Outspoken, morally conscious, and still brutal as fuck. Cattle Decapitation have on an base level been this way for 16 years. With their seventh studio album out now, we spoke to vocalist Travis Ryan about how his message and music has changed over their career.
You’ve been going for 16 years now, how have you seen your message affect others?
There’s been plenty of great comments and stories over the years. Ive seen it change plenty of peoples lives. I just hope theyre making changes because they realize its benefits rather than just because we are saying it. This means everything from being environmentally conscious to vegetarianism to just plain realizing alot of people suck and then trying to not be the same way.
Are metal bands generally not that concerned with a cause? Do they need to be?
No, of course they dont need or have to be concerned with anything other than playing well and rocking out. Music comes first, messages, themes, other content comes second. I feel this way about what we do as well. I would think that one of the worst ways you could get your point across would be to do it through death metal. Although thats the road i take, doesnt mean its the best for a cause.
You’re message is possibly more important than ever, have you found it hard conveying it through what is nowadays seen as a fairly inaccessible musical genre?
I don’t give a shit what people do and they shouldnt give a shit what i do to be quite honest. Im not trying to change anyone, really. Its just not my focus.
Only two of your members are vegetarian. Does that dilute you message at all?
I dont see why it would. I write the lyrics. I’m vegetarian and stand behind what I write. We are a metal band. Period.
Do you feel the censorship issues you’ve had in the past are at all linked to this message?
No, not at all. They’re linked to men in suits who make decisions based on content. Thats the end of it.
What is on the new album that we haven’t seen before?
An amazing production and well thought out songs with all sorts of spices and flavor we havent fully explored before. Its bursting with all sorts of things. People really seem to be freaking out about it.
Is ‘Monolith of Inhumanity’ as obvious a title as it might sound? If not, what is it?
The monolith is a metaphor for the sum of the destruction man has wrought upon the earth. Its where we will have gotten ourselves years to come when we have outstayed our welcome.
The artwork seems less in your face than some previous albums, although your new video is still quite shocking. Why is this?
I dont know. It’s no different than [2002's] ‘To Serve Man’ if you ask me. Sometimes concepts don’t call for utter gore and brutality? I know this one doesn’t and neither did the last two. Its a little more conceptual than simple brutality for the sake of brutality. If this doesn’t suit someone, they are free to move on.
Josh hit out at bands modernising their sounds, and “8-string djentiness”. Are you keen to keep a sound you’re comfortable with, rather than do a Metallica and change dramatically?
I think we have found our own sound. Josh and I just think these newfangled genres that pop up every day are just getting a little ridiculous and they’re fun to make fun of. If you look hard enough, you will notice our lyrics have been talking shit to people since day one.
‘Monolith of Inhumanity’ is out now on Metal Blade.
By Iain Currie