Interview with CABRAKAÄN

Tell me about your band and what kind of previous experience do you have as musicians?
Well, we started the project in 2012 with the idea of combining metal with
prehispanic sounds and instruments. Later on, we incorporated a Mexican folklore
sound into it, specifically drawing inspiration from music that was born after the
Spanish conquest. Genres like Ranchera and Huapango became a great influence
on our sound, giving it a greater depth, breadth and representation of our cultural
history. We grew up listening to different types of music and we have all been in
different musical projects before Cabrakaän’s conception. Even now, several of us
are involved in other solo projects and rock/metal and classical projects.

Why did you pick your band name? How did you form? Why did you decide to play the
genre or genres you do?
Cabrakaän is the Mayan god of mountains and earthquakes, and to us, it’s the name
that best describes our music and culture. Pat and I formed the band in 2012 and
after many changes in our line up, we finally met our current members in 2017. We
wanted to express what we love most about music and at the same time, we wanted
that music to be a representation of our culture and roots. The sound wasn’t
planned at all – it was more like a beautiful accident.

What can you tell us about your latest record?
‘Cem Anahuac My Home’ is the second part of our first EP called ‘Songs From
Anahuac’. The Anahuac is known as “The Valley of Mexico”, and the name comes
from the náhuatl (Aztec language), which means “land surrounded by water”. This
new EP has 7 songs that combine both fast and aggressive metal riffs and a more
melodic sound. This album, particularly compared to the last one, is distinct in that
there are many more orchestral elements within it. I think the new album has more
varied influences, but our trademark sound remains. We really hope our fans enjoy
listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it.

What the kind of album feedbacks are you waiting for?
Well, first of all – it would be wonderful to hear that they loved it as much as we do.
Secondly, we expect our listeners to experience a matured, solid sound that
exceeds our last album. It’s really important to keep improving as artists.

Are you going to make some world tour in the future? Do you think this is available for
everybody option to tour around the globe? What do you think band have to do to get such
We’d absolutely love to but unfortunately, that will not be possible this time. For
now, it will be Canada and maybe Europe, but there are no confirmed dates yet.
World tours are definitely something every band dreams about but the truth is that
not everyone can make such an investment, at least not a rising band. It takes time,
effort and a lot of resources too.
A record label can be very helpful for that because it is easier to make a tour as a
support band of another bigger one from the same roster. For that reason, I think
independent bands are less likely to have an opportunity like that.

Do you believe in heavy music scene without money?
Totally! The scene will always exist. Metal is much more than just a music genre. It’s
a global community that represents openness and cathartic intensity. Money won’t
stop that at all, and I’m sure there will always be metal bands out there – because
there will always be metalheads to demand it.

What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for
free? Why?
Well, it’s all about adapting and be open to progress and change. It’s true that the
streaming era makes it difficult for artists to be properly compensated but it also
makes the industry bigger and more inclusive. And yes, we did give music for free
when we started the band because it’s a great way to promote your music. There is
a lot of great music been created every day and much of it never gets heard. The
music industry is all about promotion, but when you don’t have the money to pay
for it, you have to take advantage of all the resources at your disposal. and
unfortunately, the internet is the best tool we have today to make that possible.

Who are your musical influences? Have you ever think your band could be so famous as
your favorites?
We have many, but Iron Maiden, Nightwish, Megadeth, Metallica, Pantera, Alestorm,
Wintersun, Equilibrium, Epica, are certainly some of our biggest influences. And
yes, absolutely, we are pursuing that dream as many other bands in the world.

Do you have a formal music education? Do you think it’s a Kind of important thing?
Some of us have, but it’s not an important thing to have to make music and start a
band. True love for music is all you need.

How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?
It’s hard sometimes. Some of us work, and others are still in school: that’s why we
try to plan gigs, tours and recordings far ahead of time so we can always have time
for the band.

How do you handle mistakes during a performance? Or you can assure there are no any
mistakes during your gigs? Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?
Well, we rehearse a lot before our shows to prevent mistakes as much as possible,
but sometimes it happens. Fortunately, we have enough experience to manage such
situations and keep playing without people even noticing, haha. And yes, we always
get nervous, but we enjoy it! That’s part of the magic of being on a stage.

What’s next? Thank you!
Right now we are putting together the tour for this new album (all the details will be
posted soon in our social media). We are also working on the songs for our next
album that will be out hopefully by the end of 2020.
Thank you so much for the interview!
Marko Cipäktli