Cattle Decapitation // Interview
May 26th, 2009
Category: Cattle Decapitation, Interviews, Uncategorized
How does your music differ from other metal bands?
Travis: We’re not traditional in any given subversion of the genre. We draw from multiple sources and have usually been referred to as “deathgrind.” I really don’t know what to make of the music really. We just do what we want.
What fuels your lyrics and intensity?
Travis: Probably just generally being a high strung and pessimistic person. Sometimes I’ll almost pass out on stage, and that’s when I really get pissed. I don’t know why, but it just makes me go even crazier.
What made you become a vegetarian?
Travis: I never really liked the taste of meat much, and upon the realization of factory farming years ago, I, of course, lost interest in ever meeting it again really.
A fan on your forum said that people actually yell “steak” from the audience? Is this true?
Travis: Well, they yell all sorts of things really. So do I, so I don’t blame em. I yell all sorts of things from the stage while we’re playing – my lyrics! So, I’m standing there explaining to them in song how and what we are as people, and all they have to yell back is “steak.” I pretty much got em beat, so they can say whatever they like.
Does it piss you off, or do you think it’s funny?
Travis: I think its old, tiresome and unoriginal.
What is the best concert you’ve ever been to as an audience member, and why?
Travis: The French prog band, Magma. One of the best bands of all time. House of Blues in Hollywood in like 1999 or so.
What has it been like touring with GWAR?
Travis: It was great! Its hard to open for Gwar, but it was much easier this time around. SHITLOADS of people every night that had mostly never heard us so that’s a good thing in the long run.
PattonFan79 asks: I’ve heard a lot of people say that this album finally made them Cattle fans. How does it differ from your previous efforts?
Travis: The production. The drums and the overall attack of the rest of the instruments. Just a much better album.
CaninusCrew asks: What do you guys to on tour to kill time between shows and traveling?
Travis: Eat. Bitch. Complain. Sleep. Talk shit about everything and everyone that walks by basically.
For Josh: The Roadside Dead and COQ ask: How did you become such a technically skilled guitarist, and what do you do to stay that way and keep improving?
Also, how do you compose your music? Is it all by ear? How much music theory is involved? Do you compose everything on the guitar?
Josh: First off, thanks for the compliment! I’d like to think that there is a constant state of evolution that any musician striving to be their best goes through in order to try to achieve a personal “best.” To me, I will always hear things in my playing that I would like to improve upon, but hopefully as time passes they become more minute and nit-picky.
When I hear music that impresses me, either on a technical level or compositionally, I try to incorporate those elements that most stand out into my playing. For whatever reason, my brain perceives the parts on the recording as being faster than they actually are. Then, it’s time to play catch-up with the speed in my head. Somewhere between the actual speed of the recording and the version in my head, the final result is met.
Frequent practice is pretty necessary, at least for me. I get totally rusty even after a short time off. So, it is essential to have a guitar in my hands fairly often. Plus, I just enjoy playing, so hopefully somewhere amongst the noodling some actual progress can be had. I always try to challenge myself with new techniques or methods of achieving unique sounds. That tends to keep me on my toes and updated with what I would like to see in Cattle songs and for myself.
As far as composition goes, I favor both skronky noodly nonsense and cave man death riffs. Somewhere between the two my actual style can be found. Kind of like a donkey cart with a hyperactive child riding in the back.
Whatever sounds “right” for the situation works for me. If it’s flurry of notes or a trudgy chord progression, it’s all good. I don’t write riffs or parts based solely on whether it is theoretically “correct.” Theory is incorporated if I am playing a lead, a part counter to what the bass is doing or something that is a harmonically interactive with the bass or layered guitar part on a recording.
Everything I compose is on the guitar. Although, now that I have a banjo that may change… Hearing sounds in the natural world or in industry inspires me as well. Whether it be howling wind or an industrial press, I’ll try to imitate it to the best of my ability.
Check out Cattle Decapitation, and their new album, The Harvest Floor, at http://cattledecapitation.com/
Upcoming tour dates as seen on http://www.myspace.com/cattledecapitation