I highly encourage you to listen to CODEX and Toadeater demo before reading the interview. Here are the links for both releases below. Enjoy the interview ;). And one more time, thanks to the band for taking the time to answer my questions.
Hi Toadeater, thank you for taking the time to answer to this small interview.
What does the name of the band exactly means ? It seems that in english the word "ToadEater" is used to designate someone as an obsequious flatterer and a sycophant. The word itself seems to take its root from a pratice of quacks doctors who were hiring a young boy to eat a toad (considered as poisonnous at this time), and then pretend to give him a cure to impress the crowd to get the benefit of it to sell their "services" to others. It sounds to me like with this name you are also talking about the politics of our time when some people are using the weakness of other just to serve their own cause. What is you opinion about that ?
On the band's name, we came through a song title of the Seattle D-Beat / Crust band Deathraid, and found him directly interesting. You are absolutey right with you intepretation about the quack-aide's helper who had to eat a "poisonous" toad, then squirmed in pain until the quack gave him some "medicine" to convince the crowd that the medicine cured the Toadeater from his agony. Like the Toadeater, many people play a role because they depend on their social system and have to live up to expectations, values, and behaviors in order to preserve their personal "medicine," such as money or power, things that ultimately have no value.
On the other hand, the artwork of your first demo is drawing of a toad eating a human. Is there something related to veganism/vegetarianism. Does it mean that you think that no human being has the right to do that to an animal ?
The Artwork is by Fabian / Hagiophobic (ed. we used one Hagiophoic artwork for the gig's flyer) who also designed the cover art work for CODEX. When we came up with the idea, the thought behind it was that humanity has the misbelief they stand above nature / animals, in our opinion this is a big fallacy. We give him all the artistic freedom he wants when doing designs for us, and we know for sure that he is vegan, so it is likely that your thoughts are correct!
The production of the album sound very raw to me. It's -for me- a perfect mix between black-metal and crust punk. We feel a pretty unique urgency and intensity in your music because of the production. Did you choose to record this album with one single microphone in the room, or something like that, as it sounds very 'live' even if we can distinguish all the instruments one by one. Was it something that you were looking for during the recording process ?
We recorded the whole album in just three days. First the drums and then guitar, bass and vocals. But all without a click, so you can still feel this live effect on the recordings. We barely had the opportunity to try things out in the studio because we were under a lot of time pressure. Maybe that's why this rough sound comes from. Whether that was intended by us - I do not know. Looking back, we would have taken more time for the recordings. Nevertheless, we are very satisfied with the result.
The lyrics of CODEX are very dark. I expected to find some political meaning in it, but these lyrics are for me very poetic, and sometime very painful : "I am a Demon, I am the Parasite", ".. a man is wolf to another man", "Live for what ? Die for waht ?". From where did you take you inspiration. Is there any secret meaning in these lyrics ?
To answer this question one has to know that the lyrics on CODEX got written by two people who have a completely different style of writing. M´s lyrics are very personal and sometimes cryptic. At first, the reader may not be able to think what exactly is at stake. Everyone should put their own part together.
S´s lyrics are a reflection of the things that concerned him at the time of writing. It is with two writers in any case difficult to bring stringency in an album, which is why we have also decided that for upcoming releases either M. or S will write the lyrics completely independently.
We decided to say (as it is super important to us) that the show will be a RABM show (Red and Anarchist black metal). Do you consider yourself as a RABM band ? I mean I think it is very important to remind to everyone that this kind of music, is also a place to defend obvious things, fight racsim, sexism and so on. We see that there are lot of people trying to defend this style of music and say "no, black metal is not fascism music". We can see that for instance with the festival "Black flags over brooklyn" (Kim Kelly interview about BFOB), or the Riffs for Reproductive Justice compilation (https://blackflagsoverbrooklyn.bandcamp.com/album/riffs-for-reproductive-justice)). Do you consider yourself as a band or as an indivudal to be a part of this ? Do you consider that by playing something related to the black metal genre, you have to say that you are a RABM band ?
As our lyrical themes are not (directly) centering about red / anarchistic topics it would be wrong to label TOADEATER as a RABM band in general, like for example ISKRA or DAWN RAY´D. However, everyone in the band got socialized in the DIY Hardcore / Punk Scene, and growing up in a politically aware environment always influences our actions, therefore we love to play in autonomous centres / squats and collaborate with equal minded people. There is no reason to leave Black Metal, a musical style that can create intense and extreme feelings like no other genre, to fascists who conceal a contemptuous ideology behind so called „misantrophy“.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I hope my english was understandable. You can add anything you want to say. Maybe something to convince people to come see you at the show ?
Thank you for inviting us to france and all the effort you made with organizing the concert and the interview, people like you and your crew are keeping the DIY Spirt alive! We don´t really know how to convice people to come to our show. Every concert is different, we really try to go to our physical limits when playing live and the audience always plays a big role for the atmosphere.