Interview: Out of Hand from Puerto Rico (Death Thrash)

If you watch Metal content on YouTube, you’ll no doubt be familiar with arguably the most popular of all Metal Channels, BangerTV.  One of best things about their review videos are the host shout-outs for underground bands that need to be discovered.

Blayne Smith (who does highly entertaining reviews), always makes great shout-outs, so when he mentioned independent Puerto Rican Death Thrash band, Out of Hand, I thought I better give their new album, Exility, a listen.  My band, Aeons Abyss, is also Death Thrash band, so it’s fair to say, I love this style of music, and upon 1st listen, I could understand why Blayne made his recommendation! 

Anyway, I reached out to the band on Instagram, and here is the resulting interview  … and a warning this interview contains trippin’ stories, and some Pirate related content.  Enjoy!

Introduce yourself, who is in your band, and when did you first start?

Hi! we’re Out of Hand, a death metal band from Puerto Rico. The current lineup is Joel Rivera (vocals/bass), Angel Rosado (guitar), Omar Gonzalez (guitar) and Daniel Maymi (drums). We started as a three piece in 2018, but we’ve since joined forces with Omar. So we’ve officially been a quartet since 2020!

“Out of Hand” makes me think of something that has gotten crazy, or lost control. How did you come up with the name and can you tell us what it means in terms of your music?

That’s actually the reason for why we called the band “Out of Hand“! When I (Joel) was trying to come up with names for the band, I wanted to do something in the same vein as Knocked Loose. Basically, I wanted a name that would fit the direction we’re going for. We’re big fans of Entombed, so when I was listening to Wolverine Blues, the last song’s title struck a chord with me. So we’re pretty much named after an Entombed song that just so happened to describe what Out of Hand is supposed to be. Loud, angry and out of control.

Your album “Exility” is out now (released 7th May 2021).  What are 3 things you’d like to tell us about this release?

  • First of all, it was extremely fun to record this album! Our good friend Kitan’s studio is in Orocovis, Puerto Rico, which is very mountainous. We basically secluded ourselves in this small town in the mountains to record grimey death/thrash, it was a very cleansing experience!
  • Second of all, we thought that the album wasn’t gonna be well received, lo and behold that’s definitely not the case! We’ve gotten a ton of attention and we can’t thank everybody enough for the support!
  • Third, yes that’s Steve Buscemi in Becoming the Enemy.

What is your favourite track and why?

Joel: Creatures in Distress, Angel: Creatures, Exility, Severing ties and Petrification, Danny: Creatures and Exility, Omar: Creatures as well.

Your album artwork is brutal and reminds me a little of Death’s Leprosy. Who did the artwork and what is the story behind the image?

The artwork was made by a very talented Puerto Rican artist named Jotham Malave. Apart from being an excellent painter, he’s also a huge metal nerd, so when we described what we wanted to do for this album, he knew exactly what to do and exceeded our expectations! We wanted to have a mix of Creeping Death’sWretched Illusions” with some “Mirror Reaper” by Bellwitch and some old school death metal influence. The result was this crusty, cavernous Obituary/Death/Bolt Thrower worship, we fucking loved it!

Your music has a blend of Death, Thrash, Hardcore & Grindcore, but still with your own sound.  Tell us about your songwriting process, and what other bands would potential listeners of your music enjoy?

Our sound generally depends on what we’re listening to at the time, we’re all pretty varied with our musical tastes. Angel listens to a lot of slam, brutal death metal, and black metal, Danny mostly listens to a lot of grindcore, jazz, punk, and OSDM, Omar usually listens to a lot of jazz, thrash and harcore, Joel listens to a lot hardcore, death metal, grindcore and noise. We all have different approaches in making music, but all of us really love what we do, so usually the writing process is very smooth and efficient. Some bands that we usually use as our main influences are Napalm Death, Carcass, Dying Fetus and Bolt Thrower.

You were recently given a shout out by Blayne Smith on BangerTV on YouTube.  Did you know that this was going to happen and what does it mean to you?

Oh god, we can’t even begin to describe what a major surprise that was! We’ve all been following BangerTV religiously since we can remember, so to have our independently released debut album be shouted out by such a popular and well respected channel was really surreal! The crazy part about it is that it was all because a fan recommended our first EP to Blayne during a stream. We literally had no idea that it was gonna happen, we almost didn’t even find out about the stream where he listened to our EP! Our fans are the fucking best!

Go to 8:49 to hear Blayne’s shout-out to Out of Hand

The production on your album is killer.  Great guitar tones, nice use of reverb and good space in the mix.  The vocals are prominent and I really like the drum sound, especially the kick drum.  How much work did you put into your sound during the recording, and how involved were you with the mixing and production?

Thanks! We’re super glad to hear so much praise on the mix! We felt like an overly processed mix would’ve killed the album’s mood, so we opted to go raw, fast and sharp. We wanted a mix that sounded heavy and dirty enough to be oppressive while still retaining clarity. Kitan’s a very talented recording engineer, so he understood exactly what we wanted and made it happen! 

You used a few samples within certain songs.  Tell us about these.

The idea of samples came from my (Joel) love for noisy, sample ridden bands. Stuff like Mortician, Gulch, Full of Hell and Acid Bath. It’s mainly to give the music a bit more nuance, so it isn’t just straightforward death/thrash with breakdowns. 

How did you choose a mastering engineer and what did they bring to the final product?

We chose Brad Boatright from Audiosiege because he mastered pretty much all our favorite new bands. Shit like Jesus Piece, Full of Hell, Gulch, the list is long as hell, the guy’s just that good! He gave the album the explosive edge that it needed. Brad Boatright is the shit!

Tell us an unusual fact, or one funny story about your band

So this happened during the drum recording sessions of our album, we used to stay at this apartment near a cliff in Orocovis. Danny and I (Joel) would get stoned and see the stars with Kitan and just shoot the shit. So one night Danny tells me to take a hit of some new THC vape cart that he had. When I took the first hit, I was instantly stoned, and for some reason the high I got triggered my terrible fear of heights. So basically I was crawling up the stairs to get to my room yelling “Danny hold my hands I’m high as fuck” while Danny’s up the stairs telling me “you’re not gonna fall dipshit just go up the stairs”. I must’ve looked dumb as fuck trying to crawl up those totally inoffensive stairs. We then went to our room to laugh at how dumb I looked until we got in trouble for being too loud at 2 AM. We had a blast with that album!

What is it like being in a Metal band Puerto Rico?

A lot of people would say that being in a metal band in PR is difficult, and in some cases it is. We don’t necessarily have the economic backing of big venues or massive festivals. But we make due with what we’ve got, and it pays out! There’s a big following for metal and other forms of underground music in PR, the reception that we’ve gotten reflects this. Despite the difficulty, being a metal band in PR has been really fun for us!

What have you got coming up in the next 6 -12 months

We’ve got a lot of material, so we’ll definitely be hitting the studio very soon, obviously new merch, hopefully if COVID decides to chill out then shows will definitely be a part of our schedule. Exility is only the beginning, we’re not stopping any time soon!

Last question – Who is Roberto ‘El Pirata’ Cofresí, and do you think he would approve of your music?

Roberto Cofresi was a pirate that irradiated big dick energy, motherfucker eluded the local sea cops so bad that they had to ask Spain for help. They could barely catch him even with the help of the USA, Spain, Denmark, France and the UK. Literally fucking untouchable, if he was still alive then hopefully at least one song off of Exility qualifies as a sea shanty. Otherwise we probably wouldn’t have his approval. And to be honest, getting keelhauled doesn’t sound like a very cool way to end our day.

Roberto ‘El Pirata’ Cofresí – Puerto Rico’s most famous ‘Robin Hood’ like Pirate

“Out of Hand is a Puerto Rican death/thrash metal quartet that blends the intensity of old school bands like Napalm Death, Carcass and Obituary with the high octane energy of new school acts such as Power Trip, Black Breath and Nails.

You can access all of Out of Hand’s social links by clicking here

About Steven - Aeons Abyss 42 Articles
I do the music for the band Aeons Abyss, and also co-host The Metal Podcast on Spotify. I have been into Metal since the mid-80s, growing up in country Victoria, Australia. Some of my favourite bands from back in the day include Morbid Angel, Slayer, Obituary, Bolt Thrower, King Diamond, Megadeth, Sabbat and Iron Maiden. I am a massive fan of Aussie Metal, and underground metal in general, and for me, nowadays the scene is very much akin to the tape trading days when metal first started; but instead of tapes we have Bandcamp, websites like Noob Heavy, and Social Media platforms. These are the tools to network with other underground metal bands and metal fans from all over the world. A little about my band: Aeons Abyss formed in 2017 and we play our own brand of Death Thrash Metal. Our music is on all streaming platforms and Bandcamp, where we also sell our merch directly to fans. Also, our lyrics are a very important component of our music, so much so that our vocalist is known as "Death Metal Poet".

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