Ex-ILL NIÑO Vocalist CRISTIAN MACHADO Says He Has Seen 'A Very Known Act Directing Racism' At Another Known Band While On Tour

September 19, 2020

In a new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio, former ILL NIÑO vocalist Cristian Machado was asked if ever felt racism in the metal music world from others in the industry or fans. He responded (see video below): "Me, personally, I was very blessed that I came up in the New York City music scene. The melting pot in New York City is massive. I mean, if you live in New York City and you aren't acquainted friends with people of other cultures, people of color, then you're probably secluded, not coming out of your house. But New York City is very, very vast with cultures. I was blessed in that aspect of having come up in a music scene that's very inclusive to Latinos and to blacks and to Asians even. The New York hardcore scene is full of Latinos and Asians and blacks. I mean, it's something that was very unique. And especially the post-hardcore scene in New York, which was founded on anti-Nazi sentiment, which was founded on neo-punk feelings of what things occurred in the past and not accepting those things and wanting change and things like that. So, for us, we were very lucky. Now, that's not to say that I didn't see racism occur. It wasn't directed at me. But I've seen racism occur in the metal and rock industry. It wasn't directed at me, but I've seen it occur at afar. Heard it. These people have thought that I wasn't listening perhaps sometimes. So, that's occurred.

"I've seen racism thrown directly at a very huge act that everybody knows about," he continued. "I'm not gonna say names because I don't know if they want it shared, but it was a very known act directing racism very directly and clearly — racist remarks — at another known act. This happened in Europe, in the U.K. at [the] Download [festival]. The one time that it happened, it was eye-opening. I couldn't believe what I had just heard. In that particular situation, the act that the racism was being directed at, the bandmember, I thought, did the smart thing, which was to ignore it and act like it never even occurred. And there was a lot of people there present, and a lot of people heard it. But this other band was extremely drunk and they were under the influence of something. Most of the acts there shrugged it off as, 'This person's just wasted, and he's probably saying something he doesn't wanna say.' Had the whole backstage wanted to, everybody could have jumped on him and completely beat the shit out of him, and that would have been that. But I think he was so wasted, everybody kind of shrugged it off.

"I've seen things like that occur — not directed at me, but maybe directed at somebody in the backstage," Cristian added. "I've heard it directed at somebody in the venue before, like off the stage, far away from where we were soundchecking. But I've never felt any kind of racism from the music industry, from people that work in the music industry. I've always felt very included — if anything, welcomed. And I'm very grateful for not having had experienced those kinds of things. I imagine maybe if a Latin metal band like we were had come up in the middle of Alabama or something like that, or Oklahoma, we probably would have experienced some direct racism — I would've. But New York City sheltered us from that a lot, and I'm really grateful for that.

"I don't like to be a kind of person that looks negatively at the world, and perhaps not having had to experience a lot of those things kind of allows me to slightly live in my naïve bubble where I can still feel human without feeling like the world is completely falling apart."

Machado will release his debut solo album "Hollywood y Sycamore", on September 25 via Chesky Records' sub-label Coconut Bay.

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