“If there’s one reason for you to tune into East Coast hardcore, it’s the devastating, bone-breaking riffs on ROCK BOTTOM‘s debut full-length “Down With the Devil”” – a part of the official word tells nothing but the truth about the band. On October 30th, ROCK BOTTOM’s debut full length “Down With the Devil” will tear you apart! Furthermore, the outing will be available for free! Check out the flyer below and dive into this interview to learn more!
“If you’re from Philly and you haven’t heard of ROCK BOTTOM then you’ve got wax in your ears and idiots for friends.” – this is probably one of the most interesting beginnings of a press release I’ve ever heard [laughs]. Why are you so sure of yourself? Is it the new album you’re cooking there? [smiles]
I think it’s a fair assessment. We have been a band for around 3 years now and we have played in and around Philadelphia consistently. So we are pretty much saying, if it’s taken you this long to find out who we are and you are a fan of the core, then where the fuck have you been?! We will give you a pass, but this is your last chance to pull the moron card.
Brave. Why did it take you so long to put out a proper full length release?
For the past year ever since I, Dion, rejoined the band, we have been focused on writing a full length album that would not be a total snoozer. When most hardcore bands write full length albums, its usually a couple good songs and the rest is filler (or some would say “fluff”). We wanted to make every song good enough not to pass over. We wrote a lot of songs, but we also scrapped a lot of songs. We listened to some of our favorite hardcore / metal full lengths and tried to write an album where you listened to every song front to back without skipping tracks. We think we did the best we could at making an exciting new full length album. Good things take time.
Tell us about the story behind the title and the lyrics of “Down With the Devil”?
We threw around a ton of ideas this past year on names for the album. We wanted to name the album before writing lyrics so that we had an understanding where we were coming from. When talking to kids about our band they always connected our band with satan, the devil, etc. While some of our songs gave off that vibe, we didn’t want to milk the whole satanic thing for the rest of our existence. So when we say we are “Down With The Devil”, we are saying… We are down with devil, but we don’t need to write every song about it, so listen up and hear what we really want to say. There are still some stuff on the darker side but we are still open to write songs about other shit as well. So for those who wanted us to sing about the dark and dirty shit, you are in for a real treat!
What’s the progress you made since your last release? What’s different on this new album?
Back in October / November, we wrote 3 songs when I came back to let everyone know that I was back in the band and we were ready to turn a new page in the Rock Bottom dynasty. We called those three songs, the “BTS Demos”. From there we went on writing more songs for “Down With The Devil”. Personally when I play the album back to myself, I think “Fuck, this is the fastest and heaviest shit we ever did”. We wanted to incorporate more metal into hardcore, so we sped up the songs and we wrote heavy parts that people can go apeshit to. For this release, we catered to what our fans wanted, but didn’t cut corners or slave ourselves to writing awful songs we didn’t like.
Are you releasing the digital version completely for free? What physical formats are you readying?
Oh hell yeah! What is better than free music? Probably nothing. People are always looking and trying to weasel their way to get bands’ albums for free on the internet. John, our guitarist pitched us the idea of putting out “Down With The Devil” for free and we all thought he was smoking meth, because who would do that. We would make no money off of it, kids would probably think we are a crock of shit. Who the fuck would take us seriously? But we really thought about it, and said “fuck it!” and we thought if we put it out for free, kids couldn’t complain about not hearing it, or not having enough money to buy it, etc. So we are putting it out for free hoping kids can listen, like us, and come out to shows and support us in other ways. Marked For Death Records (Europe) will be putting out a cd version for us, and hopefully sometime within the next couple months, we will put it out on wax. Until then, its going to be free via download link on our Facebook.
Sounds like a great plan.
Any funny / fucked up stories about the writing / recording process you’d like to share?
Just a lot of head butting. Physically and figuratively. Some of us had our own visions on how stuff was going to pan out during the writing process. We felt like dicks sometimes when we told each other that we thought the song sucked or it needed something else or that it just wasn’t working, so that’s why it took us awhile to be on the same page with a lot of these songs. We are all best friends so typically writing and recording goes pretty fast and we don’t get under each other’s skin too much. We like to bust balls ALLLL the time though. It’s actually my sick pleasure and sometimes I am the biggest dick in the band.
Tell us about your cooperation with Harvcore. Who will be responsible for distributing the new stuff? Are you thinking about spreading it in Asia, South America and other far places?
Vince and Anne Spina of Harvcore Records have been like father and mother to ROCK BOTTOM ever since they put out “Born II Hate” back in 2010. When we wrote our first demo, we didn’t think anyone would want to put out a record for us. We all talked and he ended up putting out “Born II Hate” as well as “Your Demise”. It has been quite a journey the past 3 years of this band, but our success is measured by how much help we received from Harvcore Records. They are our family and we will never take what they have done for us for granted. HARVCORE RECORDS 2012 AND BEYOND! As far as distributing the new stuff, it would be unprofessional for us to say we didn’t have a clue, but we really don’t have a clue. We are hoping the word is spread on the internet about our new album and hope people tell their buddies to check it out. We don’t really need help from other people trying to suck money out of bands and we are depending on our already awesome fan base to spread word about the new shit. We have faith in our fans. Fuck the rest.
Ok, so how come you decided to put EMINEM on the cover of your debut demo? [laughs]
EMINEM is pretty awesome. I am not sure how that “cover art” got up there, but I think its pretty rad. When we came up with calling our band ROCK BOTTOM, we had people affiliating us with WWE superstar, The Rock, and we kind of had to squash that immediately, because we didn’t want to be apart of that gimmick. People wouldn’t take us seriously, but over the years, we found out people won’t take us seriously anyway, so who gives a fuck? To answer your question, EMINEM has a song called “Rock Bottom” and it’s a certified banger. Don’t forget that KISS has a song called “Rock Bottom” too. Also, a banger.
How has the perception of your band changed over the years? Do you see a direct connection between the release dates of your successive outings and the rise of the positive feedback from the kids?
Well, at first kids started coming out to our shows in the beginning because of the previous bands we were in. Soon enough people were really hooked on the “Hail Satan” thing and started coming to shows thinking we were going to sacrifice people or some shit. When I left the band back at the end of Born II Hate, things were on the up and up (more fans, bigger opportunities). I was really bummed when I left the band, but i did it because I had a new job which wouldn’t give me the flexible schedule to let me do weekend tours and shit, so they got a new singer, played Sound And Fury, played This Is Hardcore. Business was a boomin’. By the time I rejoined the band, I was dumbfounded how many kids followed us via social media, coming out to shows, getting asked to headline. Things are still always on the way up and we have to keep thinking that and believing in ourselves in order to make this band stay afloat. So we will always try to push the limit or whatever they say.
What were one of the most crushing shows you played this year?
I’ll give you a top 3:
1. The Rumble (Chicago) – First time playing out in the deep midwest. We had a great time and kids went off for us which we totally didn’t expect so it was nice playing a bigger fest where we haven’t played and getting a great reaction. We also went out with our friends in AGITATOR, so the ride was a blast.
2. When COMEBACK KID and FOUNDATION tour came to Philly in March, Joe asked us if we could open and we were happy to. Kids came out early and the hometown reaction was excellent and the rest of the show was absolutely awesome as well.
3. EMPIRE OF RATS Video Shoot (Columbus, OH) – We did a weekend with our pals in BENCHPRESS and the reason we were heading that way is because our other pals in EMPIRE OF RATS were filming a video at this place called the Carabar in their hometown and the show was absolutely bananas. Its a small bar with almost no room to move. Those places are the best. We played one of our best sets to date and there was complete carnage on the dancefloor and the stage. Best time.
So what are one of the best American hardcore festivals around these days?
Not to be totally biased but This Is Hardcore in Philly is THE best fest in America. Joe out does himself every year and it just gets better and better. We have all been going since the beginning since its a rocks throw away from us. We were happy to be apart of the fest in 2011 and regardless of us being on the fest or not, we are always there! Make the trip if you get the chance.
Have you heard about Fluff Fest? I’d love to see you guys playing it.
Grease those wheels, we would love to come over to Europe and play anything whether it be Fluff Fest or Fuck Fest or whatever. We can’t wait to come over and rage.
[laughs] I sincerely hope you’ll add this one to your top list.
What are your touring plans for the coming months? Any plans to invade Europe?
We will be hitting the Northeast as uge as well as getting south, west, you name it. We don’t have any plans for Europe, but that doesn’t mean we are not thinking / planning on a trip soon. Everyone who hasn’t seen us, hold on to your butts, we are coming when we get the chance!
Have there been any line-up changes in ROCK BOTTOM camp over the years, besides getting a new singer? Why is that hardcore bands change their members?
We recently parted ways with one of our original guitarists this past year. It wasn’t quite working out for us and him. We are still good friends with him. We did recently added another guitarist to fill the hole he had. Our long time friend Joe Kane will be playing guitar for us when he isn’t on tour with his other band, DAYLIGHT. We are very excited to be a 5-piece when we can.
Ok. Let’s look outside ROCK BOTTOM. What other bands are you involved in?
Are you into zines? Please discuss your favorite ones.
I don’t read but when I do, I read Loud Mouth Magazine.
That’s about it, fellows. I must have forgotten to ask you something, so feel free to complete our chat with things you want to add [smiles]. Thanks!
Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this and thanks to anyone who has helped us from day one. Too many people to name / dick ride. For those who haven’t heard of us and like what you hear, we wanna hear from you, so find us via the World Wide Web and reach out! Oh, and a big fuck you to anyone who can’t think for themselves. SHITS WEAK. DWTD 2012