Not only is Brujeria the Spanish word for ‘witchcraft,’ it is also the name of the extreme Metal band from Tijuana, Mexico that formed all the way back in 1989! Since going through quite a few line-up changes throughout the years, there are only two founding members remaining; Fantasma (vocals / bass) and Juan Brujo (vocals). The band members that have played in Brujeria over the years are quite impressive, ranging from original founding members Dino Cazares (Fear Factory / Divine Heresy / Asesino) and Billy Gould (Faith No More) to more recent members like the Erlandsson brothers; Adrian (The Haunted / At the Gates / Cradle of Filth and Daniel (In Flames / Eucharist).
OVERDRIVE got the opportunity to sit down and talk to Brujo about Brujeria’s upcoming tour of Australia with Napalm Death, Lockup and Australia’s own Black Rheno; which might I add, is the first time Brujeria has EVER been to Australia!!
Starting with how excited Brujeria is to play in Australia, Brujo informs us that, “It’s so great; I never thought we’d ever end up down there, never even imagined it! But I’d like to thank the Napalm Death guys for thinking of us and making it happen! I never thought I’d be over there so I don’t know much about Australia other than the big cities, so I don’t know what they’re going to be like in other cities. I hear they’re far apart and we have to take flights every day so I know that, but other than that it’s all going to be a surprise because nothing is planned for me and I’m not doing any research. It blew my mind having to fly every day.”
Knowing that this is Brujeria’s first trip to Australia, this interviewer was curious as to whether Brujo or the rest of the band had any songs that they were most excited to play for the fans Down Under; Brujo let OVERDRIVE know that, “We split our setlist up evenly and try to get a balance between old and new albums; it all depends on how much time we have really. Usually when we open up there’s less time for the show, so we try to squeeze in as many of both the old and new favourites as possible and play as many as we can in a short period of time. It’s very hard to pick a setlist when you’ve only got 45 minutes; we have songs that we HAVE to play because they’re big hits and because of the time restraints it’s very difficult. Hopefully we get just enough time to do it right!”
If it wasn’t for Napalm Death, Brujeria wouldn’t be able to cross Australia off the bucket list of places to travel to; Brujo informed OVERDRIVE that this wasn’t the first time that Brujeria and Napalm Death had shared a stage before.
“It’s great! We did in Europe with them for a month; we toured for four weeks with the same baggage! Everyone there was lit up from the beginning and having fun, there was a lot of action so it was good! I didn’t know we needed that type of show, but you should really check it out as it’s something totally different and it’s really good. We’re all having fun and everyone listening is having fun listening as well so it’s a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the way it turned out and I want it to turn out the same down there!”
Knowing that Australia is FINALLY being visited, this interviewer was curious about what Brujo wanted to get to do whilst he was here, considering it’s been a quarter of a century wait! Brujo gave a short and straight to the point answer because it was something he never expected to happen: “Maybe pet a kangaroo or something like that (laughs). As I said, I don’t really have any plans; I was hoping to get out and see the desert and stuff like that, but with us flying everywhere that plan is out the window!”
Now that the long overdue visit to Australia has been crossed off the travel bucket list, is there anywhere else left for Brujeria to travel to that they haven’t been to before? Brujo opens up his response with, “Oh that’s a good question!” before continuing, “I’d say Australia might be the last place; well we’re going to Japan after Australia so that’s another one down. After that, I think that’s everywhere; well we don’t plan on going to Africa because that’s a bit of a hard sell for us (laughs). We might do Russia in the future but that may be it; like I said, I never thought about going to Australia or Japan, as it never crossed my mind! But now it’s happening, like I said there’s no research and we’re just going to wing it and hope that it turns out good, which I know it will! It will be good and everybody will enjoy the show that we’re bringing them.”
After finding out that Japan is also being crossed off the list and that is everywhere Brujeria wants to travel to, is there anywhere they want to get to travel back to and re-experience?
“We want to go back to Mexico and South America; the shows in those Latin countries are insane! It’s a lot of fun and there’s never a dull moment so I want to go back there as much as I can. We’re liked a lot in Europe as well, so we want to go over there and tour a lot as well. It’s going well for us now and we’re getting a lot of good reactions; even the United States is really lit up for us, we’re going out for a third time in October. Things are just happening so we’re having fun and really enjoying it; it’s a good thing. I think pretty much like September to the end of November, there’s something going on every day; it’s good and we can’t wait to keep busy like that. We’ve never really been that busy before, because it’s always been a part time band that we’ve done when people are free; the rest of the year we’re getting to work together and we’ll see how it all goes!”
After Brujo touched on how Brujeria has always been worked on when people are free, this interviewer asked for a little bit of an insight into how they manage to get together, bounce ideas off of each other and record music; Brujo was kind enough to elaborate further: “It’s always been part time because everybody’s in a different band so when we get together, it’s like, ‘I’ve got a week off!’ We usually already have the albums recorded and out; we’re not thinking of touring because there’s no time for it usually! There’s a small time for touring now and we love getting together to do it; its like we’re young again and it’s not work for us when we get to do it! We love to tour and hopefully it keeps going on after this tour. In the early days, we’d have one week in like three years where everybody is free to get together and do something; that’s why the first few records you hear, they were recorded super-fast in the way they sound. After 2010, a lot of the original bands that members were in either broke up or stopped touring so it was easier to get together; but then people starting saying, ‘Let me email you some tracks,’ and I think that was slower than it was before! It’s different and times have changed; I still prefer getting everybody together and having a week to do it instead of the new way with emailing this or Dropboxing that. For me it’s all backwards now; we need everybody in a room with a bunch of beer where we only have a couple of days to do it, that’s the proper way! Getting everybody together and having a little party is the way to do it; that’s how we like to play our music live and hopefully everyone enjoys what we bring to them.”
When this interviewer mentioned how he would love to get to see the show but might not be able to, due to it being midweek and having work the next day, Brujo presented this little piece of advice: “Maybe one day hungover in the office won’t kill you! I can almost guarantee though that if you make it to the show you might not make it to work the next day though (laughs),”
CATCH BRUJERIA SUPPORTING NAPALM DEATH ON THE UPCOMING OCTOBER TOUR, STARTING IN HOBART OCTOBER 6TH! TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE.