- Atomic Death Squad release debut demo for free download
- Waiting Room release posthumous EP
- “Brutal shit from two cunts wallowing in Ballarat”
- Tim Yatras (Germ, Woods of Desolation, Grey Waters, etc) is releasing a free ambient ambient trilogy
- Battle Pope vs Jesus Christ Posse (split)
- Battle Pope/Jesus Christ Posse split up for free download
- No Anchor release “the most No Anchor of all the No Anchor records”
- Nontinuum’s new (free) EP is one of the best things you’ll hear all year
- Free Devil’s Kitchen compilation feat. King Parrot, Shellfin, Winterun and more
- Arcane and Caligula’s Horse members release superb post-rock/ambient album
Interviews : Cattle Decapitation – New album, same disillusion (An interview with Travis Ryan)
Cattle Decapitation’s latest release Monolith of Inhumanity is by far their best album yet, however despite high praise in reviews and a larger following than ever the group still haven’t made the journey to Australian shores.
Metal Obsession’s James Brady finds out why vocalist Travis Ryan is frustrated with the band’s success.
Metal Obsession: The new album’s out (Monolith of Inhumanity), you guys have been touring on the back of it, how’s it been going down?
Travis Ryan: Um, pretty good I just haven’t really been paying any attention since we’ve been back from tour, I’ve just kind of been focussing on just hanging out with my girlfriend and enjoying life at home and trying to make money as much as possible but yeah, I’m going to get back into band mode, starting today – that’s what I’m doing right here I guess. We’ve got a lot of shit coming up ahead, we’ve got to do this US tour and then right after that we’re doing a small European run of just solely the big festivals which is cool but a huge pain in the ass, it’s going to be basically 12 days of back-to-back insanely ridiculous stupid drives all night cramped in a van, it’s just going to fuckin’ suck. We don’t really tour like that any more. [Laughs] I’m just not looking forward to it, I’m looking forward to the shows and everything but it’s unfortunate that after touring this much we realise that all the stuff that goes along with it tends to outweigh the positive parts unfortunately.
MO: It seems like it’s a bit of a curse?
TR: It is, it is, it’s a love-hate relationship that we have with it, you know, it’s a pain in the ass to do but at the end of the day we have to do it, it’s what we’ve always wanted to do and it’s like we’re trying to fulfill some kind of destiny or something. [Laughs]
MO: Man, I’m really sorry to hear that!
MO: Really, you seem pretty disillusioned with it.
TR: well, let’s put it this way we’ve done 25 US tours or something stupid, not one Australian tour, you know what I mean? We probably get a little jaded sometimes, we kind of just want to get the fuck out of the US and go play all sorts of other countries. It’s like we’re held back from doing that for years and the last few years those opportunities have finally opened up and now we’re just trying to figure out a way to get to Australia, to Japan, South America and everywhere else we can probably get covered, just trying nail somebody down for those places is a pain in the ass.
MO: Are you talking promoter wise, or?
TR: Yeah [laughs] and financially and everything but yeah.
MO: Well, you know, you’ve got a massive fan base in Australia.
TR: That’s what everybody says, that’s what everybody says. Soundworks needs to fuckin’ hear that man, or something, I don’t know, I don’t know what to do with it.
Either that or it’s just relative, you may think we’re huge but in actuality maybe 500 people, maybe, over there know who we are, maybe.
MO: The jaded thing seems to be coming through in some of your lyrics lately, do you think it is yourself?
TR: Yeah, it’s how it should be [laughs].
MO: So you’re pretty honest with your writing?
TR: That’s the thing, somebody else called me that. I’ve been on a crusade for about, with honesty, for a while now. It, for one thing, makes for at least different reading for people who might be reading this because they’re used to everyone giving them bullshit, the same canned responses of like; ”How’s tour been?” “Oh it’s great man, we’re makin’ lots of new friends and you know, blablabla.” – that’s not exactly the case with anybody [laughs] really. I find more joy in people telling it like it is and telling the truth and I kind of want to be that dude I guess, instead of every other idiot.
That mindset has been prevalent in our lyrics for the past five albums anyway, so it almost is in keeping with the negativity that seeps through our lyrics, you know what I mean?
It’s more of a way of dealing with reality and looking at things instead of through just hopeful eyes that are just going to be dashed in a couple of years anyway.
MO: It’s funny you say that, I was talking to Derek Roddy in April and he said a lot of people use touring to escape reality, do you think that’s why you started?
TR: Big time. I’ve thought about that a lot because there’ll be those points when you’re on tour where you stop and go ‘what the fuck am I doing with my life?’ or ‘what have I done?’, usually like around 5pm and you haven’t smoked any weed all day [laughs]. You light up a joint, you’ve just got off the phone to your girlfriend and you’re just like ‘fuck, what am I doing’ you know? Like, ‘what have I done?’ or ‘wish I went to college’ or whatever, all sorts of things like that – that’s a safe way to put it I guess.
MO: Well, when did you get sick of it – touring?
TR: Oh, well it’s not that I’m sick of it [laughs] there’ just aspects of it that aren’t going to go away and I am totally free to bitch about that, it doesn’t mean ‘oh I’m done’ or anything – this is just something, it’s something I always wanted to do, I guess in the beginning when I was a kid or whatever I had illusions of grandeur or whatever, which I found out later were totally false and total delusions. You know the whole like you-can-actually-make-money-off-it thing, I just always wanted to be in a touring band. It’s kind of like that ‘oh, I want to be a rockstar’ thing that kids get, then when they actually get into it you realise, right of the bat too, that that’s not how it is and you’re looking at a lot of hard work, a life of hard work and almost fruitless labour.
So as long as you can make that work somehow, be able to make enough money on the road to pay your bills and maybe then some after you’re done. As long as you can make it work with your day job, which is what I’ve done, it’s a relationship that can work together as long as you have someone like a boss that’s cool. I know the other guys have been able to do that and I’m self-employed so I know my boss is cool [laughs] sorry, that was terrible, but the girlfriend is next to me and I had to try and make her laugh.
MO: [laughs] Do you think you’ll be able to get to Japan and Australia on the back of Monolith of Inhumanity?
TR: I hope so, we’re trying to. What it comes down to right now is that we don’t have management. We never really have, we had management a couple of years ago and he had to step down but we’ve always run it ourselves and there’s only so much we know about or can do on our own so it really takes other promoters or someone offering to bring us over and nobody really has I guess, not since years ago. Nothing ever comes, nothing ever happens, you know. We’re about to get a manager and pretty much tell them what we want to do and have them make it happen instead of us trying to do it because I’m just not able to do this anymore [laughs] my personal business is getting in the way of the band and the band is getting in the way of that so I need somebody else to step in and take over the reins. We’re in a bit of a transitional period, which kind of sucks because we’re on the heels of the best album that we’ve ever done and it’s getting a lot of praise so it’s like we’re going to get all the stuff ironed out soon and finally get the fuck over to Australia, hopefully Japan, definitely South America, you know South-East Asia, other Asian countries. Try to finally get out there instead of doing 50 US tours per every album.
We’re going to try and focus a little bit more on international touring with the next one.
MO: You mentioned your girlfriend before, sorry for cutting into your time, how does it work with you guys?
TR: Well, it’s hard, she’s very supportive and that helps. It’s just hard to leave and we live together so it’s like we’re best friends – it’s just hard on both of us, but you know, I could imagine it being harder, you know, I’m the one leaving so I can imagine it would be harder to be left, you know? She handles that amazingly and like I said we’re best friends. Luckily I found somebody that wants me to be happy and she knows that fulfilling this part of my life goal, whatever is important to me – it’s hard but hopefully one day she’ll be able to go with us or something, I’d actually be down for that.