Rope Sect’s Gothic Rock Flows Like “Lava” (Premiere + Interview)
This flood is not sparing anyone; there is no ark, no merciful god(s), no chosen ones meant to be saved. The sect is no exception.
Rope Sect is music for the endtimes. Their hard-hitting gothic rock, which somehow appeals to a metal audience (more on that later), is apocalyptic, hypnotic, catchy -- the kind of music which somehow sneaks just past radio play and maintains itself in the underground. Following the Personae Ingratae and Proselytes EPs, along with some isolated tracks, The Great Flood reveals itself in its full grandeur; Rope Sect's first full-length effort is as potent as it is magnificent and memorable.
But we aren't talking about The Great Flood today -- no, the mystery deepens, and this obscure German quartet reveals yet another non-album track titled "Lava": an electronics-tinged oddity more in line with the minimal-minded "Handsome Youth" single than the EPs which precede it. Listen to an exclusive premiere of "Lava" and read a rare interview with frontman Inmesher below.
Is our dream the only key to stay sane?
When the lava raves around us, we’re dreaming anyway
When the fire comes to burn us, we’re far away
As an artist who creates music in a vein of post-punk or death rock, what is it like knowing your music appeals to a more metal-oriented audience? Additionally, what is it like being a post-punk/gothic rock artist on an underground extreme metal label?
Well, it is not surprising and rather natural to have a metal-oriented audience when being on a metal label and also coming from a metal background. I think Rope Sect does have enough elements to appeal to listeners of different genres as our influences are quite diverse as well and I often see people having difficulties to put our music into a defined category, which is good and not necessary anyway. It is not about genres or fitting into a box at all and that is also why we do not feel weird being among many underground black or death metal bands. The metal connection is quite obvious, although not hugely mirrored in the music itself, but I guess that there is a certain visual and musical rawness in Rope Sect, like occasional blast beats or background screams, that might seem a little unusual in this context or genre and thus attract listeners who usually prefer metal music (only). It is interesting to see we also get played on "wave" radio stations or get requests for playing concerts with coldwave or synth bands which again shows it is not about pigeonholes. Personally, I appreciate this variety of listeners as it reflects the multiplicity of our own influences, too.
You've managed to maintain a low profile, even maintaining anonymity after performing live. Is this anonymity important to your art? If so, what role does it play?
I have said this a couple of times before; we do not aim to hide ourselves or stay anonymous in order to create a mystery, but it does not add to the concept and therefore does not matter at all who we are. We are creating and promoting a musical project, not ourselves and I do not really understand why people keep highlighting the aspect of anonymity or feel the need to have a look behind the curtain because there is nothing relevant for the listener. We do not want to be in any spotlight and prefer letting the art speak for itself. The creation is the core, not its creators. As to playing live, I personally think a concert is or should be exclusive and something intimate between the band and the audience who takes the time and money to attend and when it’s over, it’s over. I simply don’t like to be filmed and being put on the internet afterwards, especially as barely anyone asks for permission anymore. Sadly, it got to a point where playing live automatically means to be available for cameras and (unwillingly) having to accept ending up on YouTube/social media or, as a consequence, quitting to play live at all. Perhaps it’s an old-fashioned view, but I prefer playing for the present audience, not for showing up on the internet.
The biblical parable says that the Great Flood will come and wipe away all life in favor of a new future. What future does Rope Sect look to?
This flood is not sparing anyone; there is no ark, no merciful god(s), no chosen ones meant to be saved. The sect is no exception, not determined to create a new future. Eventually, we are doomed as everyone else, we are just approaching the end in a different way. We might not be in the same boat, but we are drowning in the same water. The flood is going to bring a grand silence, we do not know what comes afterwards. The future is a void. However, before the great fall we still need to ponder the past and savour the present. Being creative, keeping the dance on the crumbling ground, cultivating the Rope Sect and heading for the ultimate freedom.
You collaborated with Mat "Kvohst" McNerney on a few songs for this new album -- what was it like collaborating with an outside artist?
It has been fantastic and uncomplicated working with Mat as his ideas were quite promising and matching immediately. We have been in touch before as we played our first ever concerts supporting Grave Pleasures in Germany. The plan to collaborate has been developing naturally with the writing process of the debut album. He was sent two possible songs, which he liked, and so he ended up contributing lyrics and main vocals for both of them with me only adding a few details and a second voice. Concerning Rope Sect, it was the first time working with an outside artist and the result turned out great in my opinion as Mat adds a different facet and another layer of dynamics to the album with his unique vocals and lyrics.
Today we are premiering a non-album track (what some might call a B-side, but I'm not so sure if it should be written off like that). What led to the decision to release this track before The Great Flood's release?
You can call it a B-side or just an unbound song that is not tied to the album and rather differs from the familiar sound. "Lava" is a personal track with a personal dedication, arisen from a moment of isolation and being immersed in memories. It was recorded in one spontaneous session and remained untouched after that. As mentioned above, it’s not about staying within the limits of a genre since I like experimenting, having the freedom to expand the sound as we have already done with "Handsome Youth" in the past and it simply feels like a good time to release the song now while waiting for the album and floating in the waves of isolation.
The Great Flood releases August 12th via Iron Bonehead Productions.