Interview: Jo Marie Smit from Testosteruins

Testosteruins - Jo Marie Smit

Together with Heny Maatar from Tunisia forms Jo Marie Smit from South Africa the death metal duo Testosteruins and the band have its base in Sweden. The band is brand new and the debut EP Suffering Masculinity will be released in March 2019. The first released track Fuck Sharafuck! caught my attention and immediately I wanted to know more about them. Jo kindly answered some questions.

Can you give us a short introduction on who Jo Marie Smit is?
Metal has pretty much been my life after I discovered an undying love for the music and lifestyle at the age of 11. Only much later in life did I learn I had vocal capabilities when I auditioned for Junkyard Lipstick at the end of 2014. At the start of 2015, I successfully joined this all-female thrash metal band and as an avid death metal fan, included growling in the vocal style. Later on, I also fronted the tribute band Bloodbarf, homophonically named after Swedish death metal monsters, Bloodbath, as a fun side project. Last year, I joined forces with Tunisian producer and multi-instrumentalist, Heny Maatar (from Fusam) to form the official Testosteruins duo.

What is it about heavy music that intrigues you?
Simply the heaviness! I also deeply admire and appreciate the true talent and skills required in metal. Listening to albums even while driving and watching live shows summon a special kind of happiness that only metalheads understand – and I guess it’s a privilege to know what that

When did you first realize that singing was the art form you wanted to work in?
When I was younger, I played the piano and violin but never imagined being in a metal band. I would sing along to songs jokingly without trying to apply the required techniques. When Junkyard Lipstick approached me for an audition, I immediately said yes, because I figured I had nothing to lose. In preparation for the audition, I watched vocal tutorials before blurting out my own version of what would sound like appropriate screaming and growling! Surprisingly, growling came very naturally to me, without putting a strain on my vocal chords or throat and I just kept going.

What inspires you?
Mostly the well-known and respected death metal bands from the 90’s, such as Cannibal Corpse, Gutted, Hate Eternal and Dying Fetus. Different metal bands from around the world, including those from the underground scenes and the underrated ones, inspire me to try different techniques and tones. Discovering new bands and the lesser-known has become a hobby.

Can you tell us a little more about Testosteruins?
At this point, working on the 4-track EP with Heny has given me the opportunity to live out my love for death metal and it’s the kind of project that I will devote all my time and energy to. The lyrics, in turn, are iconoclastic and speak for the oppressed, as you can tell from our single Fuck Sharafuck! So with the heavy, comes seriousness about shit that still happens in this day and age, shit like child marriages. Both Heny and I are very serious and passionate about our style so it is safe to assume that our next step will be a full album.

The first song, Fuck Sharafuck, from the EP Suffering Masculinity, is released now, what can we expect for the other three songs?
Different topics, added technical twists and a whole lot of groove based on rage!

What are the ambitions with Testosteruins?
A long road that will hopefully hold many more releases and music videos, personal growth, surprises, innovation within our creativity and my contribution to keeping death metal alive for many more years to come.

And when can we expect Testosteruins on Spotify? Or will that never happen?
Currently our methods of distribution, apart from our official website, are via our YouTube channel, SoundCloud and Bandcamp. We only premiered our first track on the 14th and our debut EP scheduled for March will only be the start. We will most certainly expand our reach in due course.

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