Jungle Rot's Dave Matrise Talks Newly Released Album "Kill On Command"
Wisconsin-based quartet Jungle Rot is dropping a new devastating metal release on the world today, titled "Kill on Command." The long running death metal act signed to Victory Records earlier this year, and is currently lining up new tour dates to bring "Kill on Command" to the legions in a live setting.
Before the album dropped, vocalist Dave Matrise spoke with Metalunderground.com about writing and recording the album, as well as about working on the "Rise Up and Revolt" music video. Below you can find Dave's thoughts on the album's lyrics, what has changed in the music since the last release, and why the band changed direction for this album's artwork.
xFiruath: For anyone not familiar with the band, can you give me a brief rundown of its history and what the band’s name means to you?
Dave: We have been pounding the pavement now since 1995. The band has 8 CD's out including the newest one titled “Kill on Command,” out June 21st. The name to me means survival, respect, well deserved, hardest working, under rated…
xFiruath: How did you end up signing to Victory Records?
Dave: We'd been trying to sign with Victory for a few years now. We finished our last offer and were free to seek out elsewhere. The band recorded some rough demos and we sent them to Tony at Victory. He liked them, but wanted more. So, we went back into the studio and finished the rest of the CD. I sent the whole complete package to him and they made us a good offer right then.
xFiruath: Where did you record the new album and how did the recording sessions go?
Dave: We recorded the new CD at Bell City Studios in Racine, Wisconsin with Chris Wisco. We have done all our past recordings with Chris, he just makes it a fun and a killer time. When we went in to record the CD we all knew our jobs and were ready for battle when we started our first track. Everyone did a perfect job on their parts when recording and we ended up with the best recording yet.
xFiruath: When were the new songs written and how does Jungle Rot approach the song writing process?
Dave: Let’s see, we got done touring last August, we were done touring for the year. It took us about 5 months to write everything. Usually when it comes down to writing, I will lock myself in my room with the guitar till it just comes out. I'll get two or three songs started, go to practice and show the other guys. They would say “sounds killer” and then I would start to teach them the songs and we all worked to get them down. From there, we would add the vocals patterns with Geoff, so we know just how the vocals will go. We all come up with some cool titles for the songs, then hand them to James to write the lyrics.
xFiruath: What’s different about the songs on the new album from anything you have done in the past?
Dave: This time around we decided to do leads on the songs. I wrote the songs keeping in mind the whole time that we were doing more leads on the recording. Also there are a lot more hooks on the choruses; it just makes it easier to sing along with when listening to it.
xFiruath: What’s going on with the lyrics on the album?
Dave: Mostly everyday struggles with life, work, drugs, money and greed... and don't forget negativity.
xFiruath: Who handled the cover artwork and how does it correlate the album's themes?
Dave: The cover was done by Guyal. He did our last CD and we couldn't wait to do the next one with him. He is an amazing artist and has done covers for Destruction, Grave Digger, and many more. We told him that we are trying to get away from the war/gore covers that we are so known for doing. We always take some kind of negative feedback on the war covers so we have been slowly trying to back away from it. The tribal guy on the cover is preparing his tribe for battle against an invasion.
xFiruath: Tell me about the music video shoot for “Rise Up and Revolt.” Where did you shoot that and what prompted you guys to do a performance video as opposed to a storyline-based sort of clip?
Dave: That was a killer time. The guys who shot the video were total pros at what they did. It was shot in Chicago, somewhere in the city near the Victory office. It was a construction site that was being built as a Parking Garage. Lots of concrete, garbage, and dirt to polish it up. We went with a performance video because that's what we wanted to do on the first video. I like more of the old school feel and just seeing the band head-banging like the old days. On our next video, I'm sure we will do some kind of story line now that we have some time to think about it and to be different from the last one.
xFiruath: Will Jungle Rot be touring in support of “Kill on Command?”
Dave: Oh yes, we have some short runs in June and July. Also have some really good offers to go out in the fall and winter...and next year as well. They will be posted as soon as we can on our Facebook page. Touring has always been the downfall for Jungle Rot - we get our asses out there, but I feel it is not always enough to take us to the next level that we are trying to achieve.
xFiruath: Are any of the band members working with other projects right now?
Dave: Jungle Rot just takes up too much of my time right now. It's a full time job year around. I have many ideas for a side band, but just no time. I believe in giving 100% to the band when I am in it. James is in a grind band called Reign Infernal and Jesse is in a band called Night Fire.
xFiruath: Have you gotten to any shows lately?
Dave: No, we just finished everything with the CD and video over the last 7 months, it's been nothing but this band and getting everything complete, now that the work is done, I'm ready to start playing some shows and to get out a see a few shows as well.
xFiruath: What bands and albums have you been listening to these days?
Dave: Let’s see, the new Destruction and Deicide are amazing, and a lot of real death metal acts as well.
xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to discuss?
Dave: Yes, the new album “Kill On Command” comes out June 21st on Victory Records. Show some support and buy a copy. We all can't wait to see our fans this year on the road. We also have a new video to check out from our first single call Rise Up & Revolt.
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