At Moshville Times, it is frightening as to how many albums we are asked to review each day but one of the advantages of being a reviewer is discovering new bands, taking a chance on their material and getting to know the band. One such opportunity was with South Dakota-based Angerot. A band who have plied their trade in other bands since the late 80s, formed Angerot, devoting their affection to the Swedish death metal scene and, after doing my research, discovered that none other than James Murphy and Lars-Goran Petrov were guests on their debut album release The Splendid Iniquity. Not only that, but legendary producer of all things Sunlight Studios, none other than Tomas Skogsberg mixed the album. I killed everyone else who even thought of reviewing this as I knew it had to be me. This album is huge and deserves a listen to all those that love all things Swedish but also those who like their death metal with catchy songs that you can break your neck moshing to. I had the recent pleasure of interviewing vocalist/guitarist Chad, talking about the old days and how the band have new material already. Enjoy!
First of all, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for our readers at Moshville Times. Let’s start off with an easy one first and tell our readers how things with Angerot began?
Angerot has roots that stem back to 1989. We have all spent time in bands together very consistently since that time. We have all played in our area’s first death metal band, Suffer over the years. Josh, Jason and I (C.P) had recently folded our previous project, Tennessee Murder Club, just before we formed Angerot. After playing for 30 years, I personally really wanted to what I was most passionate about…early 90s death metal.
You must be extremely proud of The Splendid Iniquity as you are not only making us older fans, like me, relive the glory days but establishing a fan base with new younger fans. How have the press and the metal world accepted The Splendid Iniquity?
It’s been great all around. We solely set out to put out a record that we would have loved to hear in 1992. I feel we accomplished that very well. Press has been pretty solid, which we are very grateful for. We have been getting good feedback from old schoolers as well a lot of young people, who are not entirely familiar with the roots of 90s death metal which is fantastic. Metal has a huge need for young faces. We still have a lot of things upcoming to back the album, several videos, special edition releases and so on. We just want to get this in front of as many metalheads as we can.
How did Canadian label Black Market Metal Records get in contact with you and how has the relationship been with the label so far?
I actually reached out to them. I only contacted 8-10 labels…labels I had interest in working with. We had a great response from both larger and smaller labels, but Black Market Metal was very into what we are doing and very supportive of our approach.
It’s incredible that the first Angerot release is an album. Was there ever an intention by the band or label to release a demo or an EP first before the album to test the waters?
No. We knew exactly what we wanted to accomplish. We wanted to hold nothing back and hit it hard. We have our limitations, so we know we will have to be aggressive in other areas if we are going to leave any mark.
How often is the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio? Where do you get together and record?
We get together at least once a week. We communicate daily on all matters, marketing, planning, and writing. We do a lot of our studio work ourselves, which is helpful. We rehearse at Josh’s place.
How are the songs constructed in the studio? Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is Angerot a band where all members contribute to the songs?
We write in the same fashion that we have done since the early 90s. We write riffs individually on our own time, bring them together as a group and throw them into groups of what works best together. We then work on song structure, transitions, flow, etc. Riffs are Jason and I, but structure is worked out with everyone. All options are important and of value. We work well as a group in that way. If you aren’t contributing, you don’t belong in a band.
How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs? Do you have plans to go on bigger tours and further afield in 2018?
At this point, we have to be very selective. We have already turned down two larger tours that were simply going to result in too much time away. I own a brewery, and everyone else has a dedicated career, family and obligations that take priority. We have been lucky to get on some good shows locally, and are now pushing to do the same regionally. Time will tell what happens beyond that.
It’s very clear that you are influenced by the Swedish death metal scene, but there are also the more traditional metal elements in your songs, especially with the solos. Who was it that inspired you the most to put the air guitar in the cupboard and get a real guitar?
Man….the list is long. We are all obviously fans of the Stockholm sound, but are fans of all forms of metal. We are actually currently working on an upcoming EP that will really give a proper nod to a fair amount of our influences.
There seems to be a resurgence of old school aesthetics and releasing cassette versions of EP/albums. Is this something that you see yourselves doing with The Splendid Iniquity?
Possibly. We did release the last Suffer on cassette in 2015…but I think it is more novelty than anything else really. We do produce a lot of merch…so it isn’t out of the question for sure.
Talking of being old school, how did you manage to recruit guest musicians and legends of the scene Lars Goran Petrov and James Murphy? Being veterans of the scene yourselves that must have been a dream come true to have them add their magic to your songs?
It was a huge honour. Both of them are icons….and both were great to work with. I have known James for several years and I asked to be a part before the band was even in the studio. He is incredibly talented and very supportive of what we do. LG was a connection through beer. I have been friends with Victor Brandt for a few years as he is a huge beer fan and I own Hydra Beer Company, a brewery that is 100% metal focused. I asked LG would be interested and gave them some pre-production tracks to show that we weren’t hacks…and there you have it. Fredrik Folkare tracked his vocals in Sweden and was amazing to work with. Very good experience all around. We had several other guests lined up…but the hurricane in Florida ended much of that. So, we have several different guests lined up for the next release. To us, it just brings things full circle.
Another highlight of the album for me was the sound. Recorded at Underground Studios, how did you manage to have another legend of the scene Tomas Skogsberg at the iconic Sunlight Studios to mix your album and how was it to work with him?
Tomas is amazing. I messaged him and spoke to him in depth on who we are, our roots, past bands, and goals with The Splendid Iniquity. He seemed to completely understand, and proved it in his work. It felt very natural, like this was how it was meant to be. He invented the sound we strive for, and really helped us deliver that analogue sound with a modern mix.
So what are the plans with the rest of 2018? Is there a chance of more material?
Yes. We will be doing a limited edition release on vinyl with a bunch of extra goodies including an unreleased bonus track. We are also headlong into writing for an upcoming EP. We will record a second EP at the same time that will be a bit of a surprise.
How hard is it for an extreme metal band like Angerot to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band?
Well, it depends on how you look at it. We like to approach the band as professionally as we can, however throwing pies in the wind and doing endless touring is not possible for us. We are selective and thoughtful on everything we do…we have to be. We are fortunate that we are selling well online as well as at the show we do. I think so many bands get sucked into that void of touring that they lose themselves. As much as I hate the internet…it is powerful and can connect you with fans worldwide if you use it properly.
Being from South Dakota, it’s not really well known outside of the local scene bands that are alive and playing there. Are there any other bands from your local scene that you would recommend?
There is, and always has been, a lot of metal here since the mid 80s. Oppress the Tyrant is another great South Dakota metal band. Western South Dakota is home to the Stigion Rites crew, Exalted Woe and a great black metal scene.
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?
- Entombed – Clandestine
- Bolt Thrower – Honor, Valor, Pride
- Carcass – Symphonies of Sickness
- Godflesh – Streetcleaner
- And to bring the dance mode…Naked City – Torture Garden
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Be true, know your roots, and age gracefully.
The Splendid Iniquity is out now through Black Market Metal Records