Former ILL NIÑO members Cristian Machado (vocals), Ahrue “Luster” Ilustre (guitar) and Diego Verduzco (guitar) are working on a new project.
Machado, who released his debut solo album, “Hollywood y Sycamore”, on September 25 via Chesky Records‘ sub-label Coconut Bay, discussed his renewed collaboration with Ilustre and Verduzco during a recent interview with the “Aftershocks” podcast.
Asked if he is still planning on making new music with Ahrue and Diego, Cristian said: “We absolutely are. I haven’t talked about it at all [publicly], and it’s something that we’re not really in a rush to prove anything to anybody, but we do have almost a half an album finished. It is phenomenal. The songs are phenomenal.”
Elaborating on the musical direction of the material the trio has come up with thus far, Machado said: “We are trying to write a metal album, clearly, but that is full of hit singles. It’s a challenging thing to do, but we’ll take our time, if that’s what it takes. But we’re working on things. And Ahrue and Diego, the material they presented me is fucking next level. It’s not this extreme metal thing, but the songs are phenomenal — really, really catchy. Really strong material. Some of the best music that I’ve been thrown at to sing on in… I can’t remember since when. And we’re working with a fucking amazing producer.”
According to Cristian, the new band is already planting the seeds in preparation for a successful launch when the time is right.
“[We don’t have] a record company [in place yet], but there are music industry friends who are interested in growing this with us,” he said. “We don’t have a contract with anyone yet or anything like that.
“We’re not in a rush. We definitely wanna be able to come out with guns blazing. If we’re gonna do the metal thing, we want the songs to be right.”
This past March, Machado, Ilustre, Verduzco, drummer Dave Chavarri and bassist Laz Pina announced that they “have reached a mutual, amicable and binding agreement” that will allow Chavarri and Pina to continue with ILL NIÑO while Machado, Verduzco and Ilustre will move on with new projects. According to a joint statement release by the five musicians, “No party has admitted fault and there has been no court judgment on the merits. The parties entered into a confidential settlement agreement.”
Back in January 2019, Chavarri and Pina said that they had recruited vocalist Marcos Leal (SHATTERED SUN), lead guitarist Jes DeHoyos (SONS OF TEXAS) and rhythm guitarist Sal Dominguez (UPON A BURNING BODY) to be in their new incarnation of ILL NIÑO. The Chavarri-led ILL NIÑO also issued a new single, “Sangre”. A day later, Machado, Ilustre and Verduzco dismissed reports that they had left ILL NIÑO and vowed to continue with their own version of the band. Two months later, the trio filed a lawsuit against Chavarri and Pina, accusing the drummer and bassist of failing to pay the band’s tour rental company and engineers, slandering Machado by spreading rumors that he has a drug problem, collecting and spending the band’s money without consulting in all of the members and refusing the members access to the group’s financial records.
In a statement announcing the launch of his new version of ILL NIÑO, Chavarri said about the split with his former bandmates: “Being in a band is much like being married, and sometimes people grow apart, and no longer see eye to eye, and a separation becomes inevitable.”