ZT INTERROGATION: GORGONCHRIST INFLICT MAXIMUM DAMAGE WITH DEMONSTRATIVE DEBUT ALBUM
New Midlands monster Gorgonchrist have just unleashed a startling debut album via Clobber Records that plunges so deeply into the sewers of body and mind that you almost need to call a plumber to break down the tightly stacked layers of post industrial filth. Paul Castles puts his rubber gloves on before shaking hands with Kill Babies and Crushwalker.
ZT: Many congratulations on your debut album, The Blood Of Endangered Species. Has the finished product met the expectations you had at the start of the recording process? Thank you. We entered into this with no expectations. We knew we wanted to create something different but we felt it was important not to define what different would sound like from the outset. If you set your aims in stone then you often miss the target, you don’t allow for serendipity and you throttle the voice of the work you’re trying to create. This album told us exactly what it wanted to be and we listened. We mostly heard a resounding barrage of obscenities!
ZT: These aren’t conventional song structures. How much time did you have to spend working on the material? Neither the song structures or the tunings are conventional. We intentionally chose an odd and unusual tuning to erase any familiarity from our fretboards so we could be free from all conventions. Without any predefined form we simply worked on each song until it felt complete, some came together quicker than others but in every family there’s always a more difficult child to raise.
ZT: With songs of this nature is the producer even more important than usual to help create the unwieldly sound you are seeking? You’re right to pick up on the production of this album. It was like trying to organise a bag of angry hornets whilst being savagely beaten with a shovel. There are lot of disparate sounds to weld into a cohesive whole. The production is certainly important to make the chaos work but is it more or less important than the performances? Probably not as one defines and accentuates the other.
ZT: So for now you’re going by the names of Kill Babies and Crushwalker? Yep. Wanna fight about it?
ZT: Is the anger on this album fuelled by personal angst and grief or a much broader picture of things you see and experience in the world? It’s probably a mixture of both as one influences the other. Anger is a wasted emotion and there are many who could do with having gallons of the stuff sucked out of their minds. The Blood Of Endangered Species is a reflection of this – it’s the angry drunk who cannot understand why they’re alive, it’s the junkie parent trying to read their child a nursery rhyme and it’s the ‘you win, I lose’ conundrum. It’s the Zero Sum Game of our time. Gorgonchrist does not hold angst or grief – but we understand it and we sense it every day of our lives. This is what that sounds like.
ZT: Did you rope in any friends for any of the songs or is it just the two of you? Everything you hear is the work of us two. It felt important not to dilute that. This extended into every aspect of this album – writing recording production artwork, the whole lot.
ZT: Can you tell us something about the atmosphere and mood of the album? If you look at the current climate of the UK, in fact the world, we live in uncertain times. There is no faith in our leadership. There is no faith in one another. We’ve been divided, again. There is a definite sense that we’re on the brink of something terrible from which there will be no going back. Think of this album as that brink. Yes, it’s an angry album but look around you and you don’t have to question why.
ZT: The industrial apocalyptic sound is similar to Anaal Nathrakh and Fukpig, bands you may be close to perhaps? We certainly share an affinity with these bands in terms of sound and attitude. Incidentally we asked Fukpig to marry us but they declined so we’re now focusing on making babies with Nathrakh. In all seriousness we have previously worked with Nathrakh’s live drummer so there is a loose connection there: kinda like a faulty plug.
ZT: Like Fukpig you’re masked up… If you saw our faces you would understand why! Our aim is to remove all elements of ourselves from Gorgonchrist. It is an entity of which we are merely instruments.
ZT: Where did the inspiration for the Penny Black artwork come from? The Penny Black is such a globally iconic image and it seemed to encapsulate the imagery created by the album as a whole. The Blood Of Endangered Species as a phrase can be interpreted in many ways and, through the use of the Penny Black, we felt that the immediate impact is faithful to the core message. It lends itself to social divide, environmental demise and moral sparsity. It’s rare and it looks like the beginning of the end…..just like Gorgonchrist.
ZT: The album is on Birmingham record label, Clobber. They seem to have a number of interesting underground projects…. Yeah, Clobber is a great UK underground label that is really beginning to make its mark on the scene. They are fantastic people with a real hunger and drive to support bands in the extreme metal scene in particular. They approach things in a DIY but well organised way and show such passion about the projects that they invest in. Their roster is building fast and, for a band like Gorgonchrist, it seemed like the perfect fit at this point.
ZT: What images are you trying to conjure up with the band name? The smashing together of cultures reflecting the global community we exist in now. A world where our similarities in economic, political and social models are more closely aligned than they’ve ever been – yet we believe we’re more divided than ever before. Everyone needs to question who is highlighting the divisions and to what end. We’re in danger of being unwittingly walked back into the darkness and it’s this crossroads that Gorgonchrist conjures and encourages people to think about.
ZT: Is Gorgonchrist a side project or a force of feral violence that will be with us for the foreseeable future? Gorgonchrist is already dying, we plan to stick with it through the various stages of decay to its inevitable extinction. It won’t die quietly, you can bet it’ll stay rabid and feral to the very end: the deletion of it all.
ZT: Thanks for talking to Zero Tolerance. Finally, Kill Babies…. Do you like Jelly Babies?
Only their heads.