I spoke to Josh Elmore from Cattle Decapitation recently about their upcoming record ‘Monolith of Inhumanity’, and what message they want to get across to fans this time out on album number seven.
How would you describe the new album to someone who has not listened to you before?
I believe I used the phrase ” ripping blackened deathgrind” when I described the sound of this record to someone recently. I guess that description is appropriate, but there are other elements as well. Some haunting melodicism and some straight rock and roll come into play in addition to a lot of bleak atmosphere.
What message are you trying to convey with this release?
Lyrically, Travis is dealing with devolution and the pathetic state of humanity. Basically, with how inhumane humans really are. To one another, to the earth, etc. Musically, we just want to be a chaotic fist to the face, albeit one with great riffs and an atmosphere that is memorable.
What are the main values that the band has?
The bands values stem from a critical and cynical eye that we cast upon our collective environments. Regardless of our upbringings or current status there is an undercurrent of disgust we have with how we as a species treat one another. Or just some grumpy bastards screaming and making a racket for you to smash things to. The soundtrack to regret.
What influences are there for this record?
All of us have disparate musical tastes and in many instances conflicting tastes. You’ll hear a lot of epic blackened elements on the new record in addition to a lot of crushingly heavy material which deviates somewhat from the fast or gtfo styles of some of our past recordings. Structure of the new tunes was even more important this time around and I believe everything is much better because of it!
Can you give us a brief history of the band?
Super-brief history: the band was founded 1996 as a grindcore/death metal side-project to the band The Locust. 16 years later we are going strong. Members came and went, alterations were made to our sound and style and here we are. This is our strongest lineup and we will continue to evolve and do our best to sharpen our skills and move forward.
Where have you got planned for the tour?
This tour will spotlight our newest material from the Monolith of Inhumanity disc. We’ll hit a few old favourites and shoot each other dirty looks here and there. And then there’s the mucus…
Are the venues bigger or smaller?
This tour (with the exception of most of the west coast and Brooklyn, NY)highlights 2nd and 3rd markets. So, the venues are on the smaller side, but the lineup for this tour is exceptional, so it would behoove anyone into death metal in general to head on out. Something for everyone…
Twenty years ago bands and fans would swap cassette tapes to promote and share music. In this current climate, where do you stand on mp3 sharing?
It’s kind of a different thing. I used to tape songs off of the radio as a kid. (I’m 36) and later as I got into metal, would purchase cassettes from the record store or borrow friends tapes and get turned on to new bands. I first heard about bands such as Nuclear Assault, MOD, Overkill, Forbidden through friends’ tape collections. I’m sure I helped a few people out with my cassettes too. However, as a music fan I always wanted to devour all the info I could about the band. Lyrics, imagery, the smell of the packaging, ha ha. Mp3’s do not provide that or the tangible reality of holding something you’ve looked forward to getting. Granted, they (Mp3s) are extremely convenient, but they take the thrill of the chase out of the experience of getting new music. I use YouTube, etc. To preview bands I am interested in, but at the end of the day if I like it I buy it.
What was the biggest challenge on this record?
Getting it done on time. Same as always…
What was the first concert you attended and how did you feel about it?
Anthrax, Exodus, Helloween at the Danville, Il Civic Centre in either 87 or 88. I was a fan of both Anthrax and Exodus, but for me Exodus just killed it that night. They were pissed and awesome.
When did you know you wanted to play music?
When I realised you can live off lichens and backwash.
What is the band’s greatest weakness?
Post Waffle House flatulence.
If you could re-record any song from your catalogue, which one would it be and what would you change on it?
None of them. What’s done is done. Or everything as I don’t think that any recording is ever perfect.
What new bands can you recommend to fans?
None. Go backwards.
What do you want to do after the band?
Get consistent sleep and goat farming for cheese production.
‘Monolith of inhumanity’ is out May 7th 2012