Hi Niko! Greetings from Sick and Destroy team. What are you up to these days?
Hi guys! Nothing out of the ordinary, we are just working on these bands while handling dayjobs and/or studies. I was just recording bass for the new SONIC POISON releases those should come out later this year and I’ve a handful of shows booked for all of the three bands I’m in. Our drummer has been actively touring with his punk band NUORET SANKARIT, which released their first full-length not a long time ago and our bassist has been playing guitar in a new Lappeenranta based heavy metal band OUTLAW, who’ve just started to play more gigs after a long period of just rehearsing and recording. So, it seems we’re keeping ourselves quite busy!
Would you please introduce SCUMRIPPER to our readers who are not aware of your band and music?
The filthiest and most savage death metal punk you can find. Power-trio consisting of me, Rat Pitt (guitars & vocals), Son Stalker (drums) and Cliff Hunger (bass mutilation). We’ll just keep tearing your face apart with 2-minute-long riff assaults and never relax until you’re dead. For musical reference you should check out Repulsion, Nekrofilth, Autopsy, Impetigo etc.
Give us a little insight into the formation of the band. When and how did it happen?
Because of the nice steady progression of LORD FIST (my heavy metal band formed in 2011) I hadn’t had any time or need for other projects really. I had already given up playing death metal (which kept me busy for years as a teenager) and I just didn’t see a point doing it anymore because the nowadays scene is so fruitful and full of great acts already. But then came the day my friend Tuomas (vocalist of EVILNIGHT) recommended the US brawlers NEKROFILTH to me. The punk-driven energy of tunes like ”Throne of Sluts” was instantly addictive and the freshest take on death metal I had heard in years. Around the same time Simo (drums for Scumripper) had become one of my best friends and I guess we both had kinda waited to start a band together. Well, this is where our interests met, punk-driven death metal in the vein of Repulsion, Autopsy, Impetigo etc. He would naturally take the drums and I should handle vocals with either bass or guitar duties. To reach the entity of power trio we had to recruit someone and somehow we decided to ask Joonas to fill in, also a good friend (previously known playing guitar in EVILNIGHT, A.S.U.R.A. etc.). He was immediately up for it and there we got it together.
At what age did you guys start playing instruments? Since when are you into metal music?
From very early age I was more interested in music than my classmates, but hadn’t formed more of a ”taste” for it than listening to whatever you can hear on the radio or see in a ”Top40” program which is the only place you could catch a music video then. Later I’ve realised that from very early on I was drawn towards the sound of distorted guitar, but at that time I couldn’t really undestand it, or where that distinctive ”heavyness” in some music came from. Getting in to metal for all of us must’ve happened around ages 12-14. For me it’s something I can still remember sort of. One summer day you’re at the store and have some spare money to spend on a new cd. Something urges you to pick up a Metallica record and from there on starts a complete new era in your life, you stop playing football and start playing guitar. Simple as that.
SCUMRIPPER going to release ‘Scumripper’ 7″ EP on March 31th. Tell us something about it. Walk us through all the tracks lyrics and meaning.
Well, it’s our first EP sold out on cassette and now finally on vinyl by HELLS HEADBANGERS RECORDS, we are so excited. Here’s a short description of the contents:
SHIT NEEDLE CROWN: Fast one to knock your head off this instant. First song we ever jammed and distinctive Repulsion influences right in the first riff. Lyrics build a horrific comic-like character that lives for dope and anything immoral.
BURNING OF THE MIDNIGHT TRAMP: Introducing our more groovy approach, people claim this very catchy so it must be drum accents and vox that sync very nicely to the music. Middle part starts off with restrained Slayerish groove but then goes to almost Deicide mode, haha. Lyrics tell a story of a dope fiend mother whose grown sons go vigilante on her. The song title might bring out a few laughs if you’re familiar with 60s classic rock.
SCUMRIPPER: Song structure can’t get more simple than this, just two riffs. But this is the very idea of this band. That you can make a good song with just that. Every band must also have a defining song that carries the band name. Lyrics are just a continous tribute to our idols, word play with name dropping our influences.
CUM KILLA: Probably my personal favourite on the EP. Gets on you like a tank and then moves to a very crossover-like middle part. Lyrics are just put around the title, humorous train of thought. I actually wrote them at work, sitting in a library service desk in an silent hour, just before I was going to record the rest of the vocals.
RUN TO THE PILLS: Shortest song and the sample takes almost half of the duration, haha. Musically very hardcore influenced and closest to grindcore we’ve come yet. Lyrics are a very brief expression against the overmedication that’s already taken over the western society. Our patience has sinked to a such a pathetic level and without consideration we stuff ourselves with chemicals rather than utillize more natural processes to heal and recover from diseases or pains those are relatively short-term.
GUTTER HEIGHTS: A lot of Swedish death metal and hardcore influence, the end result is something I’d think ”death ‘n’ roll” should sound like. With the middle part I was going for a Motörhead type of feel, but other guys thought it reminded them of early Bathory, I can live with this! Lyrical theme is all in the title really, description of a friendly neighbourhood.
How has been the response so far by the listeners? Have you started working on new songs already?
The response has been great from the start. The people who are into this stuff are very passionate about the music and very eager to support us. The first cassette release (by Caligari Records) sold out very quickly and the digital release has done very well for us also, especially considering that we didn’t had much expectations for it.
We are finishing off our new material and our plan is to record our first full-length in May. The material will definitely be more diverse, definitely more of that punk side and if possible, definitely more metal, if you can imagine it. I mean early Slayer influences, bits of almost black metal style of riff-work and a somewhat broader take on different death metal riffs and grooves.
When and where did you play your first gig? How was the experience of going live for the first time?
The first gig was in club PRKL, Helsinki, January or February of 2016. I heard that Bonehunter had a gig coming up there and I knew the organizer, so I managed to work us in the bill. The date came pretty soon so, I think we got to rehearse once and it was first time playing together since the recordings of the EP (about three months earlier.) For me this was the first time handling lead vocals and guitars at the same time when playing live, so I really had to focus, at least for 15 minutes, haha, that is how long our set lasted then. The response from the audience was ok, especially since we were such a new band, as we still are.
What, according to you, is the secret behind band’s success?
Can just guess, probably that simple yet catchy riffage and brief songs, to the point, no bullshit. Getting that punky vibe going but still changing grooves all the time, so it doesn’t get boring. Also, most of the death metal bands nowadays tend to tune their guitars very low, I mean too low. We are ripping from standard D tuning where you can still get that addictive clear but fiercely cutting string sound that reminds from Exodus’ Bonded By Blood and early Slayer. That’s a sound your ears just can’t refuse. The vocal work has also gotten lots of compliments. I was going for a Martin Van Drunen type of voice, since I’ve always found it easy to produce something like that of a sound. In the end it doesn’t sound too much like Martin but it’s definitely more high-pitched than your average death metal vocals, so it might stand out a bit.
Ever had an epic fail moment during a gig?
Nah. Fails yes, but them epic ones are definitely yet to happen.
If asked to differentiate SCUMRIPPER from other bands in your country, how would you like to respond to it?
For a few years now, in Finland there has been a significant movement where a great deal of death metal bands have taken a step towards of a more darker, even black metal and occult-influenced direction, both musically and lyrically. This phenomenon has summoned great records from Swallowed, Krypts and Lantern, just to name a few, but we feel that the original driving force beyond death metal, which derives from the late 80s, is not too well represented anymore in the Finnish scene. We are cherishing that savage uncompromising ”straight to the point” and punk-vibe which should always stay with death metal.
Which bands/ artists do you draw your influences from? Which are your favorite local bands?
Them key influences I’ve definitely mentioned already. At the moment some of my own personal favourite new/young bands in Finland are GALVANIZER (the most uncompromising young guns of grinding death metal), GHOST WORLD (sweet fuzzy slacker rock with heavenly guitar leads), ANGEL SWORD (the catchiest heavy metal band ever), MORGAL (black metal with 100% commitment you can’t see anywhere else these days) and KAIRON; IRSE! (psychedelic/prog-rock whatever, but the first band I’ve seen live in a long time who actually have riffs I haven’t heard before.)
How do you guys manage jobs and gigs? Also how often do you guys gathering altogether just to fun?
Since we are not really touring but only playing gigs on weekends, it isn’t that hard. Everyone operating in Finnish scene must be familiar with this. There’s not that much audience in Finland. In order to tour all week and get people to come see you every night, you have to be huge mainstream act. Most of the bars and clubs where underground metal/punk shows are held don’t even open their doors all week.
For us more of a challenge is that we all have other active bands also. Booking gigs isn’t that hard, but getting togeher to rehearse is quite painful sometimes, because our drummer lives in another town. But on the other hand, me and our bass player Joonas are roommates, living amongst countless amounts of records and enough turntables and guitars to start a war with. So it’s scum-day every day!
SCUMRIPPER is very promising formation. Talking of your future, 5 years from now, where do you see yourself?
Hopefully still together doing this. I think we got the wanted style and sound locked on right on the first release so now we just have to keep it fun and interesting and try not to turn into complete shit in two years like Satan’s Satyrs.
Well, that’s it. Thanks a lot for your time. Speak out to all your fans and supporters.
Big thanks to friends, fans and everyone who’ve supported us in any way, put out a release (Hansel the Great of Caligari Records!) bought merch, helped organize gigs and spread the word. The 7” vinyl version of our debut EP is now available for pre-order at HELLS HEADBANGERS store, released on March 31st.