Singaporean grindcore band Wormrot was recently signed to renowned record label Earache Records. Heavy Metal Tribune managed to catch them before one of their jamming sessions to have a chat with them, hearing about their views, experiences and their DIY Europe tour.
Rasyid (Guitars): Wormrot was formed in 2005 by vocalist Arif and me. It was supposed to be a death/grind project, but I wasn’t that good on the guitar so I added more punk influences into my riffs. Then we found Fitri in the same camp as Arif and tried him out for the first time and that’s how he got in the band. Few years on, we are where we are now.
What does Wormrot actually mean? What are the origins of the name?
Fitri (Drums): Oh yeah, what does it mean? [Laughs]
R: We just picked Wormrot because previously we were called Rotting Worm and it doesn’t sound nice. So we just twisted and played with the words and eventually shortened it into Wormrot.
You mentioned that one of your bandmates was the one who designed the logo.
R: Arif was the one who designed the logo.
Why did you make it kind of Japanese styled?
Arif (Vocals): I have always been into Japanese calligraphy. So I came up with this logo with Japanese calligraphy as my inspiration. And whatever logo I decide, the rest of the band have to agree with me.
Are you a designer?
A: I do artworks, logos and inlays for bands and their albums.
Wormrot was recently signed onto Earache Records, how does it feel like to be noticed and subsequently signed onto the label?
R: Fucking proud!
How did they actually discover the band?
A: Actually there’s a website where you can find out how they discovered us, but just to give a quick summary: after Scrotum Jus we were ready to look forward and find another label, so we listed down a few labels, but Earcache was not one of them on our list. But in the end, Digby, the owner of Earache contacted us randomly through MySpace and he got to know us through this blog-
R: Grind and punishment.
A: It’s a blog that had our music and he managed to listen to our songs. So from there, he contacted us through MySpace.
Any plans to reissue your albums under Earache? Any bonus features or bonus tracks that fans can look forward to?
R: It is actually released already under Earache. It has 30+ bonus tracks. So it will be a total of 50+ tracks. It will be found in any record stores like Inokii, HMV, etc.
Let’s talk about the song Wormrot submitted for the SOFT competition, Born Stupid. Was the song written specifically for the competition or was it already intended to be on the album?
R: Before the SOFT saga, the drums and guitar tracks were already recorded, what was left was the vocals. So we took the opportunity to fill the vocals in and it apparently worked.
So the inspiration behind the lyrics actually came from the competition?
R: Yeah. And the administrator, what’s his name?
R: Yeah James. Stupid guy ah.
R: We were supposed to get a prize after we won.
A: So-called “win”.
R: I contacted them and the prize was a pair of headphones.
So they did give a prize for Wormrot winning the competition?
R: No, I didn’t take it. We have 3 pairs of ears.
Are we supposed to put this in?
R: Put lah! [Laughs]
The music video for the song was filmed entirely in an elevator. What was the process like and what were the major difficulties?
R: We didn’t get into any trouble, but we were very careful while filming the video.
A: We did the filming in the afternoon and it’s a cargo lift. In the afternoon, there are a lot of workers moving in and out of the building. We were on the, what, 5th floor, and we were jamming in the lift which was very loud.
R: We had to pad the drums so that it doesn’t sound that loud, but it’s still very loud because even though the lift was on the 5th floor you could hear us from the 1st floor.
You actually squeezed all the instruments into the lift?
R: Luckily there were wheels below.
A: So when it’s inside the lift, the lift is stationary. When somebody presses the button at the 1st floor, we can feel the whole life jerking and moving downwards. And when we reach the 1st floor, we pretend as if we were workers and all the people walking into the lift looked at us weirdly.
When filming someone had to hold the door for you or did you guys stay in the lift?
A: We had to close the lift door to get the correct lighting actually. It’s a tedious process.
Let’s talk a bit about your music. How do you write 8 second tracks like “So Fierce for Fuck?!” and not have people take you guys as a joke-
A: Because it’s short. There’s a history in grindcore to play short, fast and loud. We try to get this old school feel in our albums, because nowadays not many people play 4 or 5 second songs. It’s not as if the entire album is full of 5 second songs.
R: Such tracks are actually a novelty in grindcore.
Was it actually a message to anyone in particular?
A: Actually the entire album is for the general public, for whatever is happening in Singapore. System, people, etc.
So that’s where you draw your influences for your lyrics?
A: Yeah, and some army experiences as well.
You will embark on your DIY tour at the end of April, how did the Europe tour come about? I read that the April dates were arranged by Earache.
R: Kind of. Earache just arranged the UK side of the tour, which is around one-third of the whole tour and the rest were done by us, by Azean who is our booking agent/manager/whatever.
What are the major difficulties and problems while preparing the dates? Perhaps Azean, you could share with us?
Azean (Wormrot’s manager): Major difficulties? Getting people to actually recommend you some booking organizers and when we contacted them, they recommended me yet another booking organizer, and it goes on and on. Furthermore, June is really difficult to get gigs. In Europe, people are working because it’s not really summer yet. In July is when the summer holidays begin.
A: Moreover, in our tour, we are performing almost every day. So in the weekdays it will be quite a problem, but we still perform.
Do you guys have day jobs?
F: Not anymore.
R: Huh? How come?
F: Not anymore la! Since recently!
A: Eh, who’s interviewing who?
But Rasyid, you have a day job right? How are you going to juggle your day job and the tour, since this tour is going to be extensive.
R: I told my boss and she gave me the go ahead. She said to just come back and work after the tour.
Want to give a shout out to your boss?
R: Thanks Felicia!
Then what about the rest, how do you guys support the band?
F: With my previous day job before I got jobless.
A: I get my extra income for my artworks so it’s quite a decent pay.
How about your families, are they supportive of what you are doing?
A: Fucking supportive.
F: For me, no. So I just fuck it and follow my dreams.
Do you guys have any side projects? I only know that Arif was in Flesh Disgorged previously.
Band: No, too busy with our schedules.
Your music is very similar to grindcore legends like Insect Warfare. Tell us more about your musical influences besides grindcore music?
A: For lyrics, I don’t quite follow the grindcore trend which is mainly about politics. But as you read our lyrics in abuse, there is also humour as well as social issues. More to social issues and less to the government. I think we try to approach a different method to writing lyrics, because most other grindcore is about politics and we want to try something different, something that people can relate to better.
R: For basic template for Wormrot is just normal grindcore, it’s nothing original. If you listen to the riffs they are just simple riffs that anyone can follow. But the simple riffs we try to inject something different or something that you don’t really hear from other grindcore bands. We do try to mix and match.
A: We are not restricted to only grindcore. Sometimes we listen to metalcore, deathcore, R&B, hip-hop, whatever. If we find a tune catchy, why not put the influences into our music?
Any upcoming releases that fans can look forward to?
R: We have a split with I Abhor.
Azean: It’s actually out already.
R: Oh is it?
Any parting words?
F: I love you…
R: Just work hard. It will pay off eventually.
Oh one last question, do you guys prefer to be signed or unsigned? Just a very general question.
R: Basically we are new to being signed, so we are not really sure of the bad sides. But we will tell you if we get fucked!
A: When we were in the DIY stage, it was a lot of hard work. Everything we had to do ourselves.
R: But there was freedom, we could do anything we wanted.
Ok that’s all we have for now, thank you and we wish you all the best for your upcoming DIY tour!
Band: Thank you!
©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | CynnedCynner and Hong Rui