CEMICAN interview

Hi CEMICAN! What’s the meaning of your band’s title (Aztec themes, right?)? What’s the origin of that name? Have you changed the band’s name before?

The name means all life, all wisdom (náhuatl language) it represents a duality, the life and death.

Cemican is the name of the band since the beginning, now for 11 years. it’s great because we try to expand the aztec/mexican legacy with our music.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?

The genre usually is a mix of thrash/death with other elements of metal and prehispanic instruments but the people usually say that it’s Aztec Folk Metal

The influences are several usually big bands that do great performance on stage example Kiss, Iron Maiden, also Mexican ethnic music like Jorge Reyes, who is a great inspiration for us

How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?

Tlipoca and Tecuhtli are the founders of the band, they’ve known one each other since they were 13 years old. The band started in 2008 and our first album was released at 2009. We have almost 11 years together. Some of the members join in 2012, 2013 (Yei Tochtli and Mazatecpatl) and 2016 (Ocelotl).

When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?

Cemican was formed 2008 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The idea is a mix of metal music with our pre-Hispanic instruments to show the world our culture, our history, our roots.

Are you a member of any music organizations?


What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever’s available? What made you choose the instruments you have now? Was it cost or was it a style/model/brand/color preference?

We use Ibanez bass and Jackson guitar because the sound is very powerful, and gives to the band a fresh image, we don’t have the support of any brand yet, but we are looking for brands to work with. Regarding our ethnic instruments, we have several creators and manufacturers, some are replica of antique instruments found at excavations, we also make some of those instruments.

Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

We have performed almost in every city in Mexico: Chihuahua, CDMX, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Puebla etc. and out of Mexico we have played at Wacken and Wacken Winter Nights in Germany, Download Festival and Cernunnos in France, Belgium, Netherlands and Spain. One place wonderful is France, the people are very friendly and they love our music. Also we will be playing this year at Hellfest Open Air in France and Hornerfest in Germany

Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set play list?

We don’t have a unique set list for all the shows. We talk about some songs we will perform in a show, then we practice it several weeks. We don’t play covers. The most played songs are:

  • Yeotecatl
  • Mixteco
  • Guerreros de Cemican
  • Ritual

Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

Usually all on the band participate, but the main composer is Tecuhtli. The topics are experiences and histories from ancient Mexican culture. We don’t think the topics will change as you know Mexican Culture is very ancient.

Could you briefly describe the music-making process?

At the beginning the music arises in the rehearsal room, after we add elements like lyric and pre-Hispanic sound. First, we need to create a powerfull riff or bass line and over that we start to work adding the drums and the pre-Hispanic instruments. At the last we add the lyrics and voices.

What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?

We have our rehearsals 2 times per week, every week. We are very disciplinary.

How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?

We are like a little family, the evolution of music is continuous, the same for us. We have evolved as persons and you can see that in our music as well.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

To play shows outside our country with energy and responsability, at the moment the challenges has been awesome. The biggest challenge for us is being recognized by the people of different countries. For the Mexican scene is difficult export our music, but we have been very lucky, because we are a different concept, since the music to the performance.

What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?

The time and our work decide this direction, we want to be known in all corners of the world, we want everybody to know our roots and our culture.

What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

To follow your instincts in creating interesting new elements, work hard, have a lot of communication. An important part of a band is creating different things, that make the people interested, and have a solid base and influences.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?

They can search in Spotify, YouTube, Itunes or Google music (and many more), our social media to know about our upcoming shows. We are very happy to see that people hear us from so many different countries!

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge for offering financial or emotional support?

Everyone who’s coming to our shows (independent of the country where they are from), They deserve our gratitude and acknowledge

Any last words?

Thanks for all. And remember We all are Warriors!!