1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
We are currently gathering ideas to start writing a new album. We are also looking for a way to play a short tour or a couple fests.
2.How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?
'The Next' is much catchier than previous releases. On the previous albums, I would put too much attention on how the songs would look like on paper and how it would work conceptually, but on this new one I focused 100% on what it sounded like. The guitars are much more detailed but also catchier and rhythmic. There is a bit less attention on technicality and more on musicality, if that makes sense. It's much more old school tech death, in the vein of None So Vile-era Cryptopsy or even Gorguts, but keeping the things that fans have mentioned as their favorite Serocs parts (melodic tremolo riffs, barely any use of power chords and all-out insane fast parts). Having a full band also changed the sound a lot. Before, I would write all instruments and lyrics, which drained me and took a lot of effort. That way, the songs would all sound like me and would get a bit too similar in each other. Now, the guys wrote their own parts, which helped me focus on guitars exclusively, and it really shows, because there are a lot more details and styles incorporated. For example, Timo used a symmetric drum kit, which created a nice panned effect when he is doing cymbal play. There are some ride sections that are very original when he is using both rides. Mike, on bass, created lines that are all different from the guitars and usually don't even repeat themselves throughout a riff. He is doing a sort of bass-as-the-lead concept he came up with that keeps things interesting. I also tried to create "part 2" versions of old songs that were very well received back then, for example The Constant is part 2 of The Variable and Alienus Gignesthai is part 2 of Great Hymn To The Aten.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
The lyrics on 'The Next' have a general concept behind them, which is "we think of us, modern humans, as the next step in evolution, but we are actually de-evolving". I took some of the usual concepts I've been using throughout our albums, like social unrest, political themes, psychological disorders and a bit of mythology and created a couple of titles (The Next, Urban Terror, ChernoVile) and sent to Jason for him to write the lyrics. Alienus Gignesthai was a title that our previous singer Josh Smith came up with too. Jason took care of the lyrics in record time, as he joined pretty late into the recording process, and created the concepts for the other songs. They all deal with the album's concept in some way. The opener (and title track) talks about the concept itself explicitly and others, for example Weakness Fed The Fear (religion), talk about this concept in specific areas of our society, ending with Alienus Gignesthai, which is a straight-up sci-fi/mythology concept where we are being punished for these behaviors.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
The name has a pretty random story. As a kid, my e-mail would be "xerox" and I would use that as a name on video-games (for example the old Starcraft or Counterstrike 1.3). When I started joining local bands, people would call me "xerox", but they would write it as "serocs". When I decided to start my own band, I chose that name because it was already well known in the local scene, so I tried to separate it from myself and make it the band's name, not mine. Eventually, it proved to be weird enough to sound interesting but easy to say and unique (IMO).
5.The band started out as a solo project, what was the decision behind forming a full line up?
It was always my idea to make it a full band. I was in some local bands that weren't exactly the type of sound I wanted to make, so I started to look for local musicians that could play this type of music (or even liked it), but it wasn't popular at all back then in this country and not many people could play it (specially drummers). Because of this, I changed my plan to making my own music at home and getting good enough that I could attract foreign talent and finally make the band I wanted. When I released the second EP, Timo contacted me because he wanted to join and I knew I had finally reached my first goal with Serocs. I had already started making the first full length back then with vocalist Josh Smith, so we decided Timo would join for the second LP. He then brought Mike in and Mike got Jason to join.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
We have never played a show as Serocs. Timo and Mike both play in Vile (and other big bands) and Jason used to sing on Lecherous Nocturne (and other bands too), so they have plenty of touring experience. I also have a lot of experience, but only inside my country, as my local bands never really took off. We are currently working on getting a short tour or some fests, because we believe our music would be really powerful live, so expect to see us soon.
7.What are the touring plans for the new release?
No definite plans so far. It's hard to tour when each member is in a different country, but we'll make it happen. (Or if any promoter or band is reading this, help us out! lol)
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal?
Feedback has been really good, for 'The Next' specially. We have fans from all over the world, which is something I didn't think would happen so soon. The internet is a wonderful thing and it has kept this band going (both because of fans and band members). Sometimes, I find Russian or Japanese forums talking about us and I just google-translate them and read their feedback. I like listening to what fans say and definitely shape the music to their feedback in some way. Us musicians are fans of other bands too and I know how important it is, as a listener, to feel that the band cares about sending their own message and music but also listens to your feedback, so I try to do the same. I also try and give free stuff (at least digitally) to the fans that help us promote, share our posts, etc. Some big bands have helped us spread the word no the sole fact that they liked the music, so that's really awesome.
9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
The closing track Alienus Gignesthai is a good indication of where we are going. We are definitely going to keep the core Serocs sound but our future release will incorporate some more slow sections, more of a "doom-ish" evil atmosphere and try to get even more creative. We are current bouncing ideas and concepts off each other and I can tell you Mike and Timo have some crazy stuff planned.
10.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Cryptopsy is always my main thing. I always listen to them and will never stop, so my playing and writing always has a little bit of them. Same thing, to some degree, with Defeated Sanity and Nile. Those bands never leave my playlists. Nowadays I've also been listening to Wormed, old Decapitated and Gorguts (their new album is fucking awesome!), mainly because of people comparing our music to theirs, which makes me feel really flattered. 'Alienus' has gotten a lot of Gorguts comparisons even though I wasn't an active Gorguts listener when I wrote it (I am now though). Abhorrent is also a big inspiration and, even though they only have demos at the moment, I look up to them. Hopefully we'll get their full-length soon. The new stuff will also be inspired by Ulcerate, Sleep (mainly Dopesmoker) and Zealotry, which all have slower and more elaborate sections (well, maybe not Dopesmoker). These bands create great ambiance and I look forward to adding some of that evil environment to new Serocs material. Plus, Mike and Timo both listen to other bands so new Serocs will be much more varied.
11.Outside of music, what are some of your interests?
I love movies and TV. You can hear a lot of that on older Serocs (samples and song titles). My favorite thing is LOST and you can find a reference to that on every one of our albums. I also like screenwriting, which I'm currently working on, and aspire to sell some scripts soon. Besides that; eating. Oh man, food is the best. I don't really play any modern video-games, but I love playing this Quake 3 mod called "Urban Terror" (yeah, like the song). Really fun and challenging.
12.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
We are really thankful for the great feedback we've been getting and hope to meet some of our fans on live shows soon! www.comatosemusic.com