NH - Could you introduce the band to our analphabetic readers?
Troy K. 666 string slaughter and vomit vocals
Graham Ferguson skin smasher and basstard on the recordings so far: We now have a full line up for the next recording with the two dudes that have played live with us for the few shows we've had, so that will be Hiltz on 2nd guitar and Nate holding down the low end.
NH - You both come from the black metal band HELLACAUST, why did you form this new outfit? Perhaps HELL wasn't enough anymore to satisfy your burning needs? In a way RITUAL WARFARE sounds more old school and closer to some kind of "thrash", could we say you're back to the roots?
Troy - Ritual Warfare is the sick offspring of another project called Raw Violence that I had as an outlet to get all the agony and alcohol abuse out of my brain and dive more into the crust punk and old style death metal I was craving. Basically we did a demo and then our drummer/vocals Tasha moved away. I was gonna continue the band but I only had one drummer in mind and that was Graham. It would just become a different band with him because he's a maniac on the kit and would end up way more extreme. We both want the same thing really primitive, raw, fast, fuck off and die.
Graham - I play drums instead of guitar so it’s completely different kettle of fish for me but Troy and I speak the same language in metal obsession and I knew just what he was going for. It's more his style than Hellacaust which is a total collaboration.
NH - There's quite a difference in style between your first and second recordings, the 2nd one "Repulsive Addiction" also tastes better and more kicking in my opinion (Perhaps the production also helped a bit). Would you say you're more satisfied with the newer recording? Are you now closer to what you had in mind?
Troy - The first shot was a handful of songs I wrote in states of total toxic annihilation with total despise for the world around me and humans in general. I guess the newer stuff is more focused but it's really just more horror fantasy booze and violence to make your ears bleed and scare off Christians and lame shit piles. I shit out my negative violent thoughts and this is what comes out.
Graham - We recorded the last one with our live (and now full time) bassist Nate as engineer in his basement, so we had lots of time to fuck around with amps and axes to get shit sounding right. We still like the first one but the band was still an experiment at that point so we just had shit more worked out the 2nd time around.
NH - While listening to this new Ep, I thought about these bands: early EXHUMED, REPULSION, DISFEAR, old MASTER, NEKROFILTH, old NAPALM DEATH, or some ooold Razorback records' bands... Are there some names you'd like to remove from this list because... You feel it doesn't really fit for an influence? (Or another reason? AhAh). This new Ep contains only 3 songs, does it represent your current style fully, or it's only a partial teaser?
Troy - Ha well these are some of my favourite bands to name a few. To name a few more of say Bolt thrower, Terrorizer, Slaughter, Venom, G.i.s.m., Bulldozer, old Mayhem, anything with a thick layer of crust and grime. Expect more of the Repulsive Addiction style, but I'd say it's getting more of a grinding Venom charge for a head smashing good time.
NH - I can't help but thinking there's an old grindcore side to your music, even if stylistically it doesn't really contain a lot of pure grind (But you have this "fuck off" side...)... Could I say you practice "Grindcore without blastbeats"? Do you love to raise your middle finger very up and high? :-) Could RITUAL WARFARE be the auditory manifestation of violent riots?
Troy - I was into punk and thrash before I heard death metal, then a friend showed me the shit her crusty friends in the city listened to. Bands like Agathocles, Discordance axis, Excruciating terror, Brutal truth, Assuck and that kinda shit, so grind came first then the Cannibal corpse, Deicide and Morbid Angel invaded my sick little mind for more maddness. The music is the manifestation of all hell on earth riots raging for ever and ever, so yeah a total fucking nightmare.
NH - Your songs are often fast or crusty, but in the middle of this I found a slower composition that had a taste of old CELTIC FROST (Or perhaps it was HELLHAMMER?). Was this a "one off" doomy incubation that might not be perpetrated again, or could this become a new path to explore for RxWx?
Troy - I wanted to add a more doom crushing presence to the band’s sound without going to far outside the box. It's an element that we are already exploring in new songs for the sick future. People seem to like the slower slime coated doom shit, then to be grinded into a pulp with blastbeats.
NH - I'm familiar with the concept of "Ritual execution", but the idea of "Ritual warfare" doesn't sound as clear in my citizen's mind... Could you explain a bit its meaning, and the context in which it takes place? (Perhaps you had in mind the rituals occurring as a preparation, before the battles in rather ancient times?)
Troy - The Ritual part is all the alcohol abuse and Hellfire brewing and expelling during the writing/jamming/recording process. The Warfare is the aural assaults of spitting it in your face live and banging your head off a wall in your shack wherever you dwell on full blast on yer shit box stereo.
NH - Your two Eps were rereleased (Or are in the process of being so) by a couple of labels, on a couple of formats... Nowadays, I see some bands have these kinds of editions on various formats more and more often, sometimes there's an European tape edition, then a South American one, then an Asian one... Then some guys get their 3 demos re-released as a compilation CD (And later the comp sometimes gets re-re-released on vynil or tape...) It's a quite decent trick for underground distribution! Some kind of "collaborative" work that doesn't sound too far from some punk labels' work... Would you enjoy these kinds of quite numerous rereleases for your band(s), can small labels from all around the world contact you to try and find an agreement?
Troy - Working with different labels all over the world is a good way to spread the filth. We are underground and working with other under dogs is how I like it.
Graham - Makes sense for us to just work with like minded people, they contact us and we work it out. We still put all the artwork and shit together ourselves and retain control, but i know what you mean exactly with the compilation CDs and stuff it can get out of hand, but hey it works. The last 7" and our next one are both released through a local punk label SEWERCIDE RECORDS which is run by a long time friend. He asked us and we said fuck yeah.
NH - The Canadian weather seems to be quite extreme. How did you view the Norwegian black metal wave during the 90's, with bands taking pictures during winter in the forest? Was it rather like: "Ok, it's not extreme, the weather is colder there, and we couldn't even be shirtless for 5 minutes"... Or perhaps you felt quite close to their spirit anyway? Do you hope Canada could become a nicer place to live in with the climate change?
Troy - I've spent many cold winter nights in the woods, roaming in grave yards drunk and wild. Just bring a bag of weapons leather and spikes and you got a great photo opportunity with all that icy liquor breath. I love a lot of the early Norwegian black metal stuff, it's raw cold and grim, not clown like. I think they were thinking be afraid and fuck off.
NH - What do you think about cover bands? We always see them covering the same hard rock "rockstars", so after a while it can become really... Empty... I read a new group tries to cover VAN HALEN in my area, it could sound a bit refreshing, but also might not be the easiest to achieve musically AhAh. Well, for a change if some musicians could cover music to be a bit more extreme, even thrash like old SLAYER could be nice! (No more Metallica please... And well, what about an ANAL CUNT tribute band? AhAh)... Wait, couldn't HELLACAUST play a tribute to early MARDUK on spare time? :-)
Troy - Playing covers is fun when it's paying tribute to your favorite shit but pretending to be a band is lame if you start thinking you are as cool as the band. We play cover shows sometimes for a good time of drinking and stuff like Motorhead, Slayer, Bathory , Venom, but not to pick up easy bimbos or whatever these losers have in mind pretending to be David Lee Rot or Shlong Jovi.
Graham - We do stuff like that in here in Nova Scotia cause it’s the local freaks hangout ritual, drink and headbang at the local pub and if we are up there playing sick covers, all the better.
NH - Do you miss the old snail mail days? Sometimes I feel there's not too much communication online, except for a few smilees and 3 words sentences... But then I remember some peoples also used to send very short and not too passionated letters back then (For some guys it wasn't more elaborated than a short email, or even a simple SMS (I still have a bag full of evidences, don't tell I'm lying AhAh))... So perhaps the problem isn't due to machines only? Should we reduce the size of humanity? Or should we reduce the size of humanity who has access to underground music? Or might we reduce the size of most peoples' keyboards to the 3 keys : "YES", "NO" and "HAPPY"? AhAh
Troy - I still live in the past so snail mail is more my thing, obviously the internet is very convenient for worldly contact with chuds and scum distributors all over this toilet of a planet. Reduce humanity to zero so there's no more problems to worry and bitch about.
NH - How were/ are the Covid and times of confinement for the band? Did it help to focus on composition, rehearsals, recordings... Or it slowed down your activities quite strongly? I noticed it affected different bands and labels differently, apart from the obvious absence of gigs... Some guys got very active, while others lost a lot of motivation... What about you guys?
Troy - The coming of the new plague gave me lots of writing time, plus we started recording repulsive addiction just as it started to shut the world down. That made the process a bit longer but may have in turn made the record better with time to soak it in and make it more disgusting. In general the world downfall is very inspiring to me and making our brand of death noise pollution. Dark times dark music.
NH - What are the next plans with RITUAL WARFARE? New songs in the way? New releases in the work? More sadistic merch? And I might ask the same question for HELLCAUST :-)
Troy - Recording a new RW 7" ep in the new year, tape release of the Repulsive Addiction ep on cassette from Reforestation Records in Russia, play some live shows with our full band , drink beer spill blood and conjure up a full length album at some point.
Graham - Hellacaust
will crawl out of our grave one day. It’s always bubbling even if
we aren't that active we still lurk in the dive bar circuit 'till