Monday, October 31, 2011

Interview: Arif Rot(Wormrot, Rotworks)

If you are a grind fan, chances are that you have heard of and love Wormrot. Here is an interview I did with vocalist Arif over e-mail.

~Andrew Lipscomb

First off, you guys just got done touring Europe with Maruta, how was it?

The tour was awesome. Although there were ups and downs, but that's normal. Other than that, we're cool. We played soccer most of the time during the tour too. haha. I guess for us, touring Europe keeps getting better and better every year. We really appreciate seeing new and old faces once again. We had some awesome and not so awesome hospitality, but it's all good. We're still alive. That's all that matters. Luc and Luuk from Doomstar bookings did an awesome job on the tour. Cheers fellas! We bonded with the dudes from Maruta so much that we've already missed their ever so colorful characters. They were killing it every night! Fucken brownies!

You recently released Noise on Scion A/V, how do you think the reaction to it has been so far and how did you get hooked up with Scion?

If I'm not mistaken, we've just reached home from the US tour or was it Malaysia tour this year can't really recall. We immediately got an email from Earache saying we had an offer from Scion for an EP release. So hell yeah we grabbed the chance immediately. We're just glad that most of the reactions are awesome and some were a little bit too concerned regarding Scion and grind. Humans are humans. We don't bother. Huge opportunity to spread our grind? Yes, please. We played Scion Rockfest this year and they were being totally kickass with having 1st class accommodations, free shows and not to mention a very intense lineup throughout the day. They've been doing this for years so I don't see what's the point of blabbering. It's music. Scion are good people.

You guys released your sophomore album Dirge earlier this year too, are you surprised at how well it has been received?

Honestly we were and still are. As Abuse did so well amongst the masses especially for a debut, we're sort off pressurized to put out Dirge. It's pretty obvious there's difference in both albums. It's just how we progress after each album. We already have in mind that some of those who appreciate Abuse might not be digging Dirge as much. But then again we had reviews and people talking about it during tour, stating they dig it just made our day for sure. Really appreciate it. Changes or no changes between albums, keep in mind that we are still in the right path.

What was the writing/recording process like for Dirge? How did it differ from the writing/recording process of Abuse?

Simply said, we had all the time in the world for Abuse. There weren't any datelines and some of the tracks from Abuse were already written(taken from previous releases). As for Dirge, we had datelines. The Dirge recording process was way shorter than for Abuse. We managed to squeeze everything like song writings(from scratch) plus recordings in a month plus or so. Trying not to sound as rushed as possible because we are very picky with our tunes. And luckily for us everything turned out good and it was smooth sailing right after we were done. Also, I did the artwork for the back of Dirge in that particular month as well. Tight schedule? Kinda. haha

Dirge was also released as a free download; coming from an artist’s point of view do you still think physical formats are relevant?

Physical formats rule. I love vinyl, cds, and tapes. Downloads are fine. I download all the time too. Some people collect and some do not. Either way, our music will be heard. The free download thing was a surprised to us too. We didn't think that it would be leaked before the release date. Earache suggested just to give it away as a free download. We were skeptical, but come to think of it, people are bound to download it anyway. I mean Earache still put out physical copies. It's the listener's opinion on owning one. Like I said either way, people still have a spin at it. No problems there.

Speaking of you being an artist, I have noticed that you have done some really great work for some really awesome bands lately like Magrudergrind, Maruta, Grinned, etc., do you have any upcoming work that you are excited about?

Thanks dude! I've worked with Regurgitate, Obscene Extreme, Kill the Client, Oblivionized, Noisear, Nasum to name a few. As of now, I've been pretty backed up with tons of pending artworks till early next year. The one currently I'm working on is for Pig Destroyer. Pretty stoked on that one. Also another artwork for Magrudergrind at the end of the year, The Drip, Swamp Gas, Godawfulnoise and much more. There are also a number of tattoo designing requests, like body artworks.

What is the process like when making artwork for bands? Do they usually have a specific idea to give you, or do you just come up with something on your own? Also how long does it usually take you to complete a certain design?

Usually they have a certain theme to their artwork. All I need is their song titles, some of their lyrics and their songs. Making sure the artwork is "glued" together perfectly with the whole package. Some will leave it entirely to me when it comes to like tattoo designing. Initial sketches are always important. As long as the client is not satisfied with the composition, I won't rest until it is perfect. Once that is done the real work begins. Sketches take awhile depending on if I nailed it the first time around. But usually artwork takes me about 3 or 4 days to complete(without any conflicts with my personal shit). Mood plays a part too. Sometimes my brain dies for no apparent reason. No inspiration whatsoever. I will never work with a sloppy mind and give half fucked quality to my clients that's for sure.

Do you think the internet has helped Wormrot’s career?

A lot! We're a new band. We've never experienced sending tapes in the mail and waiting like a gazillion years for a reply. So yeah we definitely have the advantage on having everything confirmed fast. It's a good source to spread/promo your tunes to the rest of the world. The Internet helped us getting a record deal and touring. Awesomely pampered generation we are.

What is the scene in Singapore like?

It's ok. Not much going on now so far. The latest was Destruction came over yesterday. We've had bands like Dismember, Napalm Death, Toxic Holocaust, Misery Index tour here over the years. It's great how local promoters like Cynical Sounds and Reconstruct Bookings bring big bands to the local scene. We definitely do have a scene. But it's small as shit. We basically see the same faces every show and playing with almost the same bands over and over again. Shows in Singapore are fine. They are supportive. At times.

You have mentioned in interviews before that Wormrot started out as a deathgrind band, did you purposely decide to change to a more straight forward grind band, or did the change happen naturally?

It happened sort of naturally. We intended to play more of gore death grind-ish something like Disgorge from Mexico but it didn't happen due to Rasyid's interest of the genre. We tried, but failed miserably. He is more into punk oriented influences in terms of chords or whatever. The next closest extreme genre has to be grindcore. I'm always been into grindcore, but never thought of making a straight up grindcore band. Try outs were successful and we became more comfortable each day and finally found our perfect sound.

How were you introduced to grind?

The first grind band I listened to was Nasum. I didn't bother much with genres as long as it's fast and extreme. I discovered them through friends of mine back in the day. We were exchanging tapes to check out all sorts of metal. Not much of the internet browsing at that point of time. Bought few of their releases as years goes by and begin to research on such genre. From there, the internet came into the picture and broadened my mind on tons of grind bands. Also I have to mention, our local grind gods DEMISOR were partly the reason why I became a fan of grindcore. Something about grindcore during live sets just blew me away compared to other genres. Not being bias, but it's the fact. It has to be the energy.

Who are some vocalists that inspire you?

The dudes from Blockheads, Rahi from IW of course, Avi from Magrudergrind, Dave from PLF, Rich from The Afternoon Gentlemen, Jon Chang from Gridlink and lots more. They fucking rule BIG time.

Are there any grind/powerviolence/fastcore bands that you have been digging lately?

Been spinning lots of xbrainiax lately. Some bands that I just got to know of like Get Destroyed, Gripe thanks to Operation Grindcore. Nice name by the way haha. I'm sure I checked out a whole lot more but can't recall any for now. Pretty much playing the same old shit like Spazz, Infest, No Comment, Flachenbrand, Haemorrhage, Jesus Crost, Magnicide, Terrorizer, Trap Them, All Pigs Must die, Iron Lung, etc.

I always have to ask this question in interviews, if you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring 3 albums with you, what would you bring?

To listen to? if so, Tupac's Makavelli, The Afternoon Gentlemen's Pissedography, Boyz 2 Men. Works for every mood all the time. Those are basically the 3 genres I need in my life.

Do you listen to much music outside of grind/powerviolence/whatever?

Grindcore 24/7 is just stupid. I can't live with that. I'm a fan of soul and RNB. Also groups like Bone Thugs and Harmony, Beastie Boys, Prodigy, Tupac, etc. They are always in my playlist when I'm on tour. Sometimes you gotta cut the "Noise" down a little you know what I mean?

Thanks for doing this interview, any other comments?

Hey dude thank you so much for being very patient and cool as we were pretty packed up and taking forever to do this. Salute to you and Operation Grindcore . Keep that shit up you're doing a great job. Also we might be touring again next year and currently grinding some new tracks for the upcoming album. Cheers Andrew! Keep it grind!


  1. FUCK YEAH!! Arif likes the Beastie Boys!!! Great interview

  2. We know how Wormrot feels about Wal-Mart and Scion. How about Yum Brands, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Bee Cheng Hiang Food and Beverage, or even Singapore Petroleum Company Limited? Any thoughts?