Welcome to MHF Magazine, I’m a huge fan and pretty sure you already know what a huge achievement it is to have you grindmasters with us. Cattle decapitation rules! Not bringing up the vegetarian/vegan connotations and all that bullshit that I’m sure you’re sick of being asked about, but to start off, what’s your favorite food? Reasons for hating “To Serve Man” ?
I don’t know, pizza or something like that I guess. Veggie Tikka Masala is also amazing. I just don’t like To Serve Man. Its boring and repetitive as fuck. Trying not to point fingers anymore, I’ve done enough of that in the past. So many people cite that as their favorite album of ours and I think they’re crazy.
You’re one of my all time favorite vocalists. It gives me goosebumps, every time I hear what people call your “Pterodactyl scream”. How have you been taking care of your voice for so long?
Thanks man. I’m really not “taking care of my voice”. I barely do warm ups, I just bust out a few screams and growls before going on stage to “clear out the cobwebs” but that’s it
I remember reading about you having a whole different philosophy about religion that “doesn’t have anything to do with a higher being”. As an atheist myself, I’d love to know a bit about your point of view.
I just don’t think it’s our (human’s) job to put a name and face to it, let alone what that being would want us to do with our lives. I think if there is a “god” or higher being, why would it even be something we can comprehend? With the billions of galaxies, infinity, planets, stars, etc, why would WE be the ones it all revolves around? Meaning, why would WE be able to even comprehend it? I think people are wasting this little time that life has allotted us with this nonsense. I think people of faith are suffering from a very mild form of mental illness as well. You really do have to be some degree of nuts to believe in that shit.
Is your inner drummer still active? Have you ever considered playing drums as in a side project or maybe for a band?
I almost did but realized I don’t have time for it, I’d have to buy a kit and the guy that was leading the band needed someone who would be more available and have more of a drive to do it than I do in my opinion. So, I’m not gonna do it, I just don’t have the time. I still identify as a drummer as far as musical instruments go, it’s the only instrument that when I play it, it shows that I can actually play. Everything else I’m just kinda plunking around on.
I’ve seen people term the band as “Animal death metal/grindcore” and what not, even though you sing about a lot more other than just animal abuse and the shitty side of mankind (like diseases and genocide). Is that the result of the band trying to go a bit death metal as well?
What a dumbass moniker. I’m hoping you just made that up cuz that’s a really pedestrian and pathetic quip to describe this band. The angle I take at writing lyrics is half anger and rage and half an influence of what I grew up on which were bands like Nuclear Assault, Coroner, Megadeth, Carcass, etc, whom all talked about something important that seemed to affect us globally as a society and civilization. I don’t think we’ve ever said to ourselves “let’s go more death metal”, maybe between Homovore and To Serve Man. The only thing we’ve tried to do since then is whatever we want to do and a hint of something different.
Well, for you, Music comes first. Then comes the lyrics and vocals. As one of the most celebrated bands of heavy metal history with such a strong lyrical imagery and message to the world, don’t you think your lyrics are what actually set Cattle Decapitation apart from other musical acts of the genre?
In the past, sure, but I think the music has come a long way and is more of a standout now for sure. And don’t get me wrong, lyrics are very important, I’m just saying… when man first picked up two rocks and banging them together, I don’t think he/she was trying to put lyrics to it. Music is first. That’s why there are instrumental bands. For me personally, I’m gonna make it mean something as long as I have to write the stuff. I put 100% into the theme, lyrics, cover concepts and layout. That’s my thing and I love doing it! But it’s all secondary…
You’ve said on various former interviews that when someone is going to sing about something, it should mean something, that one shouldn’t just sing about monotonous stuff. In that regard, what’s your take on the lyrics of bands like Cannibal Corpse and genres like “Blackened melodic war-core”, if you know what I mean?
What the fuck is Blackened melodic war-core. You better have just made that shit up. So, I can’t really tell what you mean there… but Cannibal I mean, come on. Its Cannibal Corpse. They’re one of the first to really write fucked up shit. They serve their purpose for sure and that’s cool! They have a really cool knack to just lay it out there in a blatant way that’s very readable. Very matter of fact and I always liked that about them. Even Barnes’ stuff.
Hoping the controversies and those who create those go to hell, we love your striking album arts and music videos. What are your thoughts on the family-friendly version of “Forced Gender Reassignment” by remix master Andy Rehfeldt?
I thought it was great and I always hoped he’d do something like that. I’ve talked to a couple people that mentioned something to the effect of they “felt it coming” and that’s totally true, it cracks me up. Its awesome to hear some of my more unforgiving stuff be sung like that. One thing about my lyrics is, as fucked up or depressing or disgusting as they get, there’s still a tongue-in-cheek humor there. Lots of puns and dumb shit just for fun or just because. I like to make it rather “bi-polar”.
What are some of the other stuff you’re into, be it music or hobbies. Any chances of a new album soon? These days, what’s your schedule like?
Well, I like working. I have fun doing it. Something I’ve started doing the last 6 years is playing video games. I wasn’t much of a gamer for the last 15 or so years before that and I’m sort of catching up. This Call of Duty bullshit has completely reeled me in. I know, I know, “Battlefield is so much better”, I know. That’s great. I don’t care, I can’t play that game. I just like to run around aimlessly shooting people and getting killed. I can’t even get one goddamn shot in there playing battlefield, I just die too quick. I suck at it. Plus, its squad based and I’m not like that. I’m not a social gamer really. I have a huge list of “friends” on the Playstation Network for basically no reason. It’s not like we play together or anything haha. Video games are cathartic to me now so I prefer to just play em on my own. Other than that, I’m still busy as hell with work and co-managing the band with our management. But I fit in a few mins of gaming every day if I can. Sometimes my wife and I will go pick up trash in remote areas of the city while looking for bones or owl pellets that my wife can use to make jewelry out of. She makes awesome jewelry out of ethically-sourced animal bones and some of her stuff blows my mind. Its beautiful and a really cool way to honor animals, in our opinions.
Thank you very much for making time and being with us.
Shibalika Tamuli / Metalheads Forever Magazine