July 22, 2017

Artist Profile with Daniel Corcuera - Nekronikon + Slaughtbbath.

At the start of May I published the first ever artist profile here at The Lair of Filth in conjunction with Alex MORKH Shadrin from Nether Temple Design, at that time I stated we would publish more of these in the future as artwork, layout etc. play an essential role within music, giving you that vital first impression of any physical release. 
It is with great pleasure and honour that I am now able to provide you with an in-depth profile of another of the underground's most talented and respected artists and musicians - Daniel Corcuera from Nekronikon who is also a member of Chilean band Slaughtbbath
Read on for an in-depth profile featuring Daniel's work as a tattoo artist, artist and musician - along with streams of numerous tracks from one of Chile's greatest underground bands, Slaughtbbath.

By Trevor Proctor with Daniel Corcuera .

Hi Daniel, I hope all’s well with you – thank you for agreeing to work with me on this article for The Lair of Filth, as we’ll hear more of later, you’re an extremely busy man. I’ve been a fan of your work as an artist and musician for quite a while so your willingness to help me create this profile is massively appreciated. 

You're welcome Trevor, thanks to you for inviting me. Things are fine over here, I'm back in Santiago de Chile after some months in Finland and a short trip to Brazil and working on the new Slaughtbbath album before we head for our first North American tour in early September.

Were you always interested in art as a child and was it your always an ambition to work as an artist? Also, could you please tell us a little about what motivated you to become an artist and when you first set up your artist’s studio?

I guess so, yes. I've been drawing since I was able to pick up a pen and I remember thinking of becoming a comic book artist or cartoon artist as a kid, but there was no real motivation or ambition, it was just natural. I never planned or intended to make this a full time job, same with tattooing, I just ended up doing both almost by chance. I didn't go to college either to study art or anything like that.

What were your original hopes and ambitions when you set out as an artist and do you feel you achieved these over the past number of years?

Like I previously said, I never had any intention or plan for this to happen, it wasn't like I woke up on a certain day thinking "I will become an artist or a tattooer and this is what I'm going to do and this is how I plan to achieve this and so on." So in that sense I think I have achieved way more things and experiences than what I could ever have expected for.

Which came first – your love for art, or your love for underground music?

Creating artwork has always been something innate and natural to me so it was there before I discovered underground music as a teenager.

What was the first album cover art you ever created, and if you were to create it again today would it differ from the original piece? 

The first things I did for music were for demo tapes and really underground stuff of pretty unknown local bands. One of the first CD covers that I did was for a re-issue of Vomitor's "Bleeding the Priest" on a Chilean label that later got infamous for ripping off many bands. After that, one of the first foreign and better known bands to contact me to make a proper album cover was Bestial Mockery for their last album "Slaying the Life." I remember being blown away by this request as I like their music and it was actually the first time that I ever got some cash for doing commissioned art for a band (before this I only received a few tapes and copies of the releases as payment, when they didn't rip me off). This was more than 10 years ago so obviously I would make it quite different these days but I think it was okay for that time and lack of experience. 


Which of your design(s) are you most proud of and why?

For some reason in almost every interview that I've answered I get this same question about what is my favourite album cover that I've done, to which I have to logically answer that my latest pieces are the ones that satisfy me the most. I think it's the same if you ask any musician, for example. In general I'm never pleased enough with what I do so I always have a reason to keep on going, which is nevertheless not a quest to reach some kind of technical perfection as some might think.

If a band you’re not familiar with approaches you to create art for them do you give their music a listen before deciding whether, or not, to work with them and do you have a selection process to help you decide which band(s) to work with?

Yes I do, however, I don't do too many commissions lately compared to how many I did years ago anyway.

Have you, or would you, ever decline working with a band based on their beliefs and/or lyrical topics?

I have declined many requests. In fact, I have to do it all the time, but this is mainly due to lack of time and interest. I don't care about people's beliefs or ideas but I will not work on anything that doesn't motivate or attract me enough to materialize it.

Could you describe a typical working day when you’re creating art, or is there such a thing in your life?

That would be pretty hard as my life is perhaps not very typical in first place, I usually travel a lot and don't follow much of a structure or schedule.

Obviously time scales will differ between pieces but, on average, how long does it take to design and create a cover for an album?

The time I spend on each piece is quite relative, some covers have only taken a few hours while others might take months. When you look at my work you'll see I don't follow a particular style or anything so it depends a lot on the specific piece to give you an approximate time frame.

Have you any sort of preparation to get yourself in the right frame of mind for creating your art and is there a particular time of day when you work best?

I usually like to order everything around me to stop things looking a bit messy, I also like to not have any distractions while I'm working. The same if I have too many things in mind and I'm stressed, I try to rest until I put things in order mentally. Other than that, not really. During the summer I usually work during the night because of the warm weather in the day.

Have you ever designed artwork for a band, only for them not to like it or not use it? If so, what happens then? Do you have to start over?

Yeah, there have probably been a few occasions were bands reject what I do, especially when I was doing logos. It was quite frustrating to be honest, so I hardly do it these days.

What’s your favourite medium to use when designing, do you prefer working with paint, pencils etc.?

I'm the worst when being asked to mention my "favourite" things as I don't have any. It all depends of the situation, I get bored repeating myself by using the same things over and over so I always like to try different mediums and techniques.

You’ve created artwork for a very lengthy list of underground bands including Unaussprechlichen Kulten, Qrixkuor, Pentagram from Chile, Cruciamentum and Blaspherian – is this a reflection of the style of music you like listening to the most?

Not really, I usually listen to way more stuff than just Death Metal. I'm quite a melomaniac and listen to music all day long.

Your artwork features on many releases worldwide, have you ever been asked to design art for merchandise, patches, t-shirts etc. and could you give us a few examples?

Sure, I've a done a lot of all of patches, t-shirts etc. and probably more stuff, I've had my stuff used on Bermuda shorts, pins, leggings, cups and other funny things.

Have you ever created artwork for non-metal bands, and if so, could you tell us about the design(s)?

Not too often but yes, although only for dark ambient bands which are somehow related to metal anyway.

Which three bands, past or present, would you most like to design an album cover for?

Any band that I respect who in turn respect me by giving me freedom to create their cover without messing too much, haha.

What’s the most exciting art project that you’re currently working on and can you give us some details about other music artwork you’ve planned for the rest of the year?

At the moment I'm not working on  any commissions and I don't plan on taking any for the rest of the year, just tattooing. My free time is currently dedicated to my own music projects at the moment.

You’re also a founding member of Chilean Black Metal band Slaughtbbath, performing vocals on all releases and bass for all with the exception of a few demos and the split with Et Verbi Sathanus. Has the band any plans for releasing any music this year to follow on from the two excellent split releases that came out in 2016?

Hells Headbangers is soon to release a compilation CD that will feature songs from the latest split releases and also a new exclusive track to support our upcoming North American tour in September. We are also recording our second album.

Those 2016 split releases garnered a lot of praise from media and fans alike, including a spot in my top 25 EP/single/demo listing for 2016 for the fantastic 'Pestilential Hierophanies' split which you shared with Ill Omen - are you pleased with the positive reception both releases received and how do you feel Slaughtbbath has evolved over recent years?

Thank you. Sure, we are pleased with getting more recognition after so many years of hard work and dedication. We've only evolved in an uglier, faster and nastier way. 

Does Slaughtbbath play many live dates and have you any plans for gigs or a tour in 2017, and can we ever hope to see the band play in Europe?

In general we play more or less often but we took a break of almost one year to focus on writing new material and also because our drummer was very busy with his other bands. We returned just recently from one gig in Sao Paulo, Brazil and we are doing a whole North American tour  with Communion and SlutVomit in September/October through Canada, USA and Mexico. We did an extensive European tour in 2015.

Which three bands, past or present, would you most like Slaughtbbath to share a stage with and which bands do you feel have influenced Slaughtbbath’s sound the most?

I would like to share stage with three bands that are really boring and do short sets so we can blow them away easily because we usually suck. Regarding bands that have influenced our sound, I could mention Slayer, Kreator, Possessed, Sodom, Sarcófago, Celtic Frost, Samael, Sepultura, Morbid Angel, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Beherit and in general all the extreme metal bands from the 80's and early 90's with that kind of sound.

It’s rumoured members from Slaughtbbath also play in the band Temple Below – can you provide us with any information about this and are you aware if the band has any plans to release any further music to follow on from the excellent ‘The Dark Goddess’ EP which was released in 2016?

I think that most of the people that are familiar with Temple Below knows that to be true. I wrote most of the music for all the releases we did but there are no Slaughtbbath or any original members any more in that band besides the vocalist, so I have no idea of what they are currently doing.

I understand you spend some time each year in Finland working as a tattooist. How did this arrangement start and how long do you spend in Finland each year? Also, do you have your own tattoo studio in Finland, or do you guest at another artist’s studio, and do you work as a tattooist when in Chile or is your time there dedicated to creating art for bands and performing with Slaughtbbath?

In 2011 I traveled to Europe for the 1st time and just tried to go everywhere I could. I was tattooing friends in their kitchens and stuff like that. Back then I was already in touch with the Finnish band Maveth since I was doing some artwork for them. It happened that their frontman Christbutcher was a tattoo artist as well and was working in a tattoo studio in Kuopio, so he was kind enough to invite me there for a few days. Next year I returned directly to Finland and got in touch with Roni of Lie in Ruins who owns a great tattoo studio in Helsinki called Damnation Ink and I have been returning there as a guest artist ever since. Due to legal reasons I'm not able to stay any longer than 90 days so usually I spend from 2 to 3 months when I go. I work as a tattooer in Chile too, although I'm not part of any tattoo studio over here at the moment.

Is Slaughtbbath put on hold while you’re in Finland and do you still create art for bands while there, or do you concentrate solely on tattooing while you’re in Helsinki?

When in Finland I mostly work at tattooing but I recorded my vocals for a new Slaughtbbath song which will appear on a new compilation CD that I've mentioned whilst  there and I've done many drawings for bands while travelling as well. I'm also working on a music project in Finland called Witchakal over the past few years but we have no releases yet.

Your work as a tattoo artist is fantastic, and I feel you have a worldwide reputation – have you been working long as a tattooist and could you tell us a little about your work as a tattoo artist, when you started etc.?

Thanks for your words! I began tattooing in 2006. I used to have different jobs while still living in my hometown, most of them related to doing graphic stuff on commission (I used to paint letters and signs for stores and stuff like that) but I was fed up of doing it and wasn't making enough money. 
One day a friend appeared at my place with a cheap tattoo machine and asked me to tattoo him saying it should be easy enough for me as I was good with drawing and he already started his own tattoo and according to him, it wasn't that hard. Needless to say I had no idea of what I was doing and what kind of mess I did. But since then I tried my best to learn by my own and it was a very long way until I managed to make slightly decent tattoos since I wasn't familiar with the craft  at all and there wasn't tattooed people or tattoo studios in my hometown which is a small countryside place. 
Looking back it was the worst way of starting and I wouldn't recommend it to anybody but that's how it was for me.

What advantages do you enjoy working in Finland in comparison to working in Chile and would you ever consider moving to Finland full time?

Tattoos cost 3 or 4 times more in Finland than Chile, people have whiter skin, they are more responsible, complain less and are willing to give me more freedom when tattooing. 

Between creating art for bands, tattooing and also being a member of one of Chile’s greatest bands, Slaughtbbath how the hell do you manage to have any free time and what do you do to relax when you do have some spare time?

Hahaha, I don't think we are one of Chile's greatest bands at all but thanks... 
Well, all my life could be seen as one big vacation since I basically do what some other people do on their free time or on the other hand you can say I don't have any free time at all because that's how it actually is. I don't do much stuff besides tattooing, painting and drawing, listening to and playing music and studying and reading. If I have any extra time, I might watch movies and cartoons or go out to drink something or see some bands live, normal stuff like that. 

Released May 15, 2014, as a split LP/CD with Hades Archer. Recorded live in a few hours with vocal and guitar overdubs in DM6 Studio by Pablo Clares, February 2013. Cover artwork by Daniel Corcuera.

Chile has a strong reputation as being home to some of the best bands and music ever created in the underground – do you agree and which underground bands do you feel deserve a wider audience than they currently have?

The Chilean metal scene is very strong although it's infected with the same condition that affects the average Chilean personality which is resentment and the "save yourself before other no matter the cost" attitude so you can see the same corruption and back stabbing that you see on politics and the normal society.
I think that most of the bands that I like from here already have some kind of recognition outside of the country. Perhaps Ammit should be better known and recognized considering their trajectory and authenticity so I would mention them.

The extreme underground is perhaps healthier than it’s ever been and is currently enjoying a very productive period – do you agree and do you feel extreme music will still have the same audience in five years’ time?

I think productivity is not synonymous to quality, and even though it is true that you can see a lot of bands and concerts you don't see much originality, creativity or authenticity as in times when things were less organized and professional, if you want to put it that way. Things are easier to be achieved nowadays.
Anyone can tour, have a vinyl record with a foreign label, do video clips, make good sounding recordings at home, stay in touch with people all over the world, get to know proper music online, watch tutorials and learn how to do things, get access to books and information that used to be elitist and so on.
Thus at the end, you have most of the people trying their best to be perfect in a very, very superficial and pretentious way aiming to get instantaneous recognition and approval and then jumping into the next way of getting to be liked, doing only what they've learned because it is correct and proper and accepted and not what it really stems from their guts.
The passion is not the same in newer generations and in the current methods of doing things.

SLAUGHTBBATH - Bestial Descension - Promo MMXV:
Released March 13, 2015.

2017 is proving to be a seriously good year for extreme music, which releases have you enjoyed most so far and which are you looking forward to hearing later in the year?

Being honest I've lost track on a lot of current releases as I mainly listen to old stuff but the ones that come to my mind at the moment are the new records of Necrowretch, Korgonthurus, Dead Conspiracy, Morgal, Grave Desecrator, Barathrum, Possession, Unaussprechlichen Kulten, Curse Eternal, Weregoat, etc. I've been listening a lot to the new Danzig album too. Some records that I'm looking forward to check out are the new Communion, Hades Archer and Kratherion albums.

Daniel, thank you very, very much for taking the time to answer these questions, and also for access to your art, music, etc., I appreciate it all very much – any closing comments are all yours……

Thanks to you for the interest in my work and also for your support.

Further information about Daniel Corcuera and his work as an artist and musician can be accessed via the following links:

Nekronikon Facebook Page.
Nekronikon Instagram Page.
Slaughtbbath Bandcamp Page - where you can purchase five Slaughtbbath releases featuring thirty two tracks for only $10.20 USD or more.

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