Interview with Carlos Li from electro metal band Time Cero, from the nation of Peru.

Time Cero are a rock/alternative/metal band based in Lima, Peru and fronted by their creator Carlos Li Carrillo who moved to Boston USA when he was 18 years old. During his teenage years in Lima, Peru in the mid 80’s, Carlos was the bass player and co-writer of Thrash Metal band “Curriculum Mortis”. Their first material was recently released on a U.S. vinyl edition and sold out 1000+ copies in the first year of release.

During the early 90’s Carlos was in the Progressive Rock band called ‘Avispon Verde’ and recorded 2 records while gigging regularly across the Lima alternative rock scene. In the late 90s Carlos relocated to Hong Kong where he was influenced by numerous music genres and sounds from different parts of the world delving into digital recording and electronic sounds.

In 2001 while Carlos was travelling around the world, he created Novalima an Electronic collective band. The band mixed different grooves and singers from the around the world with Afroperuvian vocals and percussions.

Novalima became a big success with its first self-titled album on the Lima music scene and they soon signed their ” Afro” album with Mr. Bongo Records based in the U.K.

The song Machete was licensed to the world famous Robert Rodriguez Machete movie starring Danny Trejo and Robert De Niro. Later on  Novalima released the album Coba Coba which was nominated for the 10th Latin Grammy as Best Alternative Record.
It was after producing one more album in his previous band that Carlos decided to move into different directions and started his current solo project called Time Cero.

Time Cero mixes a combination of styles ranging from Industrial Metal and Rock sounds to tribal and dance percussion. The project was recorded in Lima, Peru and was mixed and mastered by Kevin Paul in London.

Kevin Paul was the head engineer of Mute records and has mixed known bands such as Nick Cave, David Bowie and Depeche Mode. In June 2016, Kevin Paul joined Carlos in Lima,Peru to mix the Surround 5.1 version of the Time Cero album which will be released worldwide on DVD a few months after the digital Stereo release this November.

The brand new single off the album is “Time Cero”.


This Sound Nation caught up with Carlos Li from Time Cero.

How would you describe your music ?

Time Cero has a wide variety of different genres such as Rock, Pop, Metal, Industrial, Gothic and Dance combined in a unique style. The lyrics contain powerful thoughtful messages and metaphors with a dark but positive direction

What is your new single about and where did the inspiration come from ?

The single TIME CERO gave way to the album concept and band name. Time zero is really the first instant of our universe as we know it, however without really knowing the physical meaning, I wrote the song intuitively referring to a new beginning for myself; the time to start realizing my own thoughts and ideas

What inspired you to start a career in the music business ?

Since I was 15 years old during the 80’s, I played in a Thrash Metal band, organizing gigs, sticking concert flyers, recording demo tapes and hanging around with musicians. As the technology and music styles evolved during those years, I continued composing and playing music. However I always knew you cannot rely entirely in music for a living before it gets to a good point. So at that time I also did my engineering studies while continuing with my bands and musical activities. It was only with the success of my previous band Novalima about a decade ago where I realized music could be my career too. I guess some of us can find a clearer direction in life through music.

What are your 5 tracks or artists of all time ?

Slayer, NIN, Black Sabbath, United Future Organizations, Depeche Mode

Tell us about your creative process. Who writes and produces your material and what instruments or software do you use in creating your sound ?

I wrote, composed and produced all the songs and lyrics for Time Cero. For some songs I create it from scratch and record the initial bass, synth, guitars and sequence to start building it. Then I record the other musicians’ drums, guitars and vocals. However the most interesting part is that with every new musician adding their vibe, the music transforms and the project grows.

I like vintage and modern sounds, so I have a wide combination of new and old technologies in order to create new sounds.

Does singing come natural to you or did you have lessons ?

Singing is natural to me, but I am not too fond of my voice for lead singing. Therefore I chose Michel to be the Time Cero lead vocalist interpreting all my songs and lyrics

Where can we find you online ?

Official Website:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time ?

In 5 years I see myself with Time Cero doing more and new exciting music, maybe here in Peru or possibly back in Hong Kong

Where can people buy or stream your music ?

iTunes, Spotify and bandcamp

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