Kratornas --"Hell In The Pacific"

Interview by Dr. Abner Mality

The Phillipines have endured some real brutal ordeals over the years, such as typhoons, volcanic explosions, invasion by the Japanese and years under the yoke of dictators, but the one man death metal squad KRATORNAS may be too much for the resilient islanders to withstand. The musical embodiment of mastermind Bruno's never-ending search for aggression, Kratornas is ripping barbaric death metal in the vein of older Krisiun, Angelcorpse and Impiety.

After barely surviving the latest Kratornas assault "The Corroding Age of Wounds", I headed into the jungle to see what makes Bruno tick. One thing's for sure, the guy is extremely opinionated and holds nothing back, as you will see in the following interview. Read on to get a taste of what Phillipine darkness is all about...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Bruno, what led you to play this brutal and uncompromising death metal? It could not have been easy to get DM albums in the Phillipines.

BRUNO: It ain’t easy but if you’re really into it, you’ll find your own ways to get it. I might be lucky being raised by hippies because I didn’t force myself “listening to metal”. I had no idea what’s “Metal” and what’s not back then. I mean, I’ve heard Beatles, ABBA and Carpenters but never liked them. I don’t know why I prefer Bad Company, Pink Floyd, Sabbath, Nazareth, Scorpions, Hendrix, AC/DC, KISS, Styx, etc but having said that, I still want something heavier, darker, or faster so the progression came in naturally as I grew older and sought influences on my own. Learning guitar has never been a problem, although no one is “schooled” among those people, but so what and I’ve learned it at a very young age too…

WC: How did being in the Phillipines afffect the sound of Kratornas? Did the relative lack of a scene contribute to the extremity of the music?

B: Maybe so, but who cares? The lack of ‘scene’ is not my concern but the LACK OF RESOURCES really matters the most and it indeed, affects the sound. There’s no store, nothing but me left alone in the middle of the mud. This is actually good if you only like listening and does nothing, but if you want to venture into recording your own songs, you’ll not get those ‘resources’ that I’m talking about. 1994 is not a good year to start with but this doesn’t stop me. I just do what I wanted to do…

WC: Do you foresee Kratornas always being a one-man project? Under what circumstances would you consider adding members?

B: Not really. Been in a real band before and that didn’t meet what I have in mind, but I figure that what happens in the past remains in the past – good or bad. I’ve done two albums ALL ALONE with mechanics (let’s not include the demos/vinyls), so maybe working with the right person could be interesting even though that this is not important to me. Kratornas CAN exist with or without band members. I don’t rely on this, but yes, working with someone else that is capable of doing the given idea of a song is something that I’ve never done for 14 years now. So who knows…

WC: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a one-man project?

B: Disadvantage; I think that there will be no live shows to promote your new record and gather new people in but this is already an accepted fact. I think the main disadvantage here is that 99% of the ‘audience’ just cannot accept one-man-bands in general. People are so sceptical about it and would rather buy a useless album made by a quintet just because it came from a REAL band. I’ve bought several albums in the past and I can’t believe that there are FIVE people making such garbage. That’s all from me. Anyway, once the songs are done, all of the advantages start pouring on my roof, so in the long run… it really pays being alone rather than working with worthless incapable bastards.

WC: The Phillipines are a very Catholic country. Did this influence your lyrics and have you gotten any backlash from the conservative people there?

B: No… what?! I’ve noticed you mentioned Philippines about three times already. I’m not affected by the corrupt environment and being surrounded by too many religions, and literally not being influenced by just any of these ROASTED FAT SOCIALITES (ie: Filipinos who work like a slave in other countries but pretends to be rich when they got home) or whatever people around the world are calling them, SKILLED WORKERS maybe??! All these things didn’t influence my views in life whatsoever, so no backlash there. I'm just not giving a shit at all…

WC: You have been extremely prolific but have written off a lot of your back catalog. What Kratornas releases do you consider to be essential?

B: ‘The Corroding Age of Wounds’, and any other releases made AFTER this will be the only releases that I can consider to be essential. For weirdos and wackos, ‘The Onslaught of Battledemons’ is essential to them! What kind of bullshit is that?! I can’t even listen to that shit myself but there are indeed a lot of crazy memories while making that demo (and also Demo 1997) and I am not going further with the details.

WC: I detect a large influence from the old South American death/thrash bands on your sound, correct? What are some of the more obscure sources of your inspiration?

B: I don’t think that I got any other ‘obscure’ sources of inspiration to cite because learning new things was already a big source of inspiration. That is either expanding my knowledge on the things that I already knew or still seeking and exploring new things to satisfy myself. I don’t like being stuck in one corner and acquiring a brainless job doing the same shit everyday – nothing is productive with that. (Believe me, I know!---Dr. Mality) When it comes to getting things done, the earlier the better because once you’re dead – you’re dead. If you grow old and done nothing relevant in your life then maybe there’s something wrong with the path that you've taken.

WC: Do you consider yourself a Satanist or do you just use the imagery of it for effect?

B: No, I’m not a Satanist and bands using Satanism only for the sake of having a tough image is ridiculous. I won’t bother talking about these CHRISTIAN FARMERS (or better known as Atheists) who keep on washing their hands with a boatload of excuses while playing “Black Metal”. The point is that, Black Metal means Satanism and should only be made by a Satanist. If you’re not a Satanist, then you shouldn’t call your band “Black Metal”. Christian Black Metal is already a proof that Black Metal has gone by the wayside and already lost the spirit a long time ago.

WC: Is there one main idea behind "The Corroding Age of Wounds"? What is the meaning behind the title?

B: It basically discusses what is going on now. The album is accurate since it is recently written with all the facts that is already happening or soon to happen. The world is not going anywhere but only towards the balancing of good and evil. To me, the only interesting thing about technology is how it manipulates humans (even though humans were the one creating it). What’s happening now is the other way around and this is something that I’m looking forward because this is where corrosion begins that will be leaving wounds to humanity in the years to come.

WC: The cover art is pretty hellish. How did you acquire this epic vision?

B: Like t I’ve said, people might be really stupid if they believe that “peace and order” can still be restored. War has been repeatedly happening since ages and the only thing that keeps on changing is technology. Humans are the same primitive apes who like to obliterate one another and that’s what makes it even more interesting. The product of man will be the one to destroy man. I got fed up staring at all these meaningless ‘blasphemous’ covers in these recent years so I made sure that in this release, things will be different and at least, depicts a symbol. I’ll start with 9/11 since this is really obvious in the background. The rest, people may interpret on their own…

WC: Does writing such intense music come naturally or do you have to get yourself "psyched up" to create and perform it?

B: Like what I’ve said earlier, I’ve been a fan of (and been seeking) aggressive music ever since I was very young so I think coming up with this sort of stuff is simply natural. I don’t force things because in the long run, I’ll be the first one to notice that and feel uncomfortable with it.

WC: Are there any projects besides Kratornas you are involved in? Would consider relocating to another country if the opportunity arose?

B: No. This one is enough. I can’t understand one-man-bands who have five “side-projects” but those ‘bands’ consists of no one but that same one guy again – just a different name. Nothing gets more stupid that that. Side projects are good if you work with different people among different bands and gather different ideas. If you got 5 side projects that involve no one but you again within those 5, then fucking shoot yourself! Another no goes for the relocation thing. Sorry but why the hell should I do that? Living in someone else country is something that I WILL NEVER EVER DO IN MY LIFE. By the way, opportunities like what? I’ll take back everything that I’ve said if that opportunity you’re talking about is working under NASA, “Area 51” or any other Above Top Secret Organizations (asteroid collision/extra terrestrial observatory establishments preferred) but I understand the question that this is all about being in a band, so no…

WC: Do you draw upon music outside of death/black metal for inspiration and if so, what is it?

B: I can listen to film soundtracks like The Gladiator, The Omen, etc but not much else because it’s nothing but random Pulverizing Death Metal, Grindcore, German/Teutonic Thrash, and Raw Black Metal (no depressive shit there) from 8am to 8pm down here. After that, I listen to 80s Heavy Metal but mostly, I prefer Guitar Music. Joe Satriani, Tony Macalpine, Petrucci, Greg Howe, Eric Johnson, bands of Gilbert, Rhodes, Wylde, you know… those guys, but I prefer Satch above all. Other stuff I listen to only includes Ambient and Film Soundtracks and they’ve never been an inspiration. Only guitars and guitar people, I’d go crazy with that…

WC: I would imagine your view of humanity's future is pretty bleak, correct?

B: Yeah and we’re always improving. Technology is getting better and better everyday – so that’s great.

WC: Do you have any ideas for future releases?

B: Honestly… I don’t. There’s no plan and/or marketing plan. This is not a job or business; FUCK THE COMMERCE and their superfluous “die-hard” gimmicks! I make Metal because it’s badly burning inside me. If I lose the fire, I’ll quit the ‘band’ but not Metal or music in general. Maybe I’ll put out a professional recording studio to help younger bands playing the same kind of music that I am into…

WC: If you could ask 3 people from history to dinner, who would they be?

B: Nostradamus, His writings were so trippy and/or Daniel (The Prophet) maybe. I couldn’t think of the last one seriously! Genghis Khan! That son of a bitch is so bad ass but what’s the point? These guys are dead anyway. Why not dine naked with Laura Prepon instead?! More better things to happen after dinner I think, pfff…

WC: Any final words to the hordes out there?

B: Many thanks to you Dr. Mality for this given chance to share thoughts in your webzine. Anyone can drop by to our website WWW.KRATORNAS.COM for cds, shirts and other exclusive merchandise only available direct from us (paypal accepted). If you’re from Europe, you can also get in touch with our label, Kneel Before the Master’s Throne Records from Germany.