One of the undisputed founders of industrial metal and post-metal, Justin Broadrick of the legendary Godflesh will appear for the first time in Greece with Godflesh, to headline the Black Day of Fraternity of Sound and with Zonal the third day of the festival. The thing is that he doesn’t give that oftenly interviews, so when he says that he would gladly answer to all your questions, you just start doing a little victory dance and try to seem professional. With no other delay, i give you Justin K Broadrick!
Hello Justin, and welcome to Metal Invader. We hope you’re excited about performing in Athens because we sure as hell are.
Hello! That’s great to hear and we are very excited too!
It’s a long time ago, maybe not that relevant to your recent work, but did you ever expect as a teenager that a record that you contributed to would be such a crucial influence to extreme music as a whole? I’m of course talking about Napalm Death’s “Scum”.
No!!!! I thought we were kids trying to do something resonant but expecting nothing! You know, at first, when Napalm Death played live people laughed at us! The popularity of scum is a happy accident, and its funny that now even at my age of 48 people still talk about an album I made when I was 16!Some of those songs I wrote at the age of 15!
Your general contribution in music widens much further than the aforementioned of course. The world knows that you restlessly put out stuff under many monikers, making original stuff, remixing and running labels. Where does all this never-ending need to give come from?
My passion and love of both music and artistic expression, is both boundless and ultimately never satisfying, resulting in my need to keep doing this. I’ve never made a perfect record, and hopefully I never will, that also keeps me inspired.
What difference did you notice in experiencing music as a label head than as a musician?
My record label Avalanche Records is personal though, it’s not a ‘real’ record label, for me it’s a means to an end; it’s necessary in a failing industry where record labels are becoming more and more redundant. I can do their job now, it takes some effort but I can do it, I employ others to help in most areas and it can be as effective as any other indie label.
I think that remixing is a whole other, uncharted territory for many musicians and I also personally find it really terrifying to even try. However, it is something you’ve spent much time doing and is beyond just a project for you. Give us some insight in the urge to remix and the philosophy behind it.
My career as a remixer starter when I was asked to remix Pantera!!!! In 1992!!!! I had very little confidence in being able to satisfy requirements, but I learn fast that it doesn’t matter; The remix industry is quite cynical and I just do what I want to other artists’ songs, I really enjoy reinterpretation; I feel songs and music is never ending, as in where does one stop?! Music can be constantly regurgitated, and I’m here to assist artists in that process, haha.
It took a 13-year gap to return with a proper full length with Godflesh which did not only exceed all expectations, but it’s amazing production quality accompanied with a heavier approach to your golden recipe made the band more relevant than ever. How did you manage to get back on track? Why did it take so long for us to listen to something new?
Thank you so much for your kind words! The new album ‘Post Self’ is much better!!! ‘AWLOBF’ was a heavy riff piece, a Godflesh minimal metal record, this new album is a mood piece, offering an all encompassing vision of Godflesh. It took a long time for something new because the band did not exist! But throughout it’s non existence, I continually fantasised about making new Godflesh music!
You’ll be performing in Fraternity of Sound Festival as Zonal with longtime collaborator Kevin Martin (The Bug). What’s the glue that keeps you together all these years? Why work under new moniker and not continuing as Techno Animal?
Well, actually Kevin and I took a long break from working with each other, I think almost 15 years! But we felt fresh again about collaboration, we didn’t wish to pursue something with an old name, we are excited by what we can to that, that is new. Although as Zonal we play some old Techno-Animal songs, most of our set is new material as Zonal, it pretty much continues where we left off as Techno-Animal.
Do you perceive differently guitar driven, more “rock” influenced music than electronic music?
I think for me there is a basic fact – guitar driven music rarely excites me like electronic music does, and this has always been the case since I was a kid and discovered music, and it is even more so now.
The Jesu/Sun Kil Moon collaboration is one of my favorite works you’ve done. How did you meet with Mark Kozelek and decide to work together? Paint an image of how it’s to work with him. He is a truly unique artist and seems as a pretty eccentric person.
Thank you, I am also very proud of these records with mark. We met through a mutual friend, the original bass player from the band Low, Zac. He told Mark that I was a fan, so Mark had heard of Godflesh but at that time I was touring as Jesu. Mark came and saw Jesu live in San Francisco and loved it, so we began talking. He then released 2 x Jesu records on his label Caldo Verde. He had always mentioned a collaboration but I thought we’d never get to it. But one day he just called me saying just send me any music you have – spare Jesu songs, anything! So I did! I sent him half finished songs, he loved them, and then I’d add more etc. The music is for him, ultimately; it’s a vehicle for his voice and stories. Yes, he’s a character , and one of my favourite artists ever to be! We’ve made two albums together now, we’ll take a break from the collaboration now, but hope to record another album late 2018!
Thank you so much for your time. I’m really looking forward for your performance in Athens. The epilogue is yours.
Thank you very much! Looking forward to Athens, I love Greece and Greek people!!!!!!!