Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Interview: Cattle Decapitation's Josh Elmore

Interview was conducted at Nambucca, London on June 24th 2016. Transcribed below.

Noizze: So I'm here with Josh from Cattle Decapitation. First of all, how you doing? Are you excited for the gig?

Josh Elmore: Oh yeah! We always uh get a good crowd in London. We've been building up to this point of the tour so.

Noizze: Okay, has it been a long tour?

Josh: No, we started... on uhh June 18th ...at Hellfest.

Noizze: Okay, cool.

Josh: That was the first day. Then we've been out for travel, took the ferry over here. This is the last UK show. We'll be back over here for July, August.... I think it's actually August 8th somewhere. Up in like Liverpool.

Noizze: Yeah, I think I saw that. How was Hellfest anyway?

Josh: It was ridiculous. I mean... I uh I never been to the Wacken thing before. The bigger festivals. That would be the biggest parallel, between those two. So I don't have a lot of experience. Like the organisation of the show and everything about it was ridiculous. A sight to see. I mean it's not strictly all 'brutal' music or whatever but it's a lot of influence for.

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: It's fun! It's just like a whole Metal. Hard Rock. A lot of heavier stuff.

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: But the kinda all elements of that music.

Noizze: It's looked good, I've wanted to go.

Josh: It's ridiculous. I mean it's just ….[i took] constant pictures and videos and stuff like that. Like uh I got to watch Twisted Sister from the VIP section.

Noizze: Nice.

Josh: So I was like on stage and I took this panoramic view all towards until I could stop seeing people.

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: It's just [He gestures all around] Peak of the evening.

Noizze: Are you influenced by a lot of this older stuff? Like Twisted Sister?

Josh: I think... Well as far as that stuff affecting a lot of today's music. A lot of that stuff kind of ….digs it's way in.

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: Even if you're not consciously creating based off of things like that. There's a lot of aesthetic. They like the feeling that a lot of those bands had. It's what's a part of the metal of today. So in terms of that way and the affect it had. It's had a lot of influence.

Noizze: Yeah. That actually brings me quite nicely to one of the topics I wanted to pick up on. There's a lot of discussion on what's happening with things with extreme metal. You're actually one of the few bands that makes me excited about contemporary Death Metal. I mean that's me on a personal basis but like what do you think of the modern day metal scene?

Josh: Um I think most of the bands. I don't know. I see a lot of bands. A few of the bands are doing a lot of the screaming. As far as like pushing the boundaries...

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: Um I think it's hard for me to say because we see a lot of bands and we're always just kind of doing what we're doing. So in terms of bands that are pushing the boundaries. Bands that are pushing things forward, keeping it interesting... Some bands have always been keeping it interesting. I mean for me, Immolation have always been keeping things interesting. They're really... [wow] ….and off putting and really on at the same time. It's really unsettling (Josh grins)

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: I really like that style. Pushing it above... They're awesome. But people that don't really look into it are just like 'Ohhh it's another Death Metal band' even if they like a lot of similar Metal, they don't look into Immolation a lot.

Noizze: It's interesting there seems to be a big divide in Metal. There's a lot of bands being called Deathcore and then there's a lot of Metallers that are kind of anti that. They seem to be very similar genres but at the same time very, very different. It can be more exciting to see bands like Immolation and yourselves at the forefront of Death Metal. Though I also want to bring in something I find interesting that can also divide a lot of Metal. In a lot of your music there's a lot of ….Kinda clean vocals?

Josh: Yeah if you'd like to put it next to a lot of Black or Death or something. But you know, he's still out there like (imitates a scream) he brings this kind of. This richy sounding.

Noizze: Yeah! It's a sort of a brutal clean vocals.

Josh: Yeah. It's like he. If you put CLEAN clean vocals next to that. Oh (gestures dismissively) I think it's clean in the way that it's clear you understand what he's saying. You can actually hit the pitch.... It's like screaming in key. So I think for him it's another tool. I mean he's really interesting. I think it enhances the songs.

Noizze: Sure. I also wanted to touch upon some of the lyrical themes. As it can be a part of a bands brutality whilst also being a part of their ethos.

Josh: So kind of core...? Recording?

Noizze: In terms of influence. Of the lyrical content.

Josh: Oh! Well I think the last. Like back in, like originally back in 1997, '96... It's our 20
th year this year. Then, at that point in time the stereotype that people had about us back then - the Vegan warriors and all that. That's probably where that came from. Even though those people hadn't heard about us for about seven years after that era. So I think at that point early on there was a lot of songs like 'Veal and the Cult of Torture'. So that kind of song writing was a lot more common.

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: But... after that, starting with maybe... I described this songwriting the other day. I'd say bands kind of go on in eras. Like every album has their thing. So after the first three albums. Well for the third album is like the culmination of the first two albums. Then the next albums like say 'Humanure', 'Karma, Bloody, Karma' and 'The Harvest Floor' and then the most recent albums 'Monolith [of Inhumanity]' and 'The Anthropocene [Extinction]' lead to this next one. I know I've just divided them up into that but in a sense they... from them to the present we've focused mostly on different flavours... of what humanity is doing wrong.

Noizze: Right.

Josh: His most recent ones are like one thing and the older ones are about kind of like the vegan things. But it's pretty much: people are bad. Throughout all those records.

Noizze: That's very interesting. So what is kind of planned in terms of Cattle Decapitation's future?

Josh: Well we have... We're touring up until Summer Breeze. So after we done touring, after we're done here... and europe. There's the festivals. We may... We'll try to fit in Australia, New Zealand, Asia... Then after then...we'll see.

Noizze: Is there a question mark around a new album?

Josh: That will be... we'll probably look at that after the festival season. Well who knows. We'll continue on, or we might fit in the cycle. We'll probably go to our own residences first.

Noizze: Oh right yeah.

Josh: Then we'll probably get back together and try and get it down.

Noizze: Do you prefer writing on tour or do you like to write at home?

Josh: Um well in terms of writing on tour... people are always messing around and things and you might put that into a riff and we'll take that. There are bands that do write on tour but we get home take a little break then we get back. Over like over the previous cycle we'd find a few riffs here and there. A couple of ideas that they can finally now approach. Or they can get back and plug in and try a few things out. Get them down.

Noizze: We're also very interested in the upcoming scene and I was wondering if there were any bands that you've found or on tour that you thought 'wow, they really need to be heard' or you feel like they could get somewhere?

Josh: Um... um.... that's hard because over in the states there's a lot of unknown bands don't get organised... I don't know if it's the same here but...

Noizze: uhhh yeah hit and miss.

Josh: To an extent?

Noizze: Yeah.
Josh: Or maybe they just go out screaming and don't expect much. It just seems like there's a lot of that in Metal today. I see a lot of these types of bands. What I think I see more of now... Like I like to see a lot of the Faceless style. The Tech Death style... The Average Tech Death. Like there's a lot of third wave bands... that would technically be the Fifth wave stuff but... Not like the earlier stuff. It's a axe affects. A lot of [gestures complicated guitar playing]

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: and I am sure there are a lot of other Deathcore bands. I don't know about traditional but do the evil for the sake of evil and do the atmosphere and stuff like that.

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: As opposed to... singing about ….”Space”.... 'well what about Space?'... 'Oh, you know Space'... 'but what about Space?' ….”Space”...'Okay' ...Haha.

Noizze: Yeah. Um is there any advice you'd give to bands that are just trying to start out? Make it?

Josh: Um just stick with your vision and stick with what you do. There's always going to be another band with the super amazing.... talent. It's not that you should just go with the best band down the block. But I think it's and I think it's even if they can stand to be in the same room as each other and create that ...haha sometimes even if you can't stand to be in the same room as each other but you can still create that amazing music. It's like when everyone get's in that room together and everyone has that strong distinct style, how they write, how they play. It's like a four way tug of war.

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: There was that guy from Sepultura who said the same thing. When you're having that four way tug of war ….and it's somewhere in the middle that that music is. So... I'm not saying it's going to work for everyone.

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: But yeah... the bigger the ego it's not going to go super smooth. An ego has to be essential though as a lot of your ideas are going to get shot down or there'd be no control for it. It's not always going to work. So you know, there's going to be friction.

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: but it's almost like ..like euphoric. There's something wrong with all of us. When you go in writing there's something wrong if there's no creative vision there.

Noizze: Yeah. Well I'd like to end on a random one: how would you take over the world and what would you do?

Josh: How I'd take over the world?

Noizze: Yeah.

Josh: Well... I'd probably make sure everyone has a hand held device like a smart phone... iphone something like that.... and I'd just find enough cute quick videos...

Noizze: Ha!

Josh: Or something. You know, just mindless internet nonsense. I could probably just slip in what I want from there.

Noizze: Mindfuck them?

Josh: Exactly! I don't have to kill anyone. I don't have to do much. There just there in their phones. I could slip in what I want. Take over this place.

Noizze: Well thank you very much, really appreciate this opportunity.

Josh: Sure.

Noizze: I hope the gig goes well, thank you.

Josh: Thank you.


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