Interview with Rotheads, done by Patrick.
1. Hello. Please introduce yourself to the readers. How are things going in Romania these days?
Hey Patrick, hello readers! Thank you for having us! We are Rotheads, a bunch of Death Metal enthusiasts on an expedition to unlock the ancient knowledge of crafting gloomy obscure old school Death Metal. It’s getting colder and colder these days here in Romania which is OK for this time of the year and politicians are fucking up everything for everyone, but that’s their job I guess.
2. You all formed Rotheads in 2014. When did you all decide to form this band? And for the readers who have never heard Rotheads music before, how would you best describe it?
We decided to form the band right then, in December 2014. Spurcăciune and Bîrsatan were playing in an improvisational Doom, Stoner and jam Rock band called Keeng Ra’at with drummer David. Spurcăciune had always been into old school Death Metal and got David into it and out of excitement they started to jam some OSDM and after writing a few songs asked Bîrsatan to join. I’d describe Rotheads like a mix of everything from the early 90s and late 80s of Death Metal, a band experimenting with the old ways. At this point we’re more about the atmospheric, eerie side of Death Metal than playing aggressively, but we’re also fans of badass riffage.
3. Sewer Fiends is the band’s debut release, which will be released through Memento Mori in early 2018. How did you come in contact with this great label?
We actually recorded a demo title Unfazed by Death back in 2016 and in a true old fashioned way we sent Memento Mori our demo. They really liked what they heard and wrote back to us about releasing an album. Really exciting times! Also the demo has completely different songs from those on the album, so it’s sort of an official release by itself, but with the aesthetics of a demo as a tribute to all the great death metal that has been released as demos.
4. How long did it take the band to write the music for Sewer Fiends? Does the whole band take part in the writing process or does one member usually write everything?
I can’t really say, we have had some lineup changes, some of the songs existed in one form or another even back in 2016 and we had a lot of songs and song parts written down, but we had to decide for which we had time to actually put into practice. Most of the songs until now have been written by Spurcăciune, but there are a couple of songs written by Omu’ Rău too. We also work together on the songs once they’re in a basic playable form, everyone bringing in his own style related to his instrument.
5. Besides the upcoming debut release, does the band have any other merchandise available or coming out soon? If yes, what is available and where can the readers buy it?
We have the demo from 2016, which was released as a CD-r, we’re planning on rereleasing it one way or another and we also have T-shirts and patches. You can find all of them at rotheads.bandcamp.com or even email us at email@example.com and ask us anything about whatever, merch included.
6. Has Rotheads played live very often over the last few years? What have been some of the bands most memorable shows?
We haven’t toured yet, but we have played a bunch of shows from time to time. Mostly in 2017 since we had to work on a stable lineup. It was really cool playing with Sadistic Intent two shows, one with Master, another with Dead Congregation and a few gigs with local bands. We had fun at most of them, the guys from Sadistic Intent and Master were really nice and we enjoyed drinking a few beers with them. The smaller gigs were also exciting because of the more intimate surroundings.
7. Are there any shows or tours planned in 2018 in support of Sewer Fiends? If yes, where will the band be playing?
At the moment we haven’t planned much, we just have some ideas about what we would like to do and we are in the talks for some gigs. A show dedicated to the new album is going to happen on the 3rd of March in Bucharest with a few other bands though.
8. In your opinion what is the best and worst thing about the underground? What does underground Metal mean to you?
I think there are many levels of being underground, bands can be at different stages of their existence and still be underground. You could consider Pop music mainstream and everything else underground, or maybe your metalhead starter pack bands as mainstream and everything else underground, or more traditional forms of Metal as the status quo and underground as the proving ground for experimentation. Underground could also refer to some niche that only a few people would enjoy and that’s where we’re at. What’s great about the underground is experimentation, innovation and diversity I guess. The worst thing would probably be other people not getting you and you having a hard time explaining that what you’re doing is supposed to sound or look or feel that way, but you have to make a compromise because it’s the underground and it’s full of mismatched people and equipment and everybody’s helping out because of passion and most of the time losing more money than they would like to.
9. Besides playing in Rotheads, do you or any of the other members currently play in other bands?
Spurcăciune (guitars and vocals) and Potaie (drums) also play in Crust/Sludge band Void Forger. Like I’ve said before, Spurcăciune and Bîrsatan (bass) used to play in the improvisational Stoner Doom band Keeng Ra’at. Our former drummer David has a one man Christian Death Metal project called Against Darkness. We’re also working on some other side projects that haven’t seen the light of day yet.
10. Rotheads comes out of Romania's Metal scene. What are your thoughts of the Metal scene in Romania?
Romania’s Metal scene is kind of weird. It has this stuck in time and space vibe to it, sort of like Darwin’s Galápagos Islands or The Lost World movie. This is great in theory because you’d think that some sort of ancient evil Metal would live here undisturbed by modern influences, but the truth is that most Metal music sounds like it’s a counterfeit version of Metal music from different eras. You’ll get your old cheesy Heavy Metal with a Metalcore spin and Industrial Power Metal, very Eastern European sounding Gothic Metal and all these other weird hybrids that you can probably find everywhere, but you’ll never hear of them because there’s actually a thriving Metal scene to pay attention to. That’s not really the case here in Romania, but at least there have been some pretty cool underground Metal festivals these last years and maybe the local scene will get a hint. To whoever’s reading this, check out Old Grave Fest in Bucharest for a lot of underground goodies
11. Who are your all-time favorite bands coming out of Romania? Are there any new bands you feel the readers should check out soon?
We’re not that big into Romanian bands and most of them just come and go. You can probably see a few shows, they’ll maybe record a couple of songs and then just fade away. We’re always interested in what’s cooking in the underground and see what people are up to these days, who’s new in the scene, maybe someone that’s worth starting a side project, things like that. A few new band worth mentioning would be Cardinal, Slicer, VVVLV and Damage Case. We are though very excited about one of our friends taking on wrestling and building a villainous necro Metal persona in the form of Iorgu Aggressor.
12. When not working on new music or band business, what do you like to do in your free time?
In a way we’re still doing musical things even when it’s not related to the band because we just really like playing and listening to music, experimenting with different genres and concepts. But other than that we enjoy reading books, playing videogames and talking a lot of shit.
13. What would you say are the five best releases and the five worst releases of 2017?
I don’t know who would care about bad releases, you just listen a bit, not like it and move on, no use making a big deal about it. 2017 has had a lot of awesome music, especially Death Metal wise. We keep talking about Undergang, Blood Incantation, Mortiferum who released an impressive demo, Tomb Mold, Spectral Voice, Cryptic Brood and we could probably go on like that, we didn’t even mention things that are not Death Metal, you know.
14. Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out. Do you have any final words for the readers?
Thanks, Patrick, for writing these questions and thank you all for reading! Hope you found these words interesting and maybe got a bit curios about our music or some of the other bands and things we’ve mentioned! Cheers!