Interview With Ikaro Stafford of Ankla
Los Angeles, California's ANKLA are powered by the earth shaking guitar dynamics of ex-Puya axe slinger, Ramon Ortiz. The band has already seen two major label releases and been on nationwide and South American tours, including playing Ozzfest in 1999). The band offers up a fury-laced Latin metal sound that is unrivaled and seems to be gaining fans daily in the same outright explosiveness inwhich they deliver their unmistakable sound. They have just released their new album "Steep Trails" off Beiler Brothers Records and I am really happy to have conducted this recent Q&A with their very down to earth lead vocalist, Ikaro Stafford.
Rocket: Are you originally from Los Angeles?
Ikaro: No. I'm from Brazil, but I'm living in Los Angeles since 2000.
Rocket: When did you first start singing? And are you self-taught or did you actually take voice lessons?
Ikaro: I started sing when I heard the Slayer record "Reign In Blood". Right there I decided to become a singer. So, I took voice lessons for eight months in Brazil.
Rocket: There you go. So who are some of your biggest vocal influences? Past or present.
Ikaro: In the past it was Billy Milano, Tom Araya, and all the singers from New York Hard Core.
Rocket: Ankla features former Puya guitarist, Ramon Ortiz. What a great guitar player this guy is. How did the band go about writing the material for your newly released LP "Steep Trails" off Beiler Brother Records?
Ikaro: Ninety percent came from Ramon instrumental, and I just add the lyrics, vocals.
Rocket: Ankla worked with producer Bob Marlette on this album, he's produced some big names like Black Sabbath, Iommi and Halford. Was that intimidating in the start to work with someone at his level? From the sounds of the finished product, you guys all kicked serious ass together. This new album from you guys is simply punishing.
Ikaro: No, because he never let this happen. In the Studio, he made us feel like we were at home.
Rocket: Right on. That's very cool to hear. What kind of experience has it been like so far working with a major label like Beiler Brothers? A lot of bands feel they lose some control and artistic creativity with a major but of course gain serious financial backing. Do you guys feel like you are in control and are getting the necessary promotions done to get your name and this record out there?
Ikaro: The experience with Beiler Brothers is so far, so good. They never try to change anything in our music. Everything is pretty new, but we are waiting for an agressive promotion for next year.
Rocket: Ankla has shared the stage with bands like Hatebreed, Body Count, Six Feet Under, to name just a few. Tell me what other big name metal acts out there are you dying to share the stage with still?
Ikaro: Meshuggah, Lamb of God, Slayer, and we are dying to share a Tour with Hatebreed.
Rocket: Now I know you're hooked up with my boy Eddie @ The Edge Factory and Ekotren out of Cape Coral, Florida. What a phenomenal young group they are. Most of them are still only 21. What do you think about their new album "The Tables Have Turned"?
Ikaro: Eddie and the guys from Ekotren are the greatest people I ever met. This record is awesome, and you will heard a lot about Ekotren in the future. Good Luck guys!
Rocket: Every young metal band out there needs to take notes from Ekotren. Class acts. And tremendous talents. Now, Ikaro, we're in the rock n roll business so I like to have fun with this next one. What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you on the stage?
Ikaro: My drummer fell from the stage, and we had to keeping play the same riff for a long time, to give him time to come back to the stage and start to play again.
Rocket: Haha. The power of the riff compels you. Well, It's been a great year for metal. Tons of killer releases have dropped from so many out there. What's been your personal favorite?
Ikaro: The new Hatebreed, Seemless, Sikth, Sick Of It All.
Rocket: Oh hell yeah. I'm not the biggest hardcore fan but I have to give it up for Sick of It All too, brother. Those guys may have well delivered the best metal album for 2006. It's heavier than both Slayer and Lamb Of God. Hands down. Score one major win for the hardcore scene this year. And I mean that wholeheartedly. Tell me, what are some of the upcoming shows for the band?
Ikaro: We will be playing with Sepultura and Asesino. And be ready for 2007, we will be playing all over the World. So, I will see you guys at the mosh pit.
Rocket: Awesome news. I really love Ankla's music and think you guys definitely produced one of the top ten best metal albums for 2006. I am very pleased to have gotten this done with you, okay? I wish you and the rest of Ankla band the best of luck moving forward. Go ahead and give a shout out to your biggest supporters.
Ikaro: Thanks so much. You guys can check all the news in our website:
And for booking:
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