ROTTING CHRIST "True To The Spirit"

Interview with Sakis Tolis by Octopi Mills

Rotting Christ has been fighting for over 2 decades, and when I reviewed the new album for Wormwood Chronicles it was an experience that makes one's time worth the sitting. This is something that cannot ever be regained within our present methods of experience; lost time, and I suppose this service serves as a constant reminder of one's morality- one's honor of how he or she makes the best of their moments and movements here and afar  and uses that time. In matters of art and work we are reminded of that very resourcefulness in Rotting Christ, and of something old in time, and something still anciently new. There is a fire that burns in the music, like hellish eyes that betray their origins and cannot be hidden; for it is what it is...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Hello, welcome to Wormwood Chronicles. I would like to start the interview off by asking you about your new album. Rotting Christ continue to make quality music after all these years. What was the writing and recording like this time around; did you have a specific goal or idea? Maybe a certain script or concept?

SAKIS TOLIS: I am glad that you believe something like this, an opinion that is quite similar with many metal heads around. It is true that I pay a lot of attention to the composition process. It is for me very important to create something with a good quality and first of all REAL.Something that will represent myself at the specific time period I am writing in. So I first talk with myseld ,I am searching my apocryphal sites and if I feel a vibration then I go ahead with something new.With a new creation, it took more than a year to compose the whole album and I am glad  that I came up with somehitng that represent me.  I feel vey good with it.

WC: This seems to be a time of overall unrest in Greece. Has it affected you as citizens over there much? Any thoughts on this matter? What is life like over there for your typical countryman right now?

 ST: As citizens …yes my friend..A lot …also as individual but I have learned in my life to never abandon my position and my dreams.The battle is going on and will find our band on the  frontline.So despite the counltess  problems we came up with an album that for many is considered as our best.You know also something.In a  period of decadence the only thing that prospers is art!

Concenring the situation and my opinion, too much could be written .I won't do it because I will sound like a politician... something that I do not like.The only  thing I can say is that what is happening to Greece is just the beginning of a Western civilization crisis...the beginning of the fall of the system maybe?I do not know.I only know that whatever it is, we must  fight hard to turn it  positive for the good of people and not for the very few.

WC: How do you go about choosing which songs you will play on a tour from such a wide catalog? Do you vary the set very often on new tours?

ST: Yes, quite often, but we always keep the beloved  favorites for the fans. I  do not hide that preparing a setlist is a quite perplexing procces that often leads to disagremments within the band .We jhave 12 albums ..What can we choose to satisfy all?

WC: There are some occult aspects to the early Rotting Christ image and lyrics, it would seem. Is there any serious interest for you in these matters or is it merely a source from which to draw from, and add a certain element to the music, much as is done in films or movies?

ST: Of course there is  interest and this is what inspires our music ,especially in the past. Definitelly we are not  all that anxious to remain in the past but we still keep the spirit alive.

WC: The title of the album translates, if I am correct, to "Do what thou wilt" in English. Is this a sort of nod to Aleister Crowley's motto, which is said to be derived from the Greek words themselves? How much of an overall interest do you have in Crowley, if any?

ST: Yes Crowley‘s philosophy is quite interesting for me  but I have to  clear something up.

"Do what thou wilt” is a title that our label discovered in order to   translate  the Greek title we used to name our new album. A translation that can not be called succesful,  as "KATA TON DAIMONA EAYTOY" is an ancient Greek maxim that  is quite close to "TRUE TO YOUR OWN SPIRIT" .

Do not forget that  ROTTING CHRIST has always followed that  stream of thought since the early days. Even since the days of "NON SERVIAM" (which when translated is quite close to "KATA TON DAIMONA EAYTOY")

WC: The guitars play an important role in the music, I feel. Is there any inspirations in metal or otherwise you hold great or as influential to the sound and melodies you performed in the past or in current sessions?

ST: Guitars were, are, and will always be the main instrument in  ROTTING CHRIST and generally in the whole METAL genre. It is the A and the Z.  if you want to call your music METAL. It is important for me and I have a SOUL DISPOSAL, album by album , song by song.

WC: What is the most important thing that has changed in the music,  do you feel, since you began in the early days?

ST: The healthy way of thinking, as well as the spontaneousness and even romanticism.This is why  the old releases sound more "soulful" despite of the bad recording production than the modern releases. I can consider myself lucky that I have experienced this era ,an era that armored my character with the proper  shield to resist even a little the faceless and extreme competition of the current era.

WC: What sort of music do you listen to currently? Are there any bands you would recommend to the readers at this time?

ST: Everything that is not …happy.There are too many great newcomers nowdays that create interesting music and it would be unfair to name some,  as I am sure that I will forget many others.

WC: Do you hold any authors or films dear to you that you would like to mention to the readers? Do these sorts of things inspire or influence the band in any way?

ST: It seems that I am not good in mentioning names so I won't this time, too! Any kind of art inspires me... so does literature and movies.

WC: The music has evolved greatly since the beginning, though it still retains the core elements in the music. Is there anything new, technology wise, that you employ in creating or shaping the music in this evolution?

ST: I cannot mention the technology. I do not think so. It is my will  in wanting to evolve in my life  keeping of course  my  roots. And as  nature orders: If something doesn't evolve,  it dies!

WC: You have employed the use of horns and other primitive instruments into the music. Did you have to learn these instruments yourselves or did you seek musicians to help you with the performance, in session and recording them into the music? What can you tell us about these horns and their significance on this album?

ST: I am discovering the ideas of others and I ask the help of good players to help me out. I also know how to use many of those instruments but if it is to be recorded then I ask the help of the experienced. There are many weird and  rare inmstruments ouit there that can lift your whole music. It just needs research and  deep love of music and of course to be open minded  enough.

WC: What is the strangest experience or tale you can share with us in relation to things that involve the supernatural or paranormal, If anything at all?

ST: I only have vibrations like these when I compose new music. When I dive very deep into the  sanctum of my soul and when I read a lot in order to have a creation.Then  I can say that  I have some experiences but not strong enough to call me…mad! If you want to create something in my opinion you must dive  deep into the skin of  your role and this is where you should keep your position and not cross the limits.The distance between logic and madness is too short!

WC:  Is there still a interest in Satanism in RC? What does "Satanism" mean to you, and is it more of a reaction against the churches and religions, or does it hold something of deeper value to you? Also, what are your feelings on the current Illuminati/government conspiracies that many worldwide folks are reacting against that are rumored to be found in the governments and churches? Do you think it is the same as the Luciferianism/Satanism that is represented by many artists, or is this something different? Of course I realize this is a very open ended question...




WC: Do you have a tour planned to support the new album? Where do you see the live aspect going in the future, and is there anything you have added to the experience this time around?

ST: Our worldwide tour has started  acouple of months ago and the feedback of the fans this time around is more optimistic than we expected. It seems that we will soon pass from your land.So until then…


WC: Thank you for your time with us and the readers here at WC....I hope the questions were at least somewhat different from the usual you are asked. Is there anything you wish to add in closing of this interview?

ST: I wish to answer your questions  properly too , my friend. Was nice chating with you and until we meet up…