Interview with Sakis Tolis, Rotting Christ (April 2010) 


First off, let me congratulate you on your newest realese, Aealo. So far there has been a lot of good feedbacks I think...
Yes so many and I do not hide that I do feel honored that my music talks to your soul. This is my aroma as an artist.
Aealo is a concept album about the different emotions that a warrior goes through during a battle. What intrigued you to go with this concept and why?
Aealo refers to the feelings of a warrior during a battle. Weird, strange feelings, like the feeling of anger, the feeling of fear, the feeling of grief and so many other vibrations that a warrior can have during a battle. I felt the need to refer to such topic because i was feeling angry and i do think that Metal music is generally a war tempo... I also felt that all the songs should sound one in order to get the listener deeper into this battle trip. Everyone is welcome to this trip and i am honored as i told you before that i traveled together with many listeners.

I've just recently paid attention to the lyrics of Aealo. They are beautifully written, poetic and philosophical. Knowing the words to the songs made a big difference and makes the album more soulful and powerful. How did you perfect the whole atmosphere and really give your listener the journey?
I just pretended that i was in the middle of the battlefield. I almost believed it so i came up with such lyrics. I want to clear up that it has nothing to do with feelings that supports war. Aealo is not a warlike albumů I think the opposite. When you end up listening to it, you feel relieved and you will feel like you escaped from the trials that only a war can create!

 It's well constructed and you really took sometime in making the album. Was the whole process more difficult with Aealo than previous albums?
It's common knowledge that a very good album can hardly be surpassedů so that fulled me with stress and I do not hide to you a little touch of insecurity! As an artist, I had to surpass my abilities. So I really took it seriously, the composing process, and I isolated myself for more than a year in order to find out a way to the unexplored paths of my soul. I worked different this time. I was based more on the thoughts and less on playing guitar. I philosophized a lot, I slept very little but I finally came up with AEALO. An album that I want to believe will bring the band a step up. And concerning the first feedback, I think that we did manage to create a worthy and maybe better follower than Theogonia in the Greek direction that we have started with THEOGONIA.

 Do you already have ideas for the next album?
Please leave me some months to relax... I paid so much time for AEALO that i do need some time to refresh and to search my untrodden paths of my soul in order to see if i have something new to say... The journey is going on and I soon hope to come up with some ideas. Really hope, otherwise i will split the band... If i haven't something new to say, I will definitelly split up the band.

Is there a possibility that it will be another concept album and will it continue the Greek themes?
Maybe yes... maybe no... Every new  ROTTING CHRIST album is a surprise...
Who are your biggest influences in Music?
My dreams...
You had guest musicians join you on this album. Namely; Diamanda Galas, Alan Nemtheanga of Primordial, Magus Wampyr Daoloth of Necromantia and some of your friends of course. How was it like working with them and what is the best part of working with other musicians?
Yes i had several guests on this album and specifically it was based more on experimental artists who are friends of mine and i have personal connection with them. When i was ending up with one song i was thinking which artist could lift up each song and i came up with the above. I really want to thank them. With their appearence, they put a spot in order to make AEALO even more interesting.
We had the participants in the following songs:
Diamanda Galas on song ORDERS FROM THE DEAD
Alan Nemtheanga  (Primordial) on song THOU ART LORD
Magus Wampyr Daoloth (Necromantia) on song: NEKRON IAHES
Stavros (Dirty Grandy Tales) on songs: THOU ART LORD - FIRE DEATH AND FEAR
Spiros & Efi (Daemoneia Nymphe) on song: ─┴╔╠¤═┘═ ┬Đ┘Ë╔Ë (Demonon Vrosis)
PLEIADES (Greek traditional choir specialized in lament songs)on songs: AEALO- dub-saĝ-ta-ke- FIRE DEATH AND FEAR-SANTA MUERTE-ORDERS FROM THE DEAD
It was a great experience to corporate with too many great musicians indeedů

As a composer, do you work best under pressure or do you work best on your own pace?
Under pressure? Never !!!!!!!!!!!!!! What I am seeking always is my own peace and the more i grow the more problems i face to find  this precious peace. So I have adapted my life in order to remain as a composer. So many sacrifices but i think that it works. A trip can not be called creative if takes part under pressure... It will be called 'Nightmare!'
Through the years you have pierced through different genres. You have gone from Death/Grind to Black  Metal and Darker Extreme Metal. Do you see Rotting Christ heading yet another direction, one day?
As long as there's a new world, i will explore. It will have something to do with Metal. Yes, maybe you can expect some new directions... but i do repeat... It has to do with Metal.

You have managed to fend off your Black Metal ways, though occasionally it's still there. Any chance of bringing back more of your Black Metal roots in the future?
Yes we are also open in somethng like this. ROTTING CHRIST actually never really was the true Black Metal horde... We had walked on our own Black Metal path and maybe we will return back in the future. Though I think that nowadays we are crossing the most influential period of our lives.
What has kept Rotting Christ going for the last two decades, what keeps a band strong for that long?
Our deep dedication to the idea of Metal... Actually I do not know what idea it is exactly but I love to fight for my ideas, especially for  the way of life that i do not hide. It wouldl be really painful if I ever loose it. We are fans of this music and my personal aroma is to die on the stage.
What would restrain Rotting Christ from their musical endeavors... if anything?
Only an unexpected problem with our health... Biological reasons then!
Will you ever change the name Rotting Christ despite the threats and hatred towards your name? 
Too many threats and too many prohibitions in our career but we remain the same status as a band. We rot any kind of religion... We rot any kind of conservative idea and we will keep on creating with such a name because we do think that all the religions worldwide are rotting. And I do you want to tell you something. We do not give a shit to reach the top, this is vanity.
Do you think the band's name is still relative to the music you are creating?
Yes why not... All depends on our mindset and I feel like our music could not careless for Christian ears!
Any words to our readers and to the fans of Rotting Christ?



Interviewed by Haydee G.
Rotting Christ - Aealo

Album available on Season Of Mist