In a pretty short period of time since forming in 2017, Sioux Falls, South Dakota based Death Metal outfit Angerot have really put their hearts and souls into their work as can be heard on their 2018 debut “The Splendid Iniquity,” and even more so on their latest from this year “The Divine Apostate.” Both albums are spectacular examples of what is good in the field, and they just seem to be getting deadlier as they go along. It goes without saying that Meddlefan would want to have a bit of a chat with them, and guitar player extraordinaire Jason Ellsworth was kind enough to agree! Hoorah!
Hi Jason, can we begin with an easy one, where did you guys grow up?
The four members of Angerot grew up here:
C.R. Petit – Sioux Falls, SD
Zaugg – Sioux Falls, SD
Jason Ellsworth – Rock Rapids, IA
Matt Johnson – Omaha, NE
And how long have you known each other?
C.R., Zaugg and I have known each for approximately 25 years and we have known Matt about 2 years now when he joined Angerot. Chad and Bill were part of one of the first Death Metal bands in Sioux Falls called Suffer. The roots of Suffer go back to 1989. I used to go to a lot of the Suffer shows but I didn’t get to know these guys until like 1994 or so. I was in college at the time.
So where do you all call home these days?
C.R. and Zaugg still live in Sioux Falls, SD. I live in Brandon, SD and Matt lives in Omaha, NE so he has about a 2 1/2 hour commute just for our practices.
What would you say it was that made you want to start playing metal?
Honestly the way it made me feel. Music and specifically Metal made me feel really good and I became addicted young. I first got into music when I was like 11 or so and by 13 I was wanting to play so I pursued the bass at 13 and by 14 or so was playing electric guitar. All the members of Angerot started playing at a real young age. Around that 13 age or so. C.R. first took up the drums before taking up the guitar second.
Did you always have it in mind to play Death Metal?
Even though I’m the oldest member of Angerot I got into Death Metal just a little bit later than the other guys in the band. I’m a product of the 80’s so I needed what I call the natural progression to discover and get into Death Metal. I just kept wanting my music heavier and heavier. I went from Motley Crue to Metallica to King Diamond to Death in about a 5 year time span. My first bands were playing the popular music of the day and my first Death Metal band wasn’t until 1995 while C.R. and Zaugg were starting in it around 1989 or so. So to answer your question I guess I didn’t first want to play Death Metal because it took me another 5 years or so to discover it once I started playing. Partly because there wasn’t really any of it other than the likes of Possessed and Venom when I was first getting into music.
Care to share with us some of your biggest influences?
Musically speaking Chuck Schuldiner from Death, James Murphy from numerous bands, James Hetfield from Metallica because of his tight down picking right hand and Tony Iommi because of the power of the riff that he created.
Can you tell us a little about the Death Metal scene in your area?
I feel like it’s always been fairly strong. Like all scenes it comes and goes and the bands come and go but what I’ve seen through the years is good enthusiasm for the bands and the music. From time to time we have struggled with having venues that house Death Metal but those have come and gone too. We currently have a bar called Big’s Bar that is “home” for the heavier music in Sioux Falls, SD. A few other places do have it from time to time as well. The bands in the community have always seemed to show respect for one another from what I’ve seen. There used to be a very big all ages scene with more underground and DIY shows. That was pretty big here in the late 80’s and most of the 90’s.
What would you say in your opinion is the best show you have ever been to?
Whew that’s a tough one. I’ve been to so many through the years. My honest answer is probably the first time I saw the original Black Sabbath which I guess was Ozzfest 1999. That was truly something of godlike nature for me personally. I was emotional just seeing it. As far as the best Death Metal show I’m thinking seeing Morbid Angel on the Domination tour in 1995. That album to me is top shelf and they were firing on all cylinder with Erik Rutan on 2nd guitar back then. David Vincent as a Death Metal vocalist is second to none for me.
Where is one of your favourite places to visit?
Personally speaking I love my trips to Canada. I have gone up there annually fishing for about 26 years now. It’s so tranquil and “off the grid”. I was able to go to Japan in 2003 and that was life changing and being a Metalhead it was super cool as well as they have Heavy Metal specific bars and bootleg music stores which are legal over there.
How about your favourite type or types of music?
I honestly really like and love a lot of types of music. I still listen to lots of Death Metal but I also enjoy “good” Thrash Metal, some Black Metal and I have a soft spot for tons of music from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Cool 70’s Rock and singer and songwriter type stuff.
Do any of you like to read at all?
I’ll be honest I don’t personally like to read all that much but I know that some members of the band do more than I. If I read anything it’s a music autobiography or something of that nature. I’m currently and slowly reading “I’m the Man” which is by Scott Ian from Anthrax.
From what you HAVE read over the years, could you choose a favourite author?
Cliche statement here I suppose but I do truly think that Stephen King has some great, creative and interesting stories so I will say him. I have read a good portion of his books.
Are you a gamer at all? Do you have a favourite character in video games?
I honestly don’t really play video games but I am aware of Tyrant from Resident Evil and that dude is pretty awesome and evil looking.
What about Horror movies, you dig ’em? Any standouts you care to share?
Hellraiser, Halloween, Evil Dead, The Omen, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Cabin Fever to name a few. I enjoy a good horror movie and is usually my go to type movie.
Food now ha-ha. Where is your favourite place to eat ?
Red Lobster as I love seafood.
How do you feel about Pink Floyd. Like them at all? do you have one album that you rate higher than the rest if so?
Definitely “Dark Side of the Moon“. I pretty much have their entire catalogue and they are such an interesting and innovative band.
Are you guys collectors of anything?
I have a pretty extensive CD collection. In the 2,000 range. 97% Metal. I still love physical copies of media and to my ear audio on CD sounds best. I love supporting the bands and artists. Nothing much more too extensive. Our bass player, Zaugg, has a lot of cool Star Wars items and figurines.
Do you like fantasy and/or Sci-Fi at all?
Yea I suppose I do from time to time. For me personally I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies. Weirdly enough my favourite TV show is Forensic Files. I like true crime type shows as it’s stuff that’s all real and actually happened. I find it very interesting.
Since no touring is really possible right now, are you working on a new album perhaps?
As a matter of fact we are. We have the material all written for our 3rd album and the drums have already been recorded so we will be tracking guitars for that very soon here. We also have some ideas for a really cool EP as well that we are excited about.
What other projects are you involved in currently if we may ask?
C.R. and I have a Blackened Death Thrash style band project called Empty Throne that we are currently tracking for a 3 song EP. Other members are Mike Pardi formerly of Possessed, Draconis and Ritual on guitar and Gabe Seeber of Decrepit Birth, The Kennedy Veil, Abbath and Black Crown Initiate on drums.
I also have a Doom project I’m working on and have about 3 unfinished projects from past bands that I still want to wrap up.
And to wrap it up, what other bands have you guys been a part of in the past?
C.R. Petit – Tennessee Murder Club, Fantome, Suffer, Oversoul, The Blinding Light, Floodplain.
Zaugg – Suffer, The Dead Next Door, Embodied.
Jason Ellsworth – Tennessee Murder Club, Suffer, Fall, Rapid Fusion, Mad Chapter.
Matt Johnson – Byleth, Autopsick.
And there you have it, many thanks to you Jason for your time.
Thank you, Robert.
We all really look forward to what Angerot will unleash upon the faithful next with great anticipation. If any of you out there haven’t (God forbid) heard these guys before, get off your lazy arses and get onto it right now, because you are really missing out on a band that is going great guns, the future of Death Metal is well and truly in great hands right here!
Check out these links for more.