Jungle Rot has steadily collected fans by the thousands since their 1995 demo release Skin The Living. Since then, they’ve remained a staple in the American death metal community and they just unleashed their 9th album unto the world – Order Shall Prevail,  on June 30th. Recognized for their “knuckle-dragging” behemoth sounding performance, Jungle Rot have consistently churned out some of the most solid, heaviest American metal in the past two decades. Having played alongside some of the best, including tours with Goatwhore, Cattle Decapitation, Deicide, Entombed, and Six Feet Under, Jungle Rot is ready and willing to bring the pain to Mayhem this summer.

We had a chance to sit down with Dave Matrise, lead singer and discuss some of the highlights of the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest.

So this is your first time being on Mayhem Fest. What has it been like?

Dave: It’s been everything we dream of, you know. Grateful to be here, we’ve been pounding the underground for twenty years now and it’s the first time that Jungle Rot actually got out of the underground to showcase ourselves to a variety of different people, so I think it’s exactly what we needed to do. We’re winning souls one by one everyday, man, you know that’s how I like to look at it. And one other thing I’d like to say, I know why people try to fight to get to the top up here on this kind of tour because we get fed three times a day [laughs] and we get showers as well every day, so you know it’s a beautiful thing.

So we guys are sharing a label with a whole bunch of upcoming bands, and also a stage at Mayhem Fest. What are your thoughts on these new bands?

Dave: The Victory bands, I think it’s good, you know, like I said, it’s good to showcase anything like this, it should be as well as discovering new bands. I think this year is directed more towards that, you know finding new bands. And I love all the bands on the bill. I try to check them out as much as I can. The Victory bands are definitely killing it every night, and it’s good to see everybody fly the flag, you know. We’re here for Victory.

You guys just released a new album. What was the writing/recording process like on this albums? Similar to earlier albums?

Dave: Yeah it’s always been. The last five years, I think once we started with What Horrors Await, I think that was 2005 it came out, or I’m not sure, 2010. I’m not sure when it came out [laughs]. It seems like we found our strive then, you know, everybody’s got a job we do. I write most of the music, and I’ll get together with Geoff, the other guitar player, and he arranges them with me on Pro Tools, and helps with the choruses and gets them all structured. Then we bring in Jim, the bass player, and we writes all the lyrics and names the songs, and it just goes perfectly. I think, like I said, back on the last four to five albums we really found out what it takes and everybody has a job and we do it well when it’s time, you know.

What would you say is your inspiration for wanting to be a death metal musician?

Dave: When I started out, I mean, I was influenced by more of a German invasion. Destruction, you know, Sodom. That’s what kind of stole my soul. Kreator, all the good ones like that. And of course Sepultura, you know that was in there. But that was more of my airway back then, you know.

What would you say is your favorite part of being in a death metal band?

Dave: Just touring. I mean, I like touring and meeting people. You know, it’s always fun when you come in and you recognize faces and people have been traveling and following you for ten/twenty years now. You know, that keeps the fuel going. That’s the stuff that keeps me going until the next show.

That must be a great feeling, huh?

Dave: Yeah it is, man. It really is. Yesterday we had a lot of love in New Jersey. It brings a tear to your eye when you see some of these people.

If you could tour with any band next, who do you think it would be?

Dave: Well, that dream came true on this one with Slayer of course, you know, growing up on that. But if I was to do something, it would definitely be something like, uh, maybe my own Big 4 for Europe. Like Sodom, Destruction, Kreator, Jungle Rot. Something like that, you know. That would be a heavy weight tour. And you never know, it’s possible. There’s still a lot going. That road could cross some day.

Any plans for future albums? Are you working on any material?

Dave: We usually start do all our writing in the winter time. We don’t tour too much in the winter. But as soon as it becomes November, December, January we usually do that down time. I have another job, I kinda work during winter and it keeps me out here on the summer. But yeah, we start writing as soon as we can. We take advantage of any time we have down to keep the ammunition, as I like to call. You gotta fire it off whenever you can, man [laughs].

Thanks a lot for taking the time to talk with us.

Dave: Thanks. I hope you guys enjoy the show. I’m pretty sure we’re going to be bringing it pretty hard today.

Check out JUNGLE ROT on the Victory Stage at this years Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival!!

Interview by Rich E. Braden

Story by Dave Minyard

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