So Fucked and Bound is now Filth is Eternal.
“It was a tough decision to change the name because we all believe in free expression and valued the feral intensity of the previous moniker,” guitarist Brian McClelland tells Decibel. “But we also believe in the work that we had done with those concepts just as much. We decided that, ultimately, we wanted to live.”
And live the Seattle quintet certainly does on its incandescent sophomore LP Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal
— a brilliant and enlivening piece of extreme music that deftly bridges the gaps between Disfear-ish D-beat, old school dark thrash, mid-career Napalm Death punk grind, serrated sludge, and Sonic Youth-esque noise swagger.
It is, in short, the spirit of Fucked and Bound, intact, rehoused in a nastier, sharper, more lithe musical body.
spoke with McClelland about Love is a Lie
— out this fall, preorder here
— the band’s multi-layered evolution, pandemic living, and what it means to not just survive but thrive…
So, even as a confirmed devotee of your past work, I have to say Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal feels like a watershed moment. It’s amazing. And it’s accompanied by this switch in monikers to Filth is Eternal. Can you talk to me a little bit about how the thought of changing the name evolved into action — and whether it is connected to the musical evolution on display here?
Hey, thanks so much. Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal was a process. We wanted to write different kinds of heavy songs. We wanted to dig a little closer to the truth. We were able to welcome Matthew Chandler and Rah Davis to the band and were excited to build on the strength of a new team.
We’ve had this record completed for a little while, but even after it was finished, we kept building the meaning of the songs. Initially, we did twenty tracks and whittled the selections down to what we felt were the best. We wanted to make the track list perfect. We took the time to redo the artwork, and to shoot videos for some of our favorite tracks. We did all of this as we were reissuing our first album, Suffrage.
Gearing up to get those records back in the wild again with Quiet Panic, we were starting to see the walls closing in. During the pandemic, social media was a mess, flagging us as sexualized and violent, and shutting down our reach. We’ve always been a very live, word of mouth kind of band and without being able to perform our new record, and facing a hostile climate online, we were staring at the very real possibility of this album dying on the vine.
Considering “Filth is Eternal” is both the band’s new name and appears in the title, it would seem the phrase has some resonance for you. What’s the provenance and how long has it been kicking around the right side of your brain(s)?
Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal began as a simple declaration. Rebellious in its truth, it resonated at us every time we got together to write and prepare for recording. Scrawled on the wall at our warehouse venue in South Lake Union, it became a mantra that we came to know, meaning that when love has become so cheapened by those that abuse its goodwill, we shall turn from it and again embrace the filth from which we came as our true salvation.
How soon into the writing process did you realize there was change afoot in the house of filth? Did these songs flow as I’m hearing them? Or did you go in with the conscious intent to expand the horizon?
When we started writing, it was a simple thing. Songs were a minute or two, and each had to have a moment. Those songs were vital and exciting. Then we started breaking our own rules, songs got longer and heavier. Some got noticeably darker. We could at times feel the weight of the world bearing down. All the while, we kept at it as members of the group went through changes. We’ve traveled the world together, lost friends and family, and made new ones. These things all bled into the writing in a way that none of us really expected. The whole time, we just wanted to do what we love, and make something for others.
Press materials note this record was “accelerated by isolation.” Can you expand upon that idea a bit?
Yes. We had an epiphany in the quarantine induced daze. Like a lot of our friends, we were debating what to do. Were we going to keep grinding with no relief in sight? Could we even get together safely? What was even the point.
We had worked for a long time to get this album ready, and we had built a great team. A hit some roadblocks not being able to play live, but we kept moving. Getting to work with our friends at Two Minutes to Late Night helped us keep the momentum going. With much to consider, we felt like we owed it to our community to do what we came to do.
Decibel has been in the Tad Doyle luv biz for a while, and I see you worked with him on Love is a Lie. Did that experience live up to expectations?
It always does. TAD is a monolithic force. He’s a guy that truly knows what heavy is. We had the pleasure of working with him previously in He Whose Ox is Gored and always love to visit him at Studio Witch Ape. He has a skill for finding the root of the feeling that you’re working on and helping you see it more clearly. TAD is a living legend.
We’re coming out of a minor cataclysmic moment — both for bands and humanity itself. But now tours are being announced and venues are opening back up. You’re armed with this extremely aggressive and weirdly beautiful record. How, if at all, do you think the experience of the last year plus is going to affect how you moved forward as individuals, as artists, as a band?
Personally, I hold a quiet anger for some of the things that we’ve all had to experience together, but I realized that it doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do with it. Part of the idea of Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal is that there is always some corrupting force eating away and the things we know and love, but we always have the power to love these things anyway. No one can take that away from us.
Anything I missed? Again, I imagine this is a very gratifying and exciting moment for you — would love to hear about any aspect of it…
This is a beautiful moment. We love that the world is opening back up, and though it’s been difficult, we all get to be here to see it open up again. For that, we are thankful. Sometimes, I didn’t think I would see the day, but tonight, I want to scream and writhe with joy in the arms of the one I love. Tonight.