AND FILTHY DEATH METAL
1. Hello, before penetrating the cadaver deeper, can you introduce ROTTEN to our crippled readers? I know the band is composed of musicians coming from other french underground metal formations, but I let you introduce them as it should be...
Djé : Hello Gab! So ROTTEN was born a few years ago, perhaps around 2015, I don't really remember. I had some riffs lying around and wanted to play it with some great friends. The friends in question are Cyril (ex-DEEP VEIN, TREPANATOR, THE LAST TOMB) on drums, Ben (THE BOTTLE DOOM LAZY BAND) on vocals and Guyome (PULMONARY FIBROSIS, THE BOTTLE DOOM LAZY BAND, EMBRYOPATHIA, BAPTIZED IN VAGINAL LIQUID, and I probably forget some...) on guitar. Then perhaps our first rehearsal dates back to 2016... Honestly I don't really remember, we are so slow... And time flies so quickly...
Ben : We are all great friends since at least 20 years, but we never achieved to all play in the same band, at the same time. We are also turning quite obsolete at the level of the scene haha! We are sinking in our forties, as a rusty cutlass in the stomach of your neighbor a day of apocalypse. When Djé asked us if, by any chance, we had nothing to do this day and wanted to play in this old death metal band we had been talking for so many years: None of us hesitated more than two seconds before answering "Alright".
2. Why did you choose the ROTTEN moniker? Is this a declaration of love to Dave Rotten of Avulsed/ Repulse records? To the "Rotten apple" song of Alice in chains? To Johnny Rotten of the Sex pistols? Otherwise is ROTTEN a real band or a parallel project?
: No, it's not really a tribute to Dave Rotten, I'm not especially
a fan, sorry. Then nothing to do with ALICE IN CHAINS or the SEX
PISTOLS either. The name is among others a tribute to the Rotten.com
website where I often used to spend time at the beginning of the
internet. A website on which you could find many photos of cadavers,
torn apart peoples, mutilated, suicided, sick peoples, etc... It
was both disgusting, real, and coming with a quite strange humor,
while pretending to fight some kind of censorship, haha genius!...
Well, ROTTEN also means what it means, so no one will be able to
complain, we do not cheat on the goods. OBITUARY said "Slowly
we rot" in 1989, and then 30 years later we are ROTTEN... An
extremely rotten flesh if you see what I mean, héhéhé...
And then rottenness is universal, on the bodies of the deads, on
the bodies of some living peoples, some individuals being themselves
true pieces of rottenness...
3. You play death metal in the old school style, ok, but which one? It is rather in which vein and the second hand body parts emerge from which countries?
Djé : Pfff… so this question about the style, the subgenre we would be a part of, really not interested in all this. If you want to know our influences, for myself I was very influenced by the classic records of the 90's, especially OBITUARY, I'm a fan of this band. To make it simple, everything released by Roadrunner or Earache at this time was awesome. I'm also a fan of black metal from this era. Generally speaking, beyond the riffs, the atmosphere is what will make me cum.
Ben : Really don't give a fuck, we play the style we liked to listen to in 90/94, and it's death metal, period.
4. The production of your MCD kinda reminds me the "World demise" album of OBITUARY, also with a Swedish touch, the guitars are nicely overdriven and the high pitched frequencies are kinda shredding the hears of the listener who wouldn't be made of concrete :) Where you thinking about this album very hard during the recording, or am I imagining a movie (VHS one ahah)?
: Ha cool, this link with "World demise" is funny. I love
this album. Even if it didn't achieve unanimity on the release death,
I would grade it to be in the top 3 of the best OBITUARY albums.
(Editor's note: On the release date when I was 15, World demise made the impression of a record with a quite powerful production with very overdriven guitars, for this time. I listened back, and it's true the production is cleaner than I remembered and not really disgusting).
5. The difference of production between this MCD and your first demo/ rehearsal from the sewers is quite striking... The first demo was on the edge of the unhearable sometimes because recorded on one track, on an old crackling and overdriven like a pork of a boombox (I exaggerate a bit, but it looks beautiful), while now it's easier to hear everything (Even if it remains dirty). What has happened? Weren't the legions of rats living in the sewer an assiduous and headbang-motivated public enough?
Djé : I don't know which unhearable recording you're talking about. We posted a rehearsal version of "Viscera nebula" on Youtube, and I find it to be perfectly killer. Yes my friend, everything is on this recording: The thickness, the playing mistakes, reverberation from hell, you can even smell the odor of beer on the rotten carpet.
(Editor's note: I checked back the video, and I was talking about this rehearsal recording, even if the word "Unlistenable" is a bit too strong. But I don't listen to a lot of recordings with the Swedish sound or very overdriven guitars anymore (I'm almost on the point of old school thrash or proto death with "regular" distortion huhu)
6. Your guitarist also plays in Pulmonary fibrosis since more than 15 years, however, no grindcore influences can be found in your music (Expect for the production perhaps)... So this would be possible to soak in cadaver juice and bowels' salad for so long, without effect on your mental health or compositions? I'm surprised.
Djé : Haha ! This is simply because I'm composing the music and don't listen to a lot of grind. So obviously this won't come out in the compositions. But on the other hand since we record in Guyome's studio, we will perhaps finally have a goregrind sound, who knows?
7. If ROTTEN was a meal based on meat, which would you choose? Rather a nicely fleshy meat pie, a pie head with gelatin and big parts, a more subtle duck paté... Oh shit, if this comes you will introduce us to local specialties from Poitiers so feel free to answer as you wish :)
: Here in Poitiers we have the "Broyé" (Mashed),
a cake made of 50% butter. We also have the "farci" (Stuffed)
, some kind of terrine made of leaves, cabbage, boodle, a bit of
lard. It's looks pre-digested, it's quite special. I also like steak
tartare, carpaccio... The cold meat.
8. Your singer happens to use a few more doom influenced vocals in a quite "lyrical" manner, is this a possible evolution for the future of Rotten, or is he so much into old school doom (He's a part of The bottle doom lazy band) that he couldn't do without it?
Ben : This kind of vocals suited very well to the given riffs, I'm not sure if it will come out again. A quite "lyrical" tendency, you're a bit misplaced... I'd rather say a heavily drunk guy hooked on the street lamp! Yes, a drunk guy who shoots at the too-good-looking passerbys, and vomits on their very expensive so-nice-looking trendy shoes. For the remaining of the vocals, I always found the current vocalists to be commutable, there's no more David Vincent, Tardy, Van Drunen... I don't know if I was able to come up with something good, but as long as it doesn't sound like all we heard the 25 last years, and as long as it tastes death, I don't care at all.
Djé : I don't think it will be a future evolution. We will stay on a classical death metal vocals basis. Ben is indeed a fan of old school doom and he has great vocals skills, he also has some ideas, and I'm opened to experimentations. So I find this declaimed vocal part on « Umbilical Cord of the Purulent Planet » to be killer and also original. I was always sensible to the vocals in a band. A possessed vocalist who shouts with his guts can amplify the quality of songs. If more variations come out as a bonus, it's killer. Guys such as Tardy on « Slowly we Rot », Van Drunen, or Aldrahn (In another style) are for me references in that matter. Mike Patton also is, even if the genre is different, but this guy is a killer, he's a part of my heroes.
9. In which state of mind should the listener be to really appreciate your music? If he's in a complete state of drunkenness of stonedness, and his brain totally liquefied, will he better enjoy the subtleties?
Djé : Hahaha ! No I'm not certain, but the listener has the right to do what he wants and to be in the state that suits the best.
Ben : Totally
drunk, with shitting emergency!
: Yeah we play a cover of OBITUARY (’til Death) during gigs. I love
this song, it gathers everything I love in OBITUARY: Some fast parts,
a big slow passage, a killer lead, killing vocals.
Ben : Rather an old Samael song, héhé.
11. We are reaching the end, I usually ask the bands what they listened to lately, but I don't know if you are deaf... I also ask them about their forthcoming projects, but I don't know if you have any... So feel free to conclude the way you feel (Hoping you don't smell from the feet or the underwears). Before leaving, please return the bowels to whom it belongs. 667.
: Thanks Gab for the interview, thumbs up for the longevity, I recently
found an interview you answered for a fanzine from Poitiers called
AAAARG zine, it dates back to 1998 or something.
Ben : Last listenings: The last Saint vitus, the first Vastum, Asphyx, Southgang, Escape the flesh, some Betty davis and some Hawkwind. This Obliteration gig was very great, yeah!