Here's my interview with Ely Castillo, who drums for Bitter End and Hardside from San Antonio, Texas. Check them both out on their upcoming US tours!
Chillin man, I've been good dude you?
Me too, been busy working on my next zine! So I 'm going to jump right into this, sowhat did you do with the small amount of time you've had off between tours?
Well, I really don't get to do a lot of touring cause I have a daughter and a wife so that takes a bunch of my time, and fucking work bro. I work at a hospital,
but when I do tour its like work too but I get to hang around my best friends and do our thing on stage so its all good.
What kind of gig do you got going on at a hospital?
I'm actually a what is called a sterile processing technician, I sterilize instrumentation for the surgery cases, and I've seen some wild shit man.
About a week ago, Bitter End and Hardside went out on a Midwest tour with Take Offense. From what I heard, you aren't out on that tour, but what is it like to pull double duty?(He also plays drums in Hardside)
As far as doing double duty with both bands its a little hectic at times when we have shows together but other than that I manage to pull it off. I wish I was on this
current Bitter End/Hardside tour.
Back in December, Bitter End got the chance to do some touring with Madball, how did that tour go for you guys? And what was it like?
Man that tour was off the fucking hook dude !!! Madball are some cool down to earth guys and it was an honor in a way to be able to tour with them. I had a fucking great time, you know doing our thing every night and opening up for them was really cool. And every night they killed it !!!!!!
That sounds awesome, I must have been wild. What has been the best tour that you've been on?
The best tour I've ever been on or done had to be my first tour I was like 18 or 19 at the time, Iron Age/Bitter End east coast tour with some Canada dates, mind you I didn't have a fucking clue about touring and it blew my fuckin mind!!!! Funny thing while we are talking about this, it was my first time going to a strip joint ever, in Quebec, and some dude says to us "Come on in!!! You get more contact than American football so come on in!!!!" Good times. I mean who the fuck gets a chance to go on tour at that age now a days? know what i mean?
Yeah man, that is wild. I don't know many people who were under 20 when they went on their first tour. What are your upcoming touring plans whenever you get the chance to do so? I heard Born Low and Hardside are doing some touring, are you going out on that tour?
Yeah man Zane told me about that tour or it's in the works or something of that nature it be cool to do it cause Born Low is chilled as fuck, and I dig that band, but like I told Zane if Bitter End has something lined up than that comes first so it's still up in the air? but I'd like too.
I respect that, so while talking about Bitter End, your new record "Guilty As Charged" came out last summer on Deathwish Inc, how did you guys focus your writing efforts compared to your previous records?
Guilty As Charged, (one of my best performance recorded wise to date.) as far as focusing on writing it, that was kind of tough, Deathwish was like yo guys you gotta put out another record and you know keep the ball rolling, so me and our ex-guitarist Griff started laying down the riffs with the help of Jacob and my drum parts all came together and bam shit got done. Mind you I listened to a lot of Sepultura and Pantera while in the process of creating this album so you can hear all the influence in the album. compared to Climate Of Fear, I think as a band we progressed and started to experience a lot different stuff in the studio and at practices so it was interesting to write this album and had fun doing it.
That rules, especially the Sepultura part. Igor Cavalera is an animal on the drums, he never ceases to amaze me. If you haven't checked out the new Calvalera Conspiracy record "Blunt Force Trauma", you gotta. It will blow your mind. Getting back on track though, so from the same recording sessions I believe, you recorded a track that was included on the American Hardcore Compilation. I just want to say, that song is absolutely killer! But to get back on track, how did you guys choose that song for the comp instead of any other song that was recorded for "Gulity As Charged"?
Thanks man, I like that song too, not gonna lie its the best song off of that comp,(that's just me). You know we actually went back after Guilty As Charged was released and went into the studio months later to write it there with no practice or anything. We just started fucking around with some riffs and put a little magic into it and it was done on the spot, we went for a different approach on this song obviously, you know heavy as fuck with some cool clean parts and it came out great. Man, I was so blazed up, I was chillin back and listening to the track and thinking, "This is a banger for sure.".
It sure is a banger, and in my opinion the best track on the AHC! So when do you guys plan on getting back into the studio and recording some new material?
For now man we are just going to ride it out and dwell on this record, play more of the new songs live and see where this new record takes us, it'll be a while before we get to go back in the studio.
So I want to talk about Hardside a little bit, so Hardside also put out a new record "Crucified" on 6131 Records, now how do you compare that record to the demo?
Crucified is pretty cool, we wanted more singing involved in this EP and our guitar player has the lungs for that, so we him to pull that off while playing guitar too so it worked perfect, the demo is cool for what it is but I think this is more of what we wanted it to sound like. ala Leeway.
It rules though, and Zane kills it on the vocals as well. So what kind of kit are you rocking as of late?
I'm rocking a PDP kit made by DW, it's pretty good and gets the job done, but I would like to get sponsored by some cool drum company!
That would rule, I wonder if any current hardcore bands have drum sponsors....hahaha. Last question and this one is pretty random! What's the best pizza you've ever had and why?
Um best pizza? I'm gonna have to go with New York style pizza, it's great dude. Um San Antonio TX doesn't really have great pizzerias, but ask me about Mexican food, and our Mexican food over here will kick any Mexican food's you've ever tried, ass. It is authentic and legit, and really man I don't care for pizza that much.
Anything else you'd like to say?
I have a project going on where I sing be on the look out for the demo soon, if you like (Life Of Agony, Type O Negative, Alice In Chains) style, we will see how that comes out. Um shout outs to Madball and crew, terror and the K.O.T.F. crew, Agnostic Fronts new record stoked about that, um S.O.I.A and crew(play more songs off of "Just Look Around") and shout outs to Pitchfork NYC and thanks to everyone who has been there for Bitter End from day one, you know who you are. Hardcore lives in 2011. I'm out Ely Castillo.
Thanks Ely for doing this interview!