Slipknot legend Joey Jordison and Dragonforce bassist Frédéric Leclercq teamed up for death metal project Sinsaenum. But how much deeper does their friendship run? To find out, we got them to interview each other…
Joey Jordison and Frédéric Leclercq reveal the next steps for the extreme metal supergroup.
It’s the death metal supergroup to end all death metal supergroups. In 2016, Joey Jordison and Dragonforce bassist Frédéric Leclercq took up with mayhem vocalist attila csihar, Dååth vocalist Sean Zatorsky, Loudblast guitarist Stéphane Buriez and bassist heimoth to form Sinsaenum. Shedding any accessible elements of their ‘other’ bands, this is a project focused purely on extremity. Tearing himself from the TV during France’s victory over Belgium in the world cup semi-final, happy-go-lucky Parisian Fréd and good-naturedly stoic Joey agreed to grill each other about their brotherhood and forthcoming second album, Repulsion For Humanity.
JOEY: WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF ME?
FRÉDÉRIC: “I met you in 2007 with Sam [Totman, Dragonforce guitarist]. We approached you and said, ‘hey man, you’re a maggot!’ You said nicely, politely, because you were sober and we were completely smashed, ‘oh yeah, that’s what we call our fans.’ and we said, ‘No, no, you’re a maggot.’ You were puzzled! The year after, Slipknot and Dragonforce toured together for mayhem fest in the US. You told me, ‘I remember what you said to me – calm your tits, that’s not cool.’ I thought, ‘he’s not very fun.’ a few days after, we started talking about morbid angel, and I quickly realised you were a good guy.”
FRÉD: WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF me?
JOEY: “I’d always go to watch you play. The connection you had with the fans was different than a lot of people I’ve seen; you’re one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in the industry, but at the same time you have a very extreme metal dark side.
That’s why we formed Sinsaenum – I met you for a reason, it was meant to be, like a different force coming from somewhere else. I knew instantly I had a brother; you don’t find that very often.”
FRÉD: [To Hammer] “a few years later I sent him some demos and he thought it was cool. he asked who was drumming. ‘No one,’ I said, ‘…you?’ he said, ‘Fuck yeah, count me in!’ he was super-motivated, he wanted a timeframe for getting in a studio and whatnot, and I was like, ‘Umm… oK, oK!’ The songs were half done; I had to fucking get on with it!”
JOEY: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE LYRIC OF MINE?
FRÉD: “easy, the chorus for [may’s single] Final Resolve. I don’t know if we told you, but Stéphane [Buriez, guitars] and I were stoked to be able to sit and write with you. The chorus came naturally: ‘Crush / It is gripping / Crush / Sentenced to die / Crush / No more emotion / Crush / The final resolve.’”
JOEY: [Imitates riffs and drums] “Dah dah dah dummm… dididididi!”
FRÉD: “ha ha ha!”
FRÉD: WHAT WAS I LIKE IN THE STUDIO?
JOEY: “I’ll tell you, you’re one of the best coaches I’ve had in the studio. You know exactly what you want, because you’re the primary songwriter, so it’s my job to make sure that everything’s done how you want it, with, of course, my intuition and originality. We worked together. It came out fucking brutal!”
FRÉD: “You’re very focused. You want the best and you’re not afraid of trying different things. For the previous album you recorded in the US, but we had the sense to do it together this time. That’s
“i thought you weren’t any fun”
FRED WAS DRUNK AND ROWDY WHEN HE MET JOEY
something. If you’re oK with it, Joey, we’ll have to do that again – I had a great time.”
FRÉD: WE SHARED A HOUSE WHILE WE MADE THE RECORD. WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING MY ROOMMATE? DID YOU LIKE MY COOKING?
JOEY: “We’re gonna be sharing a bus together, so the house was easy!”
FRÉD: “You used to fall asleep with the TV turned up very loud – that’s the only complaint I have.”
JOEY: “I have to have the TV loud so I can sleep, otherwise my ears ring like a motherfucker… years of cymbals don’t help!”
FRÉD: “It was very focused. We knew exactly what we wanted to achieve.”
JOEY: I SUGGESTED ATTILA [CSIHAR, MAYHEM VOCALIST] JOIN THE BAND. HOW DO YOU FIND WORKING WITH HIM?
FRÉD: “It’s great – I’m a huge mayhem fan. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is an amazing record, but that’s not how we think about people in the band. It was impressive at first. I taught him a part in a song called Anfang des Albtraumes from our first album, [2016’s] Echoes Of The Tortured, and wanted him to sing like he did on De Mysteriis… he did it and I got chills. he’s a great person, very interesting; he comes up with fucked-up ideas!”
FRÉD: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING I’VE DONE ON THE NEW RECORD?
JOEY: “everything. The songwriting is amazing; I’m 100 fucking million infinity per cent proud to be your drummer and a part of Sinsaenum.”
FRÉD: “I don’t know what to say! The one moment I especially remember is when you recorded I Stand Alone in one take. We were all behind the window watching you thinking, ‘oh, fuck!’”
JOEY: “It’s cool you mention that, because when I’m practising I remember that recording experience every time. There’s something eerie about that song; when I play it, I feel like you guys are in the room with me, like ghosts. It feels strong, man.”
FRÉD: WERE YOU EVER FRUSTRATED ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO GO MORE EXTREME IN SLIPKNOT?
JOEY: “No, because we can always go more or less extreme – the fact is, we need to be honest with ourselves and the music we wanna portray and where we wanna go in life. other than that, no.” FRÉD: WhaT’S IT LIKe goINg From areNaS WITh SLIPKNoT To SmaLLer VeNUeS WITh SINSaeNUm? JOEY: “I don’t care if a hundred or a hundred thousand people show up. We play music because we have to, period.”
FRÉD: “We had a moment with Dragonforce when we were big, and then it went down and up again, and it didn’t matter about the size of the venue – as long as you touch people.”
JOEY: “I love Dragonforce. When we met on tour, I watched you guys all the time. I’m not a big power metal fan, but I can’t say a bad thing – that band is technically insane.”
FRÉD: “The guys called it extreme power metal when we started, because of the blasts and BPm. I guess I have more bad things to say about Dragonforce than you do! ha ha ha! I’ve been with them for 13 years. I could always complain about some things, but I’m very happy.”
JOEY: WHAT EXTREME METAL BAND CHANGED YOUR LIFE THE MOST?
FRÉD: “Do you have an idea of my answer?”
JOEY: “I pretty much do!”
FRÉD AND JOEY: [Both cackling with laughter] “morbid angel!”
FRÉD: “That was the band that connected us when we met. We’d see each other from afar and say, ‘morbid angelllll!’ That was our way of saying hi. Their approach to death metal was different to other bands. There was something evil about their sound. Their influence isn’t something I’m trying to hide in Sinsaenum.”
FRÉD: JOEY, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOU?
JOEY: “I don’t know. I don’t follow the internet.” FRÉD: “That’s true!”
JOEY: “Fuck what anyone thinks about me. I know who I am and how strong I am. I do what I want to do. I stand by myself and I know what’s right and wrong. I know what I need to do as a human being, that’s it.”
FRÉD: HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO FRONT A BAND?
JOEY: “No. ha ha!”
FRÉD: “That’s it?”
JOEY: “When I played guitar in murderdolls, it was kind of fronting a band or whatever. I can sing, but you know it’s just not my thing, man. When [2002 debut] Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls came out it was a free feeling – something that was locked up inside me and my guitar. The band was campy as shit, but it was fun. We’d say we were serious about not being serious. murderdolls tours were about release – the ultimate musical vacation before we had to get back to real work.”
JOEY: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO SEE YOUR MUSIC COME TO LIFE, GIVEN YOU STARTED WRITING IN 1998?
FRÉD: “It’s about fucking time! When I started writing death metal in 1998, I wanted it to come out at some point, but it took me a long time. I did Dragonforce, which is a totally different emotion. all my negativity, anger, hatred goes into the Sinsaenum folder, and then we can carry on with our lives!”
JOEY: WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST AMBITION NOW?
FRÉD: “Well, what’s yours?”
JOEY: “our tour’s coming up, and my ambition is to remain strong and keep moving forward, nonstop. Keep practising drums. my kit’s my life, that is what I do; that’s what I’m on earth for.”
FRÉD:“WE’RE touring europe for a month, and russia and Japan. I want to carry on being able to do what I like to do. I already achieved a lot – not much compared to others, perhaps, but to live for my passion, to be healthy and happy.”
JOEY: “I’m off to Sinsaenum rehearsals. hail metal and hail life!”
“i knew instantly i had a brother”
JOEY FELT A KINSHIP WITH FELLOW MORBID ANGEL FAN FRED
Joey Jordison and Frédéric Leclercq:brothers from different mothers