Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with vocalist Travis Ryan of San Diego-based deathgrind masters CATTLE DECAPITATION. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Assault: I’ve always loved the album covers CATTLE DECAPITATION have put out, and I think the cover artwork for “Monolith Of Inhumanity” is probably the best one since “Humanure”. Would you say it’s a good representation of the band and the music on the album?
Travis: Yeah, but it’s kind of more conceptual. It requires some explanation to somebody looking at it with the naked eye, I would think. I guess, in that respect, so does the music, for people wondering how or why we’ve changed our sound or whatever, or how we’ve stepped it up. I don’t think it’s so much of a changed sound, but it’s more to do with the approach towards songwriting, you could say. I think, in that respect, it’s progressed from previous albums in the same way as the cover. And a lot of people are picking up on that, which is cool.
Metal Assault: In terms of the music on the album, you said that it’s more of a changed approach. I think the music has come out more intense and straightforward as compared to some of your recent albums. It’s not as technical, I’d say. Would you agree with that?
Travis: I think it’s just put together a little better. Usually, I don’t really feel like we don’t enough time to write. We had a year to do this one, but we did it at a slower pace. We did about the same amount of writing that we do in five or six months usually, but had to do it at a slower pace because of the way everybody’s jobs were conflicting with each other and stuff like that. We all have regular day jobs and it’s just a pain in the ass to keep it going and make things happen. But we manage to somehow sling it and pull it off. It was just a lot of elbow grease as far as scheduling and stuff like that. I think may be because we did it at a slower pace, it gave us more time to decide whether or not we liked certain parts of whatever. I think that helped a lot.
Metal Assault: That’s interesting. Because this slower pace of writing has clearly helped you with this album, do you think you’ll take more time with future albums also?
Travis: Yeah, who knows?! We don’t write on the road and we never have a tour bus. So it’s not like we can sit there and write all day, sip coffee and have a nice time. [laughs] We bust our asses when we’re out there on the road. It’s kind of a pain in the butt, but we’re probably always going to write the same way where we just come home from tour supporting a whole album, and then just sit back, write the new record and do it in a cycle like that instead of constantly writing and putting the songs together. Although I think everybody has already started getting at least the riffs together, so may be it won’t take so long next time. [laughs]
Metal Assault: You mentioned that all of you have jobs. Whenever I hear that from any band, it makes me curious about how you get to take so much time off from your jobs, to do long tours. How does that work? Are your employers cool with it all the time?
Travis: Luckily, they are! I mean, I’m self-employed so I don’t have to worry about it, but the other guys have regular jobs. Dave [McGraw, drummer] works at a drum store, so they are used to dealing with musicians in bands and them taking time off and all that stuff. The other guys are just waiting for the one day when they can’t do this band anymore, and luckily that day hasn’t come yet. [laughs] We’ll see what happens. It is something that we’re kind of constantly worried about, but it’s pretty much a new development for a couple of us. There’s always been at least one guy who’s been complaining about having to leave the job and then come back. Sometimes they don’t have a job when they come home. For our first-ever U.S. tour, I had to quit my job, a job that I loved. A lot of people I’ve known, seen and talked to over the years lost their band members to jobs that weren’t even anywhere near as cool as the one I had. So I was like, shit. All this time I felt bad about quitting my job, but I found out that people leave their jobs all the time. So it’s just something that you have to do, I guess. But luckily, we haven’t had to do that in a long time.
Read the entire interview from Metal Assault.