Lustful rock n roll: a chat with Destructo

Black thrash trio Destructo have recently released their debut full-length «Demonic Possession» through Dying Victims Productions and Wolves of Hades. The album arrives almost three years since an untitled demo, which signalled not only the band’s arrival but their obsession with the likes of Sarcófago, Vulcano, and Sabbat, which they even covered in said demo. In the time that passed, between spreading filth on stage prior to the lockdowns, they evolved and diversified their sound, as the new LP attests. We had a chat with their guitarist and vocalist G.G. Motörphallus (also from Dödsrit, Mutilation Altar, Nuclear Devastation, and the man responsible for Wolves of Hades), covering everything from the band’s origins, influences, and overall aesthetics.

Before Destructo, there was Nuclear Devastation, where both G.G. Motörphallus and J.J. Soulcrusher (bass and vocals, also a member of Dödsrit) already crafted filthy black thrash. “Back then our drummer with Nuclear Devastation was quite busy with other projects and to be very honest we were having a bit of a difficult time with the other band members for multiple reasons. At some point, since me and Soulcrusher have been close friends for ages, we just decided to do something musically because we don’t like sitting still.” So far, so simple, and between the restlessness and the love for “80s early black metal and hardcore punk,” Destructo was born. At first, it was Soulcrusher on bass, Motörphallus on drums, and a friend of theirs on guitar, “but honestly every time we met up it was only playing very shitty Celtic Frost rip-off riffs, drinking beer, and getting shitfaced.” Things changed while Motörphallus was doing an internship at the studio where he now usually records his stuff. Then, on his free time, he “was writing Bathory and Nifelheim kind of riffs,” which prompted him to get back to guitars and the band “to ask a local friend of ours that we knew from the punk scene to play drums [Necrohammer]. At some point we had some songs written, the chemistry was there and we made a demo.” That demo, which can be heard below, was thus the starting point, from which it’s been about keeping “on writing and creating fucking debauchery!

Despite the overlap in genre between Destructo and Nuclear Devastation, there are some major differences. As Motörphallus explains, “with Nuclear Devastation we were trying to search for something a bit more cathartic with the music, whereas with Destructo we didn’t really care about finding something cathartic but rather wanting just to create something total fucking perverse, evil, and almost in a sense, the opposite of cathartic, almost lustful. That’s really what I sometimes feel with this kind of music, this lusting, this getting totally fucked with beers and taking a fat line of speed before getting on stage.” That intoxication worship has carried on since to «Demonic Possession», with the album indeed containing re-recorded versions of the demo (the one above), title track included. However, the first two were left out. Regarding those, Motörphallus explains that they “represent our attitude perfectly. «Hellbent Speedfreaks» is about what we are and «Motörcharged Mayhem» sums up our punk background perfectly: getting fucking loud, worshipping Motörhead, playing fucking filthy d-beats, and making sure that every venue wants to ban us for being too fucking loud.” The reason for excluding them was thus a musical one, as “they were not as mature as a fine whiskey, but more of a very dirty cider that you make in a toilet. We wanted to further progress with our sound,” and progress they did, as «Demonic Possession» clearly confirms, “I feel that despite the album being diverse, it all fits together, where those two songs would not even be a B-Side, but more of a C-side of a record that is not even a double vinyl.”

To understand the progression, we took a look into their writing process, “while with our other bands it has always been a solitary writing process, with Destructo it has more been almost a very childlike and exciting way of writing, because we just get together in the rehearsal space, we have some beers, we talk about what records we’ve been listening to recently.” It’s not like they ever shy away from wearing their influences on their sleeves, as Motörphallus continues to explain that “a lot of times one of us has an idea of something that sounds totally like early Slayer or early Sabbat, or we find a riff where if you add something after it, then it sounds more like Volcano or Syphilitic Vaginas. A lot of these songs, the way we wrote them, was just messing around in the rehearsal space, forming something together and trying to perfect it.” Of course, not all the influences are perhaps as obvious as those, “for example, I’ve been listening to a lot of Killing Joke, so sometimes when I write some riffs, I try to put a certain dark undertone under it without going the black metal way, or find a certain melody you could find there. Besides the metal influences, there are also so much hardcore punk influence from the Japanese scene.” Remember kids, worship Burning Spirits.

With the overt Japanese punk influence, comes more melody, as exemplified by «I, Witchfukker», “when we wrote this song, we were referring to it as the oi punk song, which is kind of fitting because our drummer Necrohammer comes from a punk rock background, which is also why we asked him to play with us, because we didn’t want a metal drummer, we just wanted punk drums.” More to the point of the Japanese influence and still with «I, Witchfukker» in mind, “you could to a certain extent see a G.I.S.M. influence, you have a lot filthy primitive riffs and then there comes this pretty melodic licking.” With the album’s diversity come of course different sources of inspiration. The aforementioned «I Witchfukker» for instance “also has this very catchy chorus, this yelling “I Witchfukker I master of sodomy!” and you have «Lycanthro Kommando» which is the total heavy metal debauchery with the lead guitar and there are some solos that happen because I totally was listening a lot to X-Japan’s «Blue Blood».”

Perhaps one of the most striking elements of «Demonic Possession» is its artwork, seen above, not just for how pretty it is, but also because it was crafted by the legendary Rok, of Sadistik Exekution fame. “It was a bit of a long shot, but we had the sons finished and we all agreed we wanted a representation through a perfect cover. Considering our music is filthy, disgusting, and metal as fuck, we needed someone who could make something filthy, disgusting, and metal as fuck, so I just sent Rok an e-mail along with the demo to ask if he was interested.” That did it, as the Australian agreed to do the cover, whose concept comes from Buddhism and Thailand by way of French hardcore masters Kickback, “around that time I had ordered a book by Stephen Bessac from Kickback, which is a photo album of the Thai Hell Gardens. When I received the book and everything about it, it had some of the most gruesome tortures I’d seen, so I thought, you could have the boring, typical Satanic shit you can see everywhere, or you can try to go more towards the gruesome Buddhist hells. I took some scans out of the book and told him those were some of the elements we wanted to see in the artwork, that the album title was going to be «Demonic Possession», and asked if he could bring that torture, gruesome, and evil, as well as total deranged insanity into the artwork. Funnily enough, he didn’t make any sketches, he just made a painting and sent it to us.

To understand the totality of the album, we delved onto its lyrics. “Those are mostly written by Soulcrusher, who funnily mentioned to me that he only writes the lyrics in the weekend when he has the time to get totally hammered.” Seems like a consistent attitude? It is, “the whole philosophy of Destructo is definitely intoxication, so a lot of the songwriting is done intoxicated, which includes the lyrics.” As for their topics, they range “from the good ol’ typical demonic possession exorcisms, to intoxication, debauchery, spirit possessions. Those two things are kind of interchangeable, you know, I think you can see intoxication as a form of spirit possession, it really brings out the most primitive parts of humanity and the most pure parts of one’s soul.” To drive the point further home, he adds that “I kind of feel that the best ways to come closer to either one self or two higher spirits or antything comes through intoxication,” which leads him to a recommendation, “that everyone to get totally fucked on whatever substances they have while listening to this album.”

Recently, the band returned to the sage in Eindhoven, where «I Witchfukker» had a special dedication. Motörphallus tells us that the song itself comes “dedicated to the band Witchfukker, they are a very young band from Limburg, The Netherlands, just two kids who are making some of the most evil Sadistik Execution worship that you can find. I remember when I met them I thought “fucking hell, I don’t know anyone of our age group that is still this dedicated to evil fucking metal, we really need to make a song for them.” And we did.” Looking at the recent times in Dutch black metal, Limburg is not perhaps the most obvious source for such a band, nor is North Braband from which Doodsewens for instance stem. This geographic origin is not necessarily a surprise for our interviewee, for whom “the most extreme music comes from the most fucked up places,” an interesting comment from a band that comes from the most gentrified place in the country, Amsterdam, “for sure, but then I always like to play the card that I’m originally Colombian and Greek, which have some of the most extreme fucking metal bands out there. Colombia has Masacre and Greece has for instance Nefarious Spirit, and of course, the whole South America in general. Everyone always talks about this Norway this, Norway that, and we get it, you want Fenriz to notice you, and no one gives enough enough credit to South America.

As we look at the geographic history of black metal, it comes to mind the sheer idiocy of thinking its origins somehow lie exclusively in Northern Europe or have racist connotations. To those that see it as something that is historically white music, Motörphallus has something clear to say, “they definitely don’t know their fucking history, just Brazil in itself, fucking Mystifier; if you don’t know your shit go do your fucking research.” Indeed, the whole South American scene, far beyond just Mystifier, is one of the band’s main influences, “which is also why our name is Destructo, it’s really an homage to Sarcófago, Vulcano. We came up with the name and we really wanted to do some proper Sarcófago worship, but in the end, I have to admit we didn’t want to force things, it ended up being more Venom, Motörhead, Kreator, Destruction, and I do feel like at some point I wanted to enforce more G.I.S.M., as well as Death Side and more of those Burning Spirits hardcore bands.

For those that follow the activities of Destructo’s members, for instance the Wolves Of Hades label, their left-wing political stances are rather overt. While that might not necessarily be patent in Destructo’s music, “we are still putting a shitload of antifa stickers around the venues we are playing and we always definitely hope that if there are fascists we can start a fight with them. We are very outspoken about it and sure, maybe musically the lyrics are not political, but I always think despite that we are not going to hide our politics at all.” When it comes to thrash and politics, besides Gama Bomb showing that pizza thrash is praxis, the most recent well known case was the Steelfest debacle, with plenty of bands cancelling their presence there. Asked what would they do if they were invited to be there, Motörphallus replies that “I don’t think that’s going to happen. If it does, then it’s a matter of how long it’ll take until someone gets fucking murdered. Considering it’s going to be three people versus a whole horde of fucking nazis, it might be interesting to see how many we take down with us.

One critique that often gets lobbied at bands with similar aesthetics to Destructo is that of sexism, regardless of how tongue in cheek the musicians themselves see their music. “A lot of times I just expect that people will understand it’s tongue in cheek and pretty much a middle finger, but at the same time with the sexual aspects, a lot of times I tried to make the sexual parts universal and not sexist, because I don’t want to any sort of heteronormative, homophobic slant to the band,” Motörphallus clarifies, adding that “I think that the biggest bullshit about homophobia in the metal scene is how much they scream about satanism but then just repeat Christian values when it comes to this issue.” As for the moniker he chose for himself in Destructo, “I just wanted the most ridiculous possible fucking name and I felt this was perfect.”

Given that a lot of his projects end up being mainly released through his own Wolves Of Hades and that Dying Victims is a much bigger label, we had to inquire on how that union came about. “I’m really happy we made the choice of signing with Dying Victims. Soulcrusher has known Florian from Dying Victims for some time, also because he just orders a lot of records from the label. We actually met him at a rehearsal space show in Germany, he was super stoked about the gig, bought a demo, and after some time asked us whether we had recorder or were planning to record an album and if we were interested in having him put it out.” Besides the exposure, there is yet another reason while this was such a fruitful avenue for the band, “to be honest, we probably spent most of the money we made with the band on alcohol, drugs, and other shit, so it was nice to have Dying Victims on board.

We finalised our chat with what was perhaps the most personal question, which is the comparison in mindset when writing for Destructo, with its in your face influences and past sound worshipping, and for instance writing for Dödsrit, whose blackened crust has a more overt modern slant. “I’ve got to admit that the stuff we write with Dödsrit, there is never an attempt of being original per se, but more to write something that comes out from us naturally, just like with Destructo.” More than the goal, it’s the underlying ideas behind each band that differentiates them, “the philosophy is different, and in Destructo there is the intoxication aspect during the writing and the performance, and the band has a more perverse, theatric, and aggressive side to it, while Dödsrit is more melancholic and atmospheric, but at the end of the day they are both just fucking rock n roll music.”

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