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METAL - REFERENCE | WEBZINE | INTERVIEW | GRIP INC.

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INCORPORATION OF EMOTION AND UNITY

Interviewed and written by Lolk Fan site:
home.earthlink.net/~wanker1

Steamhammer Records:
www.spv.de

The world wide web is indeed fascinating. When you look of the name of Waldemar Sorychta, you'll find hordes of links referring to the German as '...our producer'. Lacuna Coil, Tiamat, Moonspell, Sentenced, Alastis as well as other acts signed to acclaimed record label Century Media salute him and his skilled job as a producer in online interviews. Waldemar Sorychta began his career with the fairly unknown Despair before enjoying a stint with Philip Boa's world famous interim project Voodoocult, which featured Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo in its ranks. Following this adventure, Sorychta and Lombardo joined forces in Grip Inc. alongside the English vocclist Gus Chambers, and the unit soon signed a deal with Steamhammer Records. A decade has passed, and Grip Inc. have relaesed their fourth album, Incorporated, after five years of silence. In fact, most people believed that Grip Inc. belonged to the past, but the band seemingly incorporated strength and will into what was to become their new offering, and I eagerly accepted the possibility of confronting Waldemar Sorychta with my congratulations for Incorporated.



In the enclosed biography sheet for Incorporated, you've written: "When recording becomes routine, then it's time to take a break. Is that the rason that Grip Inc. has been on a halt for almost five years?
That is exactly the point. The heart of our music, of Grip Inc., is the emotion, but when you enter a studio and just do your job as usual, there's no emotions. The most important part of the music is missing. Technically, we could have done this record two or three years ago, but the main point would be absent. Last time when we went into the studio, we spent a lot of effort on discussing what was for dinner today and so on, but this time we didnt't even notive that we were hungry. We were merely hungry for the music. That's the main difference. So we basically decided to take a break 'till we were absolutely hungry for music instead of dinner... until we were not only 100% ready, but 120% ready.

I actually thought that Grip Inc. had split up, and several internet resources said the very same thing.

We hadn't split up. There were many rumours about Grip Inc. following the last record. That we were unable to get along in the band. That we felt sorry for ourselves because the album failed to sell, although it actually did. None of these rumours were true, but I won't lie to you. Every band experience conflicts, and so did we. When a band has been together for more than 10 years, conflicts must come your way, and they certainly did. Some of us had problems with each others, but we never split up. As a journalist, you probably experience that yourself. You're having a conflict with a collegue, and you feel like quitting your job, but you don't. The members of Grip Inc. enjoy playing the same music though living in three different parts of the world and coming from three different musical backgrounds. I've been involved with other projects, but Grip Inc. really rewards me with a certain feeling. The other members feel the same way. Every album is a victory, and we don't want to miss that. So bringing back this rumour about splitting up. As I said. Every band will face problems, and so did we. However. This was not the reason that Grip Inc. took a break. We had to be very sure that we really wanted to do this record, and we finally wanted that last year. We were really intent on doing an album together. If you're not excited about going into a studio and doing a record, then there's no reason to doing so. If you're feelings are not into it, then you'd better stay away from a studio.

When did you know that it was time for a new album then?
Last year, Dave [Lombardo] came on tour [to Germany] with Fantomas, and I went to see them... it was just across the street, and it was in fact the first time in 10 years that I saw him playing with someone else than my band, and it felt very, very strange to me... but it also made me feel that I wanted to start something up again. I suddenly wanted to continue with Grip Inc. again. That was the best thing that we could have done, coz the new album is better than something, we could have done 10 years ago.

The funny thing is that people, both the press and the fans, thought that Grip Inc. was just another project, which would split up any time following the first album. Right?

True. I don't know how many times, I've heard that we had split up, and people were just waiting for us to do a mistake... because we are who we are. Dave Lombardo and me. Everybody had their eye on Grip Inc. from the very first day of existence, because we are who we are, and from the first day we experienced struggles. You probably know about the lawsuit against our initial name 'Grip', which another band owned the rights to?!

I reckon that it didn't exactly help that Dave Lombardo was formerly of Slayer, and everybody expected your music to sound identically to that band... and it obviously didn't.

I've never really listened to this. I only listen to my heart and my music. The worst part of it is, however, that some people use a lot of effort on complaining about that Dave doesn't sound just the slightest bit like he did in Slayer, and then suddenly he does something on his double drum, and then the same people are blabbering about that "now Grip Inc. sound exactly like Slayer". Those people will never be satisfied. They always try to spot the mistakes in our music. We shouldn't care about such opinions. The main point is that we do something that we really want to do.

...And those people are ignorant, in your opion?

Yes, it's quite sad. There's two kind of people. Those who just see the names, and then there's the ones who see the persons. When people would pay more attention to the persons instead of the names, I'd be happy. As I told you earlier... the members of Grip Inc. are living in three different parts of the world and are coming from three different musical backgrounds, but when we're together, we're a union; a polished machine that works perfectly together. If you take a look at the cover of Incorporated, you'll see a big 'G' inside a wheel with cogwheels, and that's us... if one of the cogwheels is broken, the machine won't work. It's useless. The title simply describes how we worked together as a band on this album. It doesn't matter who is playing on this record. It could be your next door neighbours, but it is still great music. In the record business, everybody knows a band and all the shit, they're doing, but they don't even know their music, and that's sad. We should be discussing the music, and not the names.

It seems to the me that you're the glue that binds Grip Inc. together since all members live in different parts of the world, and they all come to Germany whenever you're about to do a record. Is this correct?

Not anymore, at least. For the last couple of years, Gus [Chambers] has been living in the same city here in Germany as me, and this time around we had an excellent pre-production, although everything took off extremely bad... I have to tell you this. When I went to Los Angeles for trhe intitial rehearsals with Dave, I was met with some radical changes in the political system in the U.S. As soon as I landed, I was taken into custody, and I was questioned for hours and hours without being told why I was hold back, and I wasn't allowed to call muy management or my record label, who could possibly help me. When I started to persistently yell that I wanted to see a lawyer, one of the cops said to me that "if I didn't stop yelling, he'd smash my face and throw me into jail" And he was just waiting for me to raise my voice again. It was terrible. The relationship between cats and dogs is better than this. I saw the hatred in their eyes towards me when they looked at me. There's nothing on my record, and in the 14 years that I've been visiting the U.S., there's never been any problems with me... I don't even have a spitting ticket.

What was the problem, then?

There was no problem, except for in their minds. They gave me the reason that seven years ago, I was supposed to have been in the U.S. for a day longer than I was allowed to, but they had just counted the days wrongly. But even if that was right, there's no reason to treat me like this. They treated me like a fucking animal. I explained that I was over here to make some music, and I was expected, but they must have thought, I'd never wanted to leave again. If that was so, I'd applied for a green card 10 years ago, but I'm not interested. As a producer, I travel around the world and produce bands. Stories like mine are unfortunately not something speciel. These things happen everyday in the U.S.... Anyway. The same evening, they put me on a plane and sent me home. When I was ready to board the plane, I could have atken me 5 minutes, but it took me 20 minutes because of the cops. I guess, they wanted to show their power to everyone. As a resuilt of this, we had to change our plans, which is a difficult task to do, if you can imagine. The hotels and rehearsal studio were already booked. Dave thus came to Germany instead, and we began the rehearsals here instead. That is also why Stuart [Carruthers] is absent from this record, but he'll be back behind the bass on the upcoming tour. We were supposed to have a lot of special guests on this record, but all this failed to happen due to this incident. Right now, I don't think, I'm allowed to go the U.S. anymore. I always try to cut this story short in interviews, but I'm so upset about it, and I can't stop talking about it. My intentions are not to make this a political interview, but I have to talk about it. It took me week to realize that I didn't mean nothing to these cops, and that's awful. The person behind the passport desk in the airport couldn't even read my name right in my passport. You have to understand... there are ignorant and unskilled persons like these working in this huge international airport, and they can decide anything about your career, but they can't read your international passport. That is unbelievable. As you can hear from my voice right now, I'm still very upset [laughs]. I suppose that this reaction is due to the new political situation regarding terrorism, but I actually think that 'this' is just some kind of excuse. It's interesting to think about that the most powerful man of the most powerful country in the world has never been abroad until he became what he is today. It's the higest point of arrogance, judging other people without having ever visited their country, but he feels completely superior to other people. Living in a country where 50% of the population is fat and lazy, and they don't even speak a second language... that is not my vision of being better than other people. Ahh... now I raised my voice again [laughs again].

Do you reflect this horrid experience in the lyrics on Incorporated?
In some of the lyrics, I do, but you have to read between the lines. But plaese notice... I'm not anti U.S., but anti ignorance. I don't want to have my names connected with anti U.S.A. I'm just against stupidity. I don't call 'things' and 'persons' by names, but you'll realize what I'm talking about when you're reading between the lines.

Isn't it a problem that people, e.g. in the U.S., are supposed to reflect upon this situation, but unable to read between the lines as a result of their lack of skills?

That is true. They will be able to understand the lyrics, but they won't understand them right. They'll figure out that their ignorance is indeed the very point of the lyrics.

I reckon that this is why Rage Against The Machine and Downset had to say everything directly in their lyrics. Otherwise nobody would understand them. Correct?

I wish that lyrics could change the world, but they probably won't. If you're not ready to receive a message, it doesn't matter whether you understand it or not.

Has the change of location changed the music?
We did everything for Incorporated live in the studio. The digital components have become very cheap, so everyone can own a studio now, and we wanted to show that we're capably of recording an album with too much technology. Anybody, who hasn't hold a guitar in his hand before, can have a crash course for one hour, and then, with the technology available, you can make it sound good. You'll get an album with no mistakes, but also with no heart. We wanted to put our hearts into Incorporated. When I produce a band, they sometimes ask me to copy a line into the second verse, and I surely can do that, but I always ask the persons: Does it hurt you to play it a second time? Aren't you supposed to like what you do? But if it really hurts you to play it a second time, then I'd obviously copy the line for you". Perhaps, then, they should begin thinking about doing something else than playing the guitar. Got it?

Ehh... what?
Have you got it?

Yes, sorry, Waldemar, but I've got another musician on the other line, so I have to cut you off. I'm running late. It was a huge pleasure and experience talking to you. Thanks.

You're welcome. Have a nice evening.


From left to right:
Dave Lombardo, Gus Chambers and Waldemar Sorychta


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