Godflesh: Interview & Album Stream

By on 6 October 2014


Even in an age in which we’re inundated with comeback albums and nostalgic “last ever” reunion tours, the prospect of a new Godflesh record still feels incredibly exciting. It seems most of our favourite musical icons of the ’90s have resurrected themselves in some form or another in recent years, with Carcass, At The Gates, Gorguts and Mysticum all emerging after extended absences – hell, even Richard D. James has crawled out of the woodwork this month to deliver another record under the Aphex Twin moniker!

Somehow though, a Godflesh reunion just feels that much more vital, not least because mastermind Justin Broadrick has remained more active than most in the decade plus since the band’s original dissolution. From the melancholic climes of Jesu to the uncompromising sturm-und-drang of Greymachine, to even more out there projects like the punishing industrial hip-hop of Techno Animal, the biting digital hardcore of Curse Of The Golden Vampire, the electrifying noise-scapes of White Static Demon, the densely textured black metal of Valley Of Fear or the nightmarish electronica of JK Flesh, Justin has refused to rest on his laurels and has constantly strived to create new and invigorating music.

Rather than relighting an old flame after a period of creative dormancy, Justin is returning to Godflesh as an established artist in his own right; for as much as Godflesh is an immediately recognisable and revered part of Justin’s oeuvre, it has not come to define him in the same albatross-like fashion that has plagued many of his contemporaries. In other words, for a Godflesh album to exist in 2014, you get the feeling that this is something both Broadrick and bassist Ben Green really needed to do, fuelled by a sense of restless creativity rather than misty eyed nostalgia.

I had the distinct pleasure of chatting to Justin from his home studio (where the new record, ‘A World Lit Only By Fire’, was entirely recorded, mixed and mastered) about his reasons for resurrecting the band, the influence of hip-hop on his compositional process, how Godflesh has single handedly rejuvenated all his other projects and why he still feels as though he’s “teetering on the edge of the void, permanently…”

Oh, and you can also get to grips with ‘A World Lit Only By Fire’ itself via the stream below. Enjoy…

How would you say ’A World Lit Only By Fire’ fits in with the rest of your discography? Or is still too early to contextualise it like that?
Justin: “It’s good in a way, because I can now afford to have some sense of, not really hindsight… but because the album has been recorded and mixed since very early in the year, almost eight months have gone by since the record was completed, so I have been doing interviews recently where I can somewhat reflect on it a little already, which is good. I’ve been pretty much saying to people that I do feel it’s the best record we’ve made in 20 years basically. I mean, obviously for a good nine of them we didn’t exist! But I do feel it’s the strongest album since the first few – since ‘Selfless’ really – and the ‘Selfless’ album was 1994, and I feel this is the best record we’ve made since that period. It feels more, to me, more natural than the albums that came after that record really, which is pretty much down to the fact that Godflesh, after ‘Selfless’, started integrating live drummers. Initially just in a live capacity, but then that spilled over to the records. Obviously, ‘Songs Of Love And Hate’, that featured a live drummer, and so did ‘Hymns’. The album in between, ‘Us And Them’, that didn’t have a live drummer at all but that was an album of much identity crisis as far as I’m concerned… but all three records sort of were really, I feel this one sits in the back catalogue, for me, and for Ben as well I think, as a more honest progression from those first few records.”

Yeah, I think Id definitely agree with that. Its interesting you mentioned Selflessas well, because for me this one kind of sounds like the missing link between Pure and Selfless, it could have almost been released in between those two albums.
Justin: “Yeah, I think that’s a really fair comment. You know, mostly the people who have been hearing this album are journalists like yourself, and they’ve said very similar things and seem to perceive in a similar way to us. If they’re like yourself and know the back catalogue or most of it or whatever, they seem to feel it’s in that area. I mean, a lot of people have been mentioning more the first album and ‘Streetcleaner’, but I don’t think it is as much really, it’s more in the area of what you said. You know, those albums were flabbier and more bloated, and had less definition than this album, I think this album has quite a sense of clarity and the compositions are quite clear, whereas ‘Streetcleaner’ was much more bloated and more excessive. I think this one is more direct, probably, which like you say, fits more with ‘Pure’ or ‘Selfless’– compositionally and in terms of production, as well. And it’s all those the records, for me, that are the most honest representation of what Godflesh intended to achieve really. You know, after that, it got somewhat diluted, but that’s not to say that I don’t think there are great songs on those later albums, but really those early records, that’s what we wanted to get back to, in a way. That was, for me, the benefit of hindsight and obviously many years going by, particularly when Godflesh didn’t exist. You know, I’ve had that luxury.”

Godflesh at Hellfest 2014. (Phot: Ronan Thenadey)

Godflesh at Hellfest 2014. (Phot: Ronan Thenadey)

Cool. So, when you first got back together with Ben to play the reunion shows a few years ago, was it always the intention, right from day one, to record new stuff afterwards or was there a certain catalyst when you were playing those shows that made you think, ’right, we need to record something new again!’
Justin: “No, ultimately, the whole reformation thing was pretty much fundamentally about wanting to make new music. With my other project, Jesu, around the 2007, 2008 mark I definitely felt like making music with the Godflesh blueprint again, you know? Godflesh had made such an indelible mark upon me, and I was really missing the composing process, the process of writing the songs. Jesu’s quite a different beast really, almost entirely. Obviously it has a relation to Godflesh, but ultimately it’s a different thing, and even composing Jesu material is very, very different to the way Godflesh songs were written. The Godflesh thing was always composed in a very primitive, hands-on sort of way, you know. I guess like most rock and metal and stuff like that, there’ll be one big difference and that’s the drum machine, obviously. 50% of the Godflesh material was often born from rhythms and grooves – literally drum beats – and no Jesu song, not one single song or even one riff, was ever born from just a drum beat. That’s pretty much a fundamental difference between the two projects, and I think around the late 2000s I was definitely getting this thing where I was hearing beats again, chiefly sort of hip hop rhythms, and I was hearing these beats the same way I used to hear beats with Godflesh in the late ’80s and early ’90s, you know. I would often hear a rhythm and imagine or fantasise about expressing that rhythm with a guitar and bass, in a very minimal, singular sort of fashion.

“I was explaining this to someone recently in an interview who didn’t really see that – they felt that what they heard, in their perception, was surely only born from a guitar, and I was really trying to explain that ultimately, no, 50% of Godflesh is born literally from fucking drum beats! And it’s me, trying to express a drum beat or rhythm via guitar or bass where it just sort of locks in, you know what I mean? Sometimes I quite often come up with riffs, and I strip it down even more, it may seem to me too flamboyant or too expressive even, or too progressive. Usually, I spend a lot of time eradicating notes, and trying to just reduce things down to the most simplistic and primal, but simultaneously monolithic, and figuring out how to take a drum beat, the kick drum and snare, and just copy that, literally just copy that as a blueprint for the guitar, and try and articulate those beats through guitars and bass via a process of reduction. So, I mean, the compositional process is born from that really, and that process pretty much has to be amplified, whereas Jesu, I was explaining this to someone the other day, I can write Jesu stuff acoustically, it’s born from a completely different place basically.”

Did you find any challenges going back to that more beat driven form of composition after so many years of doing Jesu? Or did it come back quite naturally?
Justin: “I found it really natural, really fluid. It was quite clear to me that I was really missing that process, you know? For me, a lot of the time, I like the primitive stages of composition like that. I really enjoy just coming up with beats and the thrill of that process I was just talking about. I mean, there was very little there when we first started writing this material. You mentioned if there was a catalyst, and the catalyst was the live shows, I definitely did not start really writing material until after a good year and a half of us playing live. We were very selective about the songs [we played live], and the periods that everything was culled from, and it is intentionally, again, the periods we were discussing. Very little, if anything, has come from those last three albums, but ironically we’ve now been discussing playing songs from those last three albums! All the select tracks that we really feel could be presented again, and somewhat re-written. Not re-written in terms of the structure of the song, but just in terms of incorporating machine beats again. There’s one or two we play off ‘Us And Them’, one or two we may play off both ‘Hymns’ and ‘Songs Of Love And Hate’, but they’ll be somewhat re-written. Well, not re-written, like I said, but they will be drum machine driven, entirely. I mean, those songs, originally most of them were anyway, you know. But yeah, for me, playing live again was… we really needed to feel it again, quite literally in the context of performance and become at one with the physical process again. I think the pure physicality and emotion of playing Godflesh shows with as much volume behind us as humanly possible was the catalyst for writing material – but I’d already imagined this material, you know? I think I’d been imaging it and fantasising about it probably since the mid-2000s really. Oddly, one of the songs on the album, track three, ‘Shut Me Down’, that was born entirely from a Public Enemy sample, which is from the song ‘Shut ’Em Down’. [laughs] So, I just sort of turned ‘Shut ’Em Down’ into ‘Shut Me Down’ and sampled their beat – hopefully I won’t get sued for the fucking thing, I mean I’ve really screwed with the beat, but that is pretty much the basis of that song.

“But oddly, I’d had that rhythm, I’d literally been sitting on that beat since even before… I think, actually, around the time ’Hymns’ was in the writing process! I remember thinking for a good number of years that I wanted to use that as the basis for a new Godflesh track, and somehow it never happened during ‘Hymns’–’Hymns’ became this more organic beast anyway in the end, you know, with Ted Parsons’s drums and stuff – and I think it just got shelved. I remember even, after Ben left unfortunately, we started playing the ‘Hymns’ stuff live with Paul Raven and so on, I was still knocking that beat around even at that stage. I remember it even being discussed, but obviously I was always aware that a new album was never going to happen, around that period. But I remember sitting on that beat, so literally that beat has probably been sat on and been in waiting for, you know, you’re going to be talking almost fourteen years!”

Oh, wow!
Justin: “Yeah, it’s crazy, really. But, that’s literally the only one [that dates back], everything else on here is as new as it gets.”

With that song idea floating around for so many years, did you feel as if you had some kind of unfinished business with Godflesh? Did you want to give the project a proper ending?
Justin: “I don’t think that ever really occurred to me. I think the way band sort of imploded – and it did literally go to shit – I don’t think I ever felt that though, I never felt like ‘ah, we’re gonna come back and make a record and set shit straight’ or any of this. I think, to be honest, initially once it was all over, it was all over. It’s odd because both Ben and I barely even discussed Godflesh in any context for years. You know, socially, we didn’t mix anywhere near as much as we had done for years, and there’s a good three hours distance between Ben and I anyway, but we still had contact. There was never any animosity between Ben and I, from when he left the band up until we reformed, but we only saw each other maybe two or three times a year, if that! There was a couple of years there I think we didn’t see each other, and we’d exchange emails, barely ever spoke on the phone as both of us hate speaking on the phone, in any context. But you know, we barely had any contact there, we both chose different paths, but there was never any adversity, we never fell out, we retained our friendship. There just wasn’t that much of an excuse for a social scene. When we did mix, we’d barely ever discuss Godflesh, it rarely ever came up in any conversation. I think there must have been, without any exaggeration, four or five years where we never, ever once mentioned the name. Strange, but there was just never any discussion point. I think we were both in some ways quite glad to get it out of our systems. I think it’s only as time rolled on… and you know, I think he would still be doing his own thing now if it wasn’t for me going ’what do you think?’ I think he felt, like me, that this would just never happen again. It was more me thinking, I would love to do this again. I would love to make this music again, I would love to make new records as Godflesh again. It’s like I was saying, I enjoy the process, I find it really functional. I didn’t want to start writing like Godflesh again but for another project, it seemed sort of pointless, you know? I didn’t want to make some new project that was just in Godflesh’s shadow, I’d rather be Godflesh again. That was the point really.”

Do you think the time you spent away from Godflesh has affected how you view it now? Theres that saying that people mellow with age which I dont think is particularly true to be honest.
Justin: “No, I don’t either! [laughs]”

I mean, people always describe Godflesh as a very angry project, but for me that was never the whole story, it always seemed more nuanced than a lot of metal that was just solely focused on aggression.
Justin: “Absolutely.”

So given that, do you think the time you spent away from the project has kind of allowed you to broaden the bands emotional scope even further?
Justin: “I think, ironically, it’s made it more singular!”

Ha, ok!
Justin: “Yeah, I mean, that’s how I feel, but that’s just my opinion, as the creator I guess. I mean, a lot of people have pointed out to me that they feel that at the minute that this album is one of the most vehement, aggro, violent albums we’ve ever made, which I somewhat agree with. It is brutal, and it was by design. Obviously, Godflesh isn’t for everyone, someone was saying to me the other day, do you feel like you should have had more mainstream success like Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry, Fear Factory and so on, but I was saying, ultimately, no! We’re way more underground and essentially, we use a sense of repetition that a lot of the fans of those bands just couldn’t deal with. Those bands are much more dynamic, particularly when you get down to stuff like Nine Inch Nails – I see so little in common. Yeah, for sure, Nine Inch Nails took some stuff from Godflesh, which is fine, but something like that is way more… Godflesh is almost like fucking Whitehouse comparatively, you know what I mean! Or it’s like some techno act or something, we’re very, very singular. Repetition is a huge part of what we do and bludgeoning, and so on, and by its very nature it’s much more isolated. This music isn’t for stadiums, clearly! No fucking way.

“So, I absolutely feel that what time has done is, in a way, made me want to be even more direct with what Godflesh is. I do feel this album is very singular – the EP [‘Decline And Fall’] was actually a bit more dynamic, I think, but who knows where we’ll go from here? We absolutely intend to make as many records as possible, until either the impetus is gone or until I physically can’t do this shit any more, but essentially, we’re not back just to make an album and an EP and that’s it. I want to make records again until I feel that I don’t wish to – and really, this album, I wanted it to be so fucking direct, and it’s like you just said, and we both agree, one doesn’t mellow with age at all! People have said to me, surely having a child has mellowed you, I say, fucking on the contrary! [laughs] Not at all, I feel defensive about my son, you know what I mean? I know what world I’ve brought him into, but I want to give him the best experience I can, and it’s like, he’ll learn through mine and my partner’s eyes. Fortunately, my partner is not as negative as I am [laughs], she sees more light in humanity than I do, so it’s a good balance in a way. It’ll work, if she was as negative as me it could only be a bad experience! But for me what’s good though is, yeah, I’m a fucking negative, dark sort of person, but it’s smattered with humanity, you know what I mean? And I think that’s a positive thing for him. But yeah, I feel with age, I still go through a lot of the same frustrated emotions I went through as a teenager. It was far from angst – ‘Streetcleaner’ was NOT about angst in any respect whatsoever, it was always existential. I felt like I was facing the void at a very young age, and it wasn’t just about my first girlfriend shitting on me when I was fifteen or whatever [laughs]. Far from it!”

I think you can definitely hear that in there, and you can also hear the opposite in a lot of the bands that have been influenced by that record, and taken it in a more angsty direction. And then maybe those other bands havent stood the test of time as well, but I dont think the more angst driven stuff does really, it needs something else behind it too.
Justin: “Yeah, absolutely, it doesn’t, does it? It often becomes quite embarrassing. I mean, it’s all good, you know, if the music is good, but I often agree, yeah. I think I even felt quite conscious of that at that age, which isn’t to say I was highly informed or educated or intelligent enough to make that decision, but I was so frustrated by chaos. It all felt like there was some kind of… well, yeah, chaos! It didn’t matter if it was on a personal level or a much larger level, though for me it was on a much more universal level. I think I recognised that at quite a young age, through all manner of things, through my childhood, through everything really. It was more of a total, all-consuming experience, and that’s why I felt the need to express this gamut of emotion. For me, it was never any single experience, it was certainly an accumulative thing, and it feels the same to me now. It’s almost overload, what I’m trying to express, and there’s many symptoms to that overload. And now, it feels the same, absolutely. One could be forgiven for thinking as you mature, quote unquote, that you become much more learned about things, but I don’t feel that at all! Irrespective of how much I fucking read, or feel like I have a clearer perspective on things, I still feel like I’m teetering on the edge of the void, permanently. And fear, and all this gamut of negative emotion is embroiled in that, and constantly fucking trying it’s best to annihilate me. I thank fuck sometimes for both my partner and my son, but also simultaneously those relationships also fuck my head, you know what I mean? [laughs] I question every fucking thing, and that’s part of my problem I think. And part of my expression, obviously!”

When you first came out with Godflesh, it was a very groundbreaking band, and obviously since then its become very influential because of that, did you feel any pressure returning to it? Did you feel that people had a certain idea of what they wanted from Godflesh, and feel a pressure to live up to that?
Justin: “I really wanted to negate that. I mean, I’m constantly aware of that and still am. There will always be naysayers, and unfortunately in these days, obviously with internet age, every naysayer has a platform as well. So sometimes, it’s almost inescapable, as anyone with a fucking opinion is blurting it out on the internet for all and sundry to hear. So every fucker’s got a platform these day unfortunately, but as an artist I think you need to either keep yourself away from it or just make sure you do not get exposed to it. It was, unfortunately, easier to make records in a vacuum before the internet. You try to keep yourself away from shit now, from opinion, because I’ve always wanted and strived to make music outside of anyone else’s opinion whatsoever, and I mean this music is so supremely self indulgent as well. It’s so self-fucking-serving, it’s ridiculous! We don’t really invite anyone to have any opinion on this music. [laughs] I write this shit on my own, without any outside opinion, when Ben and I record we have no engineer, no producer, we do it all ourselves. It couldn’t be any more fucking DIY! I mean, it’s done in our own studio – I was explaining this to someone recently, it was an American interviewer who was probably more used to mainstream metal, in a way, and they found really bizarre that this was so fucking 100% DIY. They were just like, my god, this is in your own studio? You engineer it yourself, you produce it yourself, you made the sleeve yourself, it’s on your own fucking record label, the artwork is done by yourselves? That’s the purest form, for me. It’s this expression at its most uncompromising, we do not compromise with anyone on any fucking level – for good or for bad! For us, it’s fucking good.

“We know the naysayers are all out there, as per usual, every armchair critic will be there saying ’oh, they’re not as good as they were’. We could write it all ourselves, you know what I mean? It’s so entirely predictable that it’s fucking boring. We could write the lot, what anyone accuses us of, it’s like, we know, we could write that ourselves! [laughs] It’s nothing new, and we’re the first to set ourselves up for that, and you do by reforming anyway, clearly. You’re in the firing line immediately. And it just has to be done, these records have to be made without giving a flying fuck, essentially. And because, again, as always they’re made first and foremost for ourselves. Of course, by the time the process is over, it’s the public’s then, and that’s it, it’s out of your hands, I guess. But clearly though, people could say, you give a fuck enough to release the records, and it’s like, sure, yeah, of course! It is, and it should be, consumed, but we just cannot consider expectation because it can annihilate you really, I think. It comes hand in hand with this sort of process, and you really just can’t concern yourself with it.”


With that said though, when you were writing this album, did you come up with anything and think to yourself, oh that doesnt really fit with Godflesh, Id better keep that for another project?
Justin: “No, it was very, very direct. If I play around with something, it’s almost immediate. I mean, I did discard a lot of material, but it was only really discarded on the premise that I just didn’t feel it was up to the standard, you know what I mean? But more so than any lack of direction, or identity, or ‘oh, this could be a Jesu thing!’ Very little of that, or anything else really for that matter. I mean Jesu sort of flirted with things over the years that were very, very post-Godflesh, you know? I was very conscious of that and wanted to eradicate that stuff. I’ve been more conscious with what I’d been writing as Jesu, even the last Jesu album was born from Godflesh existing. It was the first Jesu record I’d made since Godflesh had existed, and for me it was a really great thing because it meant I could start to differentiate even more and on a higher level, you know, I could really try and separate things more distinctly. And the new Jesu material I’ve been working at is becoming even further away from anything that could be considered riff orientated, or have any relationship with Godflesh. I mean, Godflesh, again, the process is so single minded in a way, and that’s the way it should be. For me, it’s almost like making techno, and I don’t even mean in a broad sense, like an electronica sense. I mean techno as in getting down to very single, 4/4 beats, with very singular synths over the top, like a lot of my favourite techno records. Repetitive, with very few nuances and very singular, so the process is very functional. I’m not interested in this music being at all progressive – and that’s the great thing, I’ve seen a couple of reviews coming in already from people who clearly don’t have any conception of what Godflesh is, and they’re like ’every song’s the fucking same!’And that’s fine by me, that’s a fine criticism! [laughs] Great, yeah, it is! It should be, by design, it relates to itself. It’s self fulfilling, it’s a circle, a cycle. I’m not interested in making diverse Godflesh albums, I don’t want this to be diverse or progressive. This shit’s anti-progressive, you know what I mean?”

Its interesting you say that, because this record sounds very distinctly like Godflesh to me, but it doesnt really feel like youre just retreading those early albums, it definitely feels like a new record. But yeah, as you say, its hardly progressive!
Justin: “Yeah, that’s it! I mean, it’s not to say I don’t like progressive music or anything, but strangely, if I do study my listening habits, I do often to tend to listen to music that’s minimal mostly, or reduced. I’ve never been the greatest fan of, say, prog rock, I don’t come from that background. Ultimately, the first music that ever touched me as a kid was punk, essentially quite basic music, and I’ve never been into technicality for technicality’s sake. I mean, if someone’s fantastically or technically gifted, it’s very rarely of interest to me. It’s admirable, and all the rest of it, but I don’t consider myself at all, even remotely technically gifted, I’m not. I can’t play shit really, I can only play my shit! And often, that’s what I’m more into. Just making things progressive for progressive’s sake, or interesting, or technical, I’m not remotely interested in that. It’s just pure sound and texture for me and that’s it. It’s like you just said, going back to Godflesh, I never wanted it to be this nostalgic, regressive thing, I just wanted to tap into… Well, like you said, Godflesh still sounds like Godflesh, absolutely! And again, naysayers will probably level that as a criticism, as a negative thing. ‘Oh it just sounds like Godflesh!’ Well, who else sounds just like Godflesh? I think it would be fine, to use an example from hardcore, if it was yet another d–beat band, or if we just had a blueprint that was garnered from Discharge, for example – I mean, as we know, Discharge was a blueprint for seven million, trillion bands, there’s a million purveyors of that sound. And I love that blueprint! Discharge, for me, their early records are some of the best fucking music ever made, and yeah, it’s a blueprint. But Godflesh, yes, it’s influenced many people and there are those who attempted to mimic it, but I still feel that essentially, it’s a unique voice, you know? Why not make music that sounds like us? Why not do what we do? Like you say, for me, is true, we’re just tapping back into the cycle, we’re just back into the circle, we’re just continuing with it, but it’s not just a carbon copy of what we made in the past. But I’m sure, quite predictably, there’ll be those that say it is, but for me, if you feel that, then clearly you don’t get it, basically. And that’s fine as well! That’s all good.”

I was kind of almost surprised, just given some of your other work recently as JK Flesh and with Kevin Martin and so on, I was half suspecting this record to be even more electronic sounding than the older stuff, so it was almost a surprise to put it on and be like ‘oh wow, this just sounds like Godflesh!’
Justin: “Yeah, I was really conscious of that, and for me, the album ’Us And Them’ was very much an exploration of ’Godflesh meets every possible form of electronica that I was obsessed with in the late ’90s’, you know? It was an experiment that, for me, kind of half failed and was half successful, but I’ve never felt any need since for Godflesh to be such a fusion again. I mean, Godflesh is always informed and influenced by electronic music, definitely. It’s there.”

Oh, for sure.
Justin: “But it can be organically produced and reproduced with a guitar and bass, and the drum machine and the samples satisfy enough, really. It doesn’t need me to add drum’n’bass beats again, or 4/4 techno, or even to be really bold with its hip hop influences, they’re already there, you know? So for me it wasn’t sort of necessary and like you say, I’ve already got projects that explore that, like JK Flesh, absolutely. I mean, I’m working on JK Flesh right at this minute actually, just before our call I was working on something and still am. Again, thankfully, Godflesh has afforded that project to go even more electronic now, and explore the excesses and the dirt and the filth of the highly negative side of electronic dance music. That was sort of the point, but the first JK Flesh album, again, had a bit of a ghost of Godflesh there, just like when Jesu started. You know, it’s got riffs! But I’m slowly removing the guitar riffs from JK Flesh and, any guitars that are in there, I’m kind of focusing on the more abstract and highly dissonant side, and filtering it to make it sound more electronic. I’m also using synths and electronic instrumentation to replicate guitars instead, so that’s becoming more electronic now. Everything has its place, you know? I’m probably somewhat – and this will be viewed as a negative by some I guess – polarising projects even more, but I like that. I’m totally fascinated by singularity. I have a lot of faces clearly, I’m quite schizophrenic, but each thing, for me, has a very distinct, singular place.”

So the very fact of Godflesh existing again, do you think that helps the other projects? If the Godflesh influence that would crop up in those other projects is now filtered directly into Godflesh, do you think that allows you to explore the other projects more and push them into even further extremes?
Justin: “Absolutely, absolutely. I think Godflesh existing again has been a complete blessing for every other project that I have. Oh, well aside from Final – Final really exists in a vacuum, and it existed even before Godflesh, so I think that’s the one where there’s barely been any knock-on effect, really. That still does what it always has done, I think, and it’s probably one of my most diverse projects, in terms of its exploration of mood. Obviously, it’s still essentially a beatless music so it’ll never have a beat in there or anything, but I think that’s the only one that has had no knock-on effect, but pretty much everything else, yeah absolutely! Every other project has benefitted from Godflesh’s existence in a great, great way. The JK Flesh stuff I’m working on at the minute couldn’t be any more exciting because of Godflesh, because I really do not feel the need to have a riff in there, you know what I mean? I enjoyed the first JK Flesh album, you know, the ‘Posthuman’ thing, it was great and I really enjoyed welding riffs to this quite mutant exploration of electronica, but now I’ve removed that, JK Flesh is sounding even more disgusting. It’s great! It’s becoming more a marriage of power electronics and electronica now, which is great, it’s becoming more violent.”

I could kind of hear that already with the stuff on the Prurient split, the latter two tracks seemed much less riff based than the album and kind of pushed that noisier direction a little bit more.
Justin: “Yeah, bang on, basically. This mini album I’m working on is definitely leading on from that split with Prurient where it’s becoming more mutant, more fucking horrible and I’m loving it basically! [laughs] More perverse sounding, more disgusting, more bloated, more yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely! But simultaneously, really, really accessible rhythms, still driven by grooves, but yeah, it’s becoming nasty. I’m really, really excited by it at the moment.”

Awesome, cant wait to hear it!
Justin: “Yeah, that should be out really soon. Again, on Avalanche, my own label again, but this mini album is going to lead up to a full album, due out next year, but this mini album, it won’t even be distributed. It’ll just be through my label, website and Bandcamp, on really limited vinyl and CD and then digital. The digital will go through all the usual major platforms, but yeah, I’m just going to release the vinyl and CD as highly limited through Bandcamp and the Avalanche website. The full album next year will be completely properly distributed etc etc, though. That should hopefully be coming in late November, the mini album, and then the new album probably mid next year, I imagine.”

Godflesh will be playing the following UK dates this December:

Tue 09.12.14 The Haunt Brighton
Wed 10.12.14 Garage London
Thu 11.12.14 Rescue Rooms Nottingham
Fri 12.12.14 Sound Control Manchester
Sat 13.12.14 Art School Glasgow

‘A World Lit Only By Fire’ is out now via Avalanche.

You can find Godflesh on Facebook.

About Kez Whelan

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