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Interviews : “The new album is raw, heavy and pure Godflesh!” – An Interview With Justin Broadrick (Godflesh)

By on October 20, 2014


Justin Broadrick – Godflesh

One of the most gruesome and heavy bands in the world – Godflesh! This brutal two-piece hailing from Birmingham, England  featuring bassist G.C.Green and vocalist/guitarist Justin Broadrick – Godflesh formed in 1988 and created their signature, massive sound till 2001 when they split up. They reformed again in 2010 and are now back in 2014  after 13 years with a brand new album, ‘ A World Lit Only By Fire’. On behalf of Metal Obsession, I had the absolute pleasure to speak with the genius behind it all, the multi-talented, and fun-lovng Justin Broadrick who reminded me of a more metal Rhod Gilbert!

Justin was super keen to be doing the interview and to talk about all things Godflesh. “Hello! Things are great! Been pretty busy and hectic with the new album and heaps of interviews so that’s what we’re doing at the moment. Really excited about it all though, I mean it’s the first Godflesh album in 13 years and I really like how it turned out; very happy with it.”

This brutal band was announced as part of the line-up, much to the delight and excitement of many, for Soundwave 2015. “After many plans and ideas of coming to Australia, it’s finally happening.We’ve never been to Australia before and the fact that we’re playing a festival like Soundwave is also something we’re stoked about. I’m sure there’s going to be quite a few people we’re going to shock given that we aren’t as huge as some of the bands that are on the bill so that’s probably the most exciting thing – seeing new people, new places, new fans. With the new album out too, we’re really looking forward to seeing how people will respond to the  music! We can’t wait!”

The extremely cool thing about all this is the fact that Godflesh will be playing alongside the likes of Ministry, Faith No More and Fear Factory, bands that cite this band as one of their influences. ” It’s definitely exciting! Faith No More are  big fans of Godflesh! Ministry existed even before us but ended up becoming really big fans of Godflesh as well and they invited us on tour a few times. We became good friends with all these three bands even though we’re a much smaller band than Fear Factory and Minsitry. We’re definitely excited and it’s going to be  amazing to play with them all. They’re all really great people!”

Godflesh have technically been around for ages, but the band split up in 2001 after having been together for over 12 years. They reformed in 2010 to play a string of shows, and then gave fans the news we’d be waiting for, bringing out a new, deadly album this year. Justin shared his thoughts about the new album and how it’s their best work yet! “This is the best record we’ve made since the ‘Selfless’ album so for me it’s quite literally the best album in 20 years! [laughs] I wasn’t that happy with the ‘ Songs of Love and Hate’ album, but there is some good stuff there. In fact there is something good about all of the last three albums but for me not as good as the end records. The end records are very, very undiluted Godflesh, very honest and  pure as to what we were trying to achieve and I feel the new record has gone back to that  raw, heavy and pure version of Godflesh basically. The ‘Us and Them’ and the ‘Hymns’ album are two totally different albums and completely contradict each other and so does the new album for that matter. It goes in a completely different direction from the previous albums. I’m actually glad we split up you know. ”

When Justin said that, I was even more curious and asked him whether this influenced the making of the new album to a large extent as well as the band’s sound. ” Totally! I think the best thing we’ve done and I say this to lots of people, is we split up! It’s been 9 years since we played a show together; 13 years since we made a record and I think this is the best record we’ve made and most honest representation of Godflesh. We’ve really stayed true to ourselves on this one, and it’s the most brutal version of what we’ve done for a long time! ”

We also talked about the writing process and Justin shared how for this one, it was essentially the same routine. “To be honest, I’ve always written Godflesh material in the same context you know. Its always  born from two things – a riff or a drum beat because our music is based on grooves. Nearly everything we do is informed by this very industrial mechanized groove so it’s  the same writing compared to when I first started writing Godflesh material. With ‘A World Lit Only By Wire’, I think we’ve gone back to the old way of writing more than anything because towards the end I was trying different things –  even the last album ‘Hymns’ was very much a rock band affair, there was barely any drum machines on it, we had drummer Ted Parsons from Swans and Prong.  We tried to be a band then but it didn’t really work. The ultimate version of Godflesh, the essential Godflesh is mainly machines guitar and bass and this record definitely went back to the primitive, the primal version of what Godflesh was in the late 80’s early 90’s  and that’s the best way of writing this material – basic non progressive and minimal!’

This new album was produced by Justin himself. He talked about how it was much easier to work on their own rather than be attached to a label. ” There were definitely a lot of labels that wanted to sign Godflesh -I mean we  had a few really major labels all the way down to the really tiny ones! But I’ve had my own label now for years and  all I needed was a good support system behind the label and we could work as well as any other independent. We didn’t want to sign to a corporate and become a small fish in a big sea. I know my own music and I have so much experience now! I’ve been working at this and in this business since I was 16 – it’s just been so long that there’s barely anyone who could work my record better than me and my team.We’ve got a great distribution; we’ve got as much as we need; we know how to do things correctly. I’m from the old DIY punk scene back in the 80’s and I like doing things myself without answering to anyone’s a pleasure to do it the right way.”

Given the extensive gap between their last album and the new one, Justin shared how he felt about making a new album after so long and what was going on through his mind. “ Well we reformed in 2010, basically when we reformed we intended to have a new record, but really all we wanted to do was spend a year and a half just playing reformation shows and just get back into the zone of being Godflesh. Even though we reformed without deciding to write new music, I knew that we would eventually have to concentrate on writing some new music and playing new stuff at shows after 9 years! So that really was the catalyst for new Godflesh material. Frankly, once we started getting into the mode of playing our old music again and all of our favourite songs, we knew exactly what we wanted to achieve and what we wanted out of a new album. I wanted to be really direct about the whole thing and not just rush into a new record – to take our time with it.  A lot of people reform, they’ve got a new album every year. It took us a four year gap to get a new album out so hopefully it won’t be that long before we have another one!” When he said this I told him not to make the fans wait for another 13 years before a new Godflesh album came out to which he said – “ Oh no way Prat! We’ll be on a roll now! We’ll have a new one out every six months now! I know you’ll be happy about that!” [ laughs ] Clearly my fangirling was very obvious!

This musical genius has been involved with more musical projects than you can count off your fingers and toes, so naturally I was keen on finding out how he goes about managing his time. ” My time is very limited, unfortunately; it’s a shame really but at the same time, I’m a very lucky person that’s in a position to live off of music. I don’t have a day job, I can live from my music and that’s what I’ve been doing for 20 years, having so many outlets and productions, so many projects to work on – I make sure I keep myself really really busy. Actually I’m a little too busy [laughs]. But I cant complain, I often feel like I’m overworked but then I love what I do so I feel and I am really lucky and fortunate”

With that the conversation came to an end and Justin had one last thing to say to the Australian fans! “ I’m so excited that we’re finally getting a chance to tour Australia and also with a brand new album! We can’t wait to head over there and play lots of our old stuff and of course some of the new songs. Looking forward to seeing all of you soon!”


Saturday, 21st February & Sunday, 22nd February 2015
Adelaide, South Australia

Saturday, 21st February & Sunday, 22nd February 2015
Melbourne, Victoria

Saturday, 28th February & Sunday, 1st March 2015
Olympic Park, Sydney, New South Wales

Saturday, 28th February & Sunday, 1st March 2015
Brisbane, Queensland

Tickets available from Soundwave Touring –


Prarthana is a vegan, Indo-Aussie, heavy music addict, fluent in sarcasm and metal. Traveling is an obsession as she enjoys taking in the history of various countries and following her favorite bands. She's either eating, teaching grammar or learning an instrument, when not occupied with windmilling in the faces of other humans.