RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD
Interview with Cesar Placeres of HIBERNUS MORTIS
By Dominic Pierce-Toogood
Hibernus Mortis are trying to prove that there is life left in the
Death Metal scene yet and not just in their native Florida. The ink is barely dry on their record deal with newly formed
Horns Up Records as Hibernus Mortis, exponents of some of the most brutal sounding metal produced in decades, get a chance to breath new life into their previously self-released album "The Existing Realms of Perpetual
Sorrow." We pulled the drapes closed, put away the crosses and opened the coffin of Cesar Placeres, drummer and spokesperson, who told us about his dream gig, current
European exchange rates and the future of rock'n'roll ...
Rough Edge: What are your thoughts on the state of the current death metal scene in the USA and especially Florida?
Cesar Placeres: Well, in my opinion Death Metal reached
its peak in the U.S. sometime around '93, but there seems to be somewhat of a comeback in the recent years. Many people think that since Florida is pretty much the home of Death Metal that
there is some huge scene here but I'd say on average Death metal shows around here usually only attract between
100 - 350 people per show. Hopefully (the scene) will continue to prosper as it did almost 10 years ago.
As far as the South Florida scene goes there are very few Death Metal bands now. Besides us there is Malevolent Creation, Hateplow - who are more of a grindcore band anyway - Divine Empire and Kult ov Azazel who play Black Metal but also have hints of Death Metal in (their music) as well. That's basically it for down here. There are other bands in the scene who I care not to mention as I donít want to give them free publicity as they like to talk shit, but they are nobodies and always will be.
Rough Edge: Where do you feel your particular brand of music fits within the entire rock/metal scene? Where does it fit with you?
Cesar Placeres: That's a very good question. We play a brand of Death Metal that may not appeal to the broad spectrum of Death Metal fans, but only to the true Death Metal fans that remember back when Death Metal was about brutality, speed and aggression. A pure form of sonic violence that touches the emotions like no other type of music can. Our main goal has always been to bridge the gap between the true old school Death Metal, mixed with today's speed and brutality. I am so sick of some of the bands out now claiming to be Death Metal, when they are in fact just lame-ass posers who couldn't write a heavy riff if their lives depended on it.
Rough Edge: Why do you feel it took so long to get signed and what can Horns Up Records offer you as a band?
Cesar Placeres: We have been offered deals in the past, but usually it was from labels overseas. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the currency exchange rate in some countries is pretty bad, so we just decided to avoid the hassle and sign with an American label. Horns Up Records are a relatively new label, but I have high hopes for them as they have a dedicated staff of people dedicated to the underground. Scott and Sick (of Horns Up) are just cool guys who really dig our music and wanted to see our
shit on a global scale. So first off they will be re-releasing our "Existing Realms of Perpetual Sorrow" CD Ė re-mastered with the original 9 songs plus 3 new studio tracks, 2 "live" tracks, new artwork, lyrics, and hopefully the CD will also be enhanced for computer use although we are not sure what that will include yet.
Rough Edge: Why do you think other death metal bands such as Cradle of Filth have trouble keeping the same line up for more than a few years? And what is your take on them?
Cesar Placeres: Well, I haven't really listened to much of their stuff recently, I did think they had some good songs back in the day when
"Dusk and Her Embrace" was out, but I kind of stopped really listening to them after that. I would give them huge credit though for actually signing a deal with a major label (Sony) while playing blast beats and screaming their asses off. Who knows, maybe by having them on a major label might mean them being on major tours which could introduce fans to a heavier type of music that some mainstream fans probably weren't even aware existed.
As far as bands having line-up problems, I think it just stems from some people getting older and realizing that they have other responsibilities outside the band like a wife and kids, work, college etc. But if someone is really dedicated to his or her craft I really don't see a reason why a person can't find time to balance their time evenly. It's sad to see when great bands lose classic members; it just changes the feel of the music, not to mention the total atmosphere and nostalgic value.
Rough Edge: How psyched are you regarding the re-release of your album "The Existing Realms of Perpetual Sorrow" for Horns Up? What will you be doing to promote it? (Besides dumb interviews!).
Cesar Placeres: I'm really psyched, I'm willing to do as many interviews as it takes to get the word out. Luckily I have friends in important places that will also help to get the word out. Even if we don't make tons of cash doing this, all that matters is that the music gets out there, that's the only thing that matters in the long run.
Rough Edge: If you could be drumming with any other current band who would it be? And if you could drum for any band in history who would you choose and why?
Cesar Placeres: Haha ... that's a really cool question. Well let's see, out of current bands I would love to play drums for Morbid Angel, but I'm telling you right now man, I cannot compete with Pete Sandoval, that guy is a god and I will never claim to be as good as he is. Also playing drums for Iron Maiden would be cool, haha, my childhood heroes. As far as playing drums for bands in the past, it would also be cool to play drums for Slayer somewhere circa 86-89 or for another one of my childhood heroes,
The Misfits, circa 81 or 82.
Rough Edge: You have toured with great bands such as Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel. Out of all of the bands you have toured with whose company did you most enjoy and any funny stories you can reveal whilst on the road?
Cesar Placeres: Well, we never actually "toured" with those bands across the States, we just played the shows when they were in Florida. As far as all the bands we have shared a stage with, we are probably most proud of times with Morbid Angel and Mayhem. As far as cool people from bands, John Mcentee from Incantation is a really cool guy, Incantation was a big influence and it's cool 'cause he really digs us, he's even got our CDs. Also Trey is pretty cool, every time Morbid Angel comes down he's always cool.
If you want a really funny story about getting to a show, here is a perfect one. We were opening for Mayhem a couple years ago, and I was the person in the band that always got stuck driving the U-haul truck to the shows with the equipment. We were running really late and even though the gas gauge was marking almost empty, I decided to risk it and haul ass straight to the show. About
ten blocks from the club I ran out of gas, and had to push a big fucking U-haul truck by myself to the next gas station which was a good
three blocks away. Finally, after pushing it the three blocks, I put the gas in but I was totally winded with my leg muscles burning before we even went on. Finally,
I get to the club just to find my bass player laughing his ass off and saying that on the way to the club he saw me pushing the U-haul. I asked his stupid ass why the
fuck he didn't stop to help me and he said something like "I would have helped, but it looked like you had everything under
control." Fucking asshole!
Rough Edge: What do you consider to be the future of rock music and what part do you do feel you can play in it? What does the future hold for Hibernus Mortis?
Cesar Placeres: That is a difficult question to answer. I mean, on one hand things seem to be looking up for metal in general, but yet it seems to be dormant for the time being. I just hope this whole "nu-metal/rap metal" trend goes away. I don't even know how somebody could even perceive that as being real metal. Metal is not about rapping or funky beats or jumping up and down. Hopefully one day there will come a time when metal gets big once again and hopefully there will be a place in it for us. Until then, we just have to hope to try to leave as big a mark on it as possible.
Rough Edge: In closing, war with Iraq or no?
Cesar Placeres: Honestly, I hardly ever watch the news, and I seriously don't know what the whole situation is. But I'll tell you
this: if somebody is threatening the freedom and well being of the citizens of the United States of America, then,
yes, I do believe we should fight.
P.S. Note from Cesar: "If anybody has any questions or want any info on Hibernus Mortis check out our website at www.hibernusmortis.com. Thanks once again to you and your readers. 'May the Force be with you.'"
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