Overpowered Violence

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Have you heard of Singapore’s Wormrot? If you consider yourself a grindcore fan and have not, then chances are you’ve either been in and out of rehab the last year or just haven’t gotten around to securing a connection to that new fangled thing they call the Internet. Debut album Abuse kicked a ridiculous amount of grindcore butt; rubbed raw, frothing at the mouth and dragging you through shortened, shocked, and sharpened speed blasts and crust crushes. Follow up album, which I incorrectly termed an EP, Dirge is even rawer, dirtier, frantic, and deleterious to the immune system. Guitarist Rasyid (and vocalist Arif where noted) checks in from somewhere on tour in these United States of America.

Fill us on the details of your experience on the Dirge Across America Tour – the good, the bad, and the ugly, though we hope it was only the “good” in your case.

Everything’s been awesome in the U.S. The reception is getting better each time we come down here. Crowds are getting crazier. Only thing craziest is the price of gas.

Your first tour of the U.S. was the “Abusing US Tour,” right? How did that one compare? I understand you had some Visa problems that delayed the start of it.

It was easier this time around. Everything went smoothly except for a little scare for Arif. Arif had his visa approved last amongst the three of us. His passport was returned to him without the visa attached and he was to give all his particulars to the embassy for assessment, which could have taken up to a month to process. But he got his visa approved a few days after, so it’s all good.

What other places had you played prior to this tour, at least outside of Singapore and how did those shows compare to the U.S. ones?

Our first ever tour was in the EU to promote our Abuse album DIY. In EU is where you find the die-hard grind fuckers. [The] Obscene Extreme [festival] was one of the highlights of my life. We’ve played in parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and even Vietnam. The kids there, they are hungry for this kind of shit to happen at their hometown. It’s a priceless experience.

You did an in-store appearance at Ernie November in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Was it well attended and did the fans riot in the streets of Cheyenne when you arrived?

Well I thought the attendance was better than expected, and we’re always not expecting much for every town we play in. Well, I can see they enjoyed themselves! [Laughs] I doubt that we spurred any riots whatsoever. Or did we?

Accommodations for underground overseas touring acts in the U.S. aren’t exactly luxurious. How often did you get to shower and where did you usually sleep?

I guess we get to shower almost every day. But I follow my own body clock; I shower when I feel uncomfortable, usually once in three days. No one’s gonna take a sniff of me anyway.

You made a huge impact on the grindcore world with the release of Abuse, an outstanding example of classic grindcore. How did Earache find you or did you find them?

I think the news of how we’re picked by Earache is widely circulated by now. But to summarize it, Earache discovered us through a mixtape compilation through online blogs “Invisible Oranges” and “Grind and Punishment” and contacted us on Myspace.

How long had you been a band prior to releasing Abuse? Are you all long-time musicians and have you played grindcore from the beginning?

Wormrot’s been around for two years prior to Abuse (if my memory serves me correctly), but only got serious one year prior to Abuse. We’re not full time musicians at all and Wormrot is our first venture into grindcore. Arif has played in a brutal death band, and Fit has played in a skinhead band and a black metal band. I have not played in any serious bands other than playing covers.

What makes Abuse and new EP Dirge so great is that it is grindcore in the finest tradition, yet you still find ways to pack a lot of little changes and accents into each song, no matter how short. What’s the key to writing a great grindcore song?

We do not know what makes them great; you guys have to tell us because you guys are the one buying them [laughs]! Personally, a good grindcore song is one which you can feel it take over you and melt you from the inside. Technicality aside, it’s all about the feel.

You include some crust punk bits into many of your songs as well.

We love crust punk.

Dirge is 25 songs in 18 minutes! How long did it take to write the songs for this album and do all the members contribute to the writing process?

Dirge took close to four months to write and record. Everyone contributes to this evenly. It’s not like Abuse whereby I’ll come up with full songs at home and bring it into the studio. For this one we entered the studio with nothing and literally started from scratch. Some days we get nothing, some days we get two to three songs.

It took eight days to record, mix, and master the EP? It has a very live sound to it, not to mention a raw, in your face one.

It did not take eight days to record. All drums and guitars were recorded in less than 12 hours. Vocals took around two to three days. So that’s four days or five days maximum. We hate long recording sessions, trying to perfect this and that. Fuck that. We prefer the raw, unpolished, dirty sound. You will hear little imperfections, like unwanted feedback at times, but it will not distract you from the whole delivery of the album.

Are there certain lyrical themes on which you tend to focus?

Arif: As far as lyrics wise, it’s still the same concept as what is on Abuse. Social issues, good and bad experiences on tours, in the army, etc. I’ll try to stay away from politics as much as possible. Enough already. We have no hidden messages in our music. It’s all about us; us and only us. In my opinion, it is way more meaningful and it will never run out of idea, as we experienced tons of different shit every single time.

By the way, why did you change your name from Rotting Worm to Wormrot?

Our name has always been Wormrot. Rotting Worm was a suggestion from one of us because there was a point of time we thought of changing the name. But fuck it.

What can tell us about the metal scene or the extreme metal scene in particular, in Singapore?

Singapore is growing. We have a solid scene, although small. More kids are coming to shows, more bands are coming from around the world to inspire these kids to make good music, more bands are taking the right step of playing overseas DIY. Sure we have our own politics, but I’m proud of my local scene.

Was it your intention to follow up Abuse with an EP from the beginning?

Our initial plan was to do some splits after Abuse. We had talks with Joe Pesci from the UK to do a split but that became unfruitful. Maybe in the future. But recently we did a split with I Abhor from the U.S. and it was released through I Abhor’s label and Scrotum Jus Records from Singapore.

What are you plans for recording the next full-length and, for that matter, anything else for the remainder of 2011?

Dirge is our next full length; it is not an EP. We’ve planned it to be an album of 20-plus tracks; we just did not plan it to be 18 minutes [laughs]! We have a mini-tour in Malaysia this coming June and are currently planning a six-week tour through the UK and EU in September.

Thanks and good luck!

Thanks dude!




  1. Commented by: Jobby

    Thanks! I just looooove this band, great to read the interview.

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