The Metal Minute: How’s it been re-establishing the band’s identity having changed your name from Gorerotted to The Rotted? Get Dead or Die Trying under The Rotted was a nifty upgrade in technicality and a slight diversion from the blood, pus and ooze from the earlier Gorerotted albums?
Tim Carley: I formed Gorerotted with some school friends and drinking buddies in 1997 and I'm still here now that we are The Rotted. I'm the Steve Harris of the band; I'm always involved in everything from song writing, to production, to mixing and even the business side of stuff. This EP Anarchogram is the first time I've done any engineering in the studio for the band. I engineered the recording of the vocals, lead guitars and bass in my studio and took it back to James Dunkley's studio to mix. I'm really proud of it and the vocals sound fantastic. Ben (McCrow) did such a good job; these are his best vocals so far on any of our albums, I think. You asked about re-establishing the band, well, it's been hard work since starting the new band but rewarding. We got our buzz back and it's like the early days of Gorerotted all over again, loads of ideas flying around and new people in the band means fresh blood and a new outlook on stuff.
MM: While we all wait for a new full-length from The Rotted, you guys put together this independent-released Anachrogram EP. I’ve always thought EPs can go either way in terms of mass appeal: they can be looked at as contract filler or they prime and whet the appetites of a band’s followers for the next big project. As you guys took on the recording, producing and distributing responsibilities for Anachrogram, there’s hardly any contract filler accusations to be made. I understand you're no longer with Metal Blade, so tell me about getting this done on your own.
TC: We never wanted this EP to be on any label except our own. It's an old school style DIY release. We wanted to do something like we did back in the early days, when we first played in bands. It's not a contract filler or any of that bullshit; its a DIY EP made by fans of metal for fans of metal. We are selling it cheap via our website www.therotted.com. We did it to re-connect with fans of the band. After years of being on a big label like Metal Blade, it would have been all too easy to lose touch with the grass roots scene.
MM: On Anachrogram, you give us two originals, “Drink Myself to Death” and “Dawn of a New Error” along with four covers of Motorhead, Mayhem, Entombed and Sepultura. The originals rip and snort with sheer speed and grind and then you guys give of us an overview of how the vibe of these two songs came to be with your choice of covers. In a way, you give us deep insight not only to The Rotted’s influences, but a blueprint for many extreme metal bands. What are your thoughts?
TC: Yep, that's the point. We each picked a band that had personally influenced us as metal musicians. There would be no extreme metal without bands like Motorhead. Lemmy and the crew were pushing the boundaries of good taste, speed and aggression before death or black metal even existed. Like you say, our choice of covers really show people what we are about. There is a lot of old school death metal mixed with UK punk and British heavy metal. That's what we like listening to and that's what we like playing. I have no idea where these bullshit deathcore/metalcore rumours come from.
MM: (laughs) I think your Sepultura cover (“Propaganda”) was the most accurate to the original and Motorhead’s “Iron Fist” was your most “out there” redo. I always say, if you take on a cover, try and make it yours. How did you guys approach these covers and which one do you feel The Rotted best nailed to the sheets?
TC: Thats pretty true, the Sepultura one was the hardest to change but the easiest to play close to the original. It really fits Ben's vocals too. All we did with that one was speed it up a little and make it heavier. We tuned down a bit more than the original. The Motorhead one and The Mayhem one we changed a lot. We really wanted to make those songs our own. It was a challenge to take a heavy metal song and a black metal song and give them more of a death edge. It worked really well. We played "Iron Fist" every night on our last tour and the crowds loved it.
MM: In a way, it's a metalhead's "Freebird," though let's audiences 20 years from now don't yell "Irrrooooon Fiiiiist!" as a joke. Okay, this next one, I could be really misinformed, but in the UK I understand pubs aren’t quite the same as we Yanks or even the Irish would constitute a pub, i.e. English pubs are more restaurant-oriented and not really bars. Whereas you’d have to go find an actual bar to drink in, which I’ve also heard are hard to find. Maybe that's the no-man's land of Yorkshire I'm thinking of? With “Drink Myself to Death,” tell us about pub/bar life in England, what your favorite brew is and what specifically happened to trigger the title of this song?
TC: (laughs) I don't think you could be any more misinformed when it comes to UK pubs! We have so many different places to drink. I think we have the one of the biggest drinking cultures in Europe and not all of it's good, to be honest. Lots of violence in city centres on Friday and Saturday nights and people ending up in hospital. UK and Irish pubs are pretty much the same and most sell food these days just to make extra money. Since they banned smoking in pubs and the worldwide recession, it's been hard for them to stay open. If ithe pub is in a city centre it probably sells cheap food, cheap drinks, mass produced shit stuff. Then you have little independent pubs in towns and villages that will sell local food and drinks. These are the best by far if you want to get drunk on good stuff and meet friends. These are the places you find us these days, drinking strong cider and strange beers from around the country and enjoying life.
If you want to dance to shit music, take shit drugs and talk to shit people, then every city centre will have huge areas dedicated to night life: drum and bass clubs, pop music, eighties nights, rock clubs, strip clubs, gay bars, you name it. The song "Drink Myself To Death" is related to that horrible way of life in modern city centres. It's about someone removing themselves from it and living according to their own values and rules. They hate the consumer culture and they hate the cult of celebrity. This person has decided to live outside of society with a beer in his hand and watch the western world fail. The modern world is fucked; we see examples every day. 20 million people homeless in Pakistan, but what makes it into the first 4 pages of the news paper is some bullshit about some B-list sports star cheating on his wife. The world is fucked, we are fucked. Open a beer, put some metal on the stereo, sit back and watch it all fall apart!