INTERVIEW: CALUM HARVIE TRACKS DOWN LANGUISH AND TALKS ABOUT THE WORTHINESS OF NEW ALBUM ‘UNWORTHY’
BECAUSE THEY’RE WORTH IT…
Calum Harvie feels suitably unworthy in the presence of Arizona filth-pedallers Languish.
Hailing from Arizona, and comprising members of North, Gatekeeper and Territory, Languish play brutally nihilistic, filthy music, and new album Unworthy is a jaw-dropping, blasting monstrosity of unrelenting bleakness. We’ve heard from Languish before, back in 2015 with Extinction. Then, Languish was a two-piece project involving Zack Hansen and Matt Mutterperl, who penned the tunes during down time from their main gig with sludgers North. But the project soon progressed, with new members joining and, ultimately, leading to Languish become a ‘proper’ band:
“We wrote Extinction as a two-piece,” says Zack. “We didn’t really have any plans. But then as it grew and we became more of a band, it changed direction a little bit. I think Unworthy is a more mature, death metal-esque record.” The transformation of Languish from project to band had an impact on the way they made music, too, Zack says, and that partly explains why Unworthy sounds quite different to its predecessor. “I think that we took more time with it, so that we were a little bit more critical in the writing process. With Extinction we kind of just crapped out the first ten songs we had, just to get it down. We just wrote. With Unworthy, it’s 15 tracks, and it’s a really heavy weighted, dense record. And there was a lot of stuff that we wrote that didn’t make it. So it took a bit more time. But that also comes with having more opinions in the band. I think that resulted in a better record.”
Languish’s initial purpose – and one which it still serves – is to allow Zack and Matt the opportunity to explore forms of extreme metal which diverge from the sludge of North. “Matt and I, we have been writing together for 13 years now. We were just kids when we started; we’re in our thirties now. And we wanted to do music that we couldn’t do with North – that sound had already been fleshed out and we couldn’t turn it around 360 degrees. So we had to do something different, something that was not defined.” The quandary now, of course, is that by releasing this music, and thereby establishing a certain sound and aesthetic, Languish’s music is itself now more defined. Does this mean that the band are effectively constraining themselves? “I came into this band with an attitude of ‘I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t care’. But are we constrained now to what our current sound is? I don’t think so. I think there’s a lot of wiggle room in the sound we’ve established, so we can stick within that sound, but we feel that we can experiment.”
This feature was intended for publication in ZT issue 087, but due to lack of space it’s landed here for you to enjoy online instead. Subscriptions and single copies available here: https://store.ztmag.com/
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