Ill Niño was founded in 1998 by drummer Dave Chavarri and released a 4 song demo that year with Jorge Rosado (formerly of Merauder) on vocals and Cristian Machado playing bass. The next year, they parted ways with Rosado, and started looking for a new vocalist, but ultimately decided that the best decision was for Machado to step up to vocals. El Niño then changed their name to Ill Niño, released an EP in 2000, and signed with Roadrunner Records shortly thereafter.
Ill Niño released their debut album, Revolution Revolución, on September 18, 2001. In support of the album's release, the band was part of the Ozzfest and Jägermeister tours in 2002. The album's single, "What Comes Around," received significant airplay on MTV2 and on the Active Rock charts. In early 2003, right before Ill Niño was set to record the follow-up to Revolution Revolución, Ill Niño parted ways with guitarist Marc Rizzo and percussionist Roger Vasquez. Rizzo stayed aboard long enough to record some of the guitars for the new album, and then the band hired percussionist Danny Couto to replace Roger Vasquez. Shortly before the release of Confession, the band also hired Ahrue Luster, formerly of Machine Head, to fill the vacant guitar spot.
In 2002, the band's vocalist Cristian Machado performed on Soulfly's song 'One', off the band's third album 3, sharing lead vocal duties with Max Cavalera.
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," featured on the Freddy vs. Jason soundtrack, and was subsequently their first single to break into the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 26 on the mainstream rock charts. The album had sold more than 110,000 copies in the US within its first five months of release.
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 struggled to sell as well as its predecessor Confession. The band announced they had parted ways with Roadrunner Records on July 15, 2006.
Nine days later, it was announced that Ill Niño had signed new deal with the recently formed Cement Shoes Records. Drummer Dave Chavarri stated that their split from Roadrunner was "amicable" but felt that they weren't getting the proper attention and support from Roadrunner they had received on their past two releases. Somewhere in this time period, for reasons unknown, the band parted ways with guitarist Jardel Paisante, and replaced him with Diego Verduzco.
Roadrunner Records released The Best of Ill Niño on September 29, 2006. The album features 13 tracks from their three Roadrunner releases. However, it was only issued in the US.
As a lead-up to their Cement Shoes debut, the band released the five-track EP The Under Cover Sessions on November 7, 2006. Three cover versions were recorded, which included Faith No More's "Zombie Eaters," Nirvana's "Territorial Pissings," and Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain." Two new tracks, "Arrastra" and "Reservation for Two," were also included. 1,300 copies were sold in its first week of release.
The band's fourth full-length album, Enigma, was due for release on October 9, 2007, but was pushed back several times, eventually being released on March 11, 2008.
Ill Niño toured Europe and the Americas in support of Enigma and in January 2009 parted ways with Cement Shoes Records. During the band's downtime, several members have established production companies to support younger artists. Dave Chavarri oversees his management company, CIA Management, while producing records for signed bands Exilia, and May The Silence Fail.
Cristian Machado and Laz Pina have worked with numerous artists/bands including ARTWORK, Iratetion, K-9 Militia, Davola, and Convictos in their New Jersey production studio, Sound Wars Studios. Ahrue Luster produces artists with his Colorado-based production company, Illustrious Productions. Meanwhile, Guitarist Diego Verduzco opened his own tattoo shop in California called Artifact Tattoo.
In March 2010, the band announced that they had inked a deal with Victory Records, would be in the studio in April, and that the album would be produced by Dave Chavarri, Cristian Machado, Laz Pina, and Ahrue Luster. Co-Production would come from Sahaj Ticotin (RA) and Clint Lowery of Sevendust. On June 2, 2010, Ill Niño released a brand new track, "Scarred (My Prison)", from their Dead New World album.
Dead New World was released on October 25, 2010. The band toured Australia in February and March, 2011 as part of the Soundwave Festival.
In February 2012 Ill Niño announced that they are preparing to enter the studio to begin laying down its sixth full-length album for a summer release via Victory Records. The recording sessions will begin next month in Hoboken, New Jersey; Austin, Texas; and Denver, Colorado.
Ill Niño frontman Cristian Machado commented: "It's 2012 and we're all still alive. It's time to redefine Latin metal."
Ill Niño drummer/founder Dave Chavarri added: "This time around, we want to explore Latin and tribal rhythms we have never explored in the past five releases, giving us no musical boundaries at all."
Ill Nino's 6th full-length studio album, "Epidemia", is slated for an October 22nd release on Victory Records. Upon unveiling the album artwork, a YouTube clip was posted, previewing a new song, titled "The Depression" off the new CD.