Bands will forever tell you that the latest album is their best but it’s rare the metal world will agree. Luckily for Cattle Decapitation, ‘Monolith of Inhumanity’ is a monument of death metal mayhem and a far cry from 2009’s ‘The Harvest Floor’. When they’re not terrorising the internet with disgusting videos, they’re on tour doing it in the flesh and despite travelling dramas Lily Randall managed to grab Travis Ryan for a catch up.
1. Your latest album ‘Monolith of Inhumanity’ has been claimed to be your best yet. How have you dealt with your new found limelight?
Travis: Drugs, alcohol, impregnation of fans, cutting, the occasional overdose… No, seriously, it’s been humbling. Fans in the front rows actually know the lyrics to the songs and “sing along”, which to me is a bizarre concept for a band like us. We’re also pretty stoked that the shit stuck and we weren’t left with an album everyone hated. It was kind of a stretch to get out that far on a limb – we generally make music we want to hear with little consideration for what others might think, so we kind of lucked out that most people liked the new stuff. It could have gone either way, we didn’t know which, so I’m glad the cards fell in our favour.
2. You said previously that the writing process was more rushed than you had hoped. Looking back now, would you have still done it differently despite its success?
Travis: Funny thing is, we had more time to write this one than usual. We took a year off to do it and thought we were gonna have this album finished in six months with another six to hone it down but no. We worked straight that whole time on it. Conflicting work schedules was what made it such a pain in the ass but we made it work.
3. Cattle Decapitation have always been known for their opinions regarding politics, especially animal rights. Have your opinions ever affected how you are treated as a band?
Travis: Well, maybe. I’m sure it turns a lot of fans off. If they only knew us, haha! They’d find we have much more in common with them than they think. The vegetarian/vegan angle probably turns a lot of people off because their judgements are based on how they’ve seen other vegans and vegetarians act in the past regarding their life choice and we just aren’t like that and never have been. I’m vegan, Josh is vegetarian and the other two dudes do what they want. I write the lyrics so I know where I’m coming from. It turned out to be impossible to maintain an all vegetarian band and still get the musicianship we wanted. It was never a criteria. So to answer your question, not really. People make their jokes once in a while and it’s all very old hat now, but I mostly hear people giving us props for having the standpoint the lyrics do and for having the balls to present that in the death metal arena. It all makes perfect sense when you look into it.
4. What are your current pet peeves regarding the world right now? Go on, rant to us!
Travis: Ugh, I’m sick of ranting. Plastic. Plastic really pisses me off. But that’s boring I’m sure. I don’t know, I’ve been ranting all day on stupid ass Facebook so I’m kind of ranted out right now. Meme-based societies are pissing me off, how’s that?
5. What’s life on the road like with Cattle Decapitation?
Travis: Same as any other band. Mild drama, wondering where to eat CONSTANTLY, LOTS of farts, lots of jokes and lots of fart jokes. Same old shit.
6. Where does your lyric inspiration tend to come from?
Travis: Every day bullshit. People. People sucking. Depression. Anxiety. ADHD with mild bipolar disorder perhaps? The news. That kinda thing.
7. Are you like many death metal bands that live for gory horror films?
Travis: Nah. Traces of Death and the internet killed all that for me, the former being when I was young. I’ve always been more into realism, reality based stuff, documentaries etc. Never was much into many cartoons when I was a kid, so I’m not too fond of animation. I like the old horror movies if anything but just for a chuckle. Hellraiser 2 was the shit.
8. When you Google the ‘Forced Gender’ video, the top searches include “bloody disgusting”, “NSFW” and “banned”. I’m guessing this is the response you were after?
Travis: I just wanted to bum some motherfuckers out. It definitely worked. I wanted people to see it and say to themselves, “well, that’s not OK at all”. I wanted people to have to step back and re-evaluate where they are in life, what they have and what matters most in this world to them. “NSFW” was the tag that Bloody-disgusting.com put on it which means “not safe for work”. It definitely is something that violates all public video sites’ agreements and even the agreements with the hosting company that hosts our website or else we’d just take it. Quite honestly, it’s funny people were so freaked out about the video – all the video is are the lyrics put into play on the screen and acted out. That’s all. And it’s not much different than any of our other songs! It takes doing all that to get people to understand what we’re saying? Sad.
9. The ideas didn’t come from personal fetishes did they?!
Travis: No, I personally think all that stuff is for show. At least people that go around promoting the fact that they love fetishes and all that. Fetishes to me are a very personal thing and people that exploit that all openly are fucking posers.
10. If you were to do any cover at a live show, what would it be?
Travis: I’ve always wanted to do Rigor Mortis’ “Foaming at the Mouth” but also think it’d be hilarious to do Tourniquet’s “Ark of Suffering”. Hilarious, because it’s a Christian band and I have a knack for being able to separate a bands ideology from the actual music and enjoy the music, plus it’s a bad ass song with a great message. I can’t believe I’m saying that about a Christian band but it’s a song against vivisection and using animals to test cosmetics.
11. What’s next for Cattle Decapitation?
Travis: A one-off HUGE festival in Guadalajara, Mexico and then Australia in June as well as the massive Summer Slaughter Tour in the States in July/August.
12. With festival season upon on us, who would be your chosen 3 headliners, dead or alive?
Travis: Carcass, Coroner and Bethlehem.
Interview by Lily Randall
Published by soundshock.com