Interview: Dripping Decay

I imagine myself as a killer, the killed, a rotting corpse, a piece of roadkill, a psychopath working the night shift in the crematorium, you name it.

Something gross is going down in Portland, Oregon, and I’m not talking about the usual bullshit spewed out by Fox News about a rain-soaked city strewn with human feces and crime. No, I’m talking about the sick riffs, insane drumming, and disgusting lyrics flowing from the twisted minds of Dripping Decay. The four-piece released Festering Grotesquiries, its incredible full-length debut, on Satanik Royalty Records in 2023, followed by the EP Ripping Remains in January of this year. Vocalist Eric Stucke spoke with J. Donovan Malley recently about Dripping Decay, his other musical projects, influences, being a synth freak, and more.

E&D: Give me a quick rundown of the history of Dripping Decay and how you came to be their vocalist. How did the relationship with Satanik Royalty Records start? Do you guys have touring plans for 2024?

Stuke: Our guitarist Neil started writing some of our songs around 2019 while he was still in Lord Gore, and when he left that band he shifted focus to Dropping Decay full-time. He recruited Trevor and Jason over the next year or two, and in April 2021 I found a post on Facebook looking for a vocalist in the style of Repulsion, Pungent Stench, Autopsy, and Immortal Fate and it felt like the perfect fit so I auditioned. We made a demo in September that year and in December Jackson replaced Trevor and we started playing our first shows and working on our full length which we finished in the summer of 2023. Jason was impressed with how Satanik Royalty handled the release of friends Izthmi and reached out to Freiburger, and the rest is history! He fell in love with the music instantly.

E&D: What are some of your musical projects outside of Dripping Decay? I know there was Caffa down in Oakland as well as Hallucinator. You played guitar in both of those bands. Do you miss playing guitar in Dripping Decay or is it nice to focus on the vocals?

Stuke: Hallucinator is my other main focus, it’s my baby like Dripping Decay is Neil’s! I’ve got some new players in Portland learning the set and we’re writing new material. Personally, I love focusing on vocals and not being stressed about my guitar parts. Focusing on the frontman energy is so much fun on stage, I love being beastly and getting in people’s faces and I’ve really blossomed as a vocalist and expanded my range. It’s nice to have each member give 100% to one instrument and that’s the dynamic we have as a 4 piece.

E&D: I’m always fascinated by the lyrics of a band such as Dripping Decay. Tell me a little about the lyric writing process. Beyond the surface disgustingness of the lyrics, are you speaking to any particular themes?

Stuke: I tend to document song titles and lyrics that jump out at me from fucked up stories and scenes in daily news, experiences, and movies – so when it comes time to write I’ve got a list to pull from. In other bands, I’ve always written from the heart about my personal philosophies in a dark, metal-sounding way, but in Drippy it’s pure fiction and fantasy. I imagine myself as a killer, the killed, a rotting corpse, a piece of roadkill, a psychopath working the night shift in the crematorium, you name it.

E&D: Who were the first artists or musicians you connected with as a kid?

Stuke: Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, and Beastie Boys were some of the first bands I found that went against the grain of what I thought popular music was about. When I found harsher bands like Acid Bath, Repulsion, Skinless, Swans, Mayhem, and most importantly, DEATH – I knew I wanted to be a musician. Chuck is my #1 inspiration to pick up an instrument.

E&D: Who and what are the influences on your music that folks might be most surprised by?

Stuke: I’m super into electronic soundtrack music and that really influences my ideas on atmosphere, I try to have some instrumentals in every band I’m in. In Drippy, Neil is the synth master though.. his pieces just have that classic horror vibe!

E&D: If you could change one thing about the music industry right now, what would it be and why?

Stuke: How much everyone looks to tear each other down all the time. I have zero interest in that kind of public negativity, bullying and cancel culture (it goes both ways! right and left). I just try to stay out of it and put out positivity.

E&D: What have been the most memorable live shows you’ve been a part of?

Stuke: Opening for Brutal Truth, Plutocracy, Lack Of Interest, Iron Lung, and Voetsek at Six Week’s Short, Fast And Loud! Fest is still the coolest show I’ve ever been a part of, with my old hardcore band DHC. With Caffa, our first show was in my garage with Blood Freak and Mortuous – now I’m in a band with Neil and we’re opening for Mortuous at Dante’s. Wild.

In Drippy, Disemboweled God Fest was a ton of fun with Torture Rack, Hemorrhoid, Rat King.. and our first show in a basement with Necropsy Odor, Human Effluence, and also Hemorrhoid. Our sold-out headlining show at High Water Mark with Coffin Rot and Funerelic was a banger and our best there!

 

E&D: If you had to recommend a few bands generally overlooked in today’s music scene, what would those be?

Stuke: Funerelic / Posthumous Regurgitation, Dark Crucible, Kömmand (WA), Ripper, Infant Death, Porphyrrion, Siege Column, Morbific are just a few!

E&D: When you find things getting stressful or out of balance, what do you do to try and handle it?

Stuke: When others go high, I go low. I’m always more of a mediator in stressful situations and try to bring the temperature down. Otherwise, weed and meditation do wonders!

E&D: What is something you wish you were better at?

Stuke: Self promotion. I’m great at promoting other people’s shows that I’m booking or playing, but I still can’t shake the cheap feeling of whoring my likeness out for clicks on the Internet, feeling like a shill or snake oil salesman.  

Also, I wish I was a better driver! Ironic that Ripping Remains starts with a car crash sound, I was listening to it when I got rear-ended on the freeway and totaled my car. It’s karma I guess! I don’t drive in Portland anymore.

E&D: Tell me something most people don’t know about you.

Stuke: I’m a huge hip-hop head with hundreds of 12″ singles from the ‘80s and ’90s, and I’m a synthesizer freak with tons of vintage synths.

E&D: Do you have any plans for future shows and material?

Stuke: We’re already writing for our second full-length! We have a 9-day west coast tour planned with Cartilage in April, and we’re hitting the coast again in August with Molder. After our two tours, we’re gonna be writing in earnest for the rest of the year and should be recording again in 2025.

We’ve been in touch with Kill Town Bookings about a potential European tour next year as well and fingers are crossed we make that happen! It’s also a goal to make it to the East Coast; hoping that materializes next year as well.

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