Ill Niño

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Ill Niño
Ill niño on live.jpg
Ill Niño in 2009
Background information
OriginNew Jersey, United States
Years active1998–present
LabelsVictory, Cement Shoes, Roadrunner
Associated actsMerauder, Soulfly, Gothic Slam, Pro-Pain, M.O.D., Lȧȧz Rockit, Terror Universal, Cavalera Conspiracy, Machine Head
MembersCristian Machado
Dave Chavarri
Lazaro Pina
Diego Verduzco
Ahrue Luster
Oscar Santiago
Past membersJorge Rosado
Daniel Gomez
Marc Rizzo
Jardel Martins Paisante
Roger Vasquez
Omar Clavijo
Daniel Couto

Ill Niño is an American heavy metal band formed in New Jersey in 1999. The group currently consists of lead vocalist Cristian Machado, founder & drummer Dave Chavarri, bassist Lazaro "Laz" Pina, lead guitarist Ahrue Luster, rhythm guitarist Diego Verduzco, and percussionist Oscar Santiago. They are currently signed to Victory/Sony globally and AFM Records exclusively in UK & Europe. Ill Niño has always branded their original style as "Latin metal". They have released 7 studio albums, 2 EPs, and 1 greatest hits album, selling over 2 million albums worldwide.


The first incarnation of the band came to life in 1998. Then calling themselves "El Niño", the band played a handful of shows from 1998-1999. The band was best described as "Latino Hardcore". The group's initial line-up was formed in 1998 by Dave Chavarri on drums (Soulfly, Pro-Pain, M.O.D.), Jorge Rosado on vocals (Merauder), Cristian Machado on bass (La Familia), and Marc Rizzo on guitar (Crankcase). In early 1999 "El Niño" parted ways with Marc Rizzo. Shortly after that they parted ways with vocalist Jorge Rosado and "El Niño" came to an end. Immediately after the break up Dave Chavarri went on to play drums in Soulfy and Jorge Rosado returned to Merauder. With "El Niño" now divided, Cristian Machado began to work on a new more melodic and very unique musical style. When Chavarri returned, Machado presented him with all new musical material. Realizing the new songs had a more melodic Latin flavor, Machado brought Marc Rizzo, a fluent flamenco guitar player, back into the fold. Together they continued to carve the Latino elements into a more metallic but commercially friendly sound now known as "Latin metal". In just 6 months, Chavarri and Machado formed a new band and were now ready to re-brand themselves as "Ill Niño". It was with this re-branded 3-piece line-up that they recorded the very first "Ill Niño" EP (1999).

The "Ill Niño" EP was released locally in early 2000 and the EP went on to have great success. Chavarri and Machado now began to look to their musical friends as they quickly realized it was time to put a full band together. In early 2000, Chavarri brought in his childhood friend Lazaro "Laz" Pina (BroomHellda, Shang Hi-Fi) to take over on bass guitar. Laz was no stranger to the band, the band's first EP which was produced & mixed by Dave Chavarri, was engineered and recorded at Laz's recording studio "Hi-Fi Recordings" in 1999. Machado brought in Jardel Paisante (Point 4 Hope) and asked Jardel to join "Ill Niño" after watching him perform at a local Newark, NJ club. Chavarri then brought in Roger Vasquez to take over the band's percussion. With their line-up now complete, Ill Niño was ready to take on the world. Their level of musicianship and energy was next level. The buzz in the NY/NJ metal scene was so strong that it scored them heavy rotation with multiple songs on Seton Hall University's WSOU Pirate Radio. The band went on to book a string of shows and "Ill Niño" signed to Roadrunner Records after just 5 performances.

On September 18, 2001, Ill Niño released their debut album, titled "Revolution, Revolución". In support of the album's release, Ill Niño toured intensively for 19 straight months throughout America, Europe, the UK, and Japan, notably being a part of the U.S. Road Rage Tour with Fear Factory and Machine Head, and landing prestigious tours such as Ozzfest, Jägermeister tour, Germany's Rock Am Ring/ Rock Im Park, Spain's Festimad Festival, the UK's Download Festival, Holland's Dynamo Festival, and Belgium's Graspop Metal Meeting. The album's single, "What Comes Around," received significant airplay on MTV and enjoyed a long shelf life in the top 20 Active Rock radio charts, the song topped at #1 on the Mediabase Active Rock radio charts for 5 weeks. "Revolution, Revolucion" went on to sell over 450,000 albums worldwide and still shifts units till this day. In 2002, Soulfly / Sepultura vocalist Max Cavalera called the band "one of the coolest bands coming out of the metal scene" and asked the band's vocalist Cristian Machado to perform on a song off Soulfly's third album "3". Machado being a huge Sepultura fan, agreed immediately. Together they shared lead vocal duties on one of Soulfly's most eclectic tracks "One".

In early 2003, right before Ill Niño was set to record the follow-up to "Revolution, Revolución", the band parted ways with guitarist Marc Rizzo and percussionist Roger Vasquez. The band decided to trudge forward and continued to finalize the rest of the songs for their follow up to "Revolution, Revolucion" as a 4 piece. Within 2 short months, the band was ready to go into the studio. In the summer of 2003 Ill Niño entered the studio with Bob Marlette to record what would become their best selling album to date "Confession". During the recording process Ill Niño recruited lead guitarist Ahrue Luster (ex-Machine Head) and brought in Brazilian percussionist ex Point 4 Hope member, Danny Couto.

Confession was released on September 30, 2003. The album debuted at No. 37 on the Billboard 200 charts. The lead single "How Can I Live" was featured on the Freddy vs. Jason (soundtrack), and was their first single to break into the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 26 on the mainstream rock charts. Upon the release of Confession, the band achieved headlining status and embarked on RoadRunner's Road Rage Tour in Europe with Chimaira and Spineshank, as well as headlining stages in South America, such as the Vive Latino Festival in Mexico twice, as well as stages in Europe, the UK, Australia, and Japan. Confession went on to sell more than 550,000 copies worldwide and continues to sell till this day.

The band's third effort, One Nation Underground, was released on September 27, 2005. The album debuted at No. 101 on the Billboard 200 charts, and its first single "What You Deserve" became the no. 1 most added track at Active Rock radio, and reached the Top 20 on the Active Rock charts.

On July 15, 2006, Ill Nino parted with Roadrunner Records. Ill Nino stated that "The split with Roadrunner was amicable, but a needed step in the band’s career". Nine days later, Ill Niño signed a new deal with the recently formed Cement Shoes Records. Towards the end of the One Nation Underground touring cycle, Jardel Paisante left the band, desiring to be home with family. Jardel was replaced by band friend Diego Verduzco.

That same year, on September 29, Roadrunner Records released "The Best of Ill Niño" as part of the band's contractual obligation to Roadrunner Records, and without the band's consent or involvement. The album features 13 tracks from all 3 Roadrunner releases.

Through Cement Shoes Records they released The Under Cover Sessions, an EP featuring various covers and outtakes, and Enigma, their 4th studio album, released in 2008 after multiple delays. This limited availability is attributed to the band releasing the album without paying the engineers and editors of the album, distribution of the album was subsequently blocked.

In March 2010, the band announced that they had inked a deal with Victory Records and would be in the studio in April, and that the album would be produced by Ill Nino. Co-Production would come from Sahaj Ticotin(RA) and Clint Lowery of Sevendust. The album, titled Dead New World, was released on October 25, 2010. The band performed headlining tours of Europe, the U.S., Russia, and Australia in February and March, 2011 as part of the Soundwave Australian music festival.

In February 2012, Ill Niño announced that they were preparing to enter the studio to begin recording their sixth full-length album for a summer release via Victory Records. The band recorded the album in Hoboken, New Jersey, Austin, Texas, and Denver, Colorado. The album, titled "Epidemia", was released on October 22, 2012.

On October 1, 2013, the band announced the departure of percussionist Daniel Couto, with Oscar Santiago joining the band as his replacement.

Ill Niño has performed at many worldwide festivals, including Vive Latino in Mexico, Ozzfest in the US and Europe, Rock Am Ring/Rock Im Park in Germany, Dynamo in Holland, Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium, Download in the UK, Festimad and Lorca Rock in Spain, and Gods of Metal and Flippaunt Rock in Italy.

Ill Nino released their seventh full-length studio album "Til Death La Familia", on July 22, 2014. They are currently working on their 8th album which will be released in 2018.


Ill Niño are described as Latin metal,[1][2] nu metal,[1][3][4] alternative metal[5] and metalcore.[6][7]

Band Members[edit]




  1. ^ a b "Ill Nino - Epidemia Review". Stereokiller. December 2, 2012.
  2. ^ "Ill Niño". Allmusic.
  3. ^ McIver, Joel (2002). Nu Metal: The Next Generation of Rock & Punk. Omnibus Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-7119-9209-2.
  4. ^ Udo, Tommy (2002). Brave Nu World. Sanctuary Publishing. pp. 193–194, 242–243. ISBN 1-86074-415-X.
  5. ^ "Best of Ill Niño - Ill Niño". Allmusic. Retrieved Feb 19, 2013.
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links[edit]