned bar punching incident, complete with cops!!!! Our gigs in Legazpi, Cebu, Iloilo and Baguio cities from 2011-2015, and our one night show in Malaysia in 2014, all of this are the most embedded in my brains, we will do this again!!
10.Nonoy you handle the guitars for the band at what age did you start playing the guitars?Are you self taught or did you take some lessons when first beginning?
N: I started playing when I was 13, and until now, it is not obvious in my playing hahaha, I never had any lessons, just basic chord chart reading with my neighbors, and then tablature reading, some tips from our ex-guitarists, and from there I could say I learned everything and still learning things all by myself, nothing much more to say, but practice and more practice always!
11.Who are some of your influences/favorite guitarists?
N: Major influences would be Hetfield, Hanneman, Mustaine, etc as they are the reason why I picked up a guitar in the first plae, later on, I get to admire tons of others like the axemen from Sodom, Infernal Majesty, Kreator, Mercyful Fate, Carcass, Morbid Angel, Sacred Reich, Death and many more guitarists that to me are doing something very interesting can be branded as my influences, later on bands like DEMOLITION HAMMER, HOLY TERROR, RIGOR MORTIS and ORDER FROM CHAOS became the blueprints of how I want my playing to be, which as always is but a dream, such a goal will be unattainable hahahaaa
12.Besides the guitars you also handle the vocals for the band.When did you first start growling and screaming? Do you do anything to keep your throat and voice healthy?
N: let me correct you, nowadays I only do backing vocals for PAGANFIRE, I was only able to sing a pair of songs 10 years ago, it was only with this band that I tried singing, but to no avail haha, Alvaro does it better so we let him do it, no questions asked haha back when I was still singing I did nothing for my throat but to drink tons of cold beer!
13.who are some of your favorite vocalists and singers? Besides the vocals and guitars do you play any other instruments?
N: there are many, Halford, Diamond, Dickinson then the insane ones like Helmkampf, Schuldiner etc, I am more into the insane vocalists, from Black, Death and Grind Bands, I like it when it is both gruesome and memorable, powerfully frightening, something that will leave a mark in my brain.
14.In your opinion what is the best and worst thing about the underground scene today? And what does the term underground metal mean to you?
N: Best thing is communication is a lot faster now, emails and information can be easily passed on, worst is the internet and social networking produced tons of pretenders, I used to worry about them but I know in 5 years time many of them will be out of the scene, so that it will be ok, underground metal is pure, fresh, and free from worthless trends, that is what it is to me.
15.PaganFire comes out of the Philippines metal scene what is your opinon of the scene in the Philippines ?
N: the “scene” here is a series of activities that may equate to a “scene”, some gigs, some concerts, some traders, some collectors, BUT there are no more DIE HARDS in that aspect there is no scene around here or I can say there is no die hard scene, a superficial scene is what is here, but scene or no scene is that really important? With or without this scene PAGANFIRE will still play, rehearse, and release stuff, as we tread our own path and please no one else but ourselves.
16.Who are your all time favorite bands from the Philippines ?Are their any new upcoming bands you feel the readers should watch out for?
N: here is a list CORRUP INSANITY, KARIMLAN, SACROSANCT, PATHOGEN, ANCIENT WARLORD, TENEBRION, INTERMENT, SUNGAYAN, MONGREL BLOOD, CRYPTIC TERROR, AGNAS, MASS HYPNOSIA and tons more that can easily match or other bands from anywhere.
17.Nonoy thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out.Do you have any final words for the readers?
N: BOYCOTT THE DAVAO RIP-OFF SCENE!!!! KAMATAYAN SA HUWAD NA METAL!! ANYONE interested with anything written here just contact me at the only PAGANFIRE address: NONOY PADREJUAN #60 NARIG STREET, VETERAN’S VILLAGE, PROJECT 7, 1105, QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES, email: firstname.lastname@example.org thanks to you Patrick for doing this, bands for splits, labels for re-releases, traders, etc, drop us a line!!!!!