On All Flesh is Grass, Glasgow, Scotland tech death futurists Godeater deliver an ambitious, brutal, crazy diverse soundtrack worthy of the apocalypse the quartet so convincingly argues in the lyrics is imminent. Few are the bands that’ll can call to mind Atheist, Bach, Devin Townsend, and Peter Singer in the space of a single song, but here’s one of ’em.
Today we’ve got an exclusive premiere of the video for the smoldering, sinuous track “Inertia Haze” as well as a short interview with vocalist Josh Graham and guitarist Ross Beagan.
All Flesh is Grass is out September 27. Preorder here.
Let’s start with an “In the beginning…” type question: Did concern for animal welfare draw you to heavy music that espoused that sort of message? Or were you fans of heavy music who got educated about animal welfare issues by bands through music?
Josh Graham: I think I’ve always been drawn to bands that have something to say. Bands like Gojira, Architects and then Cattle Decapitation were all hugely important for me. You listen to those bands and you can hear their rage and passion for the planet manifest itself in different ways. That was huge for me. I was never someone who was particularly moved by watching documentaries on these kinds of subjects — it was all from music.
You’ve chosen put this message front and center — why is it that extreme music is a good vehicle for such discussions of compassion? How do you find that balance?
Graham: Extreme music in particular is the perfect vessel to me because the sound and the subject matter are extreme. Bands like Cannibal Corpse have made careers out of writing about murder and death. When it came to finding inspiration for the album, the most prevalent thing that frightens people right now is what’s going to happen to them and the planet in twenty or thirty years time, it’s more of an existential dread. So although the album deals with very modern concerns, I do feel like it stays true to the genre’s roots in that sense.
As anyone who hears All Flesh is Grass will instantly recognize, the band is very accomplished on a technical and compositional level as well. Talk to me a little bit about your musical influences and how you were hoping to scramble and refract them for this record.
Ross Beagan: I feel like we definitely wear our influences on our sleeve. From Necrophagist and Between the Buried and Me to This Will Destroy You, Alice Glass, and Olafur Arnalds, we are influenced by many bands and artists so there is a lot of crossover into different genres and styles and this gives us room to be progressive and shape our sound.
I love that there are so many moments on record where you let a song breathe or play with nuance. There’s a lot going on, really. How arduous was it to bridge all those cool parts? Was it a primary goal? Or just something that occurred organically?
Beagan: The timescale of the writing process can vary quite a lot — some songs take a couple of months but others, like ‘Silent Spring’, came together in a matter of days. The process usually starts out quite spontaneously before becoming more focused and goal-oriented. I write a lot of small individual sections before building on them, moving things around, deciding on a vibe, choosing sounds and then progressing to fleshing out the entire song or release. While the bulk of the process is very organic, I do spend a lot of time going over the smaller details and refining each song until I’m happy with it.
Graham: I think it’s very rewarding as a listener to give an album repeat listens and find new things. Sometimes it’s deliberate for whole sections but sometimes it’s just little ideas that come to you randomly during tracking. I think I drove Ross to distraction with that.
Finally, we’re premiering the video for “Inertia Haze” today. What’s the song about and how did you come up with the visual concept?
Graham: The album is split into three distinct sections and that song marks the end of the first. There’s a little bit of eulogising for the planet in general but before that it’s just airing the frustration that I think a lot of people feel just now with regards to making personal efforts to fight climate change. Every second of every day the efforts of your lifetime are erased by an enormous businesses doing whatever they want, without a single thought to the problems they’re creating. It’s easy to get bogged down squabbling with one another and it’s asking everyone to refocus on the real enemy.
In terms of the inspiration for the video, musically and lyrically the song feels like a desperate call from a dying breath so I felt like drowning was a good metaphor for that. We’d filmed a performance-based video for our previous single “Silent Spring” so we wanted to go in a different direction for this song. I don’t want to give too much away about how we filmed it, but I did spend a lot of time in cold water and swallowed a lot of it — it was absolutely horrible! But given how the video turned out, I feel that it was worth it!