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SULPHER - Rob Holliday

Discussion in 'Metal Interviews' started by Mark, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. Mark

    Mark Not blessed, or merciful

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    SULPHER
    By Melanie Haack


    There is one band whose name is going around everywhere at the moment: Sulpher. England’s new industrial heroes are ready to conquer the world. With their first album “Spray” they entered the main stage at M’era Luna Festival – one of German’s biggest events for the dark scene. Sulpher are Rob Holliday (voc., guit.) and Monti (drums, programming) who are supplemented by samples man Kevin Stuart and live bassist Mud.

    The band has just been on support tour with the Finnish goth rock band “The 69 Eyes” in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

    Frontman Rob Holliday took some time and answered the questions by e-mail.

    First of all, can you tell me where you are at the moment? Still In Germany or already back in England?


    We are still in Germany on tour with The 69 Eyes. We are in Berlin on our first day off with Yeagermeister hangovers…

    Sulpher exists since somewhere in 2000 if I am right. Would you please tell me something about the band’s history and why it was founded?

    It started about three years ago with myself and drummer/programmer Monti. We met on tour as live members of the British band Curve. We were on a six week US tour and found we had very similar musical influences. When we arrived home we started working on some rough ideas in the studio. Now we are here with an album, band and on tour in Germany. It’s gone really fast and we have gone through a lot of shit and hard times but it’s finally paying off.

    Is “Spray” the perfect result of the studio work or is there anything that could have been better in your opinion?

    We are proud of the album but we are never really satisfied with the end product. We feel it can always be better. I think we are perfectionists, the epitaph should say perfectionist in noise.

    Comparisons to other, bigger bands are the cross all new bands have to bear. In connection with “Sulpher” there often appear certain names: NIN, Curve and Stabbing Westward’s. I would mention a bit of “old Ministry” and maybe Pitchshifter. What do think about all these comparisons?

    Some of these comparisons are very flattering. Especially as we’re being compared to some of the best bands in the world but we are a little bored with comparisons in general. Our music has a lot of influences and combinations. But we hate being labeled, were basically a hard rock band who are not afraid to use all the modern technologies available.

    What do you think about the sentence I read in one review: “Britain's answer to Nine Inch Nails”?

    Flattering. They are a great band. It’s just laziness on the journalist behalf. They compare us to NIN because we have the same dynamic stylish music. We know the NIN guys and it’s pretty funny to be compared. They are the most well-known band in the genera so I guess that’s why. People are quick to compare us to them.

    In your opinion, what makes that Sulpher style?

    We are very much into dynamics, and myself and Monti are very picky about how things end up sounding. We love emotions in music. I am a very emotional person and this emotion comes out through the music. Our songs are about love, pain, hate, and betrayal… feeling alone, needing feel to part of something.
    Your favourite bands – please give me some names and tell me in which way they influence your music.

    We are influenced by bands that have always kept their integrity and never changed to suit some record label executives idea of what they should be. Bands with power and emotion. Major influences have been, Killing Joke, Depeche Mode, Skinny Puppy, Ministry. Stuff we like currently is, Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Fear Factory, Deftones, Slip Knot, Aphex Twins, Filter, Static X…

    Monti and you have both played with “The Curve”, you have been with “The Creatures” and I saw you with “The Mission” in Hamburg. What about the future, will there only be “Sulpher”?


    Sulpher is our main thing. Sulpher is our life. If we have any spare time we may do some work with some other bands but we want to concentrate on Sulpher. We are doing some work in November on some Gary Numan remixes.

    [Monti and Rob co-produced Gary Numan’s album “Pure”, Rob played guitar on that album and shared co-writing credits on the song “I can’t breath” and he also played guitar on the Guns N Roses album that should be released soon.]

    One album – and you have already played the main stage at M’era Luna Festival Hildesheim. Things are moving very fast, don’t you think?

    It’s taken a while to get to this level and it hasn’t been some sort of overnight success. It’s been hard for the most part, we financed everything our selves over the past three years and refused to change what we are about in order to receive any major label money. We finally hooked up with dependant, a label that really believes in what we do. So it hasn’t been as fast and easy as it may seem.

    You were on tour with the Finnish guys from “The 69 Eyes”. Your music is quite different from their – well, let’s call it gothic rock. Have you been a bit afraid of the audience’s reaction to your gig?

    We were wondering how they would react, but the response has been great. They seem to like the hard aggressive way we play live, although some of the girls in the front row look really afraid when we come out thawing stuff around. I almost hit someone in the face with the mic stand the other night. So beware in the front row. Bring a helmet and a facemask.

    “The 69 Eyes” + “Sulpher. In my opinion an interesting mixture. Why did you go on tour with them?

    We met at M’era Luna Festival and the promoters felt it would be cool if we toured together, it’s been great and we want to thank Scorpio and the 69 eyes for having us. Maybe we can do some more shows together in the future.

    Tell me a bit about the first gig in Hamburg. I think it was really good but what was your impression?

    It was a nightmare: We missed our ferry and showed up 5 hours late. We got there 15 minutes before we had to play. The club was already full of fans. We got our gear up and played as loud and hard as possible. The crowd really got into it and respected us for doing the show. At one point we were not going to play. But we were glad we did! The shows are getting better and more energetic every night and the Yeagermeister keeps mysteriously disappearing in large quantities.

    And how did you like the After Show Party in Hamburg’s Scandia Bar? In my opinion the best bar on the Reeperbahn…

    It was cool. It was nice to meet some of the fans from the show. We signed some autographs and a bunch of photos with the lovely German fans. They made us feel very welcome.

    The best gig ever with Sulpher and in general: where, why and when?

    M’era Luna 2002. It was our first German show. It was raining and very miserable, but we played hard and got a fantastic response from the people that braved the shit weather to watch our set. Three days later our single “one of us” went in at 12 in the DAC charts then to 7 then 5. We are really happy about the response in Germany and want to say thank you all our fans.

    How old were you when you knew: “I am gonna make music”? And how important is it in your life?

    I started when I was 11. The first band was when I was 14. I knew immediately this was my life, and have suffered forever since.

    I read that NBC had picked up one of our tracks for their official theme music for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Is that right? And which song was that?

    Yeah, it was the track “fear me”. It was played in cinemas all across America.

    Thank you for taking some time and now feel free to say what ever you want the readers to know!

    Our album “Spray” came out October the 7th … go out and get it, turn it up as loud as possible, piss off your parents and your neighbors, come out and see us live on tour and bring your ear plugs, it’s going to be fucking loud…
     

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