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Everyone that knows me knows who my favorite band is, and that band is Rotting Christ. People who do not know of them are somewhat shocked by the name and are reluctant to give them a chance, most of these people that have heard RC via myself have included them in their roster for top picks. Very few metal bands have any resilience anymore and the few that do can still be somewhat stale when they are established. One major factor that makes RC so enjoyable to me is that every album is a different move on the board of music, they do not stay in one place for long and each move is well accomplished and professional. The raw talent that was RC when they first embarked into the metal realm has flourished into a dark, expressive and somewhat cold experience to behold, and although this can be said about some bands, I still have found no band that has the same essence and vitality as Rotting Christ. I speak here with Sakis Tolis (vocals/guitar) about RC’s upcoming new album and where they are headed in the future.

Griever - First off, thank you for taking the time to do this interview, I have wanted to ask you questions for quite some time.

Sakis – Yes, go ahead Griever...

G – The question many want to know, when is the new album expected and maybe a hint as to the title?

S – Our new album with the title of GENESIS is recorded and will be released in 26 of August.

G – What direction is the band headed in on the upcoming album? I have heard rumors that you will be returning to a heavier sound.

S - Yes much heavier faster and more atmospheric simultaneously than ever. Yes it will surprise many of our listeners.

G – So you mentioned to me that the older Rotting Christ logo will make a reappearance on the new album, did the decision correspond with the poll taken on your site?

S - Not exactly............It was our decision to use our old logo and of course we felt liable to ask our listeners that have followed us for many years. Their opinion counts but is not the one that takes the last decision.

G – Please tell me that you plan on playing dates supporting the album in the US, I know of many including myself that are eager to see RC live for the first time.

S - HHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMM...... I do not want to disappoint but currently working on our tour plans for this album the US is not on the bill or is not as of now. We receive a good response from the people there but I do not know...........maybe our name is too offensive, whatever. Furthermore we face problems in getting visas so the proposal in touring in your land is not so clear right now. But I hope this situation is to be changed and we can tour the states as we did 3 years ago.

G – Have you employed the use of any different vocal styles?

S - Yes a lot............ I tried at least 5 different voices including clear epic ones...........Keep an eye open.

G – How about any additional musicians or guest players?

S - No this album had no guest appearances at all!

G – On to other things, does RC ever entertain the thought of releasing a live album?

S - Hey man, it seems that you read the future with your questions.............Yes this will be next on our schedule, releasing a kind of live album.

G – How about a live video?

S - Including DVD of course!

G – Does anyone in the band including you have anything going outside of RC, any side projects?

S - Our bass player plays with a stoner band and me personally I would reform a project that I used to play with several years ago under the name THOU ART LORD which consists of ROTTING CHRIST and NECROMANTIA members.

G – As I have done on this site, I often try to analyze RC’s music and themes, I do not know if I am that accurate according to you, but what drives you to write the things you do? Some songs are simply put beautiful, and others are harsh and unrelenting.

S - Yes I totally agree with your opinion about song composing and because of the fact that I am composer and I try to express my two sides of character, I think that is the answer to your question.

G – What have you been listening to lately? Maybe you can refer me to some new bands…

S - New bands???? I think that you are more suitable to answer that cause you are more involved in the brand new bands. But with the short free time I have I listen some new bands especially Greek ones that are worth to pay attention. As for other things I listen lately I have a return back to the late 80's listening a lot of the stuff I grew up like VENOM, BATHORY, POSSESSED, CELTIC FROST...I do not know maybe because I am not so satisfied with the new releases.

G – Many people have a problem with the band’s religious views, especially regarding the name, and they let that sway their tastes, exactly what is the band’s standing on religion?

S – It is true that we face many problems especially with our name but that resistance finds the band in opposition because living in so called democratic countries everyone has the right to express his opinion even if it annoys a lot.... So our religion belief that annoys the people is that we are totally against any religion and we try through a cruel name of a band to shake their minds. I do not really want to refer to a detailed philosophical dialogue but this is our opinion generally.

G – What do you consider your favorite RC song?

S - Sorry but I cannot really choose one. I feel all songs being a member of a big family and as you know there are no distinctions in a family.

G – Who were your biggest musical influences? What primarily made you want to be in a band?

S - I wanted to be like VENOM ... I wanted to play my music in the way that many people hate...........I wanted to abstract my self from the mass that were doing what the others wanted......I wanted to be free and I think that was the reason that I picked up a guitar and starting playing BLACK METAL having as idols the glorious first generation Black Metal bands.

G – Any chance of ever getting some of the older material like Passage to Arcturo redone or re-mastered?

S - Something happened only here in Greece with that album and was re-released but I hope it will soon be released to the rest of the world.

G – What do you and the other members do in the off time, any hobbies or jobs?

S - The all have a full time jobs and I am the only one now that is involved with the band "professionally" Hobbies.............From playing countless hours with games on the PC to riding a bicycle across many miles.

G – Ever think that Xy may be involved in another RC recording or be included as a guest performer? I think such collaboration would bring great results.

S - No we do not have any plans like this for the moment but we are always open to work with XY because he is great musician as well as a nice person.

G – What advice can you give for bands that will be faced with the criticisms RC have encountered?

S - METAL IS A KIND OF REVOLUTIONARY MUSIC AND IT NEEDS SUCH NAMES TO SHAKE THE CONSERVATIVE MASSES MINDS. SO BE YOUR SELF AND BE A PAIN IN THE ASS FOR THEM

G – Many of the melodies that Kostas and yourself write have an immense ethereal presence, and along with keyboards really make some parts of the songs atmospheric.

S - Yes and that's the way we compose a song. Glad that you like that.

G – Top 5 albums?

S - VENOM-BLACK METAL / BATHORY-UNDER THE SIGN OF BLACK MARK / IRON MAIDEN-THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST / SEPUTLURA-ARISE / BLACK SABBATH-EVERYTHING

G – Where would be the best place to visit in Greece? I have wanted to go there for some time and I planned on going pretty soon.

S - Do you like to swim? Do you like non-luxurious holidays? Can you afford to drink till death every night...........So come down to Athens get the ferry and visit the cluster of Kiklades islands. If not there are many other historical sites and things to visit. Give me a call if you ever visit here.

G – Alright, we get a pretty good viewing here on 666metal, any words you would like to say to the RC fans?

S - KEEP THE DARK CULT ALIVE

G – Thank you again! And good luck on the new album!

June 22, 2002
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