French grindcore act Department Of Correction have had a busy year, releasing two split EPs so far with another couple ready to drop in the near future. ZT caught up with guitarist Florian Chrétien to inspect the department.
Formed a few years ago in France after meeting online with the combined aim of creating bursts of sonic extremity, Department Of Correction have certainly achieved that in their brief existence so far. Sticking to all the trademarks of grindcore with a short and fast attack, few songs breach the one minute mark but are nevertheless still slices of the upmost severity.
With their track Punk The Bass Man kicking off the accompanying CD of ZT’s ten year anniversary issue, what better time to find out what’s happening in the Department?
ZT:What are Department Of Correction up to at the moment?
Florian Chrétien (Guitars):Hi, Department of Correction feels very good, thank you. To be honest, I don’t think we ever felt really bad. We are always working on new projects, new records, new tours. This is our way to be happy. Grindcore is our passion, and passion is good haha!
Have you been recording for another split EP? How has that been?
Yeah, in fact, we recorded two splits in one session. The split with Proletar, mincecore legends from Jakarta, and a split with Sender/Receiver, power-violence mathcore from Detroit.
The first one will be released by Give Praise Records (USA) on LP 12″ and by Grindtoday (Indonesia) on CD. The second one will be very short, it’s one song we did with Kristian Toivainen from Rotten Sound on the bass. It will be released by Mannequin Rein Records (USA) on 5″.
Just before that, we recorded a split with Agathocles and another one with Total Fucking Destruction. That’s what we did in 2014. Hard work, maximum pleasure.
Will there be another album in the near future? Absolutely. We plan to release another full-length in 2015. We are working on the composition right now. It will be brutal, stupid and dirty, as usual. We can’t, we won’t and we don’t stop. Playing grindcore the hard way.
How was your recent US tour?
Really nice, it was our second ever tour in the USA. The first one was with Strong Intention and Sender/Receiver in 2013. This one was with Budd Dwyer and happened in August 2014. We did house shows, basement shows, generator shows, regular shows, little festivals. Three weeks from New York to Los Angeles. It was a very good time for us; it gave us a lot of energy. We met awesome people all across the USA. We really enjoy touring. At the end of this US tour, we celebrated 100,000 km (66.666 miles) on tour in four years.
Our next tour will be in Europe for two weeks from April 11 to 26 2015. We will bring with us Pyrrhon from USA, and we really hope to come and grind over UK.
How did the band start? We started as a four-piece and all met on the internet. We were all seeking for other guys to play something very strong, fast, with no mercy. We didn’t know that we would play grindcore at the time, we realised that later.
Now we are a three-piece. I play guitar and bass on the recordings, and we play without bass on stage. That was never a problem. But maybe we’ll take on a bassist in the near future to make the sound bigger onstage, and to add some new personality in the band. We’ll only take someone if they wants to become a real friend and be totally involved in the music and the band.
Why did you decide to play grindcore?
I think that this is what came first. We always compose the songs the same way. First, the guitar is composed on pop-music to punk to classical music, with a certain emphasis. Then, the drums cook it up to something very brutal. Then, the singer comes to express the human and punk feeling of our music, and sometimes it’s scary to hear so much humanity in this brutality.
When all is set up… well… it sounds like grindcore in our own way hahaha!
Do you all have other jobs? How do you find time to record and play shows too?
Yeah, I am a physiotherapist and coach for musicians. I work with them to increase their technicality and musicality, and to make them play safely and comfortably. My place is called Clinique du Musicien. Yohann is the drummer and he is a house builder. Greg is the singer and he is a physics and chemistry teacher in high school.
Where did the tribute to Wormrot idea come from? A guy offered to do a tribute to Wormrot. As we played some shows with them, and the singer Arif made our artwork for the split with Strong Intention, we decided to participate. I first asked Arif if Wormrot was ok, and he told me that he was really honoured, so we decided to make it. We tried to play ‘Evolved into Nothing’ in the way we would have composed it, like we did when we did a tribute to Disrupt. We wanted to bring something special from our side into the songs; this is for us the only way to pay tribute.
What is the French extreme metal scene like at the moment?
Very nice, a lot of bands are very good and I’d say, in grindcore, it’s unbelievable how good it is. If you want to check some bands, I did a compilation called In Grindo Veritas, with 37 bands from France with 44 unreleased or version tracks, mastered by Dan O’Hare of Brutal Truth, and released by Kaotoxin Records.
What do you hope to achieve with Department Of Correction? We hope to never reach the end! We want to make our music always moving to new things, we want to tour as hard as we can, and everywhere on earth. We want to meet all the good people we could meet with our music. Grindcore is life, and we hope that life will last forever.