Saturday, December 23, 2017
Interview with Rotheads, done by Patrick.
1. Hello. Please introduce yourself to the readers. How are things going in Romania these days?
Hey Patrick, hello readers! Thank you for having us! We are Rotheads, a bunch of Death Metal enthusiasts on an expedition to unlock the ancient knowledge of crafting gloomy obscure old school Death Metal. It’s getting colder and colder these days here in Romania which is OK for this time of the year and politicians are fucking up everything for everyone, but that’s their job I guess.
2. You all formed Rotheads in 2014. When did you all decide to form this band? And for the readers who have never heard Rotheads music before, how would you best describe it?
We decided to form the band right then, in December 2014. Spurcăciune and Bîrsatan were playing in an improvisational Doom, Stoner and jam Rock band called Keeng Ra’at with drummer David. Spurcăciune had always been into old school Death Metal and got David into it and out of excitement they started to jam some OSDM and after writing a few songs asked Bîrsatan to join. I’d describe Rotheads like a mix of everything from the early 90s and late 80s of Death Metal, a band experimenting with the old ways. At this point we’re more about the atmospheric, eerie side of Death Metal than playing aggressively, but we’re also fans of badass riffage.
3. Sewer Fiends is the band’s debut release, which will be released through Memento Mori in early 2018. How did you come in contact with this great label?
We actually recorded a demo title Unfazed by Death back in 2016 and in a true old fashioned way we sent Memento Mori our demo. They really liked what they heard and wrote back to us about releasing an album. Really exciting times! Also the demo has completely different songs from those on the album, so it’s sort of an official release by itself, but with the aesthetics of a demo as a tribute to all the great death metal that has been released as demos.
4. How long did it take the band to write the music for Sewer Fiends? Does the whole band take part in the writing process or does one member usually write everything?
I can’t really say, we have had some lineup changes, some of the songs existed in one form or another even back in 2016 and we had a lot of songs and song parts written down, but we had to decide for which we had time to actually put into practice. Most of the songs until now have been written by Spurcăciune, but there are a couple of songs written by Omu’ Rău too. We also work together on the songs once they’re in a basic playable form, everyone bringing in his own style related to his instrument.
5. Besides the upcoming debut release, does the band have any other merchandise available or coming out soon? If yes, what is available and where can the readers buy it?
We have the demo from 2016, which was released as a CD-r, we’re planning on rereleasing it one way or another and we also have T-shirts and patches. You can find all of them at rotheads.bandcamp.com or even email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us anything about whatever, merch included.
6. Has Rotheads played live very often over the last few years? What have been some of the bands most memorable shows?
We haven’t toured yet, but we have played a bunch of shows from time to time. Mostly in 2017 since we had to work on a stable lineup. It was really cool playing with Sadistic Intent two shows, one with Master, another with Dead Congregation and a few gigs with local bands. We had fun at most of them, the guys from Sadistic Intent and Master were really nice and we enjoyed drinking a few beers with them. The smaller gigs were also exciting because of the more intimate surroundings.
7. Are there any shows or tours planned in 2018 in support of Sewer Fiends? If yes, where will the band be playing?
At the moment we haven’t planned much, we just have some ideas about what we would like to do and we are in the talks for some gigs. A show dedicated to the new album is going to happen on the 3rd of March in Bucharest with a few other bands though.
8. In your opinion what is the best and worst thing about the underground? What does underground Metal mean to you?
I think there are many levels of being underground, bands can be at different stages of their existence and still be underground. You could consider Pop music mainstream and everything else underground, or maybe your metalhead starter pack bands as mainstream and everything else underground, or more traditional forms of Metal as the status quo and underground as the proving ground for experimentation. Underground could also refer to some niche that only a few people would enjoy and that’s where we’re at. What’s great about the underground is experimentation, innovation and diversity I guess. The worst thing would probably be other people not getting you and you having a hard time explaining that what you’re doing is supposed to sound or look or feel that way, but you have to make a compromise because it’s the underground and it’s full of mismatched people and equipment and everybody’s helping out because of passion and most of the time losing more money than they would like to.
9. Besides playing in Rotheads, do you or any of the other members currently play in other bands?
Spurcăciune (guitars and vocals) and Potaie (drums) also play in Crust/Sludge band Void Forger. Like I’ve said before, Spurcăciune and Bîrsatan (bass) used to play in the improvisational Stoner Doom band Keeng Ra’at. Our former drummer David has a one man Christian Death Metal project called Against Darkness. We’re also working on some other side projects that haven’t seen the light of day yet.
10. Rotheads comes out of Romania's Metal scene. What are your thoughts of the Metal scene in Romania?
Romania’s Metal scene is kind of weird. It has this stuck in time and space vibe to it, sort of like Darwin’s Galápagos Islands or The Lost World movie. This is great in theory because you’d think that some sort of ancient evil Metal would live here undisturbed by modern influences, but the truth is that most Metal music sounds like it’s a counterfeit version of Metal music from different eras. You’ll get your old cheesy Heavy Metal with a Metalcore spin and Industrial Power Metal, very Eastern European sounding Gothic Metal and all these other weird hybrids that you can probably find everywhere, but you’ll never hear of them because there’s actually a thriving Metal scene to pay attention to. That’s not really the case here in Romania, but at least there have been some pretty cool underground Metal festivals these last years and maybe the local scene will get a hint. To whoever’s reading this, check out Old Grave Fest in Bucharest for a lot of underground goodies
11. Who are your all-time favorite bands coming out of Romania? Are there any new bands you feel the readers should check out soon?
We’re not that big into Romanian bands and most of them just come and go. You can probably see a few shows, they’ll maybe record a couple of songs and then just fade away. We’re always interested in what’s cooking in the underground and see what people are up to these days, who’s new in the scene, maybe someone that’s worth starting a side project, things like that. A few new band worth mentioning would be Cardinal, Slicer, VVVLV and Damage Case. We are though very excited about one of our friends taking on wrestling and building a villainous necro Metal persona in the form of Iorgu Aggressor.
12. When not working on new music or band business, what do you like to do in your free time?
In a way we’re still doing musical things even when it’s not related to the band because we just really like playing and listening to music, experimenting with different genres and concepts. But other than that we enjoy reading books, playing videogames and talking a lot of shit.
13. What would you say are the five best releases and the five worst releases of 2017?
I don’t know who would care about bad releases, you just listen a bit, not like it and move on, no use making a big deal about it. 2017 has had a lot of awesome music, especially Death Metal wise. We keep talking about Undergang, Blood Incantation, Mortiferum who released an impressive demo, Tomb Mold, Spectral Voice, Cryptic Brood and we could probably go on like that, we didn’t even mention things that are not Death Metal, you know.
14. Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out. Do you have any final words for the readers?
Thanks, Patrick, for writing these questions and thank you all for reading! Hope you found these words interesting and maybe got a bit curios about our music or some of the other bands and things we’ve mentioned! Cheers!
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Interview with DA Vocalist and guitars for Crypts Of Despair done by Patrick
1.Hello how are things going in Lithuania these days? Please introduce yourself to the readers?
Hi, I am D.A. from Crypts of Despair (guitars/vocals) and everything is going pretty well, thank you.
2.When did you first start listening to metal music and who were some of the first bands you listened to?Who are some current bands that have caught your ear?
Everything started when I was 7 years old. One summer being bored at home I discovered my father's CD collection which consisted of the old Sepultura records, Metallica, Kreator, Sodom, Iron Maiden, etc. These were the first bands that drew me towards metal. Since then I started seeking out more. These days I mostly listen to post 2000's music like Disma, Dead Congregation, Grave Miasma, AOSOTH etc.
3.When did you first meet the other members of the band?And how did you all choose Crypts Of Despair as the name of the band?
Every story is pretty unique and it would take a long time to tell. I joined the band through an ad I found saying they were looking for a guitar player. At that time our drummer S.K. was already there. The other members (S.J. and B.J.) I met going through the years and later they joined during changes in the line-up.
The name was already established when I joined so I do not know the origins of it. It was most likely thought of by a past member.
4.Who would you say are Crypts Of Despair biggest influences?
Conciously we are not trying to be influenced by any bands. We try to create music based on what we feel (life experiences, events, relations with other humans) but I guess you can never escape being influenced by other bands that you like.
5.Testimony Rec is releasing the debut full length The Stench Of The Earth how did you all come in contact with this great label?
We were looking for a label to realease the record. Coincidently I got in contact with Dennis of Testimony Records through social media and after some talk found out that he owned a label himself. I let him listen to our record which he loved and that is how we started thinking of working together. We liked the labels roster and Dennis attitude so negotiations started and it was decided to start a partnership.
6.Does the whole band take part in the writing process or does one member usually write everything?
Most of the material is written by myself however the band helps me with their input for instance writting lyrics (All the lyrics were written by S.J. and two of the song lyrics were written by B.J.) and making suggestions for some details of the songs.
7.Besides the The Stench Of The Earth debut does the band have any other merchandise currently availible for the readers to buy?If yes what is availible and where can the readers buy it?
All of the merchandise can be found on our https://www.facebook.com/cryptsofdespair/ page. Currently we only have a few t-shirts left, however early next year we will be having more merchandise available so anyone interested should follow our social media pages.
8.Does Crypts Of Despair get to play live very often?What have been some of the bands most memorable shows over the years?
Before the long break we used to play a lot in the Lithuanian local scene. We took any offer from the smallest clubs to festivals playing with any bands no matter what. These days we set our sights abroad and are trying to widen our horizon.
That would probably have to be most of our recent gigs the highlights being: Armageddon Descends V festival and other gigs where we shared the stage with Funebrarum. Phrenelith, Demonomancy. And most notably our London gig with Drowned and Craven Idol at Grave Miasma's 15 year anniversary.
9.Are their any tours or shows coming up in support of the debut release if yes where will the band be playing? Who are some bands you will be sharing the stage with?
Currently it is to early to say but we are working on some things to make this happen. We will see what the future brings.
10. DA when not working on band business or new music what do you like to do in your free time?
Sometimes I attend other gigs locally but basically music IS my free time due to the fact that I have a full time job.
11.Besides playing in Crypts Of Despair do you or any of the members currently work in any other bands?If yes please tell the readers a little about them?
Besides CoD I personally play in Luctus (black metal, lead guitar, new album to be recorded early next year), Sisyphean (black metal, bass/vocals, debut album "Illusions of Eternity" was realeased last month by Drakkar productions), Nahash (black metal, guitars).
S.J. - Luctus, Fuck off and Die!
S.K. - Luctus, Nekkralai
12. Crypts Of Despair comes out of Lithuania's death metal scene what is your opinion of Lithuania's metal scene?
We don't have many bands and often times musicians play several bands. I think I'm right in saying there are only a few Death Metal bands over here. When it comes to the extreme branches of metal others in the country tend to veer towards Black metal.
13.Who are your all time favorite Lithuanian bands?And are their any new bands you feel the readers should check out soon?
It just so happens that all the other bands I play in I was a fan of before I joined.
There is a new wave of bands here however that are well worth the attention of listeners: ERDVE, Au-Dessus, Faršas, Haeiresis, Infestation etc.
14.Thank you DA for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final words for the readers?
Thank you for this interview and support. Follow our social media pages and Testimony Records for more news.
Interview with Grethor done by Patrick
1.Hails please introduce yourself to the readers. When did you become interested in writing and playing music?
Tony Petrocelly: I played guitar and bass on the album, as well as recording and mixing it. I've been obsessed with music for as long as I can remember, and started playing guitar and bass about 22 years ago.
Brian Frost: I started playing music about 26 years ago when I was still in elementary school. I did well in several solo competitions and become interested in becoming a more dynamic musician. I eventually picking up guitar in my teens and composing my own music.
Marcus Lawrence : Vocals and Lyrics. Been playing since I was 16.
2.Grethor was formed in 2007. When did you all get the idea to form this band, and how did you all choose Grethor as the name of the band?
Lawrence: This was oringinally a side project formed by Willy Rivera of LORD. He came to me with the idea of playing 1st Wave Black Metal, which no one was doing at that time. So, we got some people together and practiced in guitarist Bobby Lute's basement, then played some shows and recorded an EP. We have had some lineup changes and recordings since, but it all began with a bunch of guys just wanting to play old school black metal.
The name Grethor is from Star Trek. It's the Klingon version of Niflheim, the Viking Underworld. It's a place for disgraced warriors in the afterlife, and was a great black metal name. We wanted to do something different from the usual occult or Tolkien themes that are typical in the genre's band names.
3.Who would you say are Grethor's biggest influences?
Frost: I’m all over the map, I did draw influences from Steely Dan and old blues rock albums, and old school black metal for this album. I didn’t write the lyrics, but I do believe that you can write music that draws emotion. I spend a while demoing songs until I felt something while playing it back.
Lawrence : I would say that depends on who is in the band at a given time. Willy was influenced by Bathory, Celtic Frost, or Venom, which is what we were doing. Bobby was quite influenced by Emperor, Immortal, and Dissection. Throw in Gorguts, Ulcerate, Portal, etc, and there you go.
4.Damnatio Memoriae is Grethor's debut cd which will be released in early 2018. Does the whole band take part in the writing process, or does one member write everything?
Petrocelly: The bulk of the songwriting was done by Anthony, with Brian contributing three songs.
Frost: Everyone brought something to the table, which was great because I think it made the album more dynamic. Because of the sheer amount of material, we dropped a lot of music and focused producing and sharpening what we thought was the best songs.
5.Who usually takes care of writing the lyrics, and what are some subjects you all wrote about on Damnatio Memoriae?
Lawrence : That's always been me. I have always written about the dangers of anti-intellectualism and the terror it brings, such as authoritarianism and rampant dehumanization. I grew up in the extremely dogmatic faith of Mormonism, and it shaped my views on authority. I often felt alienated by the lack of complete acceptance of it, as if I was sort of screaming into a wind tunnel. I found it to be stifling of creativity and limiting of exploring your limits. I came to the conclusion that if you believe that a divine being has a plan for you, just you, and someone directly to him and interprets that plan, then you will believe anything. You will kill to preserve conformity. You will crush the lives of others, so long as that man's word is a bond to that divine reward, be he Priest, Politician, Pastor, or Imam. It doesn't matter. You will needlessly suffer or destroy yourself and everyone around you so that he can prosper. I had a lot to write about these last couple of years.
6.Has Grethor played live very often over the years? What have been some of the band's most memorable shows over the years?
Frost: We played a great show in Fairfax VA a few years ago where Marcus was wearing in corpsepaint and I wore a Blackhawks hockey jersey. I get pretty into my playing, and the floor was covered in peanut shells and beer. I almost ate the floor while headbanging with someone in the audience.
Lawrence: I really liked that old church in Alexandria. Or that field party that got shut down by the cops. Or those VFW shows. Or that Canal CLub show in Richmond back in '07. Still, nothing beats Grethor's very first show. We had no monitors, so we couldn't hear shit. Bobby stated playing the wrong song once, and I looked at Willy, who just shrugged. I look over at Bobby, who is just grinnning through his corpse paint, saying "This is awesome!" People afterward kept coming up to us and saying "That was black metal as FUCK!" I guess it was. Definitely raw.
7.Are there any tours or shows planned in 2018 in support of the debut release? If yes, where will the band be playing, and who are some bands you will be sharing the stage with?
Frost: I think we are going to take a break and reconvene when we see the response of the album. I live in Chicago now, but I would make the time for the right show/tour.
Lawrence: Marcus : Hard to say at the moment, considering so many of us are moving on. This means lineup changes, and it's going to be hard to replace people, of course, but it has to be done. I really appreciate what everyone has done on this album, and moving on is always challenging. I just hope everyone is happy with the end result of their time in Grethor, and happy in the lives to come, you know?
8.Besides working in Grethor do you or any of the members currently work in other bands or solo projects?
Petrocelly: I play guitar in Construct of Lethe and drums in Lord.
Frost: I play guitar in a rock/jazz outfit called Protobomb, and guitar/vocals/drums in Angry Hate Infestation
Lawrence: I do vocals in a black metal project called Nox Summos, hopefully finish recording in the New Year.
9.Grethor comes out of Virginia's black, death metal scene. What are your thoughts of Virginia's scene?
Petrocelly: We're from northern Virginia, which is sort a world unto itself as compared to the rest of the state. Northern Virginia most certainly has a scene, but death metal and black metal bands are pretty rare. Most of the larger venues around here that hosted shows have closed, so there's a pretty thick network of D.I.Y. shows, to the point where there's generally at least a couple shows every weekend.
Frost: I was surprised that the metal scene in the DC is so small. Baltimore to the north and Richmond to the south seem to have much more robust music scenes in general. On the other hand, seeing a band like Suffocation play on the floor in a place that holds like 50 people was cool.
Lawrence: Agreed. With all of that.
10.Who are some of your all-time favorite bands from Virginia? And are there any new bands you feel the readers should watch out for?
Petrocelly: The Day of the Beast and Cammo Shorts are my personal favorites.
Lawrence: I also agree, and going to add Affasia, Gloom, and Mournspire.
Frost: Deceased and Municipal Waste come time mind quick. Local band Reticle is outstanding.
11.When not working on new music or band business what do you you like to do in your free time?
Petrocelly: What is free time?
Frost: I work on cars, see shows, I read a lot, and have discovered I’m good at cooking and making cocktails.
Lawrence: Personal Trainer by day, and also an actor. My kids take up quite a bit of my time, however.
12.Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final words for the readers?
Lawrence: Yes. Keep an eye out for the album, for starters, but some things beyond that? Stay informed. Ignorance goes beyond the limits of the microcosm of your immediate existence and concerns. If something tells you that anyone not like you has no right to the basic needs of existence, then it's probably bullshit propaganda.
Frost: In the strict scientific sense we all feed on death..even vegetarians.