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Interview - Diego Valdez (Electronomicon)

Interview with Diego Valdez from Electronomicon
by YngwieViking at 02 March 2014, 2:42 AM

Diego Valdez, of Argentina, has definitely been a busy man with being the lead singer of HELKER, ELECTRONOMICON and TRIDDANA, releasing multiple albums, one from each of his bands this year, our own YngwieViking was lucky enough for him to take time out of his busy schedule to have a nice sit down.

 Hi Diego, First thank you very much for taking some time out of busy schedule to answer to my silly questions! I think that both “Somewhere In The Circle” by HELKER & “Unleashing The Shadows” by ELECTRONOMICON are very good albums and as a Diehard fan of  Traditional HM/Power Metal, it was for me a real blast…It seems that 2013 was also a fantastic year  for you ?

Hi! No problem at all, it’s a pleasure for me to answer your questions! Yes, 2013 was a great year, full of gigs and also I started to see some results about the last releases, a good year indeed!

.Please , can you first tell us about  you , your background as a musician…Your past or actual involvement in Other bands  ! I want to know everything…Go!

All right! This could be long! Hahaha I started to sing in my 14 years old and now I have almost 43! Ok I started to sing when I was in high school until that moment I was convinced that I wanted to be an artist, you know, comics, album covers etc and I must say that I had some talent for that!

But when the music came, well…never leaves. I was in many bands but the thing started to be serious at my 18 with my first “real” concert, it was with a legendary Argentinian band called DHAK and with them, I recorded my first album called “Furia Demencial” it was at 1991 or 1992, but the first thing that I recorded in a proper studio was with another well known band of Argentina in the late 80’s it was LEGION and it was a demo tape with two songs, very cool stuff and very rare to get, I’m looking for a copy too!

I also participated as a guest in many songs with many different bands I don’t remember how many, but the next album that I’ve recorded after “Furia Demencial” was with the band AZEROTH , many years later and I don’t have good memories about, and I don’t like that album at all,   I was still recording the album when I left the band (of course I finished the album) then, many other projects came, HIPNOSIS (I recorded the album “Hasta el fin de los Tiempos”) then EIDYLLION/SKILTRON/ANUBLAR CENTRO and now HELKER/TRIDDANA and ELECTRO NOMICON !

I was guesting in many songs as duet vocalist (highlight “The phantom of the opera” with Tarja Turunnen for her live DVD “Act 1” and with Mat Sinner in the song “Heat of the city” for his album “Touch of sin 2”) I think that’s all !!!

Concerning your other band named TRIDDANA , can you tell us more about it , it’s one off affair or do plan to keep on recording some new songs…Which project is the more important for you ?

Yes! If you ask me, I’m 3 bands, equally important, different of each other, and yes, I will keep recording albums and doing shows not just for TRIDDANA but ELECTRO-NOMICON and HELKER too! We have a nice vibe between the bands and for now, nothing interrupts anybody.

Can you tell us more about your collaboration with your ex-SKILLTRON colleague Juan Jose Fornes also from TRIDDANA in ELECTRO-NOMICON ?

I known Juan Jose from long ago, first as a talented musician in other bands, then as a student (he sings VERY well) and then as a friend and partner, he has a unique style, when I heard the guitar I know that is Juan Jose playing! He is also a genius composer and was my very first choice for the guitar player job in E-N

Can you give us some information concerning the reason of the SKILLTRON split?

Yes, at the beginning of the “situation” I was cautious about the kind of things that I said, but now I have no problem to talk the real things , because some crappy attitudes taken by Emilio Souto (the “leader” of SKILTRON ) with us , money He is a guy who has a much distorted vision of the reality and likes to play as the “victim” , he tried to offer us some money to me to come back but I prefer to stay at home instead to be successful with him,  I really feel sorry for the poor guys who has to work with him, I really do.

What are the main stylistic differences between HELKER and ELECTRO-NOMICON ?

The differences are numerous , takes as an exemple IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST both play Heavy Metal, but they don’t has the same sound. HELKER sounds German and ELECTRO-NOMICON sounds American/English, different points of view, different kind of composition.

 What leads you to rerecord the HELKER album in English? Business Pressure or Artistic Choices?

It had to do with a couple of things; first there is no other way to enter in a non-speaking Spanish market, I recorded many things in English and I have experience with that, so we wanted to take advantage of this, but, we also wanted to keep the Spanish lyrics in the Argentinian edition because here in this country, the lyrics are very important for our fans and we respect that, now everybody can choose which version prefers.

 About your voice & your singing style , as it has evolved very much for the best of course , do you consider yourself as a better singer lately and why ? Tell us about your warming techniques and how do you prepare yourself before a show !

I really think that now I’m wiser speaking about singing, I think that I was my break point when I recorded the album “Hasta el fin de los tiempos” by HIPNOSIS , in that album I evolved and learned a lot there’s a -before and after- in there for me as a singer. About the warming, the vocal chords are muscles and like in every physical activity you must warm up first, and warm up means well warm up , you must do this with exercises and with no effort, always in a comfortable range (depending your vocal range), there is no point in scream high to warm up, is like play a soccer match to warm up for a…soccer match! hahaha

Diego where are you coming from as far as vocal influences are concerned ?

My very first influence was THE BEATLES when a was a little kid, Lennon and Mc Cartney are my two of my favs of all time, then, the Great Freddie Mercury came and later, the mighty Ronnie James Dio enter in my life, but no less important are James Hettfield , Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson…Well , a very important character in my life!

Being constantly compared with Ronnie James Dio/Jorn Lande/Rob Halford or Ralf Scheepers is a blessing or a curse ?

Hahahaha, I can’t deny what all this people means to me, the influence of my beloved master Ronnie James Dio it’s obviously there, I really hope that one day, the people could hear beyond the obvious thing and finally can hear my true self, but could be worse…They could compare me with crappy singers!!

 Can you tell us exactly which was the role played by Mat Sinner in the signing of the deal with AFM ? Beside the production work , he’s a very influent actor  in the European Metal Scene , do you have some hard times to persuade him to be involved with HELKER?

Mat was everything in this negotiation, everything started when our plan to get a professional producer, so our fisrt choice was Mat, we contact him and when he listened the songs, he went crazy! He accepted to be our producer and then he by himself presented the songs to AFM and, he also offers us a deal with his booking agency ITM Level 10.

As a band from Argentina , with a plethora of band out there , what do you think is the Metal scene in your country ?

I can’t complain right now about anything, the 3 bands are well known and has very loyal fans, if I have to speak just for myself I will tell you that everything is fantastic ! But it’s not the same for the rest of the bands , only few that are doing right and trying to grow and has a lot of talent, there are many people who listen metal, we have a crappy reach into the media and the labels are really small !
Argentina  it’s a difficult place to be musician, specially a metal musician !  Most of the people spend fortunes filling stadiums and theaters for foreigner bands but don’t support the local scene (I’m not included in this analysis, but I’m not thinking in myself only)

Are there new undergrounds bands from Argentina that we have to reckon with in the next years ? Maybe some new acts that you want to produce by yourself ? Are you interested in producing some young bands ?

I m interested in production and I did some works, in fact, I met the HELKER’s guys as a vocal producer! I really like that kind of job! It’s hard but funny! I can recommend some young bands from my country that I think are very talented !
OVER MY GRAVE/AFTERDEAMS/CRISTAL NEGRO/MIRROR STAGE/CABRERO/RAIQUEN/ARRAIGO/BETRAYER and many more! Sorry if I forget someone !

Did you plan on touring in Europe ?

Always!!! Hahaha, we are working hard on that, sooner or later we will make it! Stay tuned!

Tell us , what we have to expect from your side in the future to come ?

Music and more music! And shows too I hope! I’m a restless guy!!

What do you think of the new state of the market in 2013 ! What is your opinion concerning digital downloading legal and illegal ?

Well, I don’t live this situation like you or any European or American person, I live in a Third world country, so my reality is pretty different than yours, here the market is so small, that you can be happy if you record is uploaded for free download, because it means that the people like your work , and you have some audience, there is no market enough for earn money with the sales of your album, the most significant album sales are at the shows, not at the record stores, it’s really hard to stop the illegal downloading, maybe impossible, so I think that we must ask conscience  to the fan, you want to hear the album for free? Ok do it, but if you like the band, please buy it, is the only way that we (the bands) have to exist, to make records and touring.

17.Please let us know your Power Metal TOP 5 ?

I’m an old guy so I will think in that I consider power metal all right?

1-HELLOWEEN
2-GAMMA RAY
3- HEAVEN’S GATE
4- BLIND GUARDIAN
5-GRAVE DIGGER

Please let us know your All time TOP 10 ?

1-DIO
2-THE BEATLES
3-QUEEN
4-IRON MAIDEN
5-JUDAS PRIEST
6-VENOM
7-SLAYER
8-METALLICA (old)
9-BARON ROJO
10-ARTILLERY

What is the last CD you have purchased?

Mmhh, I think it was MASTERPLAN

Now it's time for the Chinese portrait aka Le questionnaire de Bernard Pivot , which is inspired by Marcel Proust but This questionnaire is probably more familiar to English audiences as the one that journalist James Lipton asks at the end of  the TV show "Inside the Actors Studio."

What is your favorite word? Yes

What is your least favorite word? Greed

What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally? Many things, maybe a picture, a thought , a situation, a word

What turns you off? The same that in the previous question but in a bad way

What is your favorite curse word? In English is “FUCK” classic. In Spanish is a phrase “me cago en todo lo que se menea” is like “I shit in every living thing in the world”

What sound or noise do you love? I love the sound of my sons laughing

What sound or noise do you hate? I hate all the city sounds

If not yourself , who would like to be ?A Beatles, a live one please.

What profession would you not like to do? Uff, many, if you ask me now, priest

Who would like to see on a new bank note ? A number followed by many zeros?

If you reincarnated as some other plant or animal , what would it be ? a BEAR!!

If God exists, what you like to hear him say at the gates of Heaven ? “I never was like the false preachers want you to believe that I am”

I wish to thank you for this interview and wish you Diego the best of luck with your bands  and on the path ahead . Anything else you want to share with the fans and our readers out there ?

Ok, thanks a LOT again for the interview!! All the best to you and yours! And to all the readers I tell you…I hope the soon I could be there with all of you and ROCK!!! Cheers!!!



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