Iron Curtain were formed in the fall of 2007, in their hometown of Murcia in the south of Spain. “Murcia is a city where it reaches like 45º to 48º degrees in the summer, so welcome to hell,” is how guitarist/singer Mike describes the place he calls home. “In the early days we did rehearse three or four days a week, drinking almost every day,” laughs Mike. “It was just about having fun, playing rough heavy metal tunes, without any specific ideas or focus. We wanted just play fast, play raw and have fun.” And this is what they did.
After two demo tapes (»Mosh Or Die« and »Dirty And Fast« released by the Bolivian label Maxima Destrucción) the band's vinyl debut »Black Fist EP« saw the light of day. The first album »Road To Hell« followed in March 2012 (and has now been re-issued on High Roller Records). Mike describes the experience of recording the first album: “It was just great. We had moved to Barcelona for seven days and seven nights in January 2012, recording and sleeping in the Moontower Studios from Javi Félez (Graveyard). The recording process started at 9:00 in morning and finished at 8:00 in the evening, with just a quick break to eat something. I think that we did a great job, very passionate and powerful. It’s just six years since »Road To Hell« was recorded and released, but six years in the 21st century is a decade or more in the previous century, now everything goes fast. We were very inexperienced about sounds and did not know a lot about the recording process as such. We just wanted to sound classic and traditional but at the same time current. You can’t deny that. I think that this record will age in a good way. It does have something special.”
Some reviewers have described »Road To Hell« as a “backwards-looking album”. Does the band take that as a compliment, as far as their influences all coming from classic metal bands from the past? “Yes, it’s a compliment to us,” beams Mike. “Our influences mainly come from 1970s and 1980s heavy metal bands, so if someone compares us with the classic bands from that period, then that's no problem for us at all. Anyway, we don’t stop to read every single review or check if it’s good or it’s bad, we just look forward playing the music we like.”
Fair enough. From the first day, Iron Curtain have been celebrating heavy metal with all its clichés, as Mike recounts: “We love this, the band was created to support the movement, the underground heavy metal scene … Iron Curtain was born to raise hell, to let all hell break loose, we are born to lose – live to win, we never surrender … Heavy metal has been living from its clichés since 1986. The difference is that for a band like Iron Curtain it isn’t a cliché, it isn’t a way to make money, it's a way of life and every single note or lyric is reality for me.”
Tying in with what Mike has just said, it's not a big surprise that the band's name, Iron Curtain, does not (solely) have political or historical connotations but refers to a legendary metal band. “Yes, you nailed it!,” screams Mike. “We LOVE Destructor, I took the name of the mighty Destructor record »Maximum Destruction«. The first requirement for the band name was: must be unique! Not like tons of Tyrants, Mayhems or Satans in the underground that have the same name! Besides Destructor, I must say that I’m a lover of history (I’m nowadays a High School teacher), so mix heavy metal with history and with feelings like Destructor, Maiden or Motörhead and it's a perfect fit. Destructor is a totally underrated band. All their releases are milestones, Dave Destructor is a warrior of metal, supporting new bands, sharing stuff, total support to that band! I personally have all their releases and I’m a total fanboy of Destructor.”
Spain as a country has quite a rich history of fantastic metal bands, ranging from Baron Rojo, Obus and Panzer to De-Kalle and Angeles Del Infierno. However, speed and thrash metal from Spain is a phenomenon of the last ten years or so. At least that's how a lot of people see it … “Well, it’s true that Spain has more popular and classic heavy metal bands than 'speedy' bands,” says Mike. “But we had killer speed/thrash acts in the 1980s as well, like Muro, Legion, Fuck Off, Aspid or Crom. Over the last 15 years, new bands of every style of metal appeared . Since 2006, there has been a renaissance of heavy metal in Spain, especially in the underground, with bands like Omission, Steel Horse, Wild, Ciclon, VX, Raptor and Iron Curtain. In the last five to six years, more bands appeared, like Witchtower, Lizzies, Hitten, Raging Fire, Leather Heart or Evil Killer. The problem is that the audience and the bands are almost the same since 2010.”