was formed in 2001 by former Puya guitarist Ramón Ortiz, in his desire
to break away from his previous band's nu metal style. The band
independently released a self titled 7-track EP in 2002, produced by
Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga. In April, 2006, the band announced that
they had signed with Bieler Bros. Records. Their debut album ‘Steep
Trails’ was produced by renowned producer Bob Marlette, and was released
on July 25, 2006 in the USA.
On August 19, 2006, bassist Edgar Gonzalez suffered a seizure during a
concert at Mokena, Illinois. The band later parted ways with Gonzalez
due to his health concerns. In December, 2006, Ortíz announced that J.P.
Soars (formerly of Divine Empire and Malevolent Creation) would take
over bass duties full time. In 2007 Ankla were part of the 2007 Ozzfest
tour as a second stage act.
The music style of the band can be described as mixture
of "thrash metal, metalcore and death metal" mixed with a touch of Latin
American music". The band describes their style of music as "Latin
Recently ‘Steep Trails’ came out in Europe, a year after
the release in America, so time for Metal-Experience to ask the band
Ankla was formed in 2001, but you released your debut
album 2006. Did this 5 year gap influence your style or did you actually
need this time to create your style?
In those 5 years, we played a lot of live gigs and we
wrote a lot of songs and that's why it took us so long to put the record
out. We wanted the best music, and the band to be at our best level.
Your album came out in the US in 2006, but was just
released some weeks ago in Europe, why did we have to wait so long?
We were looking for the right distribution.
How did you launch into writing the material for ‘Steep
Trails’, did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down
or was it more of a careful composing thing?
Between Ramon and I, we wrote the songs and the ideas
came from our music background. Salsa to hard core, mixed with metal and
death metal. We wrote lots of things at home and brought it to the
studio to work with the band.
Did you have a certain idea of what you wanted to do on
‘Steep Trails’, any elements or styles you definitely wanted to have on
Yes. we wanted to have the strongest, most brutal, metal
record, this was our main goal and it was a conscious decision to do.
Who was responsible for writing the songs and the lyrics
for your album?
Ramon and I were responsible, the main items from the
songs are politics, religion, and personal feelings.
In song writing, what is according to Ankla the utmost important
ingredient for a song?
Honestly, each and every song is how we were feeling at
the moment of writing each song.
Could you please describe the implications of the title
‘Steep Trails’ , what does it stand for and is there a special meaning
Yes. nothing in life is easy. We needed to fight for our
dreams. It doesn't matter how impossible it looks, believe in your
dreams and don't give it up. Step ahead.
It’s about a year after you released your debut album,
how do you feel about it now?
We are satisfied and very happy about the outcome.
Did you already launched into writing some new songs, if
so can you tell us something about that.
Yes. we have some news songs and we are starting to play
them at some concerts to see how is the reaction is.
You recently did the Ozzfest tour in the Us, how did it
go among all those big bands?
It was the best thing we have done. the tour was amazing.
All the bands on the tour were great, we had a blessing.
What can we expect from Ankla in the near future, any
touring plans yet?
We got the Bieler Bros. tour in the USA entitled “The
Great American Rampage” coming up in October and this tour will end in
December and there are plans for a tour in Europe next year.
Ok, now some questions to enable our readers to get to
know you a little better.
How did you get involved in the music business?
The music business was my dream since I was 14 years old.
I moved from Brazil to America in 2000 to make my dream come true.
What songs and bands do you listen to these days?
From Damian Marley to Scar Symmetry, Madball to old
school bands from the 80's like Obituary, Death, Carcass, and S.O.D.
Is there anything you like to do besides your job in the
Yes. I work as a manager for some bands.
What is your opinion on the heavy music scene these days,
is there anything missing?
Yes, more lead guitar and original bands – each band with
their own personality and not cloning each other.
Which album has been your biggest musical influence, one
that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?
Slayer - Raining Blood
Ozzy - Blizzard Of Ozz
Megadeth - Peace Sells
Sick Of It All - Just Look Around
Okay, if you could choose three bands to get on stage
with, who would they be?
Original Sepultura, Pantera and Death.
Is here anything you’d still like to share with us?
Play music from your heart and soul and thanks so much
for your time and all your help. that means a lot to us.
Ikaro Stafford Santana – Vocals
Ramón Ortiz – Guitar
Tony Castaneda – Bass
Pepe Clarke Magańa – Drums
Oscar Santiago – Percussion
Edgar Gonzalez – Bass
Steep Trails (2006)