At MassDeathtruction 2019, I met and interviewed Seb, singer of the French “Death Grind” band Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition (SCD). Through these few lines, I invite you to learn a little more about the band but also about the musical universe which inspires them through musical extracts from the band present by Seb along the interview. Do not forget to take a look at their Facebook page and support them in concerts if they come close to your place.

Before continuing with Seb’s interview, I would like to thank Pedro, the organizer of MassDeath for his welcome and for allowing me to interview Seb in a very professional setting. Support the local scene and local organizers like Pedro and his MassDeath, it is thanks to all these people that we can still attend excellent events like these!

Let’s start with the presentations! Who are you and what is your job in Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition?

I’m Seb, singer of SCD since 1996. So it’s going to be 25 years soon. For 25 years, there have been small line up changes within the band but the current guitarist and drummer have been around for about 16 years.

For those who don’t know you, what is SCD?

So, we come from Paris. We made the band with friends that we met in concert when we were teenagers and then we decided to create SCD knowing that at the time in the same band there was the drummer and the guitarist who made Arkhon Infaustus (Black Metal) and Antaeus (Black Metal) so we shared the same studio since we had members in common. At the time what influenced SCD was really the whole underground scene with Grind, Crust, Gore, Porno gore with bands like Catasexual Urge Motivation, Gut, Last Days of Humanity, etc… Then there was the whole Death scene that we listened to when we were kids. We were in the scene for quite some time and we wanted to participate in the thing without knowing that years later we would continue to do so.

How do you feel after this moment on stage? What did you think of your performance, the atmosphere and the audience?

It’s nice to come here because it’s the third time we’ve played at MassDeath. We played the year there was Entombed (2011) and the year after (2012) with Obituary. At the time, it was not in the same venue. Then the MassDeath stopped for a few years and when we saw that Pedro started to do it again, we thought that we absolutely had to be there. Now we’re regulars. We also wanted to discover the new place. If I understood well, this is the third concert to be held here. We were told there had been The Nutcracker before. So it seemed to us that after The Nutcracker, they needed at least SCD, otherwise it was not a real baptism of the venue. So we are super happy to play here.

When we started listening to Grindcore, Death, etc., there weren’t a lot of concerts in France at the time and we often came to Belgium in Ypres, Gent, etc., where we have seen a lot of bands. They were small underground venue, but a lot more was going on in Belgium than in France at the time. There was very very little. We had all the big bands playing but in the really extreme underground scenes, there was not so much bands playing in France. It was mainly in Belgium that it took place. There was in particular Agathoclès who organized the Wee Lawaat festival in Zichem where we went every year.

We ended up doing more concerts in Belgium than in France in certain years. It has changed a lot in the past few years. It became a lot more Hardcore and less Goregrind etc. I think that for this album for example, it is the first concert we do in Belgium but we have already toured in the United States, in Canada, played Hellfest for the second time, Obscene Extreme Festival for the third time, SWR Barroselas Metalfest in Portugal for the third time.

Honestly we were super happy to come back to MassDeathtruction because it’s a festival where there are a lot of people, where the conditions are really great. Besides, it’s been a while since we last came. It’s always a pleasure to come back and we’re neighbors so we consider ourselves a little bit at home here.

Want to know what SCD at MassDeath 2011 looked like ? Check this here, it was filmed by 666Vassil.

On the occasion of this MassDeaththruction 2019, did you play “Misleading Weapons Of Mass Destruction” (Inventory of Fixtures, 2007)?

We didn’t play it today, we will have to come back to do so! It was one of the pretexts we had imagined. For today’s setlist, we started with songs from the first albums and then, chronologically, we moved forward. We played two songs from Inventory of Fixtures. Then continued for about half of the set with songs from the last album.

2019 was a year full of big dates with in particular the Hellfest and the Obscene Extreme Festival. So, are there still places after such big dates where you would dream to play?

Honestly, there are still plenty. Let’s say that in Germany there are still a lot of big festivals and we don’t play there a lot. We did the Berlin Deathfest not long ago but the very big festivals, we didn’t do them. So it would be great to play there. We were discussing Japan when we did the American tour with Viscera Infest, a Japanese band. In fact, their manager is Naru who was in C.S.S.O., whom we have known for years. We met in Germany at the Fuck the Commerce where we played in 2001 with C.S.S.O. So it’s been while since we know him.

So in the United States, Naru accompanied Viscera Infest. So we talked about playing dates in Japan which is a little more complicated because today, the European scene, is one of the best in the world between the number of festivals, the amount of people who come to each concert and festival, the people who buy merch, the reception conditions which are almost incomparable with other places …

People often think that the United States is great, but it’s not the same than Europe. Even the Maryland Deathfest where we replayed for the second time, it’s not the same, I would say that there is something like 3000 people attending the fest. When we compare with what we can have with Hellfest where we have about 50,000 people during three days. Even at the Motocultor I believe it was 42,000 people last year.

We, what we would really like to do too, is all of northern Europe with countries such as Norway, Finland… We haven’t been there often and these places welcome a lot of stuff in the Crust and Death scene. So, yes, these are scenes where we haven’t been enough yet and where we would like to keep going.

What is the date that marked you the most this year?

Hellfest, honestly it’s always extraordinary. When you listen to bands’ opinion, it’s still something you don’t see all the time. You should know that now the Altar and Temple tents can welcome about ten thousand people. In addition, with the giant screen at the back of the tent, there are still people outside the tent area and it is full. It’s just amazing because even big bands that tour a lot, they rarely play in front of 10,000 people.

It was the second time for us so we could enjoy it differently than the first time when we were a little bit more nervous. We had anticipated it, we had it filmed by the guys from Sombrero Production who work for Arte. We had the sound taken by the engineer of the Hellfest. So there was a little organization upstream and it was also very timed in order to be able to do it. It is not that there is a particular pressure but we wanted to leave Hellfest with satifaction towards our performance.

Hellfest completely exceeds the “environment” of metal. At work, or anywhere in fact, there are people who do not listen to metal music and who do not know metal at all but who know Hellfest and talk about it. So, playing there was great because everyone knew where we were going and what it was.

Obscene Extreme is also great because it is more specialised in the style that we play. It’s also different atmosphere. The public can jump on stage and do stage-diving so we are in something else. However, we are much more used to this festival since it’s been the third time we play it, we are getting to know it really well.

Each time it’s different, it’s not the same thing at all but we keep, for different reasons, a great memory.

Hellfest is great but at the same time I am almost sure that if you put a band playing chess on stage, you’ll have 10,000 people coming to see them. At the Saint Vitus (New York), you are in a venue where people have come to see the headliner in the first place. So this is a great memory too.

I liked more New York than the Maryland Deathfest. New York was really nice because we were headliners at Saint Vitus, a venue in Brooklyn where Joan Jett played for example. So we were happy to go there because it was a venue that marked the music history and it was full, we had a great sound and people really came to see us.

Your last album “Raping Angels In Hell” was released in 2017. So, what can we expect for 2020?

We still have a lot of concerts. Some are announced others are still under negotiation but we still have a lot of stuff in 2020. I think we will tour all year. On the other hand, we are already starting to project ourselves and say to ourselves that we have to start imagining putting ourselves into composition mode too. It’s quite complicated right now with all the dates we have because we play almost every weekend. So, it is complicated to succeed in working more on these new songs but we are starting to work on it.

With a name like Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition, I wonder where you get your inspiration from and what themes do you express in your songs?

It’s mostly porno gore on the last album. However, it has changed quite a bit in terms of style along the years. The first three albums had no lyrics so it was really just the covers and the graphics that set the tone with the music. We were really into porno gore.

Then we had a rather crust-oriented period which also remains a big influence that we had at the time. Then we became a little more death we will say and on the last one really we tried to get back to the roots. So a mixture of everything but with porno gore texts.

In terms of influences, I would say that it concerns everything related to the dirty atmosphere that even I found in bands that have influenced me very much like Gut who was born in Germany and with whom we played in Holland. It was the first time we played with them. It was a cult moment. We met in the lodges, I didn’t know them personaly. So I went to give them T-shirts religiously. So they offered us to help ourselves in their merch and we took photos together. Honestly, they are super nice people. Besides, the guitarist played with our T-shirt on stage, a great moment of emotion. It was a total accomplishment. Now what we do is a little bit of all those influences that we had when we started.

What is your best and worst memory as a member of SCD?

So, it is both the best and also the worst because we ended up laughing about it. We had a tour that was to do Canada, United States, Canada. It was around 2008, something like that. This tour was to last approximately 4 to 5 weeks. We were flying to Montreal, we had dates in Canada. Then we had to fly to the United States and then we had the dates in the United States. After that, we would return to Canada to play a few dates before returning to France. Until then, everything is great.

We take the plane, we arrive in Montreal and we are told that the instruments are to be picked up at another spot. So here we go, we get the instruments and there, plainclothes cops stop us to take us to customs. When we get to customs we are asked if we are really Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition and if we are going to play in such and such places.

To put things in context, at the time, we didn’t need the same permissions to play in venues that sold alcohol or food.

So to come back to customs, we answer them “Yes, maybe, it depends on the organizers, ask them.” There they told us to stop telling them shit and they detained us and then we were inadmissible to Canada. They put us in the cell behind the customs at the airport. We were entitled to the photos with the small plates etc. then, we spent the day in the cell.

At the end of our detention, they said to us: “Either we send you this evening to Marseilles then you return to Paris and you are inadmissible. Either, you discuss, you are prohibited 10 years of territory. Either , you discuss because you want to go back to Paris directly and we keep you in detention for a week. ” Finally we went back to Marseille and without having slept we did Paris-Montreal, a day in Montreal. Then, Montreal-Marseille and from Marseille, we took the train back to Paris and the tour was over.

We still went to the Canadian Embassy in Paris to try to negotiate. They told us: “You are not Aznavour so it’s over.”

Last year, when we went back, even if we had all the papers in order and the regulations had completely changed, we were not reassured.

Today it is much simpler but when we went through customs, we were still stranded. The customs officials asked us if we had already come. We explained to them that we had been evicted and we presented the papers. As the laws no longer exist today in the Canadian Code, they could not find the reason of the eviction and they did not understand why we were expelled so we were blocked again for a while. It is therefore both a good and a bad memory for us.

What is the song, the album that makes you crazy?

So there are several. First, Behind Enemy Lines album “The Global Cannibal” (2003) which is really great from beginning to end. Then there is always Nasum with the album “Helvete” (2003). Then there is “Bolt Thrower” which from beginning to end, is a masterpiece. Finally, there is also Napalm Death and their fabulous “The Harmony Corruption” (1990).

I leave you the last word of the interview.

First, I would like to say thank you to all the readers, some of whom may have been following us for quite a few years. Otherwise, today I am 45 years old including 24 years of singer of Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition and what I hope is that in 24 years I’ll still do the same thing. And that’s thanks to everyone we meet here. Thank you all.

We leave you with a video extract from SCD’s performance at MassDeathtruction 2019 filmed by Yohann Thibaut.

Video of SCD at MassDeath 2011 by 666Vassil.

Video of SCD at MassDeath 2019 by Yohann Thibaut.

Picture by SCD

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