by Ana Krunic
VANCOUVER – Contemporary extreme metal comes in an array of different forms and is coloured by all kinds of different themes – most of which focus on some form of fantasy. You have your gore splattered violence-porn, tales of wars that may have never happened, stories told from myths and religion, obscured or otherwise, internal dialogues on insanity, and so on. However, with everything that’s happening in the world right now, it doesn’t seem like the lyricists of the genre have to look much further than to what’s going on right in front of them to glean inspiration.
Cattle Decapitation frontman Travis Ryan has never shied away from speaking up about the faults of humanity and the dismal direction we seem to be leading ourselves in. The theme that runs through all of Ryan’s lyrics is one of extreme misanthropy, the major fantasy that humans are subjected to the same things that we inflict upon animals and the environment: human slaughterhouses, genocide of the human race. These ideas are only shocking to a lot of us when the tables are turned and people are the victims.
Their latest, 2015 release titled Anthropocene Extinction deals with what could very well be the end result of our ravaging of the planet. A vision of the total collapse of our population after years of unsustainable growth and reckless treatment of other species, the earth and our oceans. Ryan doesn’t hold out hope that any of these nightmare visions will snap us out of our habits, though.
“I don’t have a very high opinion of the general public and I mostly only have disparaging things to say, which is really no help, honestly. People don’t respond well to negativity,” he laughs. “There’s too many people in the populated areas of the world to ever come under one way of thinking about helping the planet. Humanity seems to only care about itself, here and now, with little regard to future generations. Even though they’re all fucking having children.”
It’s not a surprise that Ryan has the next album already fleshed out in his head. “I’m just waiting for the band to start writing some new material so I can start writing. I’m really looking forward to writing this one, since I already have the album title, concept, cover art idea and even the layout details all worked out in my head. I also just got asked to try out for vocals for one of my favorite bands, so I’m pretty excited for that opportunity, but not getting my hopes up as it’s a pretty tall order. But we’ll see.”
Cattle Decapitation has always stayed pretty busy otherwise with a decent touring schedule, which currently has them in Europe before their North American tour. “The worst is being away from home, my wife, pets, etc,” says Ryan. “But the best part is the feeling of accomplishment at the end and of course, playing shows and seeing the fans. We aren’t touring in vans anymore. I don’t care what any older guys have to say about this, but… I’m too old for that shit. I’m not trying to be fuckin’ miserable in a van with a bunch of dudes. We all pretty much feel that way about that. Shows are better and more fun and it’s more of a production now.”
Looking to the next album, here’s hoping the world doesn’t give Cattle Decapitation TOO much more inspiration.
Cattle Decapitation plays the Rickshaw Theatre with Revocation, Full of Hell and Artificial Brain on October 18th.