On paper, Joey Jordison and Frédéric Leclercq are two metal musicians that couldn’t be more different. While Joey rose to the rank of rock ‘n’ roll heroism as the drummer and principal songwriter in the game-changing nu metal troupe Slipknot, Frédéric was earning his keep with the far more peppy and whimsical power metal of DragonForce. Both musically and literally, they are men from different hemispheres, yet the duo have found common ground in Sinsaenum.
A blackened death metal supergroup reminiscent of the dulcet sounds of Vader and Behemoth, the six-piece may have released two full albums and two EPs since their formation in 2016, but are yet to grace live crowds with their riff- and growl-fuelled mania.
Luckily, that is set to change over the next two months, as Joey, Frédéric and their co-conspirators (who emanate from such brutal favourites as Mayhem and Dååth) will be storming stages all over Europe and Australia to support their latest record, Repulsion for Humanity.
As they prepare for their first-ever tour with Sinsaenum in their rehearsal studio in France, I got to sit down with the two heavy heroes to chat about death metal, the trials of starting a new band from scratch and their continuing work in their other projects, DragonForce and Vimic.
Matt Mills: “As this is your first tour, what can fans expect at a Sinsaenum show?”
Joey Jordison: “We’re gonna go out there with complete furiosity and deliver all the material from the three releases that we have now, and give the fans the best f—king show that we can. We have been waiting for a long time for this, so we want to meet as many fans as possible and give them the best show possible.”
Frédéric Leclercq: “We’ll have some props with us onstage, but what really matters to us is the music.”
“Sinsaenum have been an active band for over two years now, so what made you want to wait this long to go on tour?”
Frédéric: “We didn’t want to, it’s just because we are very busy with our other bands. It’s not like we didn’t want to tour before, it’s just that it’s very difficult to find to time to get us all together on the same bus at the same time. It was more a case of schedule conflicts.”
“You’ve been a very prolific band over the past two years, with two albums already out. Do you think that that fast pace of releasing music is going to continue?”
Frédéric: “On the first album [Echoes of the Tortured], the oldest song was started back in 1998. I wrote all that stuff as a side from what I was doing in DragonForce and other bands. I always thought ‘One day I’ll do a death metal band, but I don’t know when or how,’ and then I met Joey back in 2008. We spoke about doing some death metal together and then I guess we got carried away. But I don’t know, I can’t tell you ‘Oh, we’ll do another album in six weeks!’ Right now, we are focused on the tour but, once the tour is done, then maybe I could answer that.”
“With some of Sinsaenum’s songs being around for so long, now that they’re out, is it everything you imagined when you first started writing?”
Joey: “Everything is exactly the way we imagined it, with Fréd as the primary songwriter. We always entrust in Fréd to be the one that brings the main riffs and then we work from there in the studio. It has to feel good to all of us. Our songs have to flow like a river, with different waves, and that’s the main thing about Sinsaenum: even though we’re, primarily, a black/death metal hybrid, the songwriting comes from rock, thrash, speed metal and death metal. Sometimes I don’t think we make death metal or black metal; sometimes I think we’re just Sinsaenum. We are in those genres, but it comes from so many different areas.”
Frédéric: “I’ve always wanted to have a death metal album out. It sounds selfish, but you make music for yourself. I would have chosen to make pop music if I wanted to please the masses, but music is catharsis for us, so Sinsaenum is a necessity.”
“Now that you guys have Sinsaenum, do you feel more freedom than when you were just in DragonForce or just in Slipknot?”
Joey: “I think this music has been brewing in us for a long time, so there is this huge freedom with it that comes along with going outside what people know us for. We can show another side to our personalities and get it out there.”
Frédéric: “DragonForce is very light heavy metal. There are certain things that I am not able to express with DragonForce that I express with Sinsaenum. If you or anyone reading this were to come to my house, we would listen to death metal more than power metal. I can now express more than one side of my personality, which is nice because people won’t just remember me as the funny guy playing bass and singing about unicorns.”
“With your histories in these big-name bands, you’re guys that are used to playing at a stadium-sized level. So when it came time to start from scratch again with Sinsaenum, was there any frustration with that?”
Joey: “We all started from somewhere. Just because we’re a new band doesn’t mean it’s not going to grow really quick. We just want to grind it out: that’s why we have this band and why we started it.”
“Individually, you’re each currently involved with DragonForce and Vimic. So I wanted to finish by asking how those bands are doing and what plans they have for the near-future.”
Frédéric: “DragonForce, we are about to start recording our eighth album. We plan on releasing it sometime next year, around September. But, right now, Sinsaenum has taken over.”
Joey: “I’m still busy with Vimic, we have three releases and have just signed a new [record] deal; we’re just getting ready to get that music out. Right now, it’s Sinsaenum time but Vimic is totally active and we’re going to be getting out there very soon, so just keep looking out for it. We’ll be making an announcement soon.”
Repulsion for Humanity is out now via earMUSIC.
Sinsaenum tour Europe and Australia from September to November. They play their first UK show at The Dome, London, on 19th October.