This week we’re featured the South Dakota death metal crew Angerot in Meet The Band. They are new band made up of veterans of the death metal scene. Their debut album The Splendid Iniquity includes guest appearances from LG Petrov (Entombed, Entombed AD) and James Murphy (Death, Obituary). Frontman Chad Petit introduces us to his band.
Give us a brief history of Angerot.
Chad Petit: Angerot itself is very new, just over a year. However, our musical relationships go way back to 1989. Josh and I began playing together in mid-’89 in a gore-grind project called Pukus which quickly evolved into the long running band Suffer. We were one of the Midwest’s first death metal bands for sure. We split in ’96 or so and moved on to other things, but continued to play random shows for the next 10 years. All members of Angerot spent time in Suffer, so we have some very long running history.
The previous band we were in, The Tennessee Murder Club, split in 2016. Our singer and bassist moved on to new bands and Josh, Jason and I hung together just as always. We met several times and discussed the future, if there was one, and how we would approach it. I have been playing for nearly 30 years and if I was going to continue, I wanted to do something that was exactly where my passion lay: ’90s Swedish death metal.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for The Splendid Iniquity.
We write in a pretty traditional manner, the same way we have for decades. We don’t do much as far as writing through file sharing. 90 percent of being in a band for me is the weekly practice sessions and the camaraderie that comes with it. Jason and I work up a pile of riffs, and we work thru them as a band. We focus hard on composition and writing well structured songs prior to doing anything lyrically. We demo track and then I work on lyrics. I usually never have themes, titles, idea or much of anything prior to the song completion. I listen and try to write to the vibe of the song.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
It is obviously ’90s, but not in a retro or throwback type of way, more of a purity I think. We were born and raised on the very beginnings of death metal and we are simply doing what comes naturally to us. If you weren’t there for the big bang, you can’t accurately recreate it. I believe that is why metal has evolved and changed the way it has. We have been through a lot on the last 30 years and that has all influenced our sound, but it is undeniably ’90s.
How did LG Petrov and James Murphy’s guest appearances come about, and what did they add to the album?
I have been friends with James for several years. We met through my old guitar company, Blakhart. I honestly can’t recall how we first began speaking, but we hit it off very well and have continued to stay in touch through the years. I asked him several years ago to be part of something the future and he was totally on board. James is a smart and talented player. He has been a part of so many great and influential bands, so it was an honor to have him involved.
I connected with LG thru my beer buddy Victor Brandt who is also in Entombed AD. I asked Victor to see if LG would be interested in contributing. It took some time to get him on. I think he wanted to make sure we weren’t just some hacks looking to get a big name on our record. For us, we wanted to out the best record we could and work the best names we possibly could. There were several others that we tried to get involved, but recording schedules didn’t line up, so we will have them on the next one.
How did you come to sign with Black Market Metal?
We waited until the album was basically done before we shopped it around. We have all dealt with the label world, touring and all the shit that goes with it many times in the past. Times have changed and smaller bands aren’t as desperate to sign as they used to be. You can accomplish so much on your own these days that labels struggle a bit to match that fact. I picked a very small group of labels to even send our stuff to. Out of the six we sent to, five got back to us with interest and offers.
I spoke to each label, tried to get a feeling of their expectations, their ambitions and go from there. We are no longer young kids who can throw life to the wind, tour for months and not give a shit. We all have careers, children and families and obligations that tie us down. That doesn’t stop us, it just changes our delivery and how we get our vision out there. In the quick talks we had with these labels, it was clear that Black Market Metal was into what we were doing and willing to work with us on our terms. We were confident the relationship would work.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
That”s a good question. I simply hope that it makes it to the ears of ’90s death metal fans.I would like to think that The Splendid Iniquity does a solid job of holding its own against that era and represents it well. I would love it if we could open new wars and get them to research the roots of death metal and get younger metalheads to look back at the bands that started it all.
What has the early response been like?
It has been great. We tend to throw around the term ‘Swedish Death Worship” internally quite a bit, but I am not sure many outside the band agree. We used HM2s, but we don’t reek of Entombed and Dismember as much as people would anticipate. We have had good praise from many predominant media groups and fans alike. At this point, we are just excited to get this out on Black Market Metal and put it to the public’s ear test.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We have no tour plans, but we do have some killer spot shows that we will be doing over the next several months. We have our album release show on April 13th then we follow that up with a date with Behemoth and Lamb of God. This is our method, we don’t tour and do endless strings of shows, but rather do the ones that make sense for us. We have a handful of shows planned for summer and fall that will do us a lot of good with what we are able to do. One thing we don’t do is pretend we have this grand illusion of being world touring champions. It’s just not in the cards.
What has been your most memorable Angerot live show?
There haven’t been many to date. We are still a newborn really. Instead of playing a ton of shows where nobody knew who we were and what we were trying to accomplish, we wanted to dial in our sound, write the best album we could, record it with the best we could and put it in front of ears. Then we can take this to the stage a bit more. We are really looking forward to some of the upcoming shows we have lined up and I am sure just seeing the bands we are playing with live will be memorable enough apart from playing the shows.
How did you get started in music?
I was 9 and I was following in my brother’s footsteps. He was a natural, I on the other hand was not. I am a lefty and no one caters to lefties in the music world. I tried picking up the guitar at a young age, but it just wasn’t there for me so I moved on to playing drums. I did that until I was about 16, then I made the move back to guitar, only this time I learned to play as a righty. My brother got me into early metal and crossover stuff, Suicidal, S.O.D. and a lot of thrash of the mid-’80s. I picked up Slayer’s Live Undead on cassette in ’85 and continued to search for faster and more aggressive bands. In the very early ’90s I picked up a bundle of Earache imports: Left Hand Path, Symphonies of Sickness, Scum and Streetcleaner. My life was never the same.
What drew you to metal?
Power. Bands of the late ’80s and early ’90s seemed to be larger than life. They pushed every limit musically, lyrically and visually that they possibly could. Everything was so brand new and so many bands brought so many different vibes to the table. I wanted to feel that power. I wanted to be able to create over the top music and present it to anyone who would listen. To me, death metal was like the ultimate combination of raw energy and theater, the only true way to express the darker thoughts with music.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
There were so many. Carcass, Napalm, Entombed, Bolt Thrower, Dismember, Suffocation, Death, Cannibal, Deicide…man, the list goes on. I had picked up some great albums early, as I mentioned, and all of these changed me in different ways. Then, in 1991 it hit and my life was changed forever by Entombed’s Clandestine. I still listen to all of my early influences and I feel that many of those iconic albums are untouchable in so many ways, but Clandestine is unbeatable on so many levels. The musicianship is so unique, Nicke’s drumming was unlike any other, and those riffs and tone… To this day, Tomas Skogsberg is held as the ultimate producer in my eyes. Hence why we searched him out to be a part of what we are doing. Having someone who invented it be a part of our vision is another item off my bucket list.
What was the first metal concert you attended?
Night Ranger. Don’t tell anyone.
I’m a South Dakota native, and there wasn’t much of a metal scene when I lived there. What’s the metal scene like in SD these days? What other bands should we know about?
Metal has always been alive in eastern SD since the mid-’80s. Much like any scene back then, you had to search it out. West River SD now has a very strong black metal scene with the Stygian Rites crew out there. Proud of what they are doing and accomplishing. Sioux Falls has always been more straightforward metal and death metal. Oppress the Tyrant are another local worth checking out.
Seen any good movies/DVDs lately?
I finally saw The Hateful 8. I enjoyed that. Otherwise, I am a series junkie: Vikings, Game of Thrones, etc.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
In my car right now, Clandestine and Dimmu’s In Sorte Diaboli. I tend to lock onto a few albums at once and play/replay them for months on end. Then I will move on to a few new ones and do the same thing.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
My lifelong passion for metal has lead me down many roads, but I tend to always tie my ventures to Metal in some fashion. I co-own a brewery along with my business partner Nick Murphy called Hydra Beer Company. If you dig metal and beer, check us out. I also just launched a new venture called Grindcore Coffee Co. which ties the coffee world to my metal roots.
(interview published April 14, 2018)
Listen To Angerot – “Eternal Unrest”