|This is an interview I did with guitarist, singer, drummer & producer Justin Broadrick of
GODFLESH that appeared in the 1st issue of SATAN'S CANDY BASKET zine back in late 1997.
This is a little "Treat" for all of you who never saw that issue! Hope you enjoy!!!
WHERE DID THE NAME GODFLESH COME FROM?
Originally we wanted something short & concise that basically sort of literally explained the sound we were
looking for. We had the name before we had the sound, we felt we had to live up to the name. It sort of creates a
very powerful visual without being overly descriptive & we though it was quite ambiguous.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES OR BANDS YOUR INTO?
The initial influences of GODFLESH were like a real combination of mostly everything that was really
melodramatic whether it be Rock or anything. Some of the major influences were BLACK SABBATH, SWAN,
KILLING JOKE, STRANGLERS, CELTIC FROST, THROBBING GRISTLE & MELANCHOLY. You
name it, anything pretty visual or aggressive or just generally fucked up. We just appreciate music as a whole!
WHAT IS THE THING YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR MUSIC?
It's ability to cross over many different categories. For me personally is it's function to release a lot of artistic
expression. It's really a lot of pent up aggression & emotion that I usually repress. I look at it like art, like a way
of painting. Things that are emotionally moving or life changing.
I WAS PRETTY IMPRESSED WITH THE VIDEO "CRUSH MY SOUL" ON THE EARACHE MY EYE
HOME VIDEO. WHO DIRECTED IT & DID YOU HAVE ANY INPUT?
Basically who directed it was a photo artist called Ron Fasaronga out of NY. We 1st came across his work in
991. It was a photo called "Piss Christ", which was a big controversy. It was a 12" statue of Christ on a cross
suspended in a glass of piss. The look of that was so insane, but the concept & visual of it was so ridiculous. It
is in a literal sort of experience to look at. We made only one album & didn't have a lot of money, so we just
suggested this photo artist. They thought he would be creditable & quite controversial, so MTV banded it
immediately. The 1st person I picked was Geiger, but he's done a lot & would be too expensive. We enjoyed this
guys deep art so much we just let him have complete control.
HOW HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN TO YOUR ALBUM "SONGS OF LOVE & HATE"?
Generally really good! I think it's because it's the 1st time we included an acoustic drummer as well as a machine.
We have always had live guitars & live vocals, but the whole vibe of GODFLESH was initially the fact that it
was half mechanized. We felt that we pushed that as far as we wanted to take it. We added some grooves &
variety with this drummer who was Brian who is now in PRIMUS. His energy & the way he drums is just
superb. I think that gave the last album a fresh dynamic.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE ON A REMIX ALBUM FOR THE NEXT RELEASE?
We have been remixing our stuff over & over for years. We did an album in 1991 called "SLAVE STATE" & we
remixed that. At that time EARACHE bunched it together to release as a remix album. With the new album
"LOVE & HATE IN DUB" we remixed ourselves. It's our total reinterpretation of the songs on the studio record.
We thought if we stripped everything back to it's component parts it would be a completely different album. I
just wanted to cut it up like crazy with computers & make something fresh. Something different, an alternative to
the Rock album.
I'VE ALWAYS FOUND GODFLESH'S MUSIC TO BE QUITE ORIGINAL, WHAT INFLUENCES YOU
TO WRITE IN THIS STYLE?
Some of it is the goals that we have to reach in an average GODFLESH song is in a way an abstract element. It's
just got to be unusual hopefully in that aspect. For us it's knowing the parameters of what you do & trying to
stick in them. If we can literalize what we are trying to do we feel we have achieved something. I see
GODFLESH being comfortable by being uncomfortable & not fitting in.
DOES IT BOTHER YOU WHEN OTHER BANDS BORROW FROM THE STYLE YOU CREATED?
It didn't initially, but it has become quite evident of some elements of GODFLESH in an awful lot of music from
other bands. It has become quite complimentary that a lot of people have taken some elements from our band.
It's been a healthy thing helping me push forward, which is good. I'm all for anything that pushes forward. It is a
healthy & positive thing if it helps in a new creation or mutation.
HAS YOUR MUSICAL TASTES CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
I've always related & been touched in certain areas. Some areas more avidly as in music that has matured itself. I
find that with Techno stuff, like a lot of the Techno stuff from the 80's. It was never too extreme, it was always
sort of plain with not much aggression or abstraction. In the last 3 or 4 years the whole Techno sound has
become more warped sounding, like it has matured into other forms. In Europe we have other sounds like Jungle,
which is a mutation of Hip-Hop & Techno. I got heavily into that, more into a technological & less into Rock.
IS IT CHALLENGING FOR YOU REPRODUCE YOUR MUSIC LIVE?
It is really, we find it quite hard work. Not that it's hard work to reproduce, but going through the motions is
hard work. Some times it's hard to sustain the passion. I always want to translate the same passion that's on the
record. Some times when you do 20 or 30 consecutive shows, playing the same sets, it's hard to do that. I never
want to appear as a band going through the motions. I want to give 100%, which is more of a challenge.
ONE OF MY FRIENDS SAW YOU ON THE DANZIG TOUR IN PHILLY A FEW YEARS AGO. HE SAID
THE CROWD RESPONSE REALLY WASN'T IN YOUR FAVOR. DID YOU HAVE A BAD NIGHT OR
WAS IT A MIX MATCH IN MUSIC STYLES?
I remember that show quite clearly. I met a lot of GODFLESH fans outside that show who weren't willing to pay
a lot of money to get in to basically see us for 30 minutes. Can't say that I blame them. It was more of a Rock
audience who didn't want to know what we were about. It's a good area of confrontation. The only healthy thing
when we played was that we felt like we were drilling the people. We know they never heard anything like us
WHY THE DECISION TO USE A LIVE DRUMMER AFTER ALL THESE YEARS? IS HE STILL PART
OF THE BAND?
Brian joined PRIMUS & who we have now is Ted parsons from PRONG, he'll be on the new album. Brian may
drop some beats on the new album too. I'm not sure, he's tied up with PRIMUS, being in a big Rock band!
DO YOU STILL LISTEN TO OR ENJOY ANY OLD GODFLESH OR NAPALM DEATH STUFF YOU
I haven't listened to any old NAPALM DEATH stuff for a long time, I guess cause it's so old. It was 11 years
ago, I was just a 16 year old kid then. It's hard to listen to, it sounds so funny to me. I know that "SCUM" is a
popular album, which is a surprise to me, but it's like listening to a kids band. I also like to listen to some old
GODFLESH stuff from time to time, just to hear what it sounds like after all these years. I feel the farther I get
from our old music the better we get.
ARE ANY OF YOUR NUMEROUS SIDE BANDS STILL ACTIVE?
Yeah, everything, the side project I'm in TECHNO ANIMALS is doing good. We've toured Germany &
Scotland. The other stuff is busy, but not as much energy goes into them as in TECHNO ANIMALS. Not a lot
of people know that, some GODFLESH fans check it out, but we like to keep TECHNO ANIMALS separate
WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD LIKE? ANY DISTURBING STORIES?
God, we'd need 2 hours for that! My parents were 60's hippies, I spent 13 years of my life in a hippie commune.
It was quite a melodramatic upbring, a lot of drama that had it's ups & downs. It has affected me in weird ways,
more extremes in emotional context. A lot of art & need to express themselves, my family was musical as well.
The 1st music I got into was Punk Rock. I think that was the only way I could rebel against my parents. Because
they were so mellow & shit, I'd go to the opposite. I got into music so young. I was 9 years old. I grew up
hearing music everyday, watching hippies dance to their records.
WE ALL KNOW THAT PLAYING EXTREME MUSIC DOESN'T ALWAYS PAY THE BILLS, WHAT
TYPE OF WORK DO THE MEMBERS OF THE BAND DO?
Fortunately we've managed to exist off of it. Our main existence is GODFLESH & TECHNO ANIMALS. I
manage to sustain a lifestyle, I basically spent 6 years without compromise living off my music. I haven't had to
do anything else for money. If it came to a point where no one buys are shit anymore, I'm in trouble! (laughs) I
know I will always be working in music.
WHAT'S THE MOST INSANE THING ONE OF YOUR FANS HAS DONE?
I can think of a few, but one of the weirdest was in Dallas. We were doing an in store signing & a bunch of fans
were there to meet us. They were giving away tickets & a lot of people didn't have tickets & they had to do
something bizarre to get them. This one guy pulled out 3 of his dreadlocks for the tickets. I thought that was
pretty sick. I felt really bad & told the guy we would put him on the guest list, but this twat from SONY made
him do it. We've seen a lot of weird things, usually in America!
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE BAND GWAR?
GWAR? I've seen them once in San Francisco. I didn't know they still existed. When I saw them live I thought it
was a lot of fun. The costumes were fantastic! I've never listened to one of their albums. I'm not familiar with
I JUST SAW THEM IN PHILLY. THEY ARE ONE OF MY FAVORITE BANDS. GWAR HAS BEEN ONE
OF MY MAJOR INFLUENCES IN THE MUSIC & ART SCENE.
I really love ALICE COOPER, that was my theatrics. SKINNY PUPPY also has a good show. I do like a lot of
that shit myself. Yeah, GWAR is a real fun band.
HAS ANYTHING OR ANYONE PISSED YOU OFF LATELY?
Lately, probably stupid personal things. You look out your door & see so much bigotry & ignorance. I'm highly
sensitive to that. Some days I don't go out side at all. I find it hard to believe that people still can't accept things
that are different. You do lock yourself indoors sometimes, that's your world. You know what people are & that
they aren't going to change. These people are in their own prisons by their thoughts.
HAVE YOU STARTED WORK ON THE NEXT FULL LENGTH? ANY SURPRISES?
We started working about a month ago. It is going to be a big surprise. It is going to be a bit of a roller coaster
ride for GODFLESH. It's going to be a real experience. I'm getting so much material from the computer, cutting
it up. This new record is going to be ultra dynamic.
THAT'S ALL THE QUESTIONS I HAVE. THANX A LOT FOR DOING THIS INTERVIEW. WOULD YOU
LIKE TO ADD ANYTHING ELSE?
I'm terrible at adding things. I always say the same thing. Everyone keep the most open mind. That's about it. See
every side of every possibility before judging!!!