– Hi Ben, thanks for taking the time. How’s everything going right now with THE ROTTED?

Really good thanks, after a year of a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes, we’re all really glad to be out there again and that we’ve finally got to the release date for this new album set, we’re just waiting on getting it out there so we can get back on the road!

– First off hope you don’t mind making some history of the band. I guess changing your name may have had something to do with your new musical direction and also the different themes in your lyrics (non-gore anymore)…

Well, in the late ‘90s Tim and I were in Gorerotted which was straight up Death Metal/Grindcore with gore lyrics, and in the early ‘00s Trud and Nate were in this crazy Blackened Murder Metal band called Screamin’ Daemon, but of course we’ve never wanted to keep on doing the same thing over and over again, and we progressed over the years to where we are now. We decided to split and reform as The Rotted when we’d finished recording our previous album ‘Get Dead Or Die Trying’ because we felt that what we were doing had come quite a long way from what we’d originally set out to do. It’s a pretty big step to take because Gorerotted had a good fanbase and a strong name in the underground, but that doesn’t mean shit if you have to keep churning out the same old tired stuff to maintain it, so we went for it and started afresh! Honestly, it was like we’d freed ourselves of these shackles, I was really bored of the same generic Gore lyrics and instead took inspiration from the horrors of day to day life in 2008 as my subject matter, and the other guys were allowing new ideas and influences to come through in their writing. We’ve never been a band to repeat ourselves, we always move forward and that keeps things interesting and fresh.


– Your debut album was released by Metal Blade (just as «A New Dawn for the Dead» was) and then your selfreleased «Anarchogram» EP. I would like you to tell us a bit about it and if it was hard to released it on your own.

We were still with Metal Blade when we decided to put out Anarchogram, but we wanted to get back to how we used to do things, handling everything ourselves and getting that connection with the fans back. We all have a real nostalgia for the days of tape-trading, word of mouth and paper fanzines, the days before downloading and social networking sites and this was a good way of connecting with our DIY past. It takes a fair bit of work, but it’s worth the effort because now we have this really underground release that we’ve repressed once, but will not repress again, so it’ll be a rarity in our back catalogue, a collector’s piece for the die-hard fans!


– This new «Ad Nauseam» has been released by another big label as Candlelight, which are UK based. How’s everything going with them so far?

Honestly, it’s far too early to tell, but we’ve known those guys for a while and they totally get what we’re all about. We’ve admired their releases since the mid-‘90s so it’s great for us to be on the label that have put out albums by Emperor, Enslaved, Absu, Obituary, Entombed etc


– Getting a bit into the new album; how are first reactions being?

Really good! It’s a heavy and ugly sounding album, and I think a lot of people –like us- are bored of the current trend for complex time signatures and self-indulgent solos, this is just balls out heavy, loud, headbanger’s Death Metal Punk!!! This album is the soundtrack to our teenage years and harks back to a time when Metal was about aggression and energy, but also about memorable riffs and verse/chorus/verse song structures. People have noticed the huge bass sound and just how heavy it is, I can’t wait until they get to hear the whole thing and we get to play these new tracks live!


– This effort starts with «Anarchogram Sun», does it has any link with your previous EP?

No, the Anarchogram is the symbol you see on both releases and pretty much all of our artwork and shirts for the last few years. It’s the symbol of The Rotted, it represents self-belief and freedom from organised religion and governmental rule and that song is about the birth of the album, the winds of change and the fire within us.


– I noticed there is a lot of variety on this album; was just how things flew?

Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s something we set out to do, but we were conscious of it as the songs developed. When I was a kid, my favourite Rock and Metal albums had various different paces on them and different moods, whereas a lot of albums I listen to these days are like the same song played slightly differently 10 times. I’ll buy an album and sit there thinking “wow, this is great” but by song number 4, I feel I’ve heard it all. So while Ad Nauseam flows really well, it does change throughout and stays interesting, not just for the listener, but for us because we have to go out and play these tracks every night!


– For example, aforementioned «Anarchogram Sun» is a blast; fast, brutal and straight-forward, while «Entering the Arena of the Unwell» has certain Black Metal elements but, without any doubt, the most outstanding song actually is «Put me out of your Misery». How could you tell us about it? Did you want something different to close the album?

Yeah, Put Me Out Of Your Misery is a real epic closer, the atmosphere is just horrible, totally depressing and morbid! It was the only one that wasn’t finished before we went into the studio, we jammed it out there and then and buried a load of ambient sounds into the mix. We actually talked of one day doing a whole EP of tracks like that, maybe occasionally playing it all live at exclusive shows, but we’d need a lot more people with us, that track alone has 8 layers of guitar on it!


– Also «Motörbastärds» caught my attention. A nod to MOTÖRHEAD maybe?

Hehe yeah, they’re a huge influence on us, and this track is a tribute to them as well as all the other musical innovators we admire, like Black Sabbath, Discharge, Killing Joke, Napalm Death etc. It’s about respecting the masters!


– Dispite having different details and mixing certain elements from different genres you haven’t lost your essence, or maybe this fact is something that builds your very own sound. So that makes me wonder what are your main musical influences.

Our influences are the bands we grew up on, so you’re talking about a lot of Death and Black Metal, Rock and Hardcore Punk from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s; Napalm Death, Entombed, Wolfbrigade, Motörhead, Terrorizer, Dismember, Immortal, Impaled Nazarene, Marduk, Discharge, GBH, Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath, Venom, Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, bands like that. I still check out new bands, but the magic time for music is when you’re in your teens and on a voyage of discovery, and listening back to those records still gives me goosebumps to this day!


– This time around sound is specially thick and raw, in fact you have a more audible bass, which definitely helps creating that thick sound. What this what you aimed for?

Yeah, we’re lucky enough to have once again worked with Russ Russell who is one of the hottest producers out there right now, and he managed to give us this organic and really heavy sound. Bass guitar these days is often buried in the mix with the guitars pushed right to the front, but the bass is where the heaviness comes from, and we wanted a big bass sound, especially as we now only have one guitarist. I was listening to High Of Fire’s ‘Snakes For The Divine’ the other day, and you can hear everything, it’s so clear but so fucking raw and heavy, and it’s all done by only 3 people!!! The mix on that album is perfect, and Russ managed to give us the perfect mix too, so this album’s gonna blow a lot of people away!


– Guitars and drums are really varied so, how was like the songwriting process? Did you go ahead for something more dynamic?

We’ve never consciously set out to write in a certain way, but when we get together and jam, we just see what comes out, I don’t know how else to describe it really. Nate’s a phenomenal drummer and while he can blast as well as the best of them, he likes to keep things interesting too, so he isn’t afraid to try different techniques. Tim is a Metal guitarist when it comes down to it, but he’s also a great Rock N Roll and Punk guitarist too, he’s not interested in fancy finger work or odd time signatures, he just likes writing ballsy, catchy riffs that you can bang your head to! That’s what it’s all about for us, we don’t write music for musicians, we write for people like us who are music obsessive and just want to hear good riffs with a lot of heart and soul to them!!!!


– I’d dare say cover artwork also fits this raw sound, and was crafted by own Rev. Trudgill. Is it positive for the band having an own member doing the artwork?

Definitely, no one else is going to come up with something that represents us as well as he could, and as he’s a professional tattoo artist, it made sense to get him to do the artwork. I was also a designer for about 5 years so I designed the layout inside the CD, as well as doing the artwork for our forthcoming digital only single! (Keep your eyes open for that one!)


– In the other hand, well-known Russ Russell took production duties, and I think he got a crispy yet clear sound. Are you satisfied with the outcome? I believe he managed to picture the own band’s sound.

Yeah, one thing I’m really proud of is the British vibe you have running through this. The American or Swedish sound in Metal could come from anywhere in the world these days, but this has the punky, aggressive, venomous vibe that only a bunch of scummers from London could come up with! This sounds like The Rotted! Russ was the perfect man for the job, and I look forward to working with him on the next album too!


– If I’m not wrong, «Ad Nauseam» features 11 different tracks with 11 different «stories». Could you elaborate a bit on some of the lyrical ideas?

A lot of it is about the End Of Days, which today doesn’t look like it could be too far off! I always write about what’s relevant here and now, and there are themes of death, destruction, Atheism, Nihilism, freedom, the championing of outsiders and basically rising up and fighting back. Positive music about standing up and doing what’s right for you!


– With «Get Dead or Die Trying» you showed the band was through certain evolution and maturity, and this time you have proven it once more but, how do you now see has been the evolution between these two albums?

It’s a pretty big step once again. On Get Dead… I’m not sure we’d entirely found out feet, but now we know exactly where we are in the scheme of things and what we’re doing, we work very well together and our writing chemistry’s the best it’s ever been. This time around, we have a much heavier, focused, angry and catchy album.


– In my review I described that «maturity» as a self-confidence or comfortability doing your own thing; is it fair saying so?

Yeah, we’re not interested in fitting into any scenes or impressing a group of people. We know our music isn’t for everyone, even people into the extreme side of Metal, but at least we know we’re creating the music that we ourselves would want to hear and that we’re proud to get up there and play!


– You are a band whom has toured a lot. Will you hit the road once more to support «Ad Nauseam» on stage?

Yeah of course! We have the bigger cities in the UK covered now, with a couple more to be confirmed and we’ve been offered a really cool tour early next year which will be about 2 weeks in Europe playing the bigger cities. This is a DIY tour, we’ll be loading in our own gear, we won’t be sponsored by any energy drinks, we won’t be on some lame package deal, and we won’t be looking for any filler shows to keep us out there for 6 weeks, it’ll just be 3 bands on a bus taking their music down to the people and making every performance something to remember. I just hope it actually happens! Keep you eyes peeled for that one.


– In fact last 2010 we could see you guys in Spain with MISERY INDEX and GRAVE among others. What are your memories from those shows? I was quite impressed by the small crowd, at least in Barcelona.

Honestly? There were some real good times on that tour, but 4 weeks of playing the first out of 5 bands was hard at time, especially in places like Spain and Italy when we were often onstage before the people in those towns had even finished work. It’s funny, when I was told we’d got on a tour with Misery Index and Grave and was all “FREAKING SWEET DUDE!!!”, then I found out there was these 2 other bands on the bill as well and as we’d been added last, we’d be going on first every night. So while it was a real worthwhile tour and I’m glad we did it, I can’t say I’d necessarily want to do something like that again, because it kind of felt like being at work at times haha!


– Finally; what does the future have in store for THE ROTTED?

This will be the album that we’re remembered for and we look forward to bringing it to the people! I hope to hit some new places, like Australia, Asia, South America and maybe even North America so if any of you guys out there want to see us, spread the word and hassle the promoters to bring us over! Europe, we will see you soon…


– That has been all from my side, thanks once more for ansewring to our questions. If you want to add some last words before we wrap this interview up; feel free to do it.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this, check our page at www.therotted.com for upcoming live dates and also news on the single I mentioned earlier, it’ll be a low cost track with exclusive artwork and you’ll get money off the full album when that’s released too. A big thanks to you Tania for your interest in The Rotted, I hope we can play in Spain again soon. All hail The Queen Of Steel!!!!


Tania Giménez


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