TEARS OF DECAY, the sons of the land of storm and saltwater, the East Frisian strongholds of harsh Death Metal are part of a new brutal 5 – way clash called “Split Yourself”. I was really glad to get a sign of life from that death squad and thirsted for some answers from the leader of the pack, Mr. Deichkot himself! And here it is:
Hello Micha, how is it going between shortage of money and shortage of good beer?
Hi, yes it´s all fine, lots of work, little money, no spare time and about good beer, don´t even mention it. I´m still a liquid teetotaler! Beer and shows function properly as always. Last week we have played in Bremen with a band called LEFT HAND PATH. Next will be EVOCATION in Aurich, EAR TERROR FEST, than MORBID ANGEL & BENIGHTED. Yes it is going nicely, I would say.
What are you guys up to at the moment, I mean apart from giving porn to school kids?
Hey, you know I have a little daughter, I want have questions like that … she push the shit for me, of course. Nope, joke apart. We have still the same problems. We live too far away from each other, all have jobs, partly families and by now we all play in other bands too (except Steffen) or other hobbies, that we would like implement. And we don´t want to break up with the band, of course. We are in the game since 1997 and had only one lineup change, we’re just a band of brothers. Henne, our guitar player, has married that year and I was the groomsman. Nice boozy session, above all the stag party.
It seems TEARS OF DECAY had fallen asleep in the last years. What is up man? Is the air too thin in Eastern Friesland? I thought Emden would be a metropolis!
As I told you, thanks to the fact we don´t live together and the vocational and family situation of each of us, we are short of time, to do something new. Only Steffen and I inhale the marvelous East Frisian air, the others live in Hamburg, Bremen and Delmenhorst. But we were not idle, we have already finished the drum parts for the upcoming album “Suicide Dimension”. It only lasted 4 years yet, in 2020 we will got the whole thing! Next year we really want to release it and play more shows. The East Frisian isles Borkum, Norderney , Baltrum and above all Memmert (birds – island) have to be destroyed, musically!
Ok, tell me something about the just released split cd!
Yeah, the „Split Yourself“ cd was a idea of Leif. This guy is such a Death Metal lunatic and he released the CARNAGE zine. Meanwhile he does not do it anymore, but he is still active in the scene and he moved from Bremen to Berlin. We have the same comprehension about “Underground” and the commercialization of the scene. And so he had the idea to put together some good German Death/Grind bands and release their shit. We are buddies and from that point of view it was our obligation being part of it. Furthermore you´ll find on it CEREBRIC TRUMOIL from Berlin, JOHNSTON from Bremen, FETOCIDE from Oldenburg and VERY WICKED from Wolfsburg. We have taken our promo songs from 2007 and Pluto Mega Wimp Sound) has mastered it. Awesome sauce!
Are you not afraid to drown on a 5-way split?
Nope, why should we. We have no neuroses or shit like that. If anything, than we are happy to hold a new release in our hands. Our songs never saw the daylight before, so it is more than just ok for us. We see us as part of the Death Metal family. As far as I´m concerned, I like that sort of split stuff , you can check it out and when you like it, you can contact the band.
The title “Split Yourself” sounds characteristic for … whatever. How would you interpret it?
Well, the name giving was not an easy act, we consider about it for a time. But in any mail that name pop up and we all were satisfied with it and here it is. So it don´t stand for something, I would say. But it sounds delicious and put it in a nutshell.
Are you a bunch of German bands who commiserate each other and that’s the reason why you release the split cd?
Yes exactly, we hope to get the big dough with it finally. I mean if we sell each for 5 Euro, we can quit our jobs an emigrate to Memmert, that much is clear. Otherwise we knew that a single band has no chance, only united we are strong, or something like that, ha ha. We have not thought about it long time, Leif asked we agreed.
Maybe I have to ask in another way. What motivations keeps you going?
My personally motivation is just love to music and the people you meet, who connected with it. You meet freak on every occasion, who are confused in the same way like you and lots of new cool shit get released again and again. The new BENIGHTED this year is my personal highlight. To see it from the point of a band, we have still fun together making music, and with the bad jokes we make among us. When it finally comes to rehearse, we prattle nonsense for 2 hours, but constructive, we attach great importance to that!
You last album lies in the fog of grey prehistory. Can you still believe in the band?
Yes, sure we believe in us. We don’t want to earn money with our shit after all. We just dig into Death/Grind stuff and that’s what we want to play and I love it making music with my buddies. Surely it is partly frustrating to visit an festival without even playing. Had we go through with “Saprophyt” back in 2002, maybe some bigger festivals had been possible. But we are no sissies. Hey, we have played with NASUM at FUCK THE COMMERCE, what do you want more!
Why actually you never released a full length again? Are you still waiting for the return of Cudgel?
Yes, the end of the record label „Cudgel“ is a great pity, because we talked the same language. One of the guys, Besen” pulled out oneself before fortunately, and he is still active with a new label. And Jens found accommodation at War Anthem Records, what we are glad about. And how I mentioned above, we will release our new album next year, and we will see if we get a label or not. Otherwise we do it single handedly, or Dieter Bohlen is producing us.
You don’t seem to play many live shows. Don’t you have enough time for that? Could you manage being on the road more often anyway?
It’s a question of time playing a tour and above all to rehearse before. First let’s record the cd and then the shows will follow. This year we will play the EAR TERROR FEST yet, and that’s it. Anytime we want to do new things. I truly miss the stage, that’s why I have formed my other band LEFT HAND PATH and we play a lot in Northern Germany and The Netherlands. Next year we will do an album with that band definitely.
By playing just a handful of shows per year, you’ll never become rock stars! Do you want to live at your parents’ until you’re 50, collecting social welfare? But honestly, wouldn’t it be great to play support for a big tour in Germany for a few days (of course that’s a bit expensive nowadays)?
Well I would like to play a tour for 14 days or so, but one thing we would never do. We would never pay for a tour. We take no stock in these, that’s dissents our principles. But to live with my mum isn’t the worst, fortunately in 12 years I´m going to be 50 , can move out and join the ” Emden Shanty Choir” finally, yeah! We have already passion, but if you are away from the surface, such a long time like us, you can´t expect too much. Of course it would be cool to tour with BENIGHTED, ORIGIN or CRYPTOPSY.
Today it’s kind of hard to be noticed. Are there too many similar bands blocking the scene? Do we need another wave of band break-ups like in the nineties?
Yes, you are right, by now the marked is saturated and overcrowded, but we as band do not bother with thoughts like that. So it can happen that you fall through the cracks. You need a strong label at the back to get the right attention, but we don’t need it. It’s enough when we can play some shows. Similar to you I write for a magazine and because of the vast number of new releases I lose my nerves sometimes. But I like it, that Old School Death Metal is coming back currently. But the number of bands in general bugs, however who shall ban it? You don’t have to buy
everything. The bigger problem is the frequency of concerts. Some day you will have less of visitors and that means less of organizer, less of labels and less of bands. Don’t mind if it happened, everyone can do what he wants. It’s hard to say, if we need a cut.
How do you see the metal, grind and whatever movement personally? Enthusiastic, sobering…?
I´m still on fire as well as the scene and the music itself. I don’t believe that it will be change in the near future. Here in Eastern Friesland a lot has happened, with bands and with shows. Meanwhile we can book major bands like DISBELIEF, EVOCATION etc. It precedes, we don’t have to ride thus far to visit some shows. Huisi, a fellow of mine leads AH Entertainment and he booked bands in Bremen, Oldenburg and Leer such as DEICIDE, KATAKLYSM, VOMITORY, MISERY INDEX. And there are enough festivals. But I´m pissed off that after FUCK THE COMMERCE the DEATH FEAST has gone too. Apart from that I try to get my old cadaver everywhere where I can bang my head.
Do you like it to play with the stereotypes (lyrics) of brutal metal or are you real Gorelunatics? Or what are your songs about? Does brutal music need songs about rape, dismemberment etc? . How serious do you take them? Why are jokes with sex and violence in the focus of many bands? Don´t get me wrong, I like it and I´m old enough to see humor if I find him.
As far as I´m concerned everyone can sing what he wants. The times where you had to sing about death and zombie flicks have been gone long ago. I prefer sociocritical and philosophical lyrics. Sartre has a big influence and I deal with existential philosophy, but also with “celestial burial” in Tibet. The church is a topic too so ever and the human by itself. I don’t like it too dull, but this is my subjective perception. I really like it, if others sing about horror etc, or tease themselves, like CANNABIS CORPSE or something. I don’t know borders, except right or left wing extremist crap and child porn.
What was the most horrifying experience during/after a show?
After the show, I don’t know. At GAHLEN MOSHT my trouser button flies away and I had to hike up my slacks the whole time. Not funny! At our first gig, a guitar string from Hennes´ guitar demolished and he don’t had a second guitar. So he had to restring and I had to entertain the crowd. Has been horrible, anyway. But basically it has shown that we can have a lot of fun on stage and we can share it with the people.
Tell me about the EAR TERROR Fest, in that you are involved I think, give me some historic details and what about the 2011 edition?
Yes, the EAR TERROR fest takes place for the 11. time, always on the 2. weekend in November. The first edition was organized from Mike from ANASARCA but for the second edition I´m on board and since the 3. I did it all alone. But this year Mike is back. The festival shall be a little tidbit for Death/Grind/Thrash fans. We have local acts as well as bands from other countries. The mixture is important. Because of the fact that we have more shows in the local area, I can raise the amount of foreign bands. We have 4 bands every evening but without the help of the youth centre “Alte Post Emden” it would not possible. They furnish civilian employee, food, beverages and the PA above all. I have to pay the bands and the man behind the mixer unit. The show lives from the entrance, from what nothing left on the end. Therefore it is a nonprofit event. Bizarrely I have bad luck with canceled bands every year but we had a lot of cool stunner too: SINISTER, PYAEMIA, DEADBORN, AGATHOCLES, DEPRESSION and so on. It is just a underground based widget. This year we booked REQUIEM as headliner and build the whole promotion on that. But the booking agency fucked up and so they are unable to come. It’s non profitable to come for only one show from Switzerland and I quiet understand it. Fortunately my buddies from PURGATORY pick up the slack, and that’s more than just a replacement, definite! I also could book the DEMONICAL tour and so we have the following billing:
Friday; FALLEN SAINTS, TRUTH OF BLOOD, TEARS OF DECAY, PURGATORY
Saturday; SLYTRACT (Hungary), VOLTURYON (Sweden), WEAK ASIDE and DEMONICAL(Sweden). Sounds not bad, I think. We expect 100 – 150 visitors and if it become more we would be lucky. It’s always like a family gathering and it will drunk a lot, that’s East Friesland!
Time for the swan song, your last wisdoms please!
Swansong = Carcass = Good bye. Thanx for the interview, we see us on one or another show. Keep an eye of the East Friesian scene and visit your local shows. We have a lot of awesome bands in our latitudinal lines, who have deserved it to get recognition. Death Metal will never die!