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Jools Green

jools green

lay down rotten recently spoke to Jost Kleinert, vocalist with German Death Metal band Lay Down Rotten about their new album 'Mask Of Malice'.

Jost, the band has made six full lengths in 13 years. That's a pretty impressive workload. How do you manage to keep the music standard high?

"Lay Down Rotten is the vision we have for Death Metal, our passion. We express ourselves by writing music. We do not censor our creativity or doubt our inspirations. This is why we are still here, writing the best songs we can. Keeping the music standard high also means questioning yourself and your motives. We are still hungry after all these years and 'Mask Of Malice' shows that we are stronger than ever."

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And how do you feel the band has developed over the last 13 years?

"We have grown both as musicians and as people. We now have much more experience and have gathered a dedicated following. Every album has taught us a different lesson and given us the inspiration and the right motivation to go on."

Have you achieved all you set out to achieve with the band or have you more yet to do?

"It is never enough. We want to play more concerts, record more albums and have more fun! We love what we do. There has never been a master plan or regulations. We live Death Metal. This keeps us going. This is what we do best. Lay Down Rotten will never slow down, sell out or take a break."

How do you think this album compares to 'Gospel Of The Wretched'?

"'Mask Of Malice' is darker and features our new guitarist Kensington for the first time. He replaced Daniel Jacobi and we are happy to have him in the band. Kensington brought eight songs to the first rehearsal. Amazing! He gave us a lot of new inspiration for the Lay Down Rotten sound and that's innovative. Our bassist Uwe wrote the music for 'La Serpenta Canta', his first contribution as a writer.

"'Mask Of Malice' feels like a new beginning. 'Gospel Of The Wretched' was the maximum we could achieve with the old line-up. It is a great album but 'Mask Of Malice' is a natural progression and very personal considering the lyrics and song titles. This is the start of a new era!"

What was your source of inspiration for the lyrics for this album?

"Well, just take a look around. 'Mask Of Malice' is an album about human malice. Malice is a part of our everyday life. No one talks about it as we all are so full of greed and want more and more. Although we are not hungry we eat and consume. It is a very interesting topic. I could go on for hours. Malice is a very hard to detect, character defect, as we call brutal narcissists, successful and disciplined people. No-one would ever refer to ignorant business men as pigs full of malice. The majority applauds corrupt, egoistic bastards. There is no real resistance.

"As long as we have our TV sets and computer games there will be no revolution. Malice is manifested among us and in society in various forms. We focussed on the nature of malice and emphasised the structure and history of this character defect."

lat down rotten mask of malice

What approach have you used in the writing and recording process?

"My brother Elmar and I sat down to write the darkest and most personal lyrics weeks before the recording sessions for 'Mask Of Malice' started. Then we held rehearsal sessions to try out the new material and record demos. We had a blast putting all our ideas together and just enjoying ourselves.

"The process of writing can be quite difficult sometimes and we had long discussions about the lyrical approach but all the hard work paid off in the end."

What kind of pressure did you experience in the writing/recording process?

"Well, there is always pressure involved as you cannot control the results. This is quite frightening. As a musician you are in a bubble while writing and recording. You have to be. That is why we have to rely on ourselves in the creative process and trust our intuition and inspiration.

"But it should be fun. This is also necessary to achieve your goals. Otherwise the listener will be disappointed in the artist because like it or not all in all it is about entertainment."

The album has pretty stunning cover artwork. Where did the cover artwork inspiration come from and who is the artist?

"Toshihiro Egawa ( designed the cover for our new record. He is a very talented artist. He has caught the vibe of the album and combined a lot of metaphors from the lyrics with his own ideas. I think his style is unique and he always adds something special to his artwork. Honestly I think cover artworks are very important. It is nice to see that a band put some effort in having a great album cover."

What are your touring plans for the album? Are you thinking of coming to the UK?

"We have a tour coming up with Cannibal Corpse and Aborted. This is a dream come true. Both bands are great and work very hard. I respect them and appreciate their attitude. Cannibal Corpse recorded amazing albums throughout their career. More dates and festival gigs are on the way. Please check our news section for further details."

Thank you Jost, for taking time to do this interview. Do you have any final comment you would like to make?

"I salute all of you crazy Metal maniacs. Check out our website: Thank you so much for your support. Cheers."

'Mask Of Malice' is available now on Metal Blade records.




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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