Monday, August 25, 2014
Raging Rob Interview
1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
ROB: The band was founded in Beijing China in 2005 under the name 'Raging Mob'. Besides me, the founding members were 3 Chinese and one US musician who loves to play Thrash Metal. For me the first aim was to keep fit for a 90 Minutes Assassin Gig and since I lived in China I needed somehow rehearsal and that's why I took part at the first place. Soon the band developed own material and regular had live performances within the Beijing area. 2007 & 2008 Raging Mob took part at the famoes Chinese Midi Festival in the Haidian Park. Within Beijing the band gained a great hardcore thrashing headbanging following and the name Raging Mob was a name people have heard off.
2.In 2008 you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
ROB: Yes in 2008 the band finally released on the Chinese Metal Label 'Mort Productions' the debut album simply called 'Raging Mob'. It contained 7 self written songs and two live covers from Assassin. The music itself were mostly written by the guitar players David Hemmer (Rage, Slave to a lie, Residuals were all old school riffs & ideas David had for a long time from the 80s) and Meng Wang (Manifesto, Blessing of the mob, Destroy Hate, Promisebreaker). I kinda fixed most of the songs together and wrote the vocal lines & the lyrics mostly and the outcome was this album. I would call it 'Thrash Power Metal' to give people ideas what it is. We played many shows and Heavy Metal fans, Thrashers and even Death Metal fans liked us and (I love this word....lol) said that 'Raging Mob' is TRUE.
3.There has not been any newer material in 6 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time?
ROB: Well after the album was released we soon had frequently line up changes which in the end made it difficult for the band. The bass player Liu Ke for example went for one year overseas to study and in the meantime another bass player Jia Ke joined along with a replacement for Wang Meng who also left the band. Raging Mob played in most big Metal locations like 13 Club, Mao Livehouse including supporting the German thrash legends Destructions (my personal old friends), Starlife, Yugongyishan, etc. Raging Mob took part at the Wacken Metal Battle China and in 2009 I received the honor 'Best Metal vocalist in China' and 2010 Raging Mob (with another line up) won 'Best Metal Band in China'. In 2011 after being 17 years living in Beijing China, because of private reasons I moved back to my home country Germany and Raging Mob kinda disappeared. In Germany I had my first band Assassin which I was one of the founding members in 1985 and then in early 2014 I decided leave Assassin as the atmosphere how to make song writing went to rock button and right away I wanted to make a new band which makes 80s old school Thrash and includes old Assassin and Raging Mob songs in the live set. As in Beijing lot's of friends already called me 'Raging Rob' the band decided to take 'Raging Rob' as the band name.
4. According to the Metal Archives page, the band is currently on hold, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
ROB: I just explained how now 'Raging Rob' came into being, I heard little from the Chinese lads who still had the one or other gig under 'Raging Mob' with another vocalist and the sound totally changed into you don't wanna know...
5. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
ROB: I am very proud & happy of my lyrics on the Raging Mob album. First Manifesto is one of my favorite lyrics of all lyrics I wrote ever. It's talking about being free minded: 'Born free to live my live, may all my dreams come true, my own free will does rule my life, and I don't need ur view ! Fuck u!' is the chorus and explains everything. 'Promisebreaker' is actually an inspiration to break a promise in case if a made promise includes fanatic religion people being over others or hurting others.... 'Slave to a lie' (David named the song and helped to write the lyrics) is how to be slave of drugs & alcohol in case u can't stop. 'Destroy Hate', that title says everything (No tears for the murderer, facists, betrayer, rapist, etc).
6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Raging Mob'?
ROB: Raging Mob was actually an Assassin song on the third album 'The Club'. The name we thought is really cool and the song too which along with Bushwhackers were the Assassin songs we played with Raging Mob. The cover artwork was made by my great friend and manager of the band Yu Yang (Chinese Panda's ready for action in 80s hooligan style).
7. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
ROB: Well we had couple highlights: the opening for Destruction in Mao Livehouse. Kou's birthday party (Famoes musician who always organized a big show in Starlife with the best Metal bands in town), 13 Club Gigs as it was homegame in the university area and many friends came, plus the Wacken Metal Battle events. Our drummer Soldier always had from his drum school an own fanclub (just like me cause my football friends came alot) and Soldier made a crazy show. The bass player Liu Ke also did very great headbanging and still playing the correct tunes. The lead guitarist Wang Meng and his follow up like a Heavy Metal solo guitar player show, while me & Dave (the two 80s old school foreigners) run from one place to another during the whole show.
8. The album was self released over the years has there been any label interest?
ROB: No, we had the biggest record label in China 'Mort Productions' who released the album only in China. We just did not get much out of it (label & band) as it was always underground stuff. Also funny story: in order to get an official Chinese release the lyrics had to pass the censor who of course I extra made a special kinda sheet so to make sure it all passed (in reality I did not change a bid and in the inner sleeve are the real lyrics which the censor never saw...lol... For example: 'Counting the days of the system to break down, we are ready for a new society' the censor got to read 'Counting the days of the party to go down, we are ready for a big party'....lol
9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of thrash metal?
ROB: Besides ur review of the album I probably just saw two other reviews in small magazine or website magazine. When I went to play with Assassin 2010 to Japan in the famoes Rock Stakk shop of our metal brother Mikitoshi I found 10 CDs send from Mort Productions Export. In Europe or anywhere else I did not see or hear anything of our album at all.
10. The band is based in China, how would you describe the metal scene in that country?
ROB: Well it better to say: Raging Mob between 2005 to 2011 was based in China, describe the metal scene during that time. OK ?. Well it is hardcore more difficult then in the western countries. A lot of gigs bands get nothing, bring their whole equipment and just be allowed to play 3 or 4 songs and then already it's time for the next band. Often no changing rooms, often no stage water (which u need to smuggle into the location...lol) and in the Metal Media (the biggest is Painkiller Mag) local bands get very little attention rather standart semi good foreign bands from Europe or US get much bigger attention. Next to Raging Mob the famoes band was Suffocated and 2 others which I now already forgot their name. Shame on me !
11What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
ROB: Slayer, Metallica, Exodus, Motorhead we all loved and listened to and influenced us how to make music. Liu Ke had also some Punk influence and Soldier (who really came from the Chinese military) had marching soldier songs as influence...lol
12 What are some of your non musical interests?
ROB: Well here I speak for me: I always had 2 big passions: besides metal I am totally into football. In Beijing I ran a football league as full time job and I had my own team called 'Fortuna Beijing' where the name comes from my favorite German team 'Fortuna Düsseldorf'. Since 2012 I am official Soul City Ultras member of my club.
13 Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
ROB: As you made this interview just with the knowledge of having only Raging Mob in China (u did not know that I continue the band as Raging Rob in Germany) please add the following:
A. The reason why I left Assassin in 2014:
It wasn't for any personal reason, it was how the band was run and the atmosphere which resulted from it. Unlike former experience all new songs had no more band input rather each musician was doing his thing. After the guitar finished a song, it went to the bass, then drums and then to me the vocalist last ready. Before the song writing was done together and each musician could input ideas to the other musicians and vice versa. Then when I wanted to check out a new text with two different vocal lines the band rejected to play together, I rather should do all vocals decisions by myself and if needed rehearse alone in the rehearsal room. I objected that and want a band to play with as I am no good damn studio musician. So the whole fun and meaning to play with a band together was not given there anymore, so I left with a disappointing and sad feeling. Just very few weeks later Assassin already had a replacement vocalist and I knew that I definitely wanted to continue the old way school of Thrash Metal and needed a band.
B. The idea to form what kind of band after Assassin:
As almost 30 years with Assassin I surely knew that I still will play the Assassin songs and in addition also include some of the powerful Raging Mob songs. So the name 'Raging Mob' which was left behind in China would not have been the right one, but then the metal lads in Beijing ofter called me 'Raging Rob' I liked the idea that would a cool and just the right band name to pick and that what happened.
C. RAGING ROB with it's line up stands:
Several people were checked out and in the end a top line up emerged between April and May 2014. Assassin's old school original drummer Frank Nellen (who else?), Warrant's lead guitar player Dirk Preylowski (an old friend from the early thrashing days in the 80s and top guitar player), Maik Jansen (rhythm guitar) and Rudi Görg (bass) (both ex-Human bastard, a hard'n'tough Metal band where Dirk also participated) made the final line up along with me for Raging Rob. It's very fun to play with them and the band is very eager to do well.
Last not least I want to thank you and greet you and all the headbanging maniacs who read this interview. Information you can find under following links:
CHEERS & HAIL ALL THRASHERS AROUND THE GLOBE !