2014 in Review: The Heretic Order's Rotted Skull - "The Guitar Hero game was a double edged sword"

A new sound is emerging from London's squalid streets...

Hello there, How are you? As ever it falls to me to thank you for being part of our end-of-year festivities, so consider yourself duly thanked. But please, for the benefit of our readership identify yourself, your band and your role in that band. "My name is Rotted Skull and I play bass for The Heretic Order".

Thank you Mr Skull. And without any further ado, on with the questions! Has it been a good year for the band? What have you spent the year doing? "Yes its been a good first year for us. We where born last March and by August we had already played at Bloodstock Festival and have also finished the recording of our debut album so our goal for this first year has been achieved".

That's marvellous to hear! When you look back on 2014 personally, what things stand out for you as highs and lows? "Well, for highs I got to see Iron Maiden two times this year and both times at festivals and for free and all by pure coincidence! (laughs), so I cannot complain on that front; as for lows a few relatives and people I knew have passed away this year so take life as it comes and make the most of it".

Sound advice indeed. How was 2014 for you musically, aside from any projects you’re involved in? "Like I mentioned earlier I got to a few festivals this year playing with the band  and also as a guest with some other bands so got to see Megadeth, Anthrax, Graveyard, Alice in Chains, Mastodon, Metallica, Maiden and loads more!".

A good haul by any standards! Away from the live arena, what recorded product excited you in 2014?What were your best album(s) of the year "I'm Liking the new At the Gates and Accept albums".

We’re not going to ask for your worst album of the year, as people always say they try and stay away from bad music, but did you feel disappointed by any album that came out this year that you were looking forward to? "The new Slipknot and In Flames albums".

Looking ahead, What does 2015 hold in store for the band? "Well we are going to release our debut album, which should be out sometime during the summer and we have already been confirmed for Hammerfest in Wales which is looking to be a killer lineup with Candelmass headlining".

Yep. I've seen that bill and it looks like a killer festival. You'll have a blast! On a wider note, how healthy do you think the extreme music scene is where you are from, looking towards 2015? Any bands we should be looking out for next year that we might not already know about? "In the UK I think its keeps on bubbling in the underground but there seams to be less places to play these days so I would say its not that healthy for UK bands nationwide at the moment".

That's a sad thing to hear. Away from up and coming bands, the last couple of years have seen almost every band from the eighties and nineties that were even half decent (and many not even that good) reforming for another go at stardom. Is this a reflection on the state of the music industry as it stands, with labels unable or unwilling to nurture young talent and punters forced into going out and watching something more tried and trusted?Or is it simply a reflection on the laziness of those same punters who’d rather watch a bunch of old blokes performing in their own tribute acts rather than risking a tenner on new music? "Spot on! Yes, I think it is all to do with the state of the music industry and record companies trying to make a quick buck instead of investing a bit in new bands. Thinking about it now and as much as I loved it and it gave rock and metal music a boost, things like the Guitar Hero game were kind of a double edged sword in that sense as like you mentioned above it made some bands who had split up and been dead for long time get back together and at the end of the day maybe there was a valid reason why they never where that big as people make them out to be when they come back with all their press and hype".

That;s an interesting angle. It's all Sony's fault!  Nowithstanding your last answer, is there anyone who hasn’t reformed that you might like a sneaky look at should they get back together? (laughing)"I  would love to see Demon play, though I think they are loOsely together but don t seam to play live that much."

Aaah Demon. The Unexpected Guest is an underrated classic and one of the first albums I ever fell in love with back in the eighties! And talking of old farts for a bit longer – what did you make of the U2/Apple business? Great piece of marketing or appalling imposition on individual privacy? "I think it was a good marketing plan but it kind of backfired on them. I haven t heard the new album but from what I hear its not good at all which makes you wonder if the new one would have been really up to the standard of their old albums, would people have reacted the same way?"

Probably not! Now onto an Important lifestyle question – vinyl, cd or mp3? "Unfortunatly for everday its has to be mp3 but I still have all my tapes, cds and vinyl which I'll never get rid of. Theres still something about playing music On vinyl that cannot be beaten."

I'm in complete agreement with you. Finally, is there anything else you’d like to bring to the attention of the MaF readership? "Watch out for the Heretic Order in 2015! Also we re starting to see all the classic metal/heavybands start to get to retirement age so in the next 5/10 years metal music might change in a way that might make it go further underground".