Interview by Santtu “Rebel” Kaskela
So honored to have this chance to talk with You. How are You doing ?
All good here my friend, busy as hell but something good is being creating…
I just love to learn some facts from the past. Would You tell me and everyone who’s reading this the story behind ROTTING CHRIST ?
So loooong story almost 30 years ago before everything started back in late 80’s. We first listened to Venom, Hellhammer and Bathory. We looked each other in the eye’s and we said “Holy fuck” we realized that we wanted to have our own band and sound like this! We wanted to create our own HELL! and we called it Rotting Christ…simple as that!
How was the metal scene in Greece back in 80s, mainstream vs underground, and what kind of reactions and comments did You get after Your first shows and releases ?
Quite hectic with some shows and some mainstream Metal music, nothing special at least we had some good friends that we together like a punch help create a new underground community. Some feel that started all in Greece. We are proud that we were starting something that became united and strong later on…As for the reaction you can guess that was…bad and not supporting but we didn’t care. We knew that we were doing something powerful…and that gave us strength to go on.
Black Metal has that specific reputation, mostly thanks to “second wave” coming mostly from Norway, a fan or a musician is always violent, sacrifices animals, burns different buildings, drinks blood, looks like psychotic raccoon holding different kind of weapons high, worships … etc stupid stereotypes… How would You describe black metal and people who just love it?
I can describe them as explorers of a new musical dimension away from any kind of trends and prototypes. Lucifer’s children!
After 3 decades of extreme aggression, 12 albums, touring around the world, fans everywhere, some difficulties, changes in bands lineup, making Your way to the top of Extreme/Black Metal. How would You describe Your journey so far ?
As a mission! Simple as that!Not a journey but a mission to fight for NON SERVIAM. Otherwise I couldn’t imagine myself endure too much of sacrifices.
Tell us a little about Your songwriting process, do You work as a team, a well-oiled machine, or is someone(s) in charge and where do You get all the ideas, inspiration and Your lyrical themes ?
Since day one I am the person that writes the music and creating the new musical parts of the band. So don’t ask me why it Just happened! it takes me a lot of time to do that and when I finish up I’ll pass my music and a lot of times the lyrics to the band and we record.
You’re definitely not just a traditional black metal band who keeps giving everyone same stuff year after year… Any particular reasons You’ve changed Your way of making music several times during Your career ?
We are troubled guys that never rest with the same order and we always look for some new dimensions into our precious dark music.
Can’t even imagine life is just dark, brutal, angry, frustrated, bitter, living only with/for Metal 24/7. How do You relax and just take it easy and get away for awhile… Or do You ?
I am glad that I have my two daughters that relax me…otherwise I get no relax at all…I can because I will fall in depression…by doing nothing!
During these years… What has been the most memorable, positive, rewarding moments and maybe some moments no one wants to remember anymore ? Has everything (or nothing) gone as You planned back in 80s ?
Too much to be mentioned my friend. Actually I have some plans to write a book of memories especially for those that were not recorded somewhere and I am referring to times before the digital eras…I could definitely change quite a lot of things if I could but I learned in my life that if something doesn’t kill us it makes us stronger…
When coming to Your show, what do we have to prepare ourselves for ?
For atmospheric dark music that is performed by four raging Metal Heads.
You just released Your first compilation album, “Their Greatest Spells”, start Your next tour soon and the best years are still to come, we (the fans) have seen nothing yet and nothing will slow You down… How does the future look like for Rotting Christ ?
You are currently passing our most productive and active period of our time!Weird ehhh?
After 30 years we are still alive in the scene and I feel that we are giving our best face in all our entire “careers” because this is a mission my friend…till the end We will keep the spirit alive and we wish to have our health in a good situation in order to give our best! till the end!
Any last words (not literally) to people who are reading this, the Family of MHF, Your fans and Your soon-to-be fans ?
NON SERVIAM brothers!
MHF Magazine/Santtu “Rebel” Kaskela