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INTERVIEW: Aire Como Plomo: "We’ve grown up as artists without betraying our inner kids. We haven’t lost the recklessness of our concept and methods"

AIRE COMO PLOMO (translates to AIR LIKE GUNFIRE), also known as A.C.P are a Colombian extreme band that combines Death grind, Thrash Metal and Hardcore Punk with elements of Avant-garde art and Latin-American horror and folklore. An intriguing concoction! The name is commonly referred to as a metaphor for a forced and daily inhale of violence and savagery, and they are inspired by the work of León Ferrari and the meaningless story behind the Colombian ideological warfare and injustice system. They have recently unleashed their new single titled 'Erase The One', which is a call to rise up against fear, the establishment and idols fueled by the horrors of armed conflict. Mad About Rock caught up with guitarist Miguel Jiménez to learn more about the band, their new single and what they are currently working on.

Firstly, let’s go back to the beginning. What are your earliest memories of music and the moment you decided you wanted to be a musician?

Stretching as far as my mind can, hearing mom sing “Yellow Submarine”. She used to teach English, and it was this song that would pop every now and then as a crash course. The moment I decided I wanted to be a musician was when Gustavo Reyes, a family friend and our guitar teacher, dropped by our house with an electric guitar with a Zoom pedal board and played it with distortion. Didn’t take more than that.

Can you tell us about how you came to form as a band?

A.C.P came together after a short-lived stint as a cover band that put us in touch with what would be the original lineup. We were really young, and we were trying to make a band that was different from all our other previous bands (which is kind of pretentious in that unpretentious way) to keep it pure, rebellious, immediate and exciting, without knowing that 15 years later we’d be looking back to realise that we weren’t thinking or thinking too hard.

For those of aren’t aware, how would you best describe your music?

AIRE COMO PLOMO is the soundtrack of a horror movie about being Colombian.

What are your main fluences both musically and creatively?

Musically, it was really early on that we found a connection with the peers we were building industry and scene with because we had very distinct difficulties, collateral to living in Colombia, and that just made those otherworldly and tall tales of the legends feel too out of touch. Especially because metal, hardcore and, punk, even rock, weren’t commonplace in our country’s immediate values. So our creative approach became to take whatever was in reach and transform it into something that reflected on that reality. Kind of like deconstructing a dimension where grindcore and grindhouse could become a metaphor for Colombian armed conflict.

What are you currently working on now?

Currently, we’re conceptualising, writing and producing a new record.

What was the writing and recording process like for the new material?

Everything originated from what we lived through due to the lockdown because the world was falling apart, we had a huge social uprising in Colombia, and we were seriously needing to catch up on everything that the pandemic shut down. We just had to put something worthwhile out there. The plan was to go into the rehearsal room, then the studio and finally the set. Still, Covid made its way, and we had to deal with some last-minute changes, but we got to make a proper comeback with something that an audiovisual beast that stays true to our methods and at the same time is more universal due to the theme and conditions that took over while we were creating it.

What, if any, are the main lyrical themes explored on the album and new songs?

Lockdown felt like a challenge for the individual because society was on standby. Like, if you weren’t at peace with yourself, you were going to have a really tough time. We had the material in the works previous to the pandemic, and its core hasn't changed, but the concept of facing fear and authority to elevate one’s self was spot on. We wanted to shout out that we could rise up from the ashes, so to speak, and with all the misinformation, fake news and just senseless rants going all around from everyone and everywhere, it also became the tearing down of idolatry while at it.

How did you arrive at the song title 'Erase The One' on your new single, and what does it mean to you?

Since it’s about individuality and conquering the self. But not the “I just want to do what I want” kind, but the “I won’t be told what to do” kind. The capacity to find a path in spite of the interest and influence from any form of establishment. For us, “Erase the One” means to face everything that’s a threat to your life’s goals.

What was the hardest part of writing the new material?

It was mainly about balancing out having a profitable gig, a metal band in a country that’s practically socially and culturally oblivious to the genre, with adult responsibilities and post-pandemic unrest.

How do you think the new material compares to your previous work? 

It feels like we’ve grown up as artists without betraying our inner kids. We haven’t lost the recklessness of our concept and methods because we’ve learned to balance it out with a more surgical and calculated approach. It’s more aggressive, brutal and intense but more relatable at the same time.

What have been some of the best moments for you being in the band so far, and why?

As a collection of moments, probably our US tour. Being so far away from home and having to make your statement in front of people that don't know anything about you is overwhelming, humbling and, ultimately, powerful. Also, the constant threat of shit going sideways is a rush like nothing else. It had both the best and the worst but is the definitive bucket list material.

Outside of music, what else do you enjoy in your downtime?

We began as artists and became filmmakers through our whole consistency with the music scene, so we’re very fortunate to be inside the creative zone as much as we do because we totally enjoy every second of it. The real downtime goes into working out and staying in shape for the multiple hustles. Gotta keep a healthy back because the years keep on adding.

How excited are you to play the new material live?

Glad to confirm it's going down smoothly, and feeling great. Since it’s a comeback after the pandemic, everyone’s psyched to tear shit up on stage, behind the scene and in the pit.

What can fans expect from your live shows?

The band delivers a high-octane, reckless and chaotic stage presence that tries to make space for as interesting a show as possible because we’re artists at heart and respect everything involved in putting a stage together. We’ll pack 13 songs into 20 minutes and get off the stage, soaking and bruised.

What else have you got planned for the rest of the year, and what else would you like to achieve?

We’re closing the year with the PR rounds for our new single and video clip and rehearsing for a couple of kick-ass shows, but our priority is to go back where we were before Covid struck, which is back in México for 2023, touring with a new record.

For more on Aire Como Plomo visit:

Interview by Carina Lawrence (Mad About Rock)


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