A few weeks after their show at Hellfest 2019, Seb, Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition‘s singer, take a bit of his time to answer my questions.
Hello and thank you for your time! How would you introduce Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition to someone who doesn’t know about the band? Where does the band’s name come from?
Seb (vocals) : Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition is an Extreme Porno Gore band melting with different doses of Death, Grind, Crust, Black and Gore variating from album to album. The firsts three full-lengths between 1996 and 2003 branded the underground Gore Grind years of the band, with high level Porno Gore artworks. The fourth record, Inventory Of Fixtures, produced in 2007, explores Crust influences that were here since the beginning but that were not as highlighted, and artworks follow this evolution. The fifth album Sheep’n’Guns, recorded in 2011 with a clean and surgical sound, melts more Death Metal and Grind’n’roll influences. The sixth full-length Raping Angels in Hell, released in 2017 is the outcome of every influences and experiences gathered over the years. Porno Gore influences are back, and there are also some Black Metal oriented references.
The band’s guitar player invented the name back in 1996, and asked me to create a logo. I never precisely asked him how he chose this name, but it sounds good, and I suppose that there was the influence of many underground Grind and Gore bands that we listened at this time like Catasexual Urge Motivation, Gore Beyond Necropsy, Last Days Of Humanity… and also influences of albums like Carcass’ Reek of Putrefaction, Symphonies of Sickness, ou Necroticism Descanting the Insalubrious.
This name was a good way to label the band’s style.
Last june you played at Hellfest, can we have a quick feedback about this show? How different was it from your last show back in 2012?
Seb : Hellfest is an insane festival in a very true sense, by its size of course, and by the impact it has, even beyond the Metal scene.
This year, we played under the Altar tent who was full with 10 000 people (plus the audience beyond the giant screen at the back of the tent), which was unimaginable for this style of music a couple of years ago. Playing Hellfest is the opportunity to share the stage with the bests bands of each style of Metal in the best conditions possible, and in front of a more massive audience than any other festival. Even after 23 years of being a band, it’s still extraordinary moments.
The main difference from the 2012 show for us, is that with the experience we had the opportunity to step back against the evenement, despite the challenge, to enjoy every moment.
The whole show was recorded by Sombrero & Co, who work with Arte for live recording, so there was many things to handle before and after the show, but we managed to follow our plan and fully live every instant.
The show is available on YouTube.
It goes fast, and we have to get out of the stage knowing we did a great show.
Until your second album, there was no lyrics in the compositions, why did you choose to work like this? What does motivate you to write lyrics for the nexts albums?
Seb : It was a part of our brutality concept since the band’s early years.
We were looking to cleanse everything that doesn’t sound essential in this approach, and at this time, we claimed to remove lyrics and titles from songs and albums, and having no message to share except this musical aggression.
When we integrated more Crust influences since 2003, there wouldn’t be no sense to stay on this initial concept, that wouldn’t make any sense.
Even before the band was created, I always loved to growl my favorite band’s lyrics, and I started to miss lyrics. It was the good moment to begin. It sounds obvious, but when the balance between texts and positioning is a success, it enriches the track a lot, but it needs many time to master the exercise.
To be honest, I think that it’s only until 2014, on our last album’s compositions that I felt comfortable and pleased with the outcome.
Your last album, Raping Angels In Hell?, took shape six years after the previous one, why did you wait so many time to write and release it?
Seb : We were used to begin writing only when we ended touring and shows for the last album. So usually we tour for three years, we compose during two years and we take one year for recording, creating artworks and plan an official release with the label. It allows us to benefit from touring time and composition time in a totally different state of mind, but it obviously extends time during two releases.
It’s a luxury to not release an album before considering it is really ready, and to take time to compose being unencumbered. And it’s complicated to have time to compose while you are in touring mode because there is many things to manage daily for shows and travel. There are advantages and drawbacks to do nearly everything by ourselves.
As we are aware that it’s a thing we could improve, we have in mind working on a new album while playing shows, but we will see if we can do everything in the same time.
The eponymous track is the the longest one, and develops itself progressively, did you want to do something different from usual pure violence?
Seb : It’s a track that almost were not part of the album, because we thought we finish compositions, I even recorded all vocals, and it was at the very last moment that Guillaume (guitar) send us this track he just composed. It quickly becomes an obvious track for the album, and also as the title track.
We replayed all our favorite records with Guillaume before beginning to work on this album, to imbue ourselves again of what always influenced us. On every album we try to evolve, even if on this one we already have the idea since the very beginning to come back on the band’s Porno Gore roots, and to find back both freshness and purity of the albums that marked us back in the 80s and 90s. In the end, it’s hard to know how everything happens in our mind, and how a track can be obvious. This one was since the composition, and it evolves into an acknowledgement at the release and during every show.
By the way, how does the writing process happens in Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition?
Seb : Systematically, Guillaume composes the track, records a model with a clic, the guitars and programmed drums. After this, he sends it to us, then I set lyrics and vocals. We work on it on rehearsals together, which sometimes modifies the song’s structure and broads drums parts. On the last album, we recorded final vocals on this model, then guitar, bass and drums last.
It’s obviously the opposite of the usual recording order for every other albums, but having this model with the clic recorded by Guillaume gave us way more freedom, and Duff, who was our bass player at the time, had his own recording studio, which allow us this possibility and this comfort.
How did you met and recruit your two partners?
Seb : The band is twenty three years old, but Guillaume and Dagulard joined sixteen years ago. After our US tour back in 2003, the band had its first line-up change in seven years. We started auditions (which isn’t an easy thing, even in Paris) and quickly Guillaume joined the band as guitar player. His brother had rehearsals in the same studio, and it perfectly matches for both him and us, musically and humanly speaking.
We had many auditions with drummers, but with negative results for months. We heard about a drummer that could be interesting, but who didn’t came for an audition.
It was at a show in Paris, I was doing stage diving in the audience and I fell on a dude that catched me and asked me if I was the singer of Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition who was looking to hear him play…
As Dagulard worked at the time in a sex shop at Pigalle, we arranged a time and place to drink beers at then end of his work, and I convinced him to come for an audition and join the band!
The band was very active on stage since the album release in France or outside (I mainly think to Obscene Extreme or Maryland Deathfest), which show was the most insane one this far?
Seb : Yes we did as much shows as possible for this album. It’s probably the one we played the most for. We did for the third time some festivals we love, like Obscene Extreme in Czech Republic (there will be a video of our whole 2019 show on Youtube at the end of August), or the SWR in Portugal, which is in my opinion Portugal’s best festival ever.
It was also our second Maryland Deathfest last year, and it was amazing to play here again (our first ever show in the USA was the first edition of Maryland Deathfest in 2003). Hellfest is also an unforgettable show.
We always remember big festivals, but some shows are sometimes at least as much important, and our show at the Saint Vitus in New York friday the first of june 2018 is an amazing memory for us.
It was the last show of our 2018 US run, and we were supposed to leave the next day for Canada to play at the Earslaughter in Montreal. The Saint Vitus is a cult club in Brooklyn and the venue was packed with an amazing sound and ambience.
We played a headliner show and had a beautiful day then we discovered this venue where Black Sabbath, Carcass, Nirvana, Megadeth played since its opening in 2011. It’s the kind of show we leave with memories for life.
Do you already have plans for the next step? Like shows, new songs, etc…
Seb : Sure, we have many shows booked until the end of 2019 and the first half of 2020, and Guillaume is still booking shows and festivals!
We really want to keep playing as many times as possible with our album Raping Angels in Hell, and we also have many requests, so we go on…
There are many festivals we would like to play in 2020, because we were not able to play in 2018 and 2019 because of other tours or festivals, so we will work on them!
About songs, even if it’s hard to move seriously towards while playing shows, we defined it as our goal to do both simultaneously, so we will see if we succeed working on compositions after this summer…
The band is 23 years old, including 23 years for you, which differences do you notice since the beginning?
Seb : The french scene completely changed. We always had a very cool audience in France, but there was almost no festival and way less shows than nowadays. There have probably never been so many people at shows, and there are many french bands that emerged in every style of Metal.
Gore Grind scene which was exclusively underground progressively became a style represented in every big festival, which was unthinkable at the time.
Internationally speaking, the european scene was always present, but countries like Belgium which were highly developed compared to France (particularly for underground music) are less present in extreme concerts organisation. In contrast, countries at the East like Czech Republic became worldwide references for the genre (including for bands).
The outburst of the number of bands in every style and the facility of access by internet saturate the space, and it’s not really easier to sort out what is released (it’s nearly a full-time job!). Press and mail order lists still have an important role to allow discovering bands and emergent music styles.
Social networks obviously have a crucial role that totally changes band’s communication (in 1996, we organised shows through regular mail and a big part of communication were made by paper flyers in mail order, paper magazines and fanzines).
Album recording methods also changed (nowadays, many things can be prepared before going into the studio), but the principle mainly stays the same.
Production’s quality also become more professional, but there is still many stereotypes (sometimes are the compositions themselves): it’s probably part of the price of the success for highly living musics. And it wasn’t obvious that some musics that emerged in the beginning of the 80s like Death, Grind, Crust, Gore… would still be present and active 40 years later! Just like Thrash which is still a thing and comes back, there is we have a lot to be optimistic!
Album sales and contracts with labels also evolved, and now we sign for album turnkey projects… but there’s also tape’s come back (that wasn’t really foreseeable).
In short, many things are changing, but it might be one of the bests period for this style of music:
- There are still many cult bands in every style, and plenty of new bands
- There are more concerts and festivals than ever and very good conditions to play
- There are a continuity and a renewal of generation of fans, which includes that the audience is bigger and of all ages.
I really hope that I could do another analysis in 23 years !
Since a while, the band plays without a bass player, whereas you had a bass player in the band before and Guillaume recorded guitar and bass on the last record, why did you choose to continue as a trio?
Seb : When the band began, there was no bass player, the guitarist plugged his instrument on guitar amp and bass amp.
Then with years, there was a second guitar player, then a bass player, then no bass player, then no bass player again, then no second guitarist, then no bass player… so we nearly had every kind of line-up!
Today, we’re back on a similar line-up from the early days that works very well, but that restrict possibilities to play some songs on stage. New compositions will figure out if we need to evolve our line-up with a second guitar player and/or a bass player.
What are your best and your worst memory with Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition?
Seb : Best memories punctuate the last 23 years, and I wish I could continue to live this as long as possible!
Every album release is the fulfillment of a part of life, and is itself a very good memory.
Live performances are what give a more intensive purpose to our lives. It’s also meeting with fans, other bands and every actor of the scene. It’s where we have the feedback of our work on compositions!
Meetings with bands we love and whom we are lucky enough to share the stage with (hi and thank you to: Brujeria, Brutal Truth, Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, Deicide, Devourment, Entombed, Extreme Noise Terror, Gut, Immolation, Impaled Nazarene, Krisiun, Lock Up, Mortician, Napalm Death, Nasum, Obituary, Possessed, Pungent Stench, ROT, Suffocation, Terrorizer, Venom, Venomous Concept, Vomitory… ). Maybe it is stronger in hindsight, and the luck to keep living it again.
The worst memory, which is nowadays an anecdote we make fun of, is our custody and ouster in 2006 in Montreal airport, that cancels before its start a month long tour in Canada and USA. Papers weren’t valid for every shows, and conditions were more strict at this time for foreign musicians to enter in Canada…
Is it easy to make a living with your music when you play Grind/Death? Actually do the three of you live about that, or do you have day jobs?
Seb : It’s near from impossible to live of your music in Metal, but the real question is to know if you really wish to live of your music with all constraints that necessarily come with.
Having a job allows:
- To have stable incomes that provides a minimal quality of life in a short and long sight.
- That music solely stays a pleasure without every profitability constraint (also stress and choices that come with)
- To be independent in choices in life and invest, so being on the road stays a pleasure (and avoids the wear of playing 200 shows a year and releasing an album a year until exhaustion)
- To avoid being jaded of what could become a routine and a job, instead of being a passion!
What was the first Metal song you ever listened? And the one that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?
Seb: The first Metal album I listened was Iron Maiden’s Live After Death that I hazardously rented at the media library, while I didn’t really seems interested by music in general (so the first track should have been Aces High if I put the good face of the vinyl…). It was released in 1984 but I guess that I discovered it in 1986 or 1987, so I was 12 or 13.
It was at this time that I started to get interest into music and into Metal in general, even if I didn’t know anything about this scene and nobody who listened to this kind of music. I groped in discs boxes in Clignancourt’s flea market, and looked at the thanks list in the records I discovered to grow myself a culture and to discover different styles.
I first discovered Venom (Black Metal and At War With Satan) and Kreator (Endless Pain and Pleasure To Kill). But the record that made me think “this is what I want to do!” is Death’s Leprosy, that I discovered in 1988 when I was 14 years old… such a slap! The world wouldn’t be the same again for me! Since this moment I followed everything that was released in Death Metal, then Grindcore, and I had an eye into Crust thanks to friends that were more into the Punk scene…
On stage you’re mainly hectic and you move a lot, but are you this energetic in everyday life? And during a show are you more a calm dude or in a middle of a pit?
Seb : In everyday life, I’m rather calm. I think that maybe it’s precisely with live shows and music that I found my inner balance. Without music I would likely be a serial killer…
Before making music I was slamming all the time. It was the atmosphere of the time, and above all I loved it! Nowadays I’m far less in the pit than even before, and most of the time I’m at the merchandising booth or on the side of the stage if we play and I have a backstage access. It’s less pleasant for the ambience, but we always learn when looking at friends in the same conditions of ourselves on stage! But in general, we’re well represented in the pit by Dagulard!
An imagination question now: I let you create a tour with 3 bands for whom you dream to open with Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition!
Seb : A small tour that could be perfect might be: Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, Napalm Death, Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition.
Regardless of the order of course.
Do you have a musical crush in this moment? Or a band that you just discovered?
Seb : A lot! I’m 15 or 20 years late by discovering Behind Enemy Lines (Know Your Enemy, The Global Cannibal, One Nation Under the Iron Fist of God). The last Terrorizer called Caustic Attack is insane. An underground indonesian band: Dömesticrust, Another Reality Another Fears.
Last words are yours, thank you again!
Seb: Thanks to all Acta Infernalis’ readers. See you soon during shows.
IN GORE WE FUCK !