Wondering what Ill Nino has been up to since the last time they bulldozed through your town? We caught up with bassist Laz Pina taking a smoke outside the band’s New Jersey rehearsal space. The answer was simple: Ill Nino has been writing their collective asses off and have a shit-load of new songs. The goal: Getting into the studio in the next few months for the follow-up to 2001’s Revolution…Revolucion. í¢äåñWe’ve been writing,í¢äå Laz said simply. í¢äåñJust trying to bring out the sincerest, truest, best music we possibly can.í¢äå If Laz seems confident, who can blame him? Dec, 2002 found the band wrapping up nearly two years touring the globe with a run of sold out shows culminating in a beyond-packed return to the place it all began for Los Ninos: New Jersey’s Birch Hill on Dec 21. í¢äåñWe sold out both New York and New Jersey shows which was really gratifying for us as a band. It was a good closure for this record and a good way to start it up again — to begin the next chapter for this band.í¢äå The music the band has written so far (having penned roughly 15 complete or partially complete songs) is Ill Nino to the core. The band is presently beginning to talk to producers and mixers for the yet untitled second album: But you can literally feel all six band members chomping at the bit to get it all on tape. í¢äåñIt feels like two years of blood, sweat and tears pouring out of us,í¢äå states Laz. í¢äåñWe’re staying true to who we are. We’re being very careful in the writing so that we’re not going to cross the foundations of this band í¢äåäóì it’s definitely still heavy. There’s plenty of people who love us for that and that’s definitely a part of what we do í¢äåäóì as well as melody. í¢äåñWe’re all taking part in the writing and the ideas are coming together a lot better and a lot faster than I expected,í¢äå the bassist continues. Simple fact: when Ill Nino penned Revolution…Revolucion, they were a young band, trying to get a record together with one mission: To blow the world away. Well, that they did. The new material shows a band who knows who the fuck they are í¢äåäóì while firing on all cylinders. You can hear it in the way drummer Dave Chavarri beats the crap out of his drums to the alternating brutal riffs and delicate Spanish chords erupting out of guitarists Marc Rizzo and Jardel Paisante to percussionist Roger Vasquez’s extra-spicy beats. You can hear it in frontman Cris Machado’s vocals when he steps to the mic on the new material. His voice is deeper, richer and more melodic at some points í¢äåäóì heavier at others, but unmistakably, a force to be reckoned with í¢äåäóì more now than ever. í¢äåñCris shines on the new material,í¢äå Laz enthuses. í¢äåñBut then again, I think we all do. I think you hear a lot more of all of us. Then again, after two years on the road, playing together every day, we’ve grown together as a band,í¢äå If there’s anything the fans can expect when they finally hear Ill Nino’s latest in a few months? Laz takes another drag. You can literally hear him smiling over the phone. í¢äåñThink Revolutioní¢äå_ times a hundred!í¢äå You can already hear the Ill Nino soundclash getting a hell of a lot louder.