Interview with Wormrot

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.


HMT: Hi guys, thank you for taking the time off for our interview. So first off, give us a brief introduction of Wormrot.

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.

[Laughs]

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?

James

R: Yeah James. Stupid guy ah.

[Band laughs]

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.

[Band laughs]

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?

Band: Yeah.

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?

[Laughs]

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!

Wormrot on MySpace and Facebook.
(Photos from Wormrot’s MySpace page.)

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | CynnedCynner and Hong Rui

Guttered Down The Gutters: Xanadoo

This month, we gutter 3 young bloods full of rage in the heart of a shopping mall.

Xanadoo is when three random dudes with hair growing rage that is triggered by the extreme euphoria from being temporarily released from the clutches of our military forces.
(I know, that sentence is too much to digest, they are hard to digest too.)

Behind that facade of random retardedness, I see that they are actually a strategic and organised mess.
Even after deep questioning if this was part of their future ‘big plans’, they remain truly local by ‘acting blur’.

Let us hope that these boys will still be rocking out when they are gonna be pot-bellied and balding ah peks.
(Definitely not the case for Shiva since he has a forest growing on his chin.)


Without further ado let’s see what these boys have up their sleeves. (You can click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures!)

Mahesha (Drums)
Shiva (Bass)
and lastly…
Zak (Vocals + Guitars)

Or if you prefer… We have put it on scribd.com! Click here to read it in pdf file!

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | CynnedCynner 

Views from the Pit: Grindhouse

The Grindhouse (a misleading title for the gig, for it took some of us quite a bit of convincing to go because we thought it was going to be a grind gig) was held on 30th April. After a 1 hour delay, the gig finally kicked off at 8pm. 6 awesome bands, displaying the prowess of Asian death metal.

The lineup:
Stillborn
GrindButo (Indonesia)
Truth Be Known
Lacerate (Thailand)
GxSxD (Japan)
Defiled (Japan)

Stillborn took the stage promptly after doors opened, much to the crowds’ anticipation after gathering outside the venue for an hour. As per Stillborn’s SOP (standard operating procedure), midway through their performance, singer Sathish and guitarist Tharenii soon lost their top. Being the first band on stage and the slow crowd (initially) did not daunt Stillborn’s effort to put on an awesome show. Within a few songs heads were seen banging and hair flying at the front.

Grindbuto was up next. A three-piece grind band hailing from Indonesia, they were able to draw the crowd back in after the venue emptied after Stillborn’s performance. This is largely due to the aggressive and infectious grind laid out, with continuously screaming guitar harmonics and furious drumming. Their set ended with a grind redoing of the Metallica classic, Seek and Destroy, a song which is always a sure bet to get people headbanging.

TBK: Angriest band on earth!

Truth Be Known came onstage after GrindButo’s exhilarating performance. With Subash’s usual stage antics (the dancing and grooving to the music), it definitely provided certain comic relief amongst the crowds. Of course this did not mean that the music was compromised as could be seen from the crowd’s reaction. Alcohol certainly did put more life into the band’s performance as they managed to grab hold of some Barcadi (courtesy of one of the members of the Japanese band playing later, couldn’t see who it was though…). They later dedicated a song to those who were not at a band, entitled “It Sucks to be You”. Well, it really did, because Stillborn, Grindbuto and Truth Be Known are just a prelude to what was coming up later.

Sunyalux: wreaking havoc behind the drums

Whoever said that death metal without vocals cannot work will be promptly proven wrong once Lacerate began their aural assault. As the crowds began to wonder why they were performing without vocals, drummer Sunyalux enlightened the crowd: their vocalist was stuck at Bangkok due to issues with the immigration, so FUCK THE IMMIGRATION, but as he says “the show must still go on!” to which the crowd responded with cries of “fuck the immigration!” Impressive show of musicianship but even more impressive was the show of technical skills of the individual members on their instruments, in particular Sunyalux who, in some people’s words, is “sick” and “crazy”. One really has to see to believe how insane a drummer he can be, with non-stop blast beats constantly throughout their set.

Twin brothers = twin guitar attack = twin windmill

Finally at around 10.30, the first of the 2 headlining bands took the stage. Often hailed as the Japanese version of famed Polish band Vader (just listen to their song, Mercy Killing vs. Vader’s Devilizer), GxSxD instantly proved themselves that they are perhaps more than worthy of the comparison, with their infectious music. Twin brothers Yusuke and Yohsuke are relentless in their vocals and twin axe assault, gathering in what was perhaps one of the largest crowds of the night. With both guitarists taking the role of vocals and knowing when to come it, it was hard at times to know who was doing the vocals (after all, they are twin brothers, look alike and even sound alike!) displaying their technical prowess and tightness as a band. The encore with a medley of Slayer’s Raining Blood and Angel of Death instantly caused the crowd to break into a moshpit, thereafter marked the end of GxSxD’s set.

With one last headlining band to appear, the crowd was beginning to get restless. By the time Defiled took the stage it was already close to midnight, and unfortunately the crowd started to thin. For those who stayed all the way to the end, it was definitely worth the wait as Defiled promptly broke into their set, impressing the crowds with their technical skills (such as those of bassist Haruhisa who played some slap bass riffs before the start of the performance). I couldn’t help but notice how young their drummer looked yet being so consistently good at his drumming. At the end of the show, it was overheard that the show put up by the headliners are testament to how Asian bands can be just as good, if not better than most Western bands.

At slightly after midnight the gig finally came to an end, with a photo taking session with all the bands that performed (courtesy of Ayla from SRH!) and crowds hanging out with the foreign bands that came to perform. I have to say I was impressed with how different the Japanese bands were compared to the rest, bringing in their flags and pasting it at the wall even though this wasn’t a huge concert. Not to say that the rest of the bands were any worse though! While the crowd was definitely not ideally huge for a metal gig (it’s a Friday, after all), it was definitely an enjoyable experience. Kudos to the bands and Bret from Mourningsounds for putting this gig together!

Stillborn had to leave the party early.

Special mention to Ayla from SRH Singapore and Rage99.com for being the “official” photographer! 😛 Horns up to you too!

Visit SRH Singapore on Facebook, and Rage99.com on Facebook.
You can view the photo albums to the Grindhouse here (part 1) and here (part 2).

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune

Album Review: Xanadoo – Black. Death. Grind. Shit!

Xanadoo [SINGAPORE]
Black. Death. Grind. Shit!
2010
Full Length
Thrash Metal/Crossover

Black. Death. Grind. Shit! is Xanadoo’s latest output and the band’s debut full-length album. Consisting of 8 tracks, this album clocks under 30 minutes, of which 6 are tracks that are re-recorded versions of their previous 2 demos, Blood is Dirt and This Demo is Shit.


The album opens with an instrumental track, World of Xanadoo, which is one of the 2 new tracks on this album. The other new song is Subterranean Hemorrhoid which begins with a slick guitar solo, somehow the riffs after that reminds me of some of Iron Maiden’s riffs (something like 2 Minutes to Midnight) with Xanadoo’s own touch.

As with the previous albums, their lyrics are tongue-in-cheek, often having other meanings behind what may seem to be random ramblings. Production quality is very polished, if you are a fan of the previous 2 demos mentioned (Blood is Dirt, This Demo is Shit), it might take a bit of getting used to. Personally, on first listen the guitars sounded too loud, almost drowning out the vocals compared to the previous recordings where everything was loud, but just nice.

Zak’s vocals are reminiscent of Kreator’s Mille Petrozza (at least to me!). If you have already heard This Demo is Shit, the performance on this album is an advancement of his vocal styling, on some songs it sounds almost like he’s spitting out the words in fury! Some of the solos on the songs are also changed and improvised, adding a different touch compared to the originals.

Another thing that was noted as well was how the re-recorded songs sounded like sped up versions of the original songs (most almost shortened by half a minute!). For example, Blood is Dirt’s original run length was 4:06 but on the album it clocks at only 3:36. The speedy guitar solos, bass lines and drumming all blend into a fury of music that is this Black. Death. Grind. Shit!

I particularly loved the album art and visual concepts, which was a cut-and-paste one; somewhat similar to the album art concept of This Demo is Shit, only taken to another level. Throughout the album, lyrics written by the band were torn out and pasted on a black background, such as Shiva’s trademark Death logo on the Plague of Mankind’s lyrics, sometimes making it hard to find each of the band member’s mark on my copy of the album (signed in silver marker)!

Overall a fun and enjoyable listen, highly recommended for fans of crossover/thrash metal and of course fans of Xanadoo’s previous outputs. If you haven’t heard of Xanadoo, then as the band mentions, “Get this album because it contains songs from both our previous demos!” But if you want to hear for yourself how they have progressed, grab both their previous demos as well!

Xanadoo on MySpace.

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hongrui 

Interview with Jaarvis from Lights Out, Inc.

Lights Out Inc, the people who brought you such gigs as Doomsday and Resurrection in 2009, and Mass Ritual this year, featuring bands well established in the local metal scene. In this email interview, we talk to one half of the duo behind Lights Out Inc, Jaarvis, about his goals, ideals and plans for the future.

(Disclaimer: responses to this interview are purely Jaarvis’ personal views and are not representative of Lights Out Inc.)


Hi Jaarvis, give us a brief introduction of yourself and Lights Out.

Firstly , I’ll try to be as formal as possible but don’t expect a lot from me cause’ half the things I talk in reality is all bullshit. Hello, I’m Jaarvis. I am the co-founder of Lights Out along with Ganesh. There was another friend who was with us when we did our first ever gig called ‘OVERDRIVE’. He was Vineeth. But he had to leave the team because of other commitments. I wasn’t into the scene back then. I started out when I was about 16 where I mixed with friends who listened to the same thing as me. Those days, it was from System of a Down to Disturbed to Avenged Sevenfold to In Flames to Arch Enemy to Cradle of Filth. I didn’t give a hundred flying f***s about anything that people said about my music taste. Just listened to what I loved. Until now, I’m doing so. About Lights Out, read the next one. It’s all there.

What made you decide to start Lights Out, and what were your initial plans and goals?

The first gig I went to was Deafcon at DXO. Though I don’t remember which series was it but It was the one where saw Bhelliom on stage. I was damn impressed about their stage presence. I totally remember Vivek’s black tops and pants outfit and the bassist still had his waist length hair. I wanted to be up there. After going to more of those kinda gigs, its about time people start moshing and banging to my music rather than the other way round. When I went to poly, I formed a band which I really wanted to go far with, Zaganoth. We covered Dark Funeral, Arch Enemy, In Flames and At The Gates. Our first 3 gigs were all pay to play gigs. The first 2 was fine, the 3rd one, we had to pay 30 bucks each for unsold tickets. I paid, but I was pissed, totally. They always say, you learn from failures. After this gig, I decided to be the organizer instead. I had a talk with my 2 friends. We then started work. I don’t know about them, but I wanted to give the bands a platform, keep the music scene going, make sure they know that playing for the people would not be difficult and that there is hope in the local music scene. We searched for bands and surprisingly, we had about total of 24 bands who played for us in the first gig, ‘Overdrive’. It was a 2 day event at Music Garage. It was a great success. We decided to continue.

What is the process and difficulties do you experience while trying to organize gigs?

This, this, this I’d like to remind all the motherf*ckers who think organizing a gig is damn easy. I see people saying ‘ALL THEY DO IS BOOK THE VENUE’. Well , thats true if their grandfathers get the bands, design the posters, print the tickets and do promotions for me. 2 straight up middle fingers with my nails pointing towards the dark skies, up yours. Promotion was a very big problem. But with the help of flyers and time I sacrificed for promotion of my gigs, it was fine. And another problem was whether the bands would be satisfied. Like the set timing, the equipments, the venue, the lineup etc.

When you organize gigs, is the genre of music that bands perform a critical factor in deciding whether they get to play?

Yes, definitely. If I’m doing a Metal gig, it better be a Metal gig. I am not going to have a band covering Fall Out Boy to play for that particular gig.

How do you get bands to play in gigs organized by Lights Out?

Previously, I used to get any bands who want to play. Rock or Metal, doing gigs for amateur bands who’re just starting out. Now, I source out for bands. I listen to their songs on myspace and I choose the bands.

The recent Mass Rituals 1 and 2 gigs featured local metal heavyweights such as Bhelliom, Draconis Infernum and Wormrot. How did that come about? Was it difficult to pull in the more established bands in the scene to play in your gigs?

Well, I’d talk about Mass Ritual 2 as Mass Ritual 1 was organized by Ganesh. Through organizing gigs and playing in gigs, I started knowing people from various cultures and styles. I like to make friends, I socialize a lot. And by organizing successful gigs, I know I have the trust of bands who have played or would want to play for me. I know the amount of effort I put into every gig I make. And I will make sure everyone of you will know how much effort I had put in. I must thank Chan from Inokii @ Far East Plaza for always being there and giving me advices about how to improve my gigs. I do the lineup and I will always have a talk with Chan first before confirming anything. And since Draconis Infernum played for Doomsday, I knew the fellas . And they were managed by Inokii. So it wasn’t a problem to get them to play. As for Wormrot, I knew Arif. I had a talk with him about the lineup and everything was good. As for me, I had a hard time pulling in the more established bands for my first big one, DOOMSDAY. Oshiego, Absence of the Sacred, Draconis Infernum and more. I gained trust after that. Trust is the most important thing an organizer should have from bands.

Since this has been a pretty big issue on the local music platform, what is your take on pay to play gigs?

IF YOU JUST MADE A BAND A DAY AGO AND YOU WOULD WANNA PLAY A GIG THE FOLLOWING WEEK AND YOU EXPECT TO BE PAID OR BE ALLOWED TO PLAY FOR FREE , GET YOUR AUNTIE TO DO THE GIG AND YOU PLAY FOR YOUR FAMILY TO LISTEN. Pay to Play gigs will not stop It’s not because organizers want to suck the cash out of you. It’s a very big risk to put in so much effort for amateur and unknown bands. Its either they lose a lot or they gain a lot. That simple. I am not against pay to play gigs. BUT I AM AGAINST THE FACT THAT ORGANIZERS FORCE BANDS TO PAY. I never did that. ( I AM SPEAKING , ME , JAARVIS ). BUT, it’s the band’s duty to get their friends to come and sell as much tickets as possible. We do our job, you do your job. I mean, be realistic, go make an effort to call 2 to 3 people each.

How are gig venues selected? Any plans to hold gigs at outdoor venues (i.e. somewhat like a metal fest)?

Availability , equipments , capacity and ambience . I am not planning to go that far yet . It’s not going to be easy but I have thought of such ideas .But metal fest ? No . Not in Singapore at least . Metal is underground and I will leave it like it is and has always been . And I don’t think the ah ma and ah pek on the streets would be alive after they walk past . There will definitely be a lot of criticism and controversies .

How did Lights Out progress from its humble beginnings to one of the more established gig organizers now?

Support from everyone who’ve been with me through the tough times , the regular gig goers and the bands who trust that I will do a good job for them . Although there is so much more to accomplish , I am just satisfied of what I have done to the scene so far . The metal scene especially .

Any upcoming gigs by Lights Out for readers to look out for?

Not for now. April is going to be a busy month with Lamb Of God and Misery Index . Watch out for May .

Any last words to our readers?

KEEP SUPPORTING THE LOCAL SCENE . I LOVE ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO COME DOWN TO MY GIGS AND SUPPORT ME ALL THE WAY . I can’t be specific because THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY . I’d wanna thank ALL the bands who have always trusted me . I really really appreciate it . I won’t stop till my heart for the scene rots .

Music comes in many different forms.
But in Singapore , it’s all about the mass .
Metal is a whole new bond.
TAYLOR SWIFT , MY ASS. 🙂
– JaarVis .

Thank you once again for taking the time off to complete this interview with HMT.


Look out for more upcoming gigs in May, brought to you by Lights Out Inc!

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

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