Vulvodynia – Truth & JusticeSaturday, 10th August 2019
Vulvodynia has been a name to know within the extreme metal community, with two prior full-lengths that brought a heavy dose of slam and brutality without feeling like the album was a complete blur. But with their third effort, the recently released Mob Justice, the band has stepped up their game even further, implementing a wider variety of influences and tastes while still being able to give the listener an intense audial beatdown. We grabbed bassist Chris van der Walt for a round of email questions to discuss the band’s recent US tour, all things Mob Justice, as well as their evolution and thoughts about the death metal genre.
Dead Rhetoric: You were just over in the US for a short tour run, how do you feel that it went overall?
Chris van der Walt: It was absolutely amazing! We didn’t know what to expect as it was our first time heading out to the US, but the response was fantastic. The tour was a great package with great people, and we worked very hard. We had a lot of fun and saw some of the most intense crowd-killing ever.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you feel the goal of Mob Justice was to you, as a band?
van der Walt: Working on the songs together and recording it all in the same space gave us a bit more of a cohesive feel with a lot of synergy between parts and songs. We wanted to explore some brutal issues that are happening in and around South Africa. I think we created a meaningful album with some killer tunes.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you feel that you’ve pushed a bit further outside of ‘slam’ in terms of songwriting with Mob Justice?
van der Walt: Definitely. There are still some slam parts, and we haven’t completely detached from the genre. We have just grown as musicians and we don’t want to make the same album twice. A lot of our combined heavy influence come through in the album. There’s a bit more death metal, hardcore parts and solos in there this time.
Dead Rhetoric: Was there any reason that you decided to go with the South Africa-related lyrics this time around? Do you feel that truth is scarier than fiction?
van der Walt: Truth is always scarier than fiction. Some of the craziest horrors were actually inspired by real life events. We’ve become very desensitized as people, and we sometimes forget there are real horrors all around us. We just choose to blindly look the other way. It doesn’t mean it’s not there. Africa has a long list of real-life horrors, so we decided to scare people with true horror.
Dead Rhetoric: There are some diverse guest vocals on the album – how’d you go about deciding to include specific people for the album?
van der Walt: Sometimes we write a song and record it and then when we listen back we think “XXXXXX will be soooo good on this part or that part…” Then we hit them up and hope for the best. They always deliver above expectation, and it’s always very humbling working with artists who inspire us.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you enjoy about having guest vocalists, as this is something the band has done quite a bit of in the past?
van der Walt: It adds a new perspective and flavour to the song. Sometimes it adds the colour we need, and might not have thought of. It also creates a mutual outreach to our fans and theirs. Ultimately, building the fanbase one collaboration at a time…
Dead Rhetoric: What can you say about the cover art of Mob Justice?
van der Walt: The cover art was drawn by Jacob N. Rusek. It is an absolute masterpiece. It depicts vultures, snakes and hyenas eating the carcass of a lion and stealing the crown/jewels. It could be that the scavengers (minorities and outcasts) are killing and destroying the king of the jungle (governments, corporations, 1%). Time for a revolution, time to take the power and rise from the ashes.
Dead Rhetoric: What’s most important to you when it comes to writing a heavy riff? What makes it stand out?
van der Walt: Your whole body wants to move. You get this uncontrollable urge to punch everything in sight. The hair on the back of your neck rises, you get an evil grin. The whole room is about to fall apart and break into pieces. That’s when you know…
Dead Rhetoric: How you feel that your music has evolved since Lord of Plagues?
van der Walt: We have all grown as musicians and artists. We have new inspirations and influences. The core fundamentals are all there, they are what we build on. It’s definitely still heavy AF, but we have introduced some guitar solos, new vocal techniques, and tricks to make the sonic experience more immersive and as intense as we can.
Dead Rhetoric: What is most appealing about extreme death metal to you?
van der Walt: The surging rush of power and energy that flows through your entire body when you perform live. Seeing all the die-hard dedicated fans is also incredible. This sheer intensity on stage and in the crowd is unrivalled. Watching the crowd explode is one of the craziest things to experience from a performer’s POV.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you have planned for the rest of 2019?
van der Walt: We’re off to Brutal Assault (CZ) and Party San (DE) in August. Then in November we’re in Australia and New Zealand, which is followed by Tech Trek Europe with Archspire, Beneath the Massacre and Inferi in December.