Sunday, October 1, 2000

Album story: Ill Niño EP (2000)

The Ill Niño EP was recorded in late 2000, after Cristian Machado switched from bassguitar to replace Jorge Rosado on vocals. With original members Marc Rizzo and founding father Dave Chavarri, and the addition of Jardel Paisante on rhythm guitar, Laz Pina on bassguitar and Roger Vasquez on percussion the band was complete. According to Chavarri, the vocals are much stronger now with Cristian Machado as a singer; Ill Niño is now making much better use of melody, Spanish guitars and Latin rhythms. Session member DJ Pookie did the turntables for the album. It would be the only time he would work with Ill Niño, Chavarri: "Pookie was awesome on our EP., but we needed to go in a different direction with the scratches on our new CD. The perfect man for the job turned out to be DJ Skratch. He totally kicked ass on our new recording."

The EP was recorded and mixed at the Hi-Fi Studios in Hoboken, NJ, which is the recording studio of bassist Laz Pina, and the same studio that was later used for the pre-production of Revolution Revolucion. The album was engineered and mixed by drummer Dave Chavarri, with help from Pina. The album was released by C.I.A. Recordings.

The first five songs, "Nothing's Clear", "Disposed", "Rumba", "Fallen", and "Part of the Signs", were all written by Cristian Machado. The last two songs, "El Niño" and "God Is I" were written by ex-vocalist Jorge Rosado, who joined Merauder after he left the band. These two songs are two older songs, when the band was still called El Niño. Ill Niño's roots lay for a huge part in the New York hardcore-scene. Both "El Niño" and "God Is I" contain loads of hardcore influences that are until today still to be found in Merauder's music.

The layout of the EP was done by Zeckle Graphics from Jersey City, NJ. The Ill Niño logo was done by Joe Darone. Photos were taken by Frank White.

The EP got the band signed to Roadrunner Records. Ill Niño enjoyed exposure via the New York metal college radio station WSOU and began to gig heavily, opening for the likes of Kittie, Soulfly, Snapcase, plus a co-headlining set at the March Metal Meltdown festival in New Jersey. Soon after, the sextet signed to Roadrunner Records. Dave Chavarri: "I personally had known Mike Gitter (our A&R) for some time. When I knew I had the right material, I approached Mike with it. He then came to check out our live performance at WSOU's ski show, and shortly after we were signed to Roadrunner. From there, we kept gigging and working our asses off to help create a buzz." Gitter: "So, (...) Chavarri's in my office with a CD in hand. I pop it in and he looks up at me with that shit-eating, Chavarri-I just ate-a-plate of red beans look. It's the "Major Changes" Dave's been talking about. Ill Nino's new demo is awesome: heavy, melodic, charged with great songs and cool Latin vibes. On the scale of good to great, it's 95% of the way to great. They've just played their first gig at the Birch Hill in New Jersey with fellow Vatos Among Thieves in front of nearly 500 fans! A week later, they'll play right under Dave's former bandmate and co-conspirator Billy Milano and his mosh-happy mob, S.O.D., at New Jersey's March Metal Meltdown and simply crush."

Ill Niño EP
Released: 2000
Number of Discs: 1
Label: C.I.A. Recordings
Produced by: Chavarri
© 2000: Ill Niño Music

01 - Nothing's Clear
02 - Disposed
03 - Rumba
04 - Fallen
05 - Part Of The Signs
06 - El Niño
07 - God Is I

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