For all of you who read my review of the 7”EP “Silence Equals Death” from CORRUPT can understand why I decided to do an interview with them. For me they are simply a great newcomer band, a bunch of young guys playing some kind of oldschool Thrash Metal with a lot of energy taking influences from bands like MERCILESS, SLAYER, SODOM, KREATOR and SEPULTURA. Forget all these modern sounding so-called Thrash Metal bands, this is the real shit!!! I would even go one step further and say that CORRUPT are the better MERCILESS now. Well, better than MERCILESS’ last album. Can you agree on that Frank? (absolutely! – Frank) Enough said, enjoy the cool answers from Micael and support a band with the right attitude!!
Greetings Micael and welcome to Voices From The Darkside. How are you doing?
Cheers! I’m doing just fine. Just finished dinner over here so I’m practically just relaxing and enjoying my own company. How about yourself? (Just doing fine, thanks! I’m listening to some old UNCANNY stuff and enjoying it a lot!! – Thomas)
Any important news about CORRUPT you want to share with us at first?
Not really, actually. Nothing of great importance anyway… We’re in the writing process of our first full-length album, but it is still much to go before we have a complete set of songs. Also, I’ve finished a design for a CORRUPT t-shirt print, but when this piece will be printed and available I really don’t know.
You started in 2002 under the name CORRUPTED, what was your intention when you formed your band and why did you choose this name?
When I (Micael) and Joseph started the band we were in the same period in life musically; starting to really appreciate the excellence of oldschool Thrash Metal. At this time we also found little to none bands carrying on the traditions of the 80s, at least not in Sweden. So we decided to start making our own tunes, that in our minds would be a blend of the German, Brazilian and American Thrash scene, and we gathered under the name CORRUPTED. Why we chose this name was because we thought it’d fit both the kind of music we wanted to play, and the lyrical themes we wanted to have.
I would call your musicstyle oldschool Thrash Metal. How would you define it and what was the reason to play such a “unpopular” form of Metal from today’s point of view? Don’t you think you could have an easier existence with a more modern sound?
It’s always difficult to put bands into different categories, and where they end up depends on the individual, but I would just as you define our music as oldschool Thrash Metal. Some would rather say “Thrash / Death”, and that makes sense to some extend because we all listen to and get influenced by oldschool Death as much as Thrash. But, in my opinion “oldschool Thrash” says it all. We play what we play because we consider oldschool Metal to be the way it was intended to be played. Adaptations of this way only occur for commercial purposes, to find a broader audience, and that is certainly not a matter of CORRUPT’s concern.
Your first releases were the “Lethal Anger” and the “Shotgun Death” demo. What do you think about them now and what can you tell about the existing 5 copies (Haha!!)?
Actually I don’t even have a copy of the “Shotgun Death” demo recordings, not even on my computer. That really sucks, because I really can’t remember how it sounded (else than it was kind of messy, hehe). Those two first releases were never something we put our effort in to distribute or sell. We just wanted to record, that’s all. And we never had more time than like two days to get the whole thing done, so it was bound to sound…bad.
Why did you use the words “Shotgun Death” as domain for your homepage www.shotgundeath.tk?
Well, the domain “www.corrupt.tk” was already taken and we wanted to have a homepage, so we had to go for something else. And by this time the “Shotgun Death” demo was our latest release so, why not? Nowadays it may sound a little awkward because there’s been quite a change in the band’s lyrical subjects, but hey, who cares? It’s just a homepage domain name. I’ll change it when I get around to it.
“Destroyed Beyond Recognition” was the next release in 2003 and this seems to be your first release for the crowd? How was the response for it?
According to the reviews we got, people more or less liked it. At the time we didn’t know what labels to send the demo to, so we just mailed them to zines. I really can’t estimate how good the response were among people in general, because I haven’t got a clue of how much copies we sold. Maybe around 50-75 copies or something. There’s been different opinions about the vocals on "Destroyed Beyond Recognition", since it is more harsh (some refer to it as more Black Metal but I don’t really agree with that) than our latter releases. Personally I like it, it adds a little extra to the “first release-feeling”, but it’s better now than it was before!
Next was the “Born Of Greed” demo which is also available as a free download as far as I know (that’s at least how I got it). Is it correct that this is the demo you were the most satisfied with so far?
"Born Of Greed" is indeed up for grabs at www.metalhordes.com, and yes we were satisfied, in the beginning at least. When I listen to it nowadays I can’t but wonder what the hell we were thinking about when we chose that drum sound. It’s so totally awful. Otherwise I like it, good songs all three of them, and ‘Human Wreckage’ is still a given song in our live set.
With this release you also changed the name to the shorter form CORRUPT as there are at least 2 other CORRUPTED around. Are you satisfied with your name change?
Yes, absolutely. In a way it feels more original, and that’s not only because of the other bands called CORRUPTED. I believe it has more to do with the new logo Bünger from NECROVATION designed for us. It’s unique in a way, and yet simple – like the best logos should be! The CORRUPTED logo was more punkish, similar in style to THE CASUALTIES (and dozens of other Punk bands for that matter). Not very original and moreover not fit for the music we play. So yes, we’re satisfied.
How many copies of your demos did you sell and why did you stop distributing them?
I have no idea about the number of "Born Of Greed" copies sold either I’m afraid. First we released it as a CD-R and made them on request so we didn’t keep count. When ZOMBIE RITUAL (= BLOOD HARVEST = Rodrigo) wanted to release it on tape we decided to stop making the CD-R’s, because they simple wasn’t necessary anymore. The music sounds better on tape! First pressing on tape was 50 copies and they’re sold out now I believe. There is a second pressing though, available through BLOOD HARVEST / ZOMBIE RITUAL’s distro: http://bloodharvest.se/catalog/
You spread your “Born Of Greed” demo through www.metalhordes.com and you also have a pretty frequently visited myspace-page (www.myspace.com/66300665). Guess you are pretty satisfied with the internet-community and the possibility a band can take out of this, aren’t you?
I have never been that active on www.metalhordes.com, I used it mostly to upload songs for people to download. Would like to give them much credit though, their site is surely appreciated by underground Metal bands all over the world. It was the same thing with Myspace at first, used it mostly to keep our music online. But when people, zines and labels began to make contact I realised how big it is and how many who actually uses it as a source to find music. It has indeed been great for CORRUPT, and from a personal point of view I also appreciate it because I’ve found a lot of great bands thanks to Myspace.
What do you think about this whole myspace-movement?
What’s so great about Myspace is that it’s not only a place for bands, but for individuals and different “groups” as well. It gathers both bands without record deals who want to spread their tunes, and people who want to find new music that might not be very well distributed. It’s a real favour to the underground and I hope people take advantage of that!
In your biography you wrote that you are mainly influenced by old Thrash Metal bands like SLAYER, SEPULTURA, KREATOR or SADUS. Well, I hear a huge MERCILESS-influence, too! Tell something about your influences?
KREATOR, SODOM, SEPULTURA etc was the source of inspiration when we first started making music, and it still is. But the list of bands we’re inspired by could be a mile long, and MERCILESS (and also HYPNOSIA) are among them for sure. I find it rather unnecessary to list each and every band though, because the whole idea of namedropping is mainly for people to get an idea of how we sound, and with the above mentioned I think we got that pretty well covered.
What do you think about the plan of SODOM to re-record the classic “In The Sign Of Evil” new again?
I haven’t heard about it actually, but I don’t see the reason why – they won’t be able to do it any better. Guess they just want to make it more appealing to modern Metal fans. It’s sad to see all these once great Metal bands doing just about anything to find a new audience, trying to adapt to new conditions. I can understand them, they want to continue to be on top and sell records, but it is sad none the less.
I read in an interview that you are also pretty influenced by CORONER. How does it come that a band like you is mostly influenced by these old bands instead of newer ones like MACHINE HEAD and similar ones?
We’re influenced by bands we like, there’s actually not much more to it. The four of us have very different taste but that’s not a problem, because we all know what we think fit in CORRUPT. We all agree on playing oldschool Metal, and therefore are bands like MACHINE HEAD not an influence to us.
A band like MERCILESS never really made it, still they receive a lot of respect from fans worldwide. If you had the choice would you prefer to become a cultact like MERCILESS or either a band with huge success like IN FLAMES or SOILWORK? This might be a stupid question but to be honest, not each one wants to be as big as they are!!
If you want to be famous and sell like IN FLAMES and SOILWORK you have to play like them as well, and we don’t, so we’ve pretty much made our choice. We play because we like it, and releasing vinyl on small labels is just as we want it to be. We have no aim of becoming neither famous nor cult, all we hope for is that people who like oldschool Thrash appreciate what we’re doing and believe us to be something more than just a 80’s tribute band. And it would be good if we continue to get our releases sold out so we can keep on releasing stuff, heh.
I just have to ask you this question: do you know the Swedish band CHRONIC DECAY which released a great 7”EP in ’89 called “Ecstasy Of Pain”. I like(d) them a lot and besides MERCILESS I had to think on them when I heard your songs for the first time.
Haven’t heard I’m afraid, but sure as hell would. It’s a shame that it is more or less impossible to get hold of those old and rare releases.
Your guitarist Olof plays also in ENFORCER. What do you think about that and how do you arrange the priorities?
ENFORCER is awesome, and it’s cool to see that they’ve become popular so fast. Olof have no need to make priorities most of the time, because CORRUPT isn’t as active as ENFORCER, partly because of me living in another town than the rest. And when priorities need to be done we can always sort it out, one way or the other. So far our gigs haven’t collided, so we’ll have to wait and see.
I think he takes this band very serious, and I read that ENFORCER will play on the 9th KEEP IT TRUE Festival here in Germany. I think this is great, but don’t you think this could cause problems for the future of the band CORRUPT?
No, I don’t really see any problem besides that I am a little jealous, hehe. I’m just happy for Olof, because he’s obviously very talented, and sure knows how to make some great oldschool tunes. He deserves it all.
Are there other members involved in sideprojects, too?
Yes, I believe we all have our own things to keep us busy. Joseph is in the singer /s ongwriter game, Tobias plays Rock’n’Roll in the vein of the 60s in his band THE SWEETHEARTS and I handle the drums in a Hardcore Punk band called BLAST. There are lots of more bands featuring CORRUPT members as well, such as I ABSTAIN (Grindcore) and the Death Metal band CRAPULENCE to mention a few.
How did you get in touch with Blood Harvest Records and what do you think about this label and the job they’re doing?
We got in touch with BLOOD HARVEST through our companions NECROVATION, who we’d become acquainted with through festivals and the internet. I believe it was their idea to make a split and because of their history with a 7” release on BLOOD HARVEST they contacted Rodrigo of the same to check if it was ok. So we owe NECROVATION big time. In my opinion Rodrigo is doing a really great work with his labels, supporting the underground scene and giving fans an opportunity to buy actual releases instead of homemade tapes and CD-Rs. He also plays a crucial role in the distribution of the releases, without him there wouldn’t have been many copies sold of our EP. The underground scenes depend very much on the DIY-labels, and if you ask me BLOOD HARVEST is the most important one if you’re talking oldschool Death Metal in Sweden.
Your first vinyl release for them was the split EP “Curse Of The Subconscious” with NECROVATION. Tell something about it!
Well, it’s a 7” vinyl, our debut release on BLOOD HARVEST, consisting of one own track per band, and one cover. We did ‘Curse Of The Pharaohs’ by MERCYFUL FATE and NECROVATION did ‘My Dark Subconscious’ originally by the old Swedish Death Metal act MORBID. When I and Seb of NECROVATION discussed the release, we thought it would be cool to concentrate on the covers, and name the split “Curse Of The Subconscious” which is a mix of the two covers’ names. The artwork was made by Nathaniel Colas, the same guy who did NECROVATION’s “Chants Of Grim Death” (and part-time Voices contributor – Frank).
Why did you and NECROVATION decide to put one cover each on this EP and who came up with the idea? Why did you choose a track (and especially this track) from MERCYFUL FATE (I can tell you that I really like your version of ‘Curse Of The Pharaoh’, and covering MERCYFUL FATE is definitely not easy)?
As I said above we wanted to concentrate on the covers because we thought it’d be a cool concept for a split. Why we chose ‘Curse Of The Pharaohs’ was simply because it’s an amazing track, with the most ripping Heavy Metal-riff of all time, and that we maybe could do it a little different than MERCYFUL FATE themselves. Hopefully we made it.
I know this fantastic ‘Kill Again’ cover (SLAYER) from you, too. It seems that you really like to play covertunes. In your biography I also read of a ‘Blasphemer’ version which you put on your first demo. Which covers do you usually play and which are the ones you like the most?
I don’t know about that, we actually used to do more covers before. It feels kind of natural to try on covers when you’re in the early days of a band, when you’re trying to find your style and so on. But we still play covers live of course, and a favourite of ours is ‘Violence & Force’ by EXCITER (yessss – Frank). We also used to do ‘Ausgebombt’ by SODOM a few years back, but we skipped that one cause we never made it tight live, hehe.
Coming back to this split EP, what do you think about the other band NECROVATION? Any word about the cover of MORBID’s ‘My Dark Subconscious’?
NECROVATION is one of Sweden’s greatest acts nowadays, with a sound that knows no comparison. I truly look forward to their full-length album soon to be released by BLOOD HARVEST, since they haven’t released anything since the split. And besides their music they’re nice and reasonable gentlemen, not nearly as mean as they sound, hehe. I really dig their cover, even though I can’t say I’m a fan of MORBID (not that I wouldn’t like them, I just haven’t been listening to them that much).
After that you released your 7”EP “Silence Equals Death”. Please lose some words about it!
“Silence Equals Death” was our own 7” EP, released in the spring of 2006. It contained 4 at the time new and unreleased songs, but we actually had plans to release the song ‘Profit’s Prevailed’ along with a rerecording of the ‘Born Of Greed’-track on another release, but it never happened. Of the four songs on the EP ‘State Of Fear’ is the only one we’re not really satisfied with, and therefore don’t do live. Just as the former releases we recorded it in Olof’s Hvergelmer studio (which at the time were in Olof’s basement) and I guess we finished it on a week altogether. Don’t know much more to tell actually. I know there is a “promo” version of the EP out on cassette, released by FINAL PUNISHMENT records. Haven’t seen it around though.
I think it’s your best release so far and I think it’s a pity that it’s already sold out? Have you plans to re-release it probably on CD?
Thank you, I agree. Yeah, it’s a pity and I hope BLOOD HARVEST will re-release it so that everyone who wants a copy can have it. I don’t know about releasing it on CD, at least not by BLOOD HARVEST as they mainly deal in vinyl. But who knows, we’ll surely look into it there seems to be an interest.
I think it speaks for the quality of your “Silence Equals Death” that it was sold out in a short period of time!
Haha, flattering. But I don’t know, because it’s only sold out at BLOOD HARVEST. There are a lot of distros still holding copies, how many I can’t tell. It’s rather easy to find out if you just do a google search for “Silence Equals Death” plus CORRUPT.
On this release I think you play already in one league with MERCILESS, how do you see the future for CORRUPT after this release?
A most generous compliment, thanks. I guess it kind of depends which MERCILESS-release you’re referring to. We’ve still got some work to do to make it as raw and oldschool as their “The Awakening”, but hopefully we’re getting closer with our next release. It’s difficult to predict the future for CORRUPT, because there are many different wills in the band. On my part I want our sound to be even more oldschool and raw, maybe add a little more touch of oldschool Death Metal into the mix, but without moving away from our style. We’ll just have to wait and see because neither of us can tell before we’ve released our full-length.
I like the idea to strictly limit 7”EPs, but what’s your opinion about the general plan of Blood Harvest Records to press only 500 pieces of each release? Won’t there be any re-releases?
BLOOD HARVEST has re-released NECROVATION’s “Chants…” so I’m sure all that is needed for other re-releases are time and money. The only problem with strictly limited releases in my opinion is that sometimes there’s not enough to meet the demand. And those who maybe discover a band a little late has no chance to get hold of a copy because they’ve already been sold out. We’ve received several requests for the “Silence Equals Death” EP since it was sold out, and it’s no fun to mail back just to tell that we’ve run out, so I sincerely hope BLOOD HARVEST will re-release it when they have the conditions for it.
How did the contract with them look like?
We have no contract in writing with BLOOD HARVEST, and we don’t feel we have to. BLOOD HARVEST is a one-man project of Rodrigo, a DIY-label which is more part of the scene than above it, so we trust him. We communicate through email and it has worked out just fine so far!
Is it correct that you don’t have anything available to sell at the moment?
That is nearly correct. I believe we do have like 2-3 copies of our split left. Everything else is sold out I’m afraid.
Right now you are preparing for your debut album. What do you think about your new songs so far? Tell in which directions they go!
Yes, we are. Well, I would say the songs stand out from each other, because I myself have been writing a couple of songs. My guitar and composing skills aren’t as advanced as Joseph’s or Olof’s and that result in simpler songs with less technical riffs. Joseph’s compositions are totally in vein with our earlier material, so hopefully you won’t be unsatisfied! We’re still in the writing process though, with many songs to go before we’re ready to record.
I’m not 100% sure but I think you recorded the seven inches in this Hvergelmer studio owned by your guitarist Olof. Will you also record your upcoming album there? Please tell some details about this studio.
That’s true, and yes I believe we’ll record in Olof’s studio once again. Well, as said the Hvergelmer studio started out in Olof’s basement a few years back, and consisted back then of an 8-channel mixer, a PC and some instruments. Nowadays he’s advanced and relocated to more suitable premises near our rehearsal room, and has bought some new fresh equipment. He runs the studio himself with much help from his younger brother, and I believe they’re doing some real great work. Bands which have recorded there include CORRUPT, TRIBULATION, ENFORCER and OPPRESSION.
Which label is going to release this album and did you sign for just one record?
There have been some shown interest from different labels, and we still haven’t decided actually. Who knows, we might just continue on BLOOD HARVEST, but it’s too early to speak about that. One thing I can say is that it will be released both on vinyl and CD, because that’s our basic condition.
What do you want to achieve with your next release? What are your goals?
All we want is to make an album that we’re 100 % satisfied with, as with our 7” EP. An album reeking of aggression and oldschool influences, and with artwork and a layout that perfectly fits the music. It would also be great to reach out to more people, and therefore hopefully create a will to see us live that can affect people in charge of bookings. Well, this is a dream scenario of course, but it would be great to do at least ONE tour before we call it quits.
I saw the pictures from a gig in Oslo on your myspace-site. Let me ask you if you have played live a lot and with which bands? Please tell some anecdotes from your live-appearances.
We’ve done a couple of live gigs throughout the years yes; I think we all agree it’s what’s most fun about being in a band. We’ve played with bands such as MAZE OF TORMENT, OPPRESSION, TRIBULATION, NECROVATION, NOMINON, LETHAL and we, among others, have been booked to support NUNSLAUGHTER’s so far only gig in Sweden, on HELLFEST II, this summer. Well, just two weeks ago we were up in the north of Sweden to do a gig with LETHAL on this one day festival thing. It was an 1800 KM drive just for one gig! And as if that wasn’t enough we played at 11 PM, on an open air stage. It was like 4-5 degrees or something (the climate of northern Sweden is harsh even in May, if you like us come from more southern parts). On the pictures you can see that everyone except me, who’s behind the drums, had to wear jackets and even scarves, hehe. But it was a great gig and absolutely worth it!
We are getting closer to the end of this interview so let me tell you that I think that the Swedish scene is simply amazing. What do you think is the reason why such a small country has such an amazing amount of high quality and outstanding bands?
It’s funny because I hadn’t really figured that the Swedish scene was anything special before I heard voices from the outside speaking of it. It’s true we have an awful lot of great underground bands, but the sad thing about it is that there isn’t really a great crowd, despite all the bands. That’s why I’m a little doubtful about our scene. Lucky for us there are for sure many fans worldwide, because here in Sweden I wouldn’t say the interest is that big. I believe Sweden’s oldschool scene depend much on its heritage with great bands such as NIHILIST / ENTOMBED, MERCILESS, DISMEMBER and so on. They started it all, and an interest for this kind of music grew with them, and still does in the underground.
Which are your favourites from your country?
I’d definitely say TRIBULATION, REPUGNANT, CELESTIAL PAIN, NECROVATION, HYPNOSIA and KAAMOS. Sadly there are just three of them still active.
OK Micael, this is all I want to know for the moment. Thanks for answering my questions. If there’s anything left to say use this possibility!
Thanks a lot for this interview Thomas, and keep up the good work with Voices…! Readers, keep yourselves posted on any CORRUPT news at www.shotgundeath.tk or on our myspace-site: www.myspace.com/66300665. We’ll try our best to be done with the recordings of our full-length before Christmas this year!