Band: ROTTING CHRIST
Country of origin: Greece
Style: atmospheric black metal
Questions by: Kai Mathias Stalhammar
Answers supplied by: Sakis Tolis (guitars, vocals)
Are you pleased with the way your newest album, “Sleep Of The Angels”, turned out? Also, do you still consider yourselves to be a black metal band?
- Yes we are, as well from the response of the people which was really nice. We are a Metal band....maybe BLACK maybe DARK maybe HEAVY ....but METAL.
If I’m not mistaken, you have dropped your pseudonyms a couple of years ago, and I wonder why?
- After signing with Century Media a new era for the band had started so we changed our names as an evidence of that. That's all about.
How did you come to invite Fernando of MOONSPELL as the supplementary singer on “Among Two Storms”? Also, would you like to say anything concerning “The Butterfly Effect”, the latest work by his band?
- MOONSPELL are cool friends of us so after inviting Fernando to help me in one song he accepted very pleasant. MOONSPELL record gfreat albums so they did the same with "The Butterfly Effect".
Most of your lyrics were composed in English, however ROTTING CHRIST is of Greek origin, consequently let me ask you if you have any plans to sing in Greek…
- No we don't think something like that cause we play music for everyone wherever he lives. That's Metal music my friend. Music without boarders.
“Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers” was recorded at Stage One Studio with Andy Classen behind the bench, while the sound in the whole seemed to be absolutely killer… It seems that you have another point of view or why then you chose Woodhouse as the recording studio for “A Dead Poem” and “Sleep Of The Angels”…?
- You have always to refresh your sound. That's the strategic of ROTTING CHRIST concerning studios. So that is the reason that our forthcoming album is going to be recorded in ABYSS studios in Sweden.
Let’s discuss the
lyrics a bit… In my view, you embarked on a more
“mystic” path instead of making emphasis on occultism as you did before…
- Yes you are true. Our lyrics are changing as well as our music but the feeling remaining the same. Dark. If we ever loose this feeling then will mean that we have a problem.
Let’s get back in time in few years… Why did you part your ways with George (a.k.a. Magus Wampyr Daoloth)?
- He chose his way we choosed ours. Playing in a band must be 100% concentrated on what you are doing so Magus left the band. Of course we are still friends and we never had any problem with our "divorce".
Well, if the previous question concerned George, it seems natural to ask you to enlighten us on the NECROMANTIA activities… Are you still in contact? If so, how is the band feeling today?
- As I know he is currently working on a new NECROMANTIA album which in my opinion would be great cause NECROMANTIA is cult!
Do you still play the old songs, such as “Feast Of The Grand Whore” or “Transform All Suffering Into Plagues”, live?
- Yes we do and we will always do.
Unisound Records is well known for rip-offing it’s own bands (what a nonsense…), however you contrived to get two albums (“Non Serviam” and “Satanas Tedeum” demo re-release) released through this label… Since there’re lot of various rumors regarding them, please expound your own opinion on this subject…
- Shit happens my friend. Everyone do mistakes in his life.That's my answer no more no less.
An outstanding recording, if taking into account
the fact that it was unleashed back in 1989… I have it’s CD version with lyrics printed, however there’s one truly weird thing about “The Sixth Communion” track… It “includes some of the most occult dark lyrics ever written connected with the personal life of writer. Not allowed to print”… So we have some kind of a really strange comment instead of lyrics. Why that? Is it some sort of a wicked joke or what…?
- Actually I was never involved with lyrics back then. So I had no idea what was writing especially to this song. So I do not have an answer to your question.
Let me divide ROTTING CHRIST’s history into four parts in order to completely conceive your metamorphosis throughout the years of band’s existence. I hope you wouldn’t mind… The first one took place before the year of 1989 when you gave preference to grindcore (“Decline’s Return” demo and split EP with ICHORIPANSI). The second one: the years of 1989 – 1992, i.e. “Satanas Tedeum”, “Passage To Arcturo” MCD as well as “The Dawn Of The Iconoclast” 7’EP and split EP with MONUMENTUM. The third one: 1992 – 1995 (“Thy Mighty Contract” and “Non Serviam” CD’s), the period when ROTTING CHRIST’s works possessed that distinctive “Greek sound”. And finally, the fourth one: 1996 – 1999 (“Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers”, “A Dead Poem” and “Sleep Of The Angels” CD’s), the period which signified some kind of a change to yet more mild and melodic stuff which, in fact, stands closer to regular heavy metal (although still mystic and sublime). Do you agree with such a division? If not, please give us your own… Furthermore, telling us few words regarding the earliest works of yours, such as “Decline’s Return”, “The Dawn Of The Iconoclast” and all those split releases, would be much appreciated!
- Hey man you know a lot!! Ok you know about "Satanas Te Deum" but how about these demos "Decline's Return" etc? Strange anyway. Yes we started up as a Grindcore band. Really amateur little children that wanted to be ythe same like their idols BATHORY, VENOM etc.....So we recorded an amateur demo "Decline's Return" that had nothing to do with nowadays ROTTING CHRIST sound and growing up we found our sound and our musical style. Then came contracts and bla bla bla..... Yes I do agree with you. The band has transformed through the years and is going to be transformed in the forthcoming years with basic idea to remain DARK and to not forget our roots.
Do you know anything regarding Russia? What is your attitude to the country of mine as well as it’s people? Any Russian bands you’ve heard lately?
- I do not know a lot about RUSSIA (concerning bands). I used to receive some stupid vinyls back to 80's from some poser bands but after that like something happened and I lost contact with everyone. So I have not follow your scene since then. Ok I receive some letters which means that you are into DARK music so I hope someday to play in your glorious land.
I hope I didn’t
bore you to death with my questions… Anyway, now
you’re free to do what you wish, since this interview is at it’s logical end… Would you like to add anything? If not, just tell me that VAE SOLIS kicks ass, ha ha!
- KEEP OUR DARK CULT ALIVE AND ROTTING CHRIST WILL ALWAYS BE ROTTING....
A couple of days ago I've occasionally took a look at the ROTTING CHRIST's official web-domain and guess what I've discovered there?! Yeah, the site itself is great, however it was story with that statement by Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer I'm talking about (of course, it was United States where the whole mess took place... Yeah, truly a lullaby of democracy, goddamnit!). Well, back to this assertion, the one which made me laugh hysterically... Here it is, quoted from the ROTTING CHRIST's homepage - as well as the band's official reply.
are becoming a political issue in the United States:
Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer recently referred to
ROTTING CHRIST in a speech. Here is what he said: "I could go on and on with such examples, many of them even more repulsive, from the notorious play "Corpus Christi" which depicted Jesus as a homosexual having sex with his Apostles, to a painting displayed at Penn State University showing a Nazi soldier and a Catholic priest standing side-by-side on top of a Jewish victim of the Holocaust. I will leave to your imagination the anti-Catholic garbage promoted by such entertainers as Sinead O'Connor, Madonna and the homosexual musical group (!!!!!! - ED) ROTTING CHRIST." An article is being done about this in The Washington Blade, and ROTTING CHRIST singer Sakis Tolis has already been contacted by the newspaper: "Mr. Tolis, greetings. I am a reporter with the Washington Blade newspaper in Washington, D.C., and I was hoping you could respond to some comments recently made by conservative presidential candidate Gary Bauer. In a speech today, Bauer accused ROTTING CHRIST of being an anti-Catholic "homosexual music group." Just for the record, are you or any members of the band gay? And how do you respond to charges that your music is anti-Catholic? Thank you for your assistance. Sincerely, Bill Roundy, News Reporter The Washington Blade". Sakis and his mates (all heterosexuals by the way) are currently preparing the band's official statement.
December 2nd, 1999
ROTTING CHRIST'S OFFICIAL STATEMENT
Speaking for the whole band, we are surprised to notice the statement by the rebublican politician ......... about ROTTING CHRIST. It's strange to see what certain politicians do to enlarge their publicity. They point out someone that is heterosexual as homosexual in order to express their homophobia towards someone that is "shocking" in appearance, or is that because our appearance is not "as male" as theirs!? Anyway, what is the necessary male appearance to be a "real man"? Concerning our anti-catholic attitude, that's pretty obvious with a name like ROTTING CHRIST which already clarifies our position in religion matters. But that's not only regarding Catholicism but every other kind of religion as well. Living in (so called) democratic societies, I think everyone should have the right to call religions as he/she wants. We in fact simply believe they are "rotting"! We are not a "satanic-crusader" type of band but rather one of the many bands that represent the dark side in nowadays' Metal music.
Sakis Tolis / ROTTING CHRIST
ROTTING CHRIST contact
Email (Sakis): firstname.lastname@example.org
Official website: www.rchrist.conxion.gr