Welcome ANKLA to the Freefest 2007 .......
Ankla Interview by A_C & Wizard & Various members of the 2006 Ozzfest Message Boards!!!!!
Wizard asks the following;
1. Ramon Ortiz, welcome back to the ozzfest circuit. I really enjoyed PUYA back in 99,..how long has ANKLA been together? Coming back to the ozzfest do you feel a little more comfortable knowing what its all like?
*thank you very much,Ozzfest 99 was an amazing experience that marked a turning point for Puya and now I'm getting ready to do it again with Ankla.It's really exciting and yes being the second time around for me makes me feel a lot more confident cause I know what to expect.Ankla has been together for 5 years.
2.Where did you guys cut your teeth? Where was your most frequented scene and where is home?
*for the past 5 years we have been based in Los Angeles ,playin the scene, the clubs on the Sunset Strip like the Wiskey Ago go,the Trobadour,the Keyclub.We stretched a little bit on the west coast but our first national tour happened last year after we signed with Bieler Brothers Records.We have also played twice in my hometown Puerto Rico.We are gonna go there for the third time next month.
3.ANKLA,..great symbol. something very heavy that holds the ship steady and yet can be pulled up to sail on away. Who thought of that? Who does all the artwork? Thats pretty impressive as well.
*I officially formed the band at the end of 2001 when I joined forces with my vocalist Ikaro Santana but I had thought of that name way before then.The further we move forward as a band the more I feel that Ankla is the perfect name for it.The image and sound is really simple in a barbaric kinda way ,brutally heavy,metallic and staighforward with one direction and one purpose...to sink in deep and crush!!The artwork was courtesy of a young artist friend of mine called Angel Resto.The album title is Steep Trails and I think visually he captured all the pain and glory behind the concept.
4.Your finely polished works done under the wing of Bob Marlette of Black Sabbath fame has been out for a while now. How has it been recieved by fans and critics? How are sales and bookings? You seem pretty busy....
*yeah we have been getting gradually busier and busier,the record has had great acceptance in the U.S. and the U.K. and we've gotten a lot of airplay on Sirius Satellite Radio "Hard Attack"(who voted us #13 on the top metal albums of 2006) and XM "Liquid Metal".In terms of record sales I'm not sure were we at right now but I have a feeling with Ozzfest coming up this party's just getting started.
5.Where did you all meet up? How did the actual formation of ANKLA take place?
*we all met up in Los Angeles,CA.Like I said I first found my vocalist Ikaro Santana who had just moved in from Brasil with his band back then.I was still doing the Puya thing at that point but I showed him some music that I had written that was way too heavy to be on the Puya album.He loved it so we started working on lyrics and so Ankla was born.My love for aggressive guitar driven metal combined with his hardcore vocal style and approach and a bit of latin flair gave birth to the Ankla sound.We did auditions to find the other members .We've had some lineup changes but the one we have now is by far the most solid:Jose Clarke on drums, Oscar Santiago on percussion and Tony Castaneda on bass.
6. Did you have any musical inflences on your foundation that you`d care to share with us?
*I have many diverse influences ,coming from an island in the Caribbean were so many different musical and cultural expressions coexist and fuse.From classical,to latin jazz,to folk "jibaro" music,rumba,bomba and plena,rock,flamenco and so forth.As a kid my father who was mainly a folk guitar player started showing me the basics of the guitar.When I was 13 a friend of my family brought me the first Van Halen album and that was it for me.I been in love with the art of playing the guitar ever since.Then I heard Ozzy with Randy Rhoads and after that I immersed myself completely into discovering the secrets of metal,became totally obsessed ,practicing and learning on the guitar as much as I could.I've been connected to the genre since the 80's.Some of the bands , guitar players and composers that have been heavy influences on me during the last 3 decades are Ozzy,Randy Rhoads,Van Halen,Slayer,Metallica,Accept,Sabbath,Pantera,Sepultura,Cardinal Sin,George Lynch,Warren DeMartini,Doug Aldrich,Steve Vai,Zakk Wylde,Machine Head,Paul Gilbert(Racer X),Nuno Bettencourt,Brad Gillis,Iron Maiden,Meshugah,Scott Ian,Testament,Yngwie Malmsteen,Stryper,Paco de Lucia,Irakere,Dimmu Borgir,Rush,Immortal,Lamb of God,Kansas,Slipknot,Basil Poledouris,Symphony X,Loudness ,Dio,Crowbar,Celtic Frost,Hatebreed,Krisiun,Kreator, Megadeth,ect
7.Now that you`ve been together for quite a few years,how have you grown and fused together as a team?
*we know each other better now and we have learned to work as a unit where everybody has a specific role based on their strenghts.
8.You are exploding on a major tour here,..I see you`re all over the place and now ozzfest (freefest) is on the horizon. How does it feel to be on the road getting seen and having all this exposure? Also how do you percieve the concept of the FREEFEST seeing as you played ozzfest before and have a reference point to go by? What are you thoughts on this unique concept?
*I think the whole idea of making this event free for the true fans of this music is phenomenal,it has been the fans who have made the great bands rise throughout history,they have turned these bands into legends so more power to them.We are really pumped up to be part of this,we are currently preparing physically and mentally to deliver the goods in true Ankla fashion.
9.You describe yourselves as latin metalcore. Did that seem a natural progression for you all as it pertained to your creative sides or did one member alone come up with the concept? How do your separate backgrounds work off each other?
Those who know my history as a musician know that I've been fusing the energy and power of rock and metal riffs with the rythmic swing of latin and caribbean music since the early nineties.When I started Ankla I wanted to make sure that it was gonna be way more brutal than Puya.I wrote all these songs with a very thrash metal feel to them but still with that latin groove sitting in the backseat.So I guess the term latin metalcore was a natural evolution of where I was going musically.I write all the music,Ikaro and me work the lyrics and the other guys bring their own individual feel to the arrangement.
10.What are your favorite tracks off the new album? There must be those tracks that are just a real thrill to play live,...which is that one you feel hits the fans so well you can see it and feel it?
*I have a blast playing all the songs.Flush and Deceit get really good crowd reactions
11. To each member,..describe your set-up and why you like it that way. Particular settings and equipment,..string tunings and such.
Jose Clarke-5 piece Ddrum kit(for a high impact sound)
Oscar Santiago-2 LP congas,1 surdo drum,1 timbale(for organic,tribal brutality)
Ikaro Santana-Guiro,Chekere(for atmosphere & pulse)
Tony Castaneda-Peavey 4 and 5 string basses,Peavey amplification (for rumbling low end) Ramon Ortiz-Ibanez 7 and 6 string guitars with EMG pickups and mahogany bodies for the heaviest tone(we tune to low A),Peavey amplication(xxl head with 6505 cabs)
12. Are you excited for this huge opportunity? (freefest)
YESSS!We have been waiting for this for a long time!
13. Mitchel Evans asks; have you ever played with ill Nino ?,Sepultura? Soulfly?
We have played with Ill Nino and Sepultura but we haven't played with Soulfly yet.We have a lot of respect for Max Cavalera ,his legacy will live on forever.It would be awesome if we could play with Soulfly someday.
14.Metalist asks;Who are you looking forward to playing with the most at this years freefest?
OZZY,Lamb of God and Hatebreed
15. PaulKishi asks; to each member...what motivated each of you to start playing and also the type of music you play today?
Ramon-the music I play is the sonic manifestation of my life.the fredoom involved in being able to express myself the way I want and touch people's spirits through a musical instrument is what motivates me.
Ikaro-Hey,I started listening to metal with the first Ozzy record "Blizzard of Ozz", but I decided to be a vocalist or play in a band when I listened to Slayer "reign in blood". The song criminally insane,.....that song blew my mind and right there I made my decision to start singing. Thanks Tom Araya! (from Slayer) Hahaha....
Oscar-I was inspired to play this kind of music by old Metallica ,Iron Maiden and the old school thrash movement.When I started mixing that with the Puerto Rican and afrocaribbean percussion rythyms I knew I had found my own musical path.
Pepe-I was motivated to play metal when I saw Metallica"Wherever I May Roam" and Megadeth "Symphony of Destruction"
Tony-I was motivated to play metal by Geezer Butler.
I would like to thank you all for your time and we look forward to seeing you kick ass at this years freefest.
*Thank you!SEE YA IN THE PIT!!!!www.ankla1.comwww.myspace.com/ankla1
Wizard thanks ANKLA, especially Ramon Ortiz,(crush it brothers!!)
...and of course our own A_C for his assistance in obtaining this interview.
not to menyion putting it all together and taking the photos at the show!!