By Jason Lefebvre
CALGARY – Cattle Decapitation is fueled by one simple question: “How would you like it if that was done to you?”
For 20 years, vocalist Travis Ryan has been belting out conceptual lyrics revolving around subjecting humans to the viciously cruel situations that we put animals through, as well our abuse of the environment and each other. Starting off as a brutal goregrind band, with barely two songs passing the one-minute mark on their debut Human Jerky (1999), Cattle Decapitation has evolved into one of the top extreme metal bands. With the release of The Anthropocene Extinction (2015), Travis showed off an extensive singing range, mixed in with an intense blend of blast and melody that demands attention. Lyrically focusing on humankind’s impact on the natural environment, it continued their legacy of being as conceptually heavy as they are musically. Indeed, the band has been subject to frequent censorship over their graphic content. 2004’s Humanure originally featured a cow defecating bloody human remains before it was re-released with different art; their video for “Forced Gender Reassignment” was painfully brutal, with graphic rape and sexual assault depicted in the extremely NSFW video.
Nearing the end of the traditional touring cycle, Cattle Decapitation has been making sure to keep busy. Touring Europe until late September with Broken Hope, Hideous Divinity and Gloryhole Guillotine, they are taking a short break before hitting the stages around North America with Revocation, for their longest and most intense sets ever.
“We wanted do some stuff we haven’t done before or songs we haven’t done in a while, that we’ve heard people asking for over the years. One song in particular we never did that people have been clamoring for and now we are doing it. We have a rhythm guitarist now with us and he had to learn them all. But the rest of the guys seemed to retain the memory of the songs, which are now at least five years old, which I find pretty damn impressive. It’s the older ones we are bringing back that I had to go back and reread the lyrics just to remember them,” Ryan explains.
“It also the longest set we’ve ever done live. We’ve never done more than 45 to 55 minutes on any given headliner and this one has us playing well over an hour.
We try to give it some peaks and valleys because we just don’t feel anyone truly wants to hear more than 50 minutes of intense music like this. They say they do but we are the ones watching them get winded halfway through a 45 minute set,” Travis says, chuckling.
Two years after the release of their seventh studio album, many fans wonder what is going to be coming next.
Travis mused, “We have yet to write any new songs but we are brimming with ideas, riffs, etc. I have already come up with the title, concept, cover artwork idea has already been explained to Wes Benscoter (the band’s album cover artist) to a huge thumbs up and even the ideas for the layout of the album. I’ve personally never been more ready to write! Each album seems to prepare us for the next as we come out of each on reinvigorated by the response of the previous album. I feel we are very lucky in that regard.”
See Cattle Decapitation October 20 with Revocation at the Starlite Room (Edmonton) and October 21 at Dickens Pub (Calgary).Cattle Decapitation, Dickens Pub, revocation, Starlite Room