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Jungle Rot

Een nieuwe Jungle Rot is natuurlijk altijd een feestje! Een feestje dat we live gaan vieren op het gezellige Into The Grave festival in augustus, maar tot die tijd hebben we in elk geval 'Terror Regime' om te draaien en kunnen we mooi nog even een interviewtje doen met de altijd vriendelijke James Genenz, inmiddels alweer tien jaar een vast onderdeel van de groovende oorlogsmachine die Jungle Rot heet.

Door: Sicktus | Archiveer onder death metal / grindcore

Hi James, can you introduce yourself/yourselves to our readers?
I am James Genenz, I play bass in Jungle Rot now for almost ten years. I was in brutal death metal band Fleshgrind between 1997 and 2005, and I currently also play guitar in doom metal band Avernus, and grindcore band Reign Inferno.

Congratulations on the new album! The second on Victory Records, are you happy with the result? How does this album compare to 'Kill On Command' in your eyes and ears?
We are very happy with the result. It is very comparable to 'Kill On Command', simply because we started writing the new album immediately after 'Kill On Command' was finished. The songs were natural progressions. We are completely happy with the final results on 'Terror Regime' and cannot wait to play these songs live.

What did you do different - if any - compared to the last record? I mean writing and studio wise.
Absolutely nothing. We are not a complicated band. We all sit down and write just like any other band does. Nothing special. Maybe the songs are a bit thrashier this time around due to us listening to a lot of thrash on the previous tours. But we have always had that thrash side to us. Simply put, we sit down and hang out and write music and record bits and pieces and see what works and what does not.

Last time Lords Of Metal did an interview with Jungle Rot, we spoke with Dave, it was September 2011, and 'Kill On Command' had just been released. Can you get us up to speed on what happened since then?
We went out on a few tours after that album was released. We did three full US runs with Immolation and Gigan, then in March with Deicide, Abigail Williams and Lecherous Nocturne. Finally we did the Carnival Of Death tour in September 2012 with Obituary, Broken Dope (Hope, but I get it - Sicktus), Decrepit Birth, and Encrust. We did not make it to Europe as planned; we have been working with a new agent there though. So we are coming for the festivals in August. We have not been to Europe in almost 5 years. That's too long. (I agree! Be sure to check out Jungle Rot at - for instance - Into The Grave festival! - Sicktus)

When we last spoke, Dave said that most of the dreams and goals had been achieved, except maybe play a big open air festival in Europe. Are there any new dreams? Or any signs this one dream will be fulfilled?
We are doing some open air festivals in Europe this year in August. We are playing the Getaway Rock Festival in Sweden, the Into The Grave Festival in Holland with our heroes Sodom! We are also doing The Meh Suff! Metal Fest in Switzerland with more heroes Destruction! Finally, we are playing this years Brutal Assault Festival in the Czech Republic with even more heroes D.R.I. and Voivod! I believe there will be some club dates too with Decrepit Birth!

As you mentioned, you will be playing with Sodom at Into The Grave, any chance we might get to see the 'Agent Orange' cover performed, featuring Tom Angelripper? That would be pretty cool!
That would be amazing. Maybe this can happen.

Speaking of playing live, you have been on tour with Suffocation, quite a few gigs, any special ones? Anything particular to do with this tour that was exciting?
The tour was amazing and it was great to tour with our long time friends in Suffocation and Exhumed. We had some amazing times in Los Angeles and Montreal, Chicago and New York, every show was pretty much great and we met some really cool folks and had a blast!

...and speaking of covers, how did you decide to do another cover and to pick the D.R.I. song 'I Don't Need Society'? And since you have done quite a few covers in the past, would a cover album (like Six Feet Under and Illdisposed did, for instance) be something Jungle Rot would want to do at some point?
We were listening to a lot of cool music on the road, and the song came up. Dave said “Maybe we should try this song.” and we all figured it out. It did not take long for sure, and it has been fun to play. We do not typically play covers live since we do not usually have much time to play, maybe on a headlining tour if ever. We have thought about a covers album, or at least an EP or something.

Congratulations as well on the almost twenty years you are in business! Any plans to celebrate?
We are just gonna keep the train rolling. We celebrate every time we jam.

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It must be good to be where you guys are right now, although it of course took a lot of hard work. Was signing with Victory the last push you guys needed? What has helped the most since then to gain ground and followers/fans?
Victory definitely helped with the push and got more people to notice us that might not have before. We are constantly being talked to by new fans who never heard us before. That is a good feeling. Facebook and MySpace were crucial in getting our name out there a few years back. That was when you could see how much interest there was in Jungle Rot, it was the impetus to take the band a bit more seriously.

Speaking of followers/fans, you have almost 25.000 followers on Facebook and are quite active on social media as well. Who handles that part of the band? And how much time does it take?
We all handle it, each of us moderates and greets fans. I of course have to coach the guys on how to do it but they get it and they all help incredibly. It is nice to have instant access to your fans, and with Facebook apps on phones, it does not take all that much time, you can pretty much do it from your phone.

Now that you are finally getting the recognition that was due, can you look back and think of all the years of hard work, small tours, and so on and smile and say to yourself "Well, it was fun... in a way.", or are you just glad that is in the past?
The small tours are not over I'm sure, haha.. but that is okay. We are proud of everything we have accomplished. Everything is a learning experience.

The follow-up question of course is: please dish out some of those anecdotes!
On this last Suffocation tour, we stopped at a rest stop to piss. We did not see Dave get out of the van, and jumped back in and started driving and forgot him there, haha! We had to drive like 20 miles out of the way to the next exit to turn around and drive back and get him. And Jesse was in a free coffee coma.

This line-up seems to work very well and, compared to earlier in your career, has stuck together very well. James and Geoff are on board for almost ten years now, drummer Jesse Beahler is 'the new kid'. When Jungle Rot started, your drummer Jesse was a five year old kid. How did he end up in Jungle Rot? And what is it like to have such an age gap in the band?
This is the longest lasting Jungle Rot lineup yet. It works perfect. Each one of us is a different personality and brings something to the table. Two consecutive albums were recorded with the same lineup. I do not think that has ever happened before with Jungle Rot. (I think you are right - Sicktus) Jesse is indeed young, we found him early in his career, he was a great drummer then, he is an astonishing drummer now. The age gap is not so bad, he is definitely the kid, but he really has bonded with us and developed his work ethic above and beyond. I'm extremely proud of Jesse and his impact on the band.

Last time we also spoke on the topic of vinyl. That seems to have worked out quite nicely. How are the pre-sales of the 'Skin The Living' re-release, so far? I just read there were some production issues?
Yeah, apparently the vinyl pressing plant had some issues and had to restart the project after being behind schedule already. It's over now everyone should have their vinyls. (Yes, mine arrived a couple of weeks ago! - Sicktus) The vinyl sold well for us especially on the road, people eat it up. I know because I'm one of the vinyl junkies who has to have everything on vinyl.

Any other plans or surprises you have in store that we have not covered? More videos in the making? And is it a good guess that you rather shoot some more videos to use in online promotion, as opposed to doing a new DVD, a better DVD than the 'Live In Germany' one?
There should be another official music video out soon, so keep your eyes open for that. We would like to definitely make a full blown DVD with performances and such. We have got some awesome live footage and we are hoping to get more at the upcoming festivals in Europe. 'Live In Germany' was a let-down from Crash Music who just wanted to greedily release something to make money from us.

Alright, hope to see you on a stage in Europe again soon! Any famous last words - for now?
We will be in Europe in August for sure. Hopefully soon after too. Hope everyone will check out 'Terror Regime' and see us at a show soon! Check us out at our website, our label, Facebook or on Twitter!

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