It’s been a while since we’ve done our latest interview, but we’re really happy to introduce you guys today to the French hardcore punk band, Rats Don’t Sink!
Hello, Rats Don’t Sink! Thanks for taking time to answer a couple of questions for us. Would you mind introducing your band to our readers?
Hi! I am Alex and I am the founder and singer of Rats Don’t Sink, a Hardcore Punk band from Marseille, in the South of France.
Since our beginnings in 2014 we have played many gigs with bands such as The Casualties, Bishops Green, Bastards On Parade, The Svetlanas or Grade 2 to name but a few.
After a first demo late 2015 we released two EPs, « From Sewers They Come » in 2018 and the split record “Rats in the cab” with US Punk Rock band Johnny Cab (Hartford, CT) out in May 2019 in the States and in June in France.
How would you describe the Hardcore punk scene in Marseille, France?
There is a lot of talented bands in Marseille, even though the Punk Rock scene is quite small compared to other musical genres. We have active bands like Wake The Dead, La Flingue, Dirty Wheels, xInquisitionx, Butcher Project, Nun’s Violent Dance, Nebraska, The Muddy Paws, Hyperactive or CheatxDeath which are definitely worth listening to.
What’s the story behind your bands name?
“Rats Don’t Sink” has both a maritime and social meaning. It comes from the proverb saying that rats are always the first ones to abandon a sinking ship, and also refers to the fact that when you’re a “rat”, outcast from society, you cannot go even lower.
Your latest EP “Rats in The Cab” was released back in May 2019. For those who have never heard it, what kind of songs can we expect on this EP?
Rats In The Cab EP is a split record with our friends Johnny Cab, from Connecticut, born from what we called the Transatlantic Punk Rock Connection. It’s a compilation of high energy, honest and unpretentious songs with different influences, played by working class guys from two different continents, united by a common love for Punk Rock.
Which song is the one that, according to you, best represents the spirit of this EP?
I could not choose one in particular, as I think they all are quite different! Each band recorded three songs, then we made a common master and the result is a kind of “color chart” of our vision of Punk Rock, from Psychobilly to Hardcore Punk, with lyrics sometimes quite down-to-earth as sometimes more abstract.
I’m sure you have at least one funny story from your recording sessions to share with us!
I think the funniest moment was when we recorded the back vocals! It was quite a mess!
On the one hand you had Donovan, the drummer, who was alternating between “Hardcore for tough guys” vocals and a hilarious mix between Michael Jackson and King Diamond. On the other hand there was Vince who was singing completely out of tune and then saying “It was good, nah?” ahah.
But finally we managed to record something pretty coherent I think, even if we spent half of the time laughing!
Who’s doing all your artworks? I find them extremely well done and I really love the design!
My girlfriend Gakirules, who is a graphic designer and tattoo artist, did the artworks for our debut demo and first EP, and designed our first series of merch. Seb a.k.a Captain Zero, our guitar player on the last two EPs, did the artworks for the split record and designed our most recent merch. They are both really talented, actually!
You recently changed your lineup and Alex… you’re the only survivor from the previous one!! How do you manage this kind of situation and how was the integration of new members into the band?
It was quite tough for me when Donovan, then Vince, then Seb left the band quite simultaneously last May! We had a tour in Italy planned in June, and we were waiting to receive the Rats In The Cab CDs… we were in a really positive dynamic for two years and I was not expecting this at all.
But it’s life, it’s music, and the most important thing is that we have stayed as close friends as we’ve always been.
And I was lucky enough to find new members very quickly! I already knew Abo, the new bass player, and Nico, the new guitarist, who were playing in local bands, and I met Panagiotis thanks to a Facebook post about a Greek drummer looking for a band in Marseille! It took no more than a week to bring together our new line-up, with competent and motivated guys.
The last words are for you. If you have a message to convey, here’s your chance!
First, I’d like to thank you for the interview, for your time and kindness, and for having us on your Animals Matter compilation. We strongly feel concerned by this cause, and we are proud to have been part of this project. Now, we’re looking forward to be back on stage with Rats Don’t Sink!