Interview with Wormrot (Singapore)

Posted: September 30, 2011 in Interviews
Tags: , , ,

[Originally interviewed for KtmROCKS E-Mag Issue 09]

So the Singaporean grindcore specialists Wormrot have greeted the world with yet another brilliant album “Dirge” a couple of months ago, and which has already burst a lot of balls throughout the globe. Here’s an interview with the band’s founding members, Arif (vocals) and Rasyid Juraimi (guitar).

Greetings from the Himalayas, yo! Firstly, I would like to congratulate Wormrot for the amazing worldwide response on your new album “Dirge”, which many would consider to be one of the best grindcore releases of this year already. So let me start with this: how would you define ‘grindcore’ yourself? And how would you define Wormrot?

Rasyid: Right now, I would say grindcore is a bastard child of punk and metal with less limitation. I would say Wormrot is a band that plays catchy tunes at a faster BPM.

So how did the band come into existence?

Arif: Wormrot started out as a death-grind project formed by me on vocals and Acit (Septikaemia, Hellghast) on drums. We took in Halim (Arbitrary Element, Cardiac Necropsy) to fill in the bass. I met an old high school friend Rasyid who had just completed his national service (2007) by a chance meeting through a mutual friend and was invited to try out on the guitars. A couple of jamming sessions followed yet we couldn’t find a comfortable stride. Rasyid and I decided to go on our own to form a grindcore band, retaining Wormrot as the band name. Fitri was a friend of mine in camp while we were in our national service. He fitted the empty drum slot comfortably. And hence was our current line-up positioned.

Hey, when I first heard the band name, I thought you guys would sing something on gore and disembowelments and necrophilia and stuffs, but you actually sing about… you know, some other things on life. I mean do the lyrical themes have anything to do with the world around, the society and politics pissing you off for some reason?

Arif: The lyrics are always about my own personal issues. We don’t have any hidden messages through our songs. Just a warning to assholes around the world not to fuck with us or rather me. We’re not a political band. Rarely would I incorporate the army negativity into our songs but at the same time making it humorous amongst the degrading words. Lyrical ideas will never fade. Personally, I’ve experienced tons of shit that are most likely to contribute to the theme.

I very much would like to stick the band’s style with that of Insect Warfare or Kill the Client. So what made you guys ending up with generating some no-bullshit, straightforward grindcore sound?

Rasyid: It actually came naturally to us. Like I said before, we just wanna play some catchy and easy-to-listen riffs. Simple aggressive music.

Tell us what you guys dig more personally – hardcore or death metal?

Rasyid: I’m going with hardcore. I never ‘get’ death metal.

Arif: All of the above. I can’t really say which one I prefer the most. Basically I listen to everything. Although I’m leaning more towards grind and powerviolence these days.

Well, there’s no bass in the band’s music and I came to know it was on purpose. Anyway, do you think you guys would hire someone on bass anytime in future?

Rasyid: NO!

Arif: 3 is a crowd.

Talking about your current record label, how did Earache Records first find you? Were you guys surprised or something at first to have known Digby Pearson, the label’s owner, was actually very impressed with the band?

Arif: Pretty much shocked actually. We were looking for a label to release our second album and we did ask some labels but we didn’t approach Earache cause we didn’t think they would be interested anyway. So when Digby himself messaged us in Myspace, I was refreshing the page a lot of times not believing what just happened. We could not believe it!

Well, and let me tell you that the music videos of songs “Spot a Pathetic” and “Erased Existence” you released in past couple of months were fucking amazing. I really liked the concepts. Anything on this? How was their making process like?

Arif: Both videos were recorded live in one of the shows during our US tour this year at The Blvd in LA. Earache and Dave, the videographer, did a tremendous job in coordinating for both videos.

Considering that an average Wormrot song lengths below one minute, how long does it take to write a song? How’s the songwriting process like?

Rasyid: It depends dude, sometimes it took less than 10 mins to write a good song, sometimes it took us 6 hours sparingly to come up with an ok song. For “Dirge”, we came into the studio with basically nothing, sometimes I didn’t even have a standby riff to play. It was really a ‘starting from nothing’ process.

Oh, that must have been a crazy experience then. Well, you guys have recently played your shows in US and Europe. How was the whole feel playing in those parts of the globe? How do those gigs differ from the usual Wormrot gigs in south-east Asia?

Rasyid: Actually we suffered from the ‘just another local band’ stigma (in Singapore), until we gained exposure from our touring, and recently, our signing to Earache. Maybe it shows that “hey we’re fucking serious and we’re here to make a difference”. We’ve been getting better attendance numbers in our recent gigs than our early years, definitely. Singapore’s a conservative crowd, but more and more are throwing their inhibitions on the moshpits.

How much have you noticed, in your career till now, that Asian bands are often overlooked by the metal world at other corners of the world?

Rasyid: It’s a sad unjust fact, but it’s not gonna change. We know, and have seen, many quality bands in Asia, but the spotlights are shining too brightly on the other side of the world that they are contented with what they have there. And unfortunately, people in Asia are tuning in to the West much more than they bother about what’s under their noses, contributing to the ‘just another local band’ stigma.

“Just another local band” stigma? Talking about it, I came to know the local bands in Singapore are often overlooked by the crowd there (bands playing in front of ten), while they agree paying even very big amounts to catch international groups live. Is it so?

Rasyid: Yes, it is and it’s common, nothing’s gonna change. That’s why we’re playing more shows in the US and UK. Sometimes you just wonder “why should I ever give a fuck about the Singapore scene”, and the answer lies in those 10 people watching the shows. That is a good enough reason.

That’s a great thing to hear, man. What are you guys’ day jobs by the way?

Rasyid: Right now I’m a driver in a furniture company.

Arif: I’m a freelance artist doing artworks for bands and I can be reached at my website ‘Rotworks’ (http://www.rotworks.net).

So what’s ahead of this, yo? I guess it’s too early to ask but when could we expect another Wormrot release?

Rasyid: FUCK OFF! NOT SO SOON! By the way, thanks for the interview dude!

Arif: A new one? Hahaha! Won’t be too soon brother. Thanks for the interview.

Thanks for the interview, guys. And all the best for everything that’s ahead.

You could check out more about the band through the following links:
http://myspace/wormrotgrind
http://facebook.com/wormrot
http://twitter.com/wormrot
http://wormrot.tumblr.com

– Interviewed by Awaken/The Sickening Art

Comments
  1. […] Despite tackling a lot of social issues, in an interview for The Sickening Art you described yourselves as not a political band. Why don’t you see yourselves as a political […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s