To start, can you tell us a little bit about the start of the band? What makes this combination of musicians perfect for playing in Casket Feeder?
Connor (guitarist) and Graham (drummer) had been speaking about starting a band using the Swedish HM-2 sound but throwing in a big hardcore influence. Connor had around three-four demos recorded of what became the basis of our first EP ‘Venomous Tongues’. Aaron (guitarist) and Lewis (bassist) had been in a band that had just split and were looking for a new project. Matt had been in bands with Connor previously and was up for doing vocals so it all just fell into place over the space of about three months. We all love metal but also have quite varied tastes so it keeps things interesting when writing material. Above all, there are no egos or any pretentious bullshit, just a group of mates having a laugh playing some riffs.
What kind of bands were you into when you started listening to metal? And what is it that makes metal important to you?
This is a list that could go on and on but bands like Slipknot, Metallica, Slayer and Pantera were definitely big influences of ours when we were all getting into metal and still are to this day. Metal is form of escapism. A voice of dissatisfaction with mainstream life. If there wasn't a creative outlet for these feelings, they would be internalised or let out with bad decisions. If you're having a bad day, listen to some Slayer and I guarantee you'll feel much better.
You are known for your hard working DIY ethic. Has it been worth all your time and money so far?
Well, we definitely didn't start this band in the aim of making money but in other bands we've played in and since we've started this band, we've always had a very hard-nosed DIY work ethic. Creating opportunities for yourself obviously requires a lot more effort but is definitely a lot more rewarding.
Where do you get ideas for the lyrics? For example, what made you write the lyrics for 'The Supremacy Of Idiocracy' and 'Carve Their Names Upon The Hanging Tree'?
‘The Supremacy Of Idiocracy’ is a no-holds-barred attack on bigotry and the ideology of white supremacy and is a call to arms against the ugly resurgence of far-right agendas. The lyric video we released for the track serves as a sobering and unflinching reminder of the atrocities of the KKK.
The lyrics to ‘Carve Their Names...’ were born from the power dynamic between the public and its ruling political party, and further still, class divide with our society, looking specifically at the disenfranchisement of the working classes and the aggressions endured from Thatcherism and post-industrialist policy through to today. Lyrically, certain ideas are put under juxtaposition "the pounding of the press / replaced the crush of the mill" refers to how the greatest damage inflicted upon the working class is no longer just from the toll of hard physical labour (ie, working a mill) but from the slurs and dogma used by the media and tabloid newspapers to stigmatise the working classes, and also turn their support to ideologies and incentives which are ultimately destructive to their own communities and livelihoods.
How did you get in touch with your label? And do you really need a label these days (with internet and social media) to release your music?
The guys at Hibernacula Records are actually really good friends of ours so it just seemed natural to team up with them. However, the days when a band needed the vast armoury of a major label in their corner to succeed are long gone. Of course it helps massively but it's definitely a lot more easier to get your music out there these days.
What goals did you set yourself when you started this new band and did you already reach any of them?
To be honest, we basically just started out with the intention of writing the most ignorant riffs we could come up with. Over time we have branched out from that and have taken in influences from all members but I'd definitely say we've achieved that.
How do you write your songs? Does it just start with a riff?
The song writing for us is definitely a collective process. It can vary from one of us bringing a complete song to work on, different lyrical concepts or simply just getting all together and writing a song from scratch. Typically we'd demo ideas and then take it to the practice room and make any adjustments along the way. Everyone has an equal say in writing and there isn't really particular process that we stick to. If someone has an idea they want to contribute and we all like it, we will use it.
The cover of the album is amazing as well. Who made it and how does it relate to the songs on the album?
The cover art was illustrated by our good friend Amy Edwards. She's mainly a tattooist but is also an incredible illustrator. Having worked with her before in previous projects it seemed a no-brainer to approach her again. The artwork depicts a businessman being bound and scalped; while being a literal representation of the title, the image visually encapsulates the records' themes and lyrical targets of political injustices, class war, corruption, labour practices of multinational corporations, and social divide. The violence of the image is a response to the suffering inflicted upon the most vulnerable in society by the ruling elite.
I have read a lot of good reviews about your album. Do you feel pressure now when you start working on the follow-up?
Nah, not at all. First and foremost, the music has to give us that same rush of adrenaline that we feel when listening to our favourite artists - just "ok" is not good enough. We seek to challenge ourselves when approaching a new song, be that in a technical sense or incorporating different influences and moods into our sound while maintaining a cohesion throughout our music - we seek to constantly push ourselves and our sound with each new song and release. We write music that excites us and if it excites other people too then that is a bonus and if not, then well, you can't please everyone.
Who would be your main five musicians that you are influenced by?
Dave Lombardo (Graham - Drums)
Jed Simon (Aaron - Guitar)
James Hetfield (Connor - Guitar)
Matt Freeman (Lewis - Bass)
Tomas Lindberg (Matt - Vocals)
If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, dead or alive, who would it be?
Nowadays, metal is always produced in a more or less clinical way with ProTools and other programs helping bands to create a slick sound. On the other hand you see that about every band releases vinyl again. Where do you see music go in the near future? Will vinyl take over again, including a more organic production?
Vinyl has definitely become a lot more popular in the past few years but it is also very expensive to produce so in because of that, I don't think it will take over as much as it once did. That being said, there is a much higher demand for it these days so as vinyl collectors ourselves, we hope that it continues for as long as possible however, in the digital age, technology has definitely taken over and streaming via Spotify or Apple Music etc, definitely seems to be the more favourable way to listen to music nowadays. I hope we'll start to see / hear a gradual if slow move back towards more organic sounding productions that let a band's performance and personality shine through, as ultra-clean and clinical modern production has become very homogenised and formulaic.
When is the difference between good death metal and really good death metal?
For us, the difference between good death metal and really good death metal is the ability to pull it off live. A lot of bands are great on record but struggle to match up to the quality live.
Are there any non-metal bands that you like and can recommend?
We do all have a varied taste and could recommend a few but to be honest, you should just all listen to Teethgrinder.
How would you convince the pope to listen to your music?
If nobody can convince him that God is not real then we'd have no hope in convincing him to listen to our music.
When will you be playing live shows to promote the new album?
We are currently playing shows across the UK promoting the new CD. We will continue to play as many shows as we possibly can, wherever we can.
What would be your favourite tour package, including bands that are no longer active?
Pantera (Great Southern Trendkill era)
Metallica (circa 89)
Sepultura (Arise era)