The grand old men in Italian grindcore CRIPPLE BASTARDS started playing together 26 years ago. With around 50 releases in their backpack, they have been well above average productive and ahead of their eighth full-length album "Nero in Meta Stasi" the band signed with one of the world‘s largest metal label Relapse Records. It was prior to the release of this album, this interview agreement was established. Here is Eternal Terrors Rune Grande and Cripple Bastards founder Giulio the Bastard.

Since this is our first meeting here at Eternal Terror, let’s start with some Cripple Bastards history.

Cripple Bastards started back in 1988 in Asti, north west of Italy, not far from Torino. In the early years we were a 2 piece band with me (Giulio The Bastard – at the time aged 14) on drums and vocals, and Alberto The Crippler on guitar. Me and Alberto first met in ex Yugoslavia as part of my family is originary from there and when I was younger I used to spend 4-5 months x year there. His parents were friends with mine so they came to spend a vacation with us and we became friends. At the time I was very much into trading tapes trying to discover the fastest and noisiest Hardcore/Thrash and early Grind bands around, he quickly got into the same mania for extreme music and this was the first step for starting to play together trying to create the fastest shit by our own… This gradually progressed through the 90s, first with the album "Your lies in check" (1996) and ending in our first half career’s manifesto: "Misantropo a senso unico" (2000) a savage mix of Grindcore and hyperfast nihilistic Hardcore, still today being recognized as our fastest and most rageful release to date. Then half of our line-up changed, introducing a new drummer and guitarist. Our style kept evolving to something very personal, adding different influences mostly coming from Metal. Our 3rd album (the first with the renewed line-up) came out as a blend of our previous matrix and a more structured and metallic Grind edge. Then we kept on strengthening our own style realizing that singing entirely in Italian (as on "Misantropo a senso unico") and keeping up the nervous and aggressive Hardcore feature that always characterized our style was the most suitable formula for our taste and urges. What has been consolidated through "Variante alla morte" (2008) and this newer album is our own way to Grind that is an amalgamation of the first decade’s minimalistic Hardcore/Grind nihilism and all what we have developed with the current line-up adding more variety, dynamics and a wider musical taste.

The current line-up is:
Giulio The Bastard – vocals / Schintu The Wretched – bass / Der Kommissar – guitar / Wild Vitto – guitar / Al Mazzotti – drums


What where your main influences in the beginning and have they changed a lot during the years?

When we started we simply wanted to play as fast as possible. At the time we loved stuff like HERESY, CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER, NAPALM DEATH, REPULSION, ELECTRO HIPPIES, FEAR OF GOD, the fastest italian HC (WRETCHED, NEGAZIONE, IMPACT, DECLINO) and then we also got into short song Noise/Grind the way of SORE THROAT, 7 MINUTES OF NAUSEA and similar. We had no idea of how to play this kind of stuff, so at the beginning everything was very untalented and instinctive, then we gradually started to focus on what we wanted to do forging our own style.  Today, with a completely different line-up than the one of the early years, our tastes and common influences have quite changed adding a lot of variety and inspiration in our style.

You have including a bunch of splits released about 50 releases so far (not included all the compilation releases). That is pretty impressing. I assume it is and has been important for you to get your music released in physical formats. Am I correct?

CB have begun to make their way in the early ‘90s in a time when short running releases (7"EP’s above all) where a ruling standard of the DIY underground, and split Ep’s the ultimate connecting link between bands living on the opposite sides of the world… Back then it was much better (and cheaper) for us to release 5-6 new minutes of music every few months instead of going for a full length, and we kept this policy going for the whole first decade of our existence, also due to the many line-up changes of those years. That’s why CB’s discography in the first decade of existence looks so fragmented. And back to your question: physical formats are the only way for our kind of expression, especially good old vinyl.

Your latest album is called "Nero in Metastasi" and it’s released on Relapse Records. What can you tell us about this album?

This is without a doubt our most mature and cohesive album, and a natural step forward to that style started with "Misantropo a senso unico" (2000) and "Variante alla morte" (2008). To me this is also our most ruthless and sick release ever because of the mood it radiates and the lyrics, we’re all happy that it came out on such a label as Relapse Records. 


You are using Italian lyrics on this album and have been on your latest releases. Do you think the world is ready for a grindcorish lession in Italian?

Singing in Italian is our well tested formula for expressing in full rage and passion the mood and feelings that we want to portray through our music. Each album provides very detailed and faithful translations in English to let everybody understand what are our lyrics all about.

According to Encyclopaedia Metallum – The Metal Archives, the biggest online metal encyclopedia, grindcore isn’t metal. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Grindcore as it was conceived at the beginning is a nihilistic extremization of Hardcore in part also drawing influence from some of the most radical branches of Metal at the time (just listen to Repulsion or Terrorizer, it’s Slayer, Celtic Frost and Death riffs played at triple speed, so it has a solid Metal background). Encyclopaedia Metallum is very confused (and confusing) on this issue because they refuse to list Grindcore bands like us assuming that we’re too Punk in our way to Grind, but other hand they have included/listed bands that are clearly much more Punk than us, like AGATHOCLES, EXTREME NOISE TERROR and tons more of that kind. This is a complete nonsense probably based on matters of personal tastes/sympathy rather than on a real, impartial encyclopedical eye.

What kind of band or album introduced you to the harder kind of music?

When I was a kid the first harder listens were Motorhead, Discharge, Suicidal Tendencies and soon after Bathory, Kreator, Negazione and D.R.I. …

What kind of music do you listen to?

Working at Italy’s Thrash/Hardcore label F.O.A.D. Records  I mainly spend my time listening to the bands that we release..  take a look at our roster to figure out.

Do you remember the first album you bought or stole?

Motorhead "No sleep ‘til Hammersmith" LP : still today pure perfection. 

Does your personal taste of music define Cripple Bastards?

Each member of the band has a specific/different taste of music and the symbiosis of the influences of us 5 defines the Cripple Bastards’ song-writing and compositional mood.


How is the grindcore scene in Italy?

I’m not the one to tell if it’s good or not (I’ll leave this to others), current Italian bands in activity in the genre are Tsubo, Zeit Geist, Buffalo Grillz, Diorrhea, SpermBloodShit, Haemophagus, Bowel Stew, Dysmorfic and some others that I can’t remember right now. 

How are the opportunities to play gigs in Italy and especially in your area of the country?

Opportunities are good if you are a recognized name from abroad and if the booking agents’ mafia takes a liking on your band seeing the sight of some easy cash. Harder if you manage things by your own refusing to accept the music business of those parasitizing on the gigs’ dimension.

You are now signed on Relapse Records. How did you end up with this deal and what does this mean to Cripple Bastards?

It’s a honour to work with them and we find them very serious and professional. This is our 3rd experience with them (we previously did a split 7" and a 7") and they have always done a massive promotion and good distribution for all our releases. We have met them in person several times through our US tours and they showed to be really friendly and dedicated.

Relapse Records isn’t all that unknown with grindcore and brutal death metal. Which of their former and current bands are your favorites?

Being an old school maniac, my favorite bands in their roster are Repulsion, Cryptic Slaughter and Anal Cunt. Of those still in existence (talking of Grindcore above all) I like Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Looking For An Answer, General Surgery, Gadget, Exhumed and Brutal Truth.

The perfect tour with label mates from Relapse Records; how would that bill look like?

I don’t know how the perfect tour would look like, we have shared shows with most of the Grindcore bands in their roster and all of them were killer, so it’s a difficult choice. 

Do you have any other news from the Cripple Bastards camp that you want to share with our readers?

Upcoming news are tons of shows to promote "Nero in metastasi" and some special releases that we’ll announce later.  Cheers!!!