While Awaiting the Horrors
Simon chats to James Genenz from infamous Jungle Rot
by: S. Martin
CoC: James, thanks heaps for taking time from your obviously busy schedule to do this interview.

James Genenz: Never a problem! It's around Christmas-time so it's definitely a hectic time. Good thing we're on a little break with the band!

CoC: First of all, I must congratulate you on you latest disc, _War Zone_; the fans seem incredibly pleased with it.

JG: I thank you. We've got nothing but good comments about the album. Fans and critics alike seem to dig it. I doubt it converted any Jungle Rot haters there might have been before, but it's essentially Jungle Rot, it's everything that encompasses this band.

CoC: You've been touring like mad since its release; how do you manage to cope with all this playing, partying, traveling, etc.? Surely it must take its toll on you, mentally and physically.

JG: We actually haven't done a lot of touring for the release, simply because our label took a shit on us and dropped the ball and we couldn't secure a decent tour, especially for the US, in time to properly promote the album. But yes, touring can be very hectic. We aren't the biggest party guys of our scene, but we can do our fair share. I cope with it by catching a lot of sleep whenever possible. Usually, I'm the one that ends up sick on the road too, so that kinda sucks.

CoC: Recently Jungle Rot had to unfortunately pull out of the Re-Animated tour with Massacre due to "gross mismanagement and miscommunication". For all the European fans, is there a chance of re-scheduling the shows?

JG: We're just gonna have to wait until this new year to get out to Europe, we've been there a few times and our fans there know we love it. We will be back. We just couldn't take the risk with this particular tour. The plane tickets weren't ordered in time. Half the shows weren't booked two weeks before the tour was about to start. We weren't prepared to go over there and be heartbroken because of laziness. We all love Massacre and would have loved the opportunity to tour with them after they've been on hiatus for so long. It just wasn't meant to be at that time.

CoC: Well, since the touring has been taking up a lot of your time; have you guys had the chance to think about another album, or write new material, or has it just been too hectic?

JG: That's all we've been concerned with at the moment. We're writing some new tunes and getting ready to record a new album when we have enough material. In the meantime, we're also looking for a decent label to release the album. We've got about five full songs written, with lyrics and riffs for a few more, so a new album shouldn't be that far off in the future. We did record two new ones to give to labels, those songs are called "State of War" and "Nerve Gas Catastrophe". We are talking to a few labels. Hopefully someone will release it and get it out there!

CoC: I've read many reviews on _War Zone_ and every single one of them was in favour of it. How does it feel knowing an album that you personally helped shape is appreciated by the general public?

JG: It's a great feeling that something you created is appreciated by your peers. I wish more people would give it a chance, I think some people are biased and don't give it a chance simply because they have so much to choose from these days. But so many bands sound so similar nowadays -- not that we are super original, but I believe we're a breath of fresh air in a way oversaturated death metal scene.

CoC: You guys have kept a constant old-school death sound to every one of your releases. You should be proud of yourselves; not many bands are as consistent as Jungle Rot.

JG: It's a sound we all agree upon and love to listen to ourselves. Besides, it wouldn't be right to just start changing things seeing as how the Jungle Rot fans like us just the way we are.

CoC: Surely the thought of experimenting with the sound of Jungle Rot has popped into your minds from time to time.

JG: Oh, absolutely! I think it has snuck in there from time to time, but just don't expect some free-form tech shit to come flying from your speakers on the next album. Jungle Rot has a sound, a formula, that we all agree we should stay loyal to.

CoC: Since the release of _War Zone_, you guys have been touring like mad; any specific gig or places you'll remember from these tours?

JG: Well, the last European tour we did with Macabre in support of the album was killer, we always enjoy playing in Europe. The people are much warmer and more loyal than in the US. Not to say our US fans aren't incredible, but people in Europe, even if they don't know your band, will give you a chance.

CoC: From the videos I've managed to watch of Jungle Rot playing live, it's more than obvious that crowds have high respect for the band and they enjoy the show. Has it always been this way or has the band had a few rough nights?

JG: Oh, we definitely have our rough nights, all bands do. I don't care how "cool" you are, you're gonna have some rough nights, and I think bands should embrace that as a kick in the ass and think about being more humble. All in all we certainly understand the respect factor that we share mutually with our fans. I think they know we appreciate them, we try and show it as much as possible.

CoC: There's a considerable amount of talentless death metal flooding the scene. Either bands who straight out copy well known acts or this genre called deathcore. Doesn't it irritate you and the band these talentless parasites are gaining a more well known reputation than bands like Jungle Rot, for example?

JG: Well, sure it does. It seems a band pops out of nowhere, does one track, makes a MySpace page and puts pictures of half naked girls on the site to get people to come visit the page. I can't stand that kind of bullshit. Bands that are "MySpace" popular aren't necessarily popular and I'm going to laugh at the record labels that are signing up all these new bands based on the merit of their MySpace pages. Just because someone got a million hits on MySpace doesn't mean their record is going to sell, it means they have too much time to sit on MySpace and be cordial and put up pictures of barely legal girls with their band name written on their tits. It's truly aggravating.

CoC: Even the big bands such as Obituary, Death, Deicide and Morbid Angel are rarely mentioned these days, it's all "Bring Me the Horizon this" or "All Shall Perish that" -- it's quite annoying, as these bands wouldn't even be around if it wasn't for the aforementioned.

JG: The old-school bands that were big then, are still big. Of course there are gonna be new bands and new fans and the scene is going to change and morph. There is nothing we can do about that. You either roll with it, or get rolled over by it. We'll see how long a lot of these newer bands last. Personally I enjoy some BMtH and ASP, we toured with All Shall Perish and they have been kicking for awhile, they were cool guys and got along fine.

CoC: The metal scene was an absolute mess during the time you got signed; black metal was getting big, old-school death metal was phasing out and many more sub-genres were becoming quite well known. Does it bother you that if you had started, say, two, three years earlier, Jungle Rot could've been quite a large band? Your music obviously has the potentional.

JG: We just do what we do; if people like it, then fine. I'm not regretting anything. I've been around the world. I've done what I set out to do, now I'd just like to keep doing it.

CoC: Jungle Rot has been around fourteen, pushing on fifteen years -- I'd like to congratulate you, many bands don't stay around that long. But I must ask, is there an end in sight?

JG: We aren't even thinking about that now. It's not even an issue or a notion. We're still goin', everyone is happy, healthy and ready to hit the road at the drop of a hat. We're not even considering quitting.

CoC: Well, sadly this is the end. Thank you for a great interview, James. I'll be looking out for Jungle Rot in the future, I wish you the best of luck.

JG: I thank you for the interview and for your time as well. Keep an eye out, we'll have a new record out next year and we're gonna -try- to tour as many parts of the planet we possibly can!

(article submitted 16/8/2009)


ALBUMS
12/8/2011 A McKay 7.5 Jungle Rot - Kill on Command
4/15/2009 J Smit 5 Jungle Rot - What Horrors Await
6/23/2004 A McKay 8 Jungle Rot - Fueled by Hate
5/13/2001 A McKay 9.5 Jungle Rot - Dead and Buried
1/16/1999 A McKay 9 Jungle Rot - Slaughter the Weak
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