For well over a decade German metalers Lay Down Rotten have brutalised and obliterated the senses with their devastating death metal creations. As the years pass the band simply get more ferocious and impressive as their brand new album Mask of Malice proves. The new release which is also the first album with new guitarist Daniel “Kensington” Seifert, is a mighty collection of tracks rippling in intensity and hard destructive sounds. We had the chance to ask vocalist Jost Kleinert about the album, their newest addition and other aspects of Lay Down Rotten.
Hello and thank you for sparing time to talk to us at The RingMaster Review.
You have just released your excellent new album Mask of Malice, what were the emotions approaching release day, fear, relief, excitement….?
Excitement, of course! We are very proud of this particular record. This is our darkest album to date and the first album that features our new guitarist Kensington.
The album is your eighth release I believe including your first demo, do you still feel the same buzz now as then or has it evolved into something else each time?
Well, we have naturally grown as songwriters, musicians and as a band. This is for sure! But deep inside we are still music maniacs with a passion for this genre and each album teaches us something else and has a different approach and a new vibe!
It was amazing: what a great experience! We just gave it our best and were surprised how strong and dangerous we still are! We haven´t lost our chops yet! Uwe, our bassist, wrote a song for this album: La Serpenta Canta. It is his first song to be featured on a Lay Down Rotten album. Then we have mid tempo killers and really fast stuff such as the title track. When I went into the studio to record the vocals I was overwhelmed by the sheer power of the instrumental tracks.
Lay Down Rotten as a band and musicians know what they excel at and with each album has pushed the limitations of your expertise and invention but you do not feel the need or urge to venture into startlingly new domains and sounds, is that fair to say?
All I can say is that we cannot be bothered with trends and new, musical, fashion accessories. We all are strong, unique personalities. We do not sit down and start discussing shit like: Well, dude, nowadays pig squeals are the real shit and we need more blasts and samples and freaky, colorful T shirts. This is just ridiculous, lame ass bull shit. We have a history and a certain upbringing. We are an aggressive Death Metal Band and the music grows as we grow and develop both as personalities and musicians.
On the new album there does feel a more concentrated definition to the songs and a larger weave of invention beneath the aggression than ever before. Is that an organic evolution or something you have focused upon?
Kensington is a very opinionated and talented songwriter. He added a new vibe to the Lay Down Rotten sound. And we rehearsed very hard and very often as we wanted this record to be the beginning of a new era. But, you know, one cannot plan things like this! It has to come naturally!
The album also feels darker and actually more venomous than ever before too, is this a reaction to something or simply again a natural harsher intensity coming in.
Well, just take a look around. These are no happy times, hahaha. And we were really pissed and angry as we started writing new songs. We had to deal with a lot of unwelcomed commodities. But then again. Music is in the end an emotional expression. We did not plan anything.
Last year founder of the band and long time colleague Daniel Jakobi left the band, firstly how did this hit the band and was it something you saw coming?
We saw it coming a long way. And it is for the better, I can assure you. Lay Down Rotten is a full time job. Give it your best shot…this is what it all comes down to when you want to be part of the band.
Was it easy to take a positive view on the departure or did it feel like a setback that the band had to dig deep to get over initially?
It was a relief when it was finally said and done and Kensington replaced D. Jacobi. No hard feelings. The funeral is over. We are back on track and stronger than ever!
Did his departure affect the preparation of Mask of Malice or had you not reached the songwriting stage at that point yet.
Mask of Malice wasn´t affected by anything concerning this matter. By the way Kensington came to the first rehearsal with 8 songs and a ton of ideas and inspirations. Do I have to say anything more?
Like I said before, we know each other from Sarx. But what is really amazing about this guy is his ability to stay calm in the most stressful situations, his loyalty and honesty, his dedication and ambition. He lives and breathes for Metal, you know.
Let me tell you about a funny coincidence: shortly before Daniel left, Kensington met up with me to drink a bottle of whiskey and to take a trip on memory lane. We were both in one of my first bands called Sarx. We talked and drank and remembered the good, old times. So when it finally came to the break up, Kensington was one call away.
Did Daniel have a big influence and say on Mask of Malice?
We are like a machine, a Death Metal machine and Daniel is a great part of it. He gives us a lot of inspiration and his songs fit into the sound of the band. He works like a dog and practices very hard. He inspires us all with his talent, openness and generosity.
What does he bring to the band that gives Lay Down Rotten something new to explore?
He adds a new aggressiveness and he likes variety as you can hear. Kensington has an open personality which is reflected in his songwriting. No borders, no regulations. He is a creative go getter.
How has Lay Down Rotten itself changed across its length as a band apart from being mature musicians and songwriters?
Well, we had to grow up to become what we are today. We had to learn how to deal with life and life´s challenges and stay brutal in our music. We didn´t slow down or wimp out. This is why I am very proud of every album and of the band.
For all of the possibly more involved and layered tracks on Mask of Malice we adore the sheer metal might of the opening song Deathchain. Can you give some background to it?
It was one of the first songs we wrote for the new album. My brother and me wrote the lyrics. Deathchain was also one of the first songs we played live together with Kensington.
I believe the majority of your albums have been recorded at Desert-Inn Studio, what does it offer that keeps you from trying other studios?
This studio contains our history!!…really, T-Low and the Desert Inn mean a lot to us. It is nearby and has a good feel to it. He is smart, kind and knows how to keep things going. We trust him and feel safe with him. So never change a winning team, right?
Yes, we have. Please check our website for further details: www.laydownrotten.com
How soon do you usually start playing with ideas for the next release and songs after bringing out an album?
It is a natural process. We are currently getting prepared for the Mask of Malice Shows. But songs sometimes come out of the blue. So we will be working on new songs very soon. We now have a great songwriter in the band. So there is nothing holding us back.
Again many thanks for sharing your time with us, and good luck with what is a brute of a great album.
Would you like to leave us with a comment for Lay Down Rotten fans everywhere?
Thank you so much guys for your ongoing support. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming to our shows, staying heavy and listening to Lay Down Rotten. Hope to see you soon! Hail to all you crazy maniacs.
And lastly how about revealing one thing from the softer side of the band’s members?
Soft? …what do you mean? I eat two kilos of raw flesh every day, kill pigs with my own two hands and drink gasoline in the morning!
Read the Mask of Malice review@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/lay-down-rotten-mask-of-malice/
RingMaster Review 11/03/2012