KILL SCREEN 004: Colin Young of DEADBODY and GOD’S HATE Rejects Convention, Embraces Modernity

Photo by Mac Miller

You think you’re busy? It’s time to hand the controller off to the multifaceted Colin Young. First gaining interest from the hardcore community at large via Twitching Tongues—the groovy metallic hardcore band he fronts and started with his older brother Taylor—his ambition only grew from that point. Young can be found in the ranks of Eyes of the Lord, Faith Alone and current beatdown hardcore champions God’s Hate. His latest project, Deadbody (also featuring the elder Young), shows off his death grind chops with debut EP The Requiem, who just last month made their live debut and have contributed their music to All Elite Wrestling’s House of Black stable. Still not satisfied, the multi-instrumentalist, along with Harm’s Way guitarist Bo Lueders, puts his wits to use hosting the HardLore: Stories From Tour podcast for Knotfest, which sees their guests—as the name would suggest—sharing anecdotes from their time of the road.

But this is not why we are here today. Young is a dedicated console gamer (“Using a PC, you couldn’t pay me. I mean… you could pay me.”) and has been devoted to electronic entertainment for the vast majority of his life, backed by a platinum trophy collection to prove it. Young is continually impressed by the technological and narrative strides the modern gaming industry has achieved with many of his favorite titles only going back to the Playstation 4. Though his increasingly busy schedule has understandably cut into his marathon gaming sessions, the genuine and affable multi-instrumentalist took the time to share his unabashed enthusiasm for the digital worlds that have influenced him—and contempt for one unexpected series. Is your work/life balance hard? Be harder.

What was your first gaming experience?
That I can remember? It was probably Super Mario 3. That I can vividly remember: X-Men, Sega Genesis. Super Mario was like, “Alright, you’re done, get off.” My older brother made the rules. But X-Men [on] Sega Genesis, it was like, “OK, you can play this with me.” That was huge for me. It was a thing I was allowed to do with either of my brothers at the time. Seeing this IP that I liked from another thing in game form was very transformative.

Did you have to compete with your brothers a lot for the controller?
Oh, big time. Until maybe the PS2, it was a constant battle.

Did that result in you getting a little bit less on the share of controller time then?
Of course. I had the minority stake in the organization at home.

I would say Goldeneye and Mario 64, that was when I was like, Alright, this is the thing that I’m into. This is my hobby. Watching Home Alone, eating Kraft Mac & Cheese and then playing Mario 64 after. Beating it and starting it again, beating it and starting it again. A friend came over? Alright, switch to Goldeneye. And then I go back to Mario 64. The amount of times I’ve gotten them stars, you wouldn’t believe.

Do you still bond with your brothers over games or did they kind of grow out of it?
My oldest brother, not at all. But Taylor—who I’m in a bunch of bands with—we’ll recommend things to each other all the time. We’re both not huge online gamers. Overwatch is kind of my one exception. But other than that, we’re single-player fellas, big time. He doesn’t have as much gaming time as me, I would say. If I play something where I’m like, “You need to play this,” he’ll go out of his way. He just got the new [Marvel] Midnight Suns game. I probably would have skipped it, but he’s having a good time.

Overwatch is the game that I’ve [Michael] easily spent the most time with. What are your thoughts on Overwatch 2?
The first one, Tony Diaz—formerly of State Champs and the Acacia Strain—bought the game for me. There was some deal where if you start a new profile or something, you get it for a friend for free. So they chose me and it was game over, man. I was up ’til 3-4 AM every day. I haven’t felt that in a long time. Obviously, things like Elden Ring and Dark Souls III were similar where you’re going to bed at 4 and you’re waking up at 8 just because you want to keep playing so bad. Overwatch was very much that. I’m kinda back on that now, but I’m married with dogs now so I don’t have the luxury of just being like, I’m gonna do my own thing and play this for 8 hours tonight. Alright, we’re starting at 11 PM, guys! I don’t have that in me anymore. But I’m enjoying the second one a lot. I love the one tank aspect. The balances are driving me fucking crazy. Leave them alone! They do more harm than good every time.

You said that you were [mostly into] single-player [games]. Why Overwatch? What is it that makes this one different than all the other multiplayer games?
Other than maybe Halo. Halo 2 and 3 were big for me too, but I find first-person shooters very one-dimensional. It’s based on your kit, it’s not so much I’m very good at this. I team up with my friends very well. Overwatch is a pure team game. There’s an RPG aspect on top of the first-person aspect. Whereas something like Call of Duty, you find your favorite gun, maybe. But with Overwatch, every single playable hero is different, so every single playable hero is kind of a different game.

There’s a chess game that you have to do. Certain heroes counter certain heroes. For example, if I’m playing Tracer—my girl, who I love—and another team has a Cassidy or a Junkrat, they can melt me. There’s other players I can counter. So I’m gonna switch. I’m gonna counter them. The RPG aspect of like, they did this so I’m gonna do this, is subconsciously very appealing. The frustrating aspect comes from playing with people who don’t understand that and just keep running something shitty against something that’s melting them every time. When you have a guide and somebody who teams up with you to show you these things, they kind of show you how much more there is to Overwatch than any other first-person shooter.

But yeah, single-players all day, man. I love an immersive story. I wish I had the time for the old 100-hour story right now. Before right now, this point in my life, that’s my shit. The longer the better, the more immersive the better.

Any particular favorites? Whether it’s a genre or a franchise, or even just one title.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, any of the Souls games, big time. Anything where I can customize a guy.

I [James] just got The Witcher 3 because my friends were talking about it for years and it was on sale.
You never played it?

No. Just kind of missed it.
Turn this fucking interview off. What are you doing? How are you sitting here? The first few hours, it skews a little on the difficult side. There’s a couple monster-hunting side quests that you’re pretty under-leveled for. But once you start getting moving, upgrade your gear, once you start fucking playing Gwent, dude. Yo. It is fucked up. The Witcher 3 developers created Gwent inside this game. Gwent is just a card game. And it’s straight up a better card game than fucking Texas hold ’em.

That sounds like it’ll just [eat up all of] my time. I’m [James] at, like, 95 hours on Horizon: Forbidden West
You like that?

Oh, love it! Can’t stop.
I love the first one. For me, this one suffered from coming out a week before Elden Ring. I started it and then was just looking at my clock for a week, playing it mindlessly, doing the side stuff—it just felt kinda fetchy, you know? I’d like to get to it eventually. It also was fucking hurting my eyes to look at. Something about the red. I don’t know if it’s my T.V. I was dying. I know they patched it at one point. There was, like, red grass that I felt like my eyes were bleeding just looking at. I loved the first one. I think it’s a top ten PS4 game, probably. But I dunno, just something about the second one. Same with [looks around, lowers voice] God of War: Ragnarök. I dunno what it is.

I’m surprised because I know you loved the 2018 one.
2018 is, like, the best game ever. The no-cut camera thing was so brilliant, the performances are brilliant, the bosses are fucking incredible. I love the Bifröst. I don’t know if it’s just that I don’t have the time to sit down and play for 10 straight hours that I’m not getting super into it. I think with the first one, the motivation of, My boy’s mother just died, we have to take her ashes to where she wished us to. That’s beautiful stuff. And then in this one, it’s just kind of like, I guess we’re going on another adventure. The motivation, it didn’t strike emotionally the same way the first one did. It’s beautiful looking. But so far it’s kinda just, like, more of the same. Which shouldn’t be a problem if it’s more of the same of a proven masterpiece, but I’m lacking the emotional journey so far.

It’s a dicey proposition. The two of us are big Silent Hill nerds. If Silent Hill 2 was the same as Silent Hill 1, it wouldn’t have been nearly the same genre masterpiece that it was. It was as amazing as it became because it diverted from the formula and created something even better.
Are you excited for that remake or are you scared of it?

I hope they do well. I [Michael] enjoyed Layers of Fear as an experience when I first got it, but certainly not as a game. I think that all of these remakes and remasters, they’re doing themselves a disservice by recreating the masterpieces rather than going back and trying to redo some of the underbaked titles. Capcom is doing Resident Evil 4 Remake. Don’t get me wrong, Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 Remake were great, but I think they would be better served to do a Code: Veronica remake before trying to dive into 4.
Well, brother, they’re running a business there, you know? The better 4 does, the more justifiable Code: Veronica is. Chronologically, I agree with you. But people have been begging them for 4 this whole time. Since 2 was announced, I think they were like, “Alright, that means 4 is coming.”

You start to get into a tough question there: When does that remake train end?
It ends when they run out of games to remake. I feel like the remakes realistically probably end at Resident Evil 5. 4 was such a hit, both critically and commercially, and 5 was not, so maybe they can remake 5 in a way that’s, like, hey, it’s good now.

That would be another title that I think would be more deserving of a remake than 4, which is heralded as perfect in and of itself.
When was the last time you went back and played it?

A while ago.
I tried! And I had kind of a bad time. When I first played that and finished it, it was like, This is one of the greatest games ever. It’s perfect. Don’t touch it. I went back and played it after playing 7, 8 and the 2 Remake again, just being like, Oh, man, 4 is the GOAT, so why aren’t I just playing that? It does not feel great to go back in the scope of modern games. I think the remake is justified. I don’t think that mean others aren’t. I think they’re all coming.

Metal seems to have a lot of obvious overlap with video game tropes: Dragons, swords and sorcery. And it has, I would say, more overlap with video games than hardcore. Have you noticed a difference in the kinds of games that you would see played by a metal band than you would see by a hardcore band? So far, everybody that we’ve interviewed has been strictly in death metal bands. You kind of see a lot of the same titles—like Doom—come up.
I’ve always been honest and open about the kind of shit I’ve been playing. I never really gave a fuck. If you were a nerd playing D&D in the ’80s or something, metal was probably your next step. So, obviously, video games go hand-in-hand. They’re taboo things, they’re counter cultures to the general public in those times. Now, I feel like kids in high school, if you don’t play Fortnite, you’re a fucking loser. “Oh, you suck at Fortnite? You’re a nerd.”

Most hardcore guys I know that are above casual gamers—I would say—are all Warzone guys. Or, they’re Bloodborne/Elden Ring die-hards. It’s kinda one or the other. I’m kinda that way, too. I don’t play Warzone; I like RPGs and fantasy and shit. But I also like death metal. [Laughs]

You gotta think about the attention span aspect to the genres, as well. Death metal albums are an hour plus. The best hardcore records ever are under 20 minutes long. Maybe that’s part of it. Something you can fire up and mindlessly play versus something you can dedicate your life to for three months.

I’ve [Michael] also noticed that gaming has definitely shifted towards that social mentality, whether it be Warzone, Overwatch, Fortnite. And while single-player games certainly still do get a lot of love and attention and they probably still make up a lot of the market…
Look at The Game Awards last Thursday [December 8, 2022]. All Sony first-party shit and Elden Ring, winning everything. And Xbox was nowhere to be seen. That’s a whole different topic, brother. What a disaster. How long has [the Xbox Series X] been out now? Two years?

I [Michael] managed to get a PS5 February of [2021]. And in order to get that thing, it was like a fucking second job. I was so happy to get it. I saw [a new Xbox] a couple months later and I’m like, “Do I get this? Nahhh.”
I pre-ordered the PS5. It was very easy for me, had it day one. It was shockingly easy, so when everyone was having trouble later, I was like, “Damn, I lucked the hell out.” I did get a Series X a couple months later. I played Ori and the Will o’ the Wisps and Ori and the Blind Forest and haven’t touched it since. No, I played Halo: Infinite when it came out for about a week. There’s no reason to have it. Three titles. Never touched it again. My PS5 exclusives library is, like, 20 games deep at this point.

I would much rather spend the money on a high-end gaming PC that I can upgrade over time and respec it to the needs of whatever the next game is than buy a console for three games.
I think that the gimmick here is that they make no money with the hardware. Xbox is not where they plan to make their money. The service is the money. They want people subscribing to Game Pass. You can get it on Steam Deck now, which I do have and I fucking love. It’s incredible. As a touring fella—which I don’t do a lot anymore but I’ve been traveling a lot lately just for weekends at a time—bringing that for, like, a flight or something? I haven’t touched my Switch since getting it. Steam Deck is the GOAT.

I was hesitant because Steam had [the Steam Controller] that came out however many years ago that they were advertising the same thing.
That was silly because the Xbox 360 controller was the best controller, until the Dual Sense came around and now that’s the gold standard of controllers. The Steam Deck, it doesn’t feel like you’re using a controller, it feels like a Switch, where it’s its own kind of proprietary thing. Dude, it’s unbelievable.

What’s the major selling point? What makes it just the best?
The ease of use. The access to the entire Steam library anywhere? It’s crazy. You can mod it to be absolutely anything. You can play anything you want on there. And now, truly, I will not be buying the next Xbox when this is the option now. A lot of the games I like on Xbox are indie games. Same with Switch. I wanna play an indie game on a little handheld thing, I don’t need to do it on a 4K T.V., you know? I just started playing that Pentiment game. Have you guys played it?

I haven’t played it yet, but I really want to.
I would describe it as the most boring thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m sure it’s great, I’m sure I gotta give it more time. Not game, it’s the most boring thing—the most boring use of my time I’ve ever spent.

I mean, as the art nerd here [Michael], that’s kinda the big selling point for me.
Of course! The whole game is about that. It hasn’t gotten me. I’m only three or four hours in, but I’m suffering.

Isn’t it wild that we have a hobby where it’s like, “No no no, you gotta give it, like, ten hours of your time before it starts being fun?”
Dude, that’s my brother talking to me about Death Stranding. He was like, “Once I got, like, 15 hours in, it was actually pretty sick.” That’s so much time to do something. I’m gonna [play] it on Steam Deck when I’ve got nothing else to do. The game where the whole give it 8 hours or so is Persona 5.

I saw years ago that you filled out that IGN bracket for the Best Game of All Time and you had God of War at number one, and God of War won out in the popular vote. Would you say that that’s stuck or would you say that’s changed since then?
I would have to do the bracket again. Honestly, right now, with my current mind thinking, it would be hard for anything to beat Bloodborne. But God of War is really good. I would say it’s perfect—there’s nothing I would change about it. And I can’t say that about many other things. Wouldn’t touch it. Wouldn’t change one single thing about it. The second one—I’m gonna finish it. I have to. It’s a miracle nothing’s been spoiled yet for me.

You are a very busy guy. You’ve got about a zillion bands. You have the HardLore: Stories From Tour Podcast. Like you said, you’re married, you have dogs. You travel. You’ve done work for AEW. How do you factor in time for gaming and why is it so important for you to still do it?
It’s been hard lately. It frustrates me greatly. Sleeping is the most colossal waste of time. If I didn’t have to sleep, I would get so many things done. I would have finish five games in the past month if I didn’t have to sleep. You gotta find a balance to do all of the things that make you happy and make your life worth living. I would say working out is the worst part of my day everyday, but it kinda lets me live the life of getting to sit here and eat some fucking Doritos and Mountain Dew, like a good gamer boy. It is hard, but I switch between brain modes. When I have something coming up, I’ll be in that mode. When I’m in between things or when a big game comes out—Elden Ring, I basically took a month off of everything. It’s like, “Don’t talk to me. Don’t perceive me this month. I have a thing I have to do.” I was really hoping it would be that way for God of War again. Maybe I’m just so busy with everything else that I can’t give it that. But it is hard. It really is just about balance. It’s the same thing with the amount of bands I’m in. I’ll have to be in Twitching Tongues mode, be in God’s Hate mode. Deadbody mode is a little easier to exist in simultaneously with God’s Hate mode, but anything else is kind of two different halves of my brain. But playing bass? Easy.

I wish I had more time, man. This is kind of the first time—this last six months of my life—where I’m saying to myself, Man I don’t really have the time to play that game or finish that. 2022 was kind of a crazy game drought, right?

I [Michael] would agree, but I have to wonder how much of that is the air was sucked out of the room by Elden Ring. All you have to do is look at some of the other titles that came out around that, like Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy. Maybe that isn’t a great game, but it at least would have had somebody talking about it if it weren’t around Elden Ring.
Elden Ring is an event. A gaming event. It was much more than just, like, “Oh, a new game is out.” I feel like it’s gonna be that way for anything Miyazaki does now forever. Until something really sucks. Everything he does now is gonna be a world-pausing event.

We’ll see how Armored Core VI does. That’s going to be very different and they’re already saying there’s not going to be any Soulsborne [elements].
I think the heart of what they do is gonna be what’s in it, like the big boss fights and all that. I’m really excited. I only maybe played, like, one or two other Armored Core games ever and I don’t have necessarily fond memories of them. But now, I have to guess from everything he’s learned from the past 15 years or so of making games that it’s probably gonna be special.

Going back to AEW: Are you excited for AEW: Fight Forever?
Yeah, big time. WWF No Mercy and WCW/NWO Revenge were huge for me. Creating a wrestler was a big moment for me. That was the first thing I ever wanted to be. I’m gonna be a wrestler. Didn’t happen. Close enough. I’m adjacent. I would say I kinda look like a wrestler, I’m friends with a couple, my songs are in there. I did all right. Young me would be thrilled.

Yeah, I’m excited for Fight Forever because they seem to get what people actually want from a wrestling game. And it doesn’t need to be a thing where you need to know every single mechanic. It can be a thing where somebody who’s really good at it can accidentally get killed by somebody who’s just picking up and playing it like a true arcade game.

Dude, I’m the craziest sucker for a story mode in wrestling games, where you have to take a guy from the bottom to headlining the biggest show. That’s my shit. I haven’t not bought a WWE game maybe ever. Dude, Day of Reckoning? The GameCube exclusive one? Incredible. Everybody talks about No Mercy, but WCW did it first. No Mercy was just the perfect version of it.

I didn’t see [God’s Hate vocalist/AEW professional wrestler] Brody King or Danhausen in the lineup. Is there hope for DLC in the future?
It’s a shame, huh? I have no idea. I wish that I worked for them and I could give you something. I would hope so. I want to see my boys getting video game money. I want video game money! I want my songs in there. We’ll see.

Any other games that you’re looking forward to in 2023?
A lot! 2023 seems insane. I wasn’t psyched about Forspoken, but the demo is fucking sick. And obviously fuck J.K. Rowling, but Hogwart’s Legacy looks good. I think the devs seem to not be pieces of shit and they’re putting trans characters in the game and shit as the biggest fuck you possible. I’m down with that, for sure. That will be good. Oh, fucking Starfield, holy shit.

You know what I’m not psyched for? Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom or whatever. Fuck Zelda! Fuck Breath of the Wild! Mario gang! Mario Odyssey was robbed! It’s garbage.

Wow, talk about a bombshell to end on.
That’s right. The real game of the year 2017. [Laughs] Breath of the Wild is everybody that bullied me in school for playing video games favorite video game ever. Motherfuckers that don’t play games go, “Oh, actually I kinda like this one.” Fuck you. Mario Odyssey is better.

Follow Deadbody on Bandcamp, Instagram and Twitter.
Tickets to see Deadbody live at the Maggot Stomp & LDB Fest Matinee on March 19, 2023 are available here.