Interview with Sakis Tolis
Rotting Christ are quite likely Greece's premiere metal act. They have had a long, healthy career, and many well-received releases. Their music has strayed increasingly away from their original black metal sound, and towards a less brutal, more emotional vein, with definite gothic influences. The name Rotting Christ would suggest more of their older sound, but the ideas behind the music are still the same. Front man Sakis Tolis explains the nature of the band's name and ideas, as well as their influences and history.
Enslain: Do you think that your band name gives a misrepresentation of your musical style?
Tolis: Yes, that's true. It's a name that we've had for more than ten years, so it's really hard to change. But on the other hand, if someone listens to such a name, and thinks that, oh, these guys are really fast, really whatever, you know... I think that it's a name, it's a death name, I guess... We're playing some music, and I think that such a name would fit with that music I'm doing... I think religions everywhere are rotting, and this name would fit okay with our music. We are against any religion, we are not Satanists, we are not Christians as well, or whatever. We hate every kind of religion...
Enslain: What are your lyrical inspirations?
Tolis: The lyrics have changed as well as the music. The lyrics nowadays are more emotional. They have some metaphysical concerns, you know, they express the dark side of our mind, the dark side our life. It's more personal this time, but we have tried to keep the dark feeling, that would fit okay with the dark music. We don't want someone to read our lyrics and say we are Satanists or stuff like that, we prefer people more to be into our lyrics and find their own meanings as well.
Enslain: What made you decide to have a song sung in German on the new record?
Tolis: We had the song because I think German language sounds generally really crude to me, and I thought it would fit okay with the song, so when we flew to Germany to record the album there, we found the guy, and I think the result was really okay in my opinion.
Enslain: What bands are Rotting Christ influenced by?
Tolis: We have taken influence from old black metal bands, like Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost, but I don't think that nowadays we are influenced by any bands. I think we try to create our own sound, and we never say, when we compose a song, this song sound like... whatever. We try to have our own sound, but of course we are really into metal music.
Enslain: Could you tell me about the history of the band?
Tolis: The band was around for ten years, we have released five albums, on three different labels. We have had line-up changes in the past; nowadays we are a 5-piece member band. We have played a lot of tours, and the last three albums were recorded for Century Media.
Enslain: What do you see in the future of Rotting Christ?
Tolis: First of all we try to play the type of music we like, and if the people are really interested in our music, then we will keep going on. If it's not, I think we will quit, because it doesn't make any sense to play something that people are not interested in.
Enslain: What are your favorite bands?
Tolis: I'm not only into metal music, I do listen to different kinds of music. But for metal, I'm really a metal fan, and Iced Earth, I think, is one of my favorite bands, and Cradle of Filth is good as well, and Dimmu Borgir... I do listen to other kinds of music, like goth metal bands, and industrial bands sometimes, and I'm trying to listen to as many kinds of music as I can, because I think it has really opened my mind so I can make better music.
-- Lady Enslain