By Alexander Sievers
Metal music and anti-religious themes go hand in hand like social justice warriors and Tumblr. Brisbane death metal outfit, A Night In Texas, are definitely a band that doesn’t enjoy or partake in the establishment of religion. Aside from their spiritual beliefs, the band is creating a shorter, more intense brand of death metal, as evident on their latest full-length, The God Delusion. So now that the album is out, I had a chat with the bands guitarist/producer, Cory Judd.
Now, if the title of their new album sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a best-selling release from English writer and avid higher power denier, Richard Dawkins. Now to the question – was this title selected because it suits the name of an album released by a death metal band, or because the band read the book and were influenced by its message? It’s more of the latter according Cory, with the added plus of sounding cool.
“We are definitely inspired by it. We’ve all read the book; all watched a lot of documentaries, but conceptually not really. The album for us is about self-empowerment, and while not direct Satanism, there’s definitely some of the policies they live by which are more applicable to every day life then most other religions.”
Most people will probably snort at the idea of Satanism, think they’re a metal band so they must already dig that sort of thing, and yet the stigma and misconceptions surrounding the theology only reinforce these ideas. Obviously A Night In Texas aren’t some robe-wearing, pentagram drawing, animal sacrificing band wearing face paint in the middle of the night in basements and abandoned buildings, but rather a bunch of average dudes who believe in doing everything for yourself, and not because a higher power dictates their set of morals.
“There are definitely negative connotations attached to Satanism. Now none of us in the band are Satanists, we’re completely atheist and agnostic but I know people will misinterpret the album. The way it’s basically written is from the perspective of Satan. Satan himself narrates the story, and if you go through the album from start to finish, it takes you down the steps that the book goes by. It’s all about that self-empowerment. Satanism is all about being your own God – your own individual. You do not need to take your morals from any specific religion.”
Bear that in mind before you get all uppity about Satanism. Now, one thing I hate with a fucking passion are the long song lengths that some metal bands go for. Eventually it all starts to grate on the ears and what was once exciting is now a slog to get through once the five-minute mark starts to come around. A Night In Texas have slapped this premise in the face and refused to take its bullshit as most of the songs on The God Delusion fit well under the three-minute margin, with the longest song is just over four minutes long. Cory explains that it’s more a matter of getting everything out of the way and moving on with the music.
“When I wrote a lot of the songs, I had in mind that most people who’ll be listening to it would be younger and would probably have shorter attention spans. So we had to get to the point you know? To get to the fast riffs, get to the blast beats, get to the breakdowns, and people should finish the song going “That was over quickly, but it was really good”, you know? Make sure you get to the point.”
Song longevity is an issue that faces a lot of black and death metal bands. Most want to create these massive, epic songs but rarely is it engaging enough for the listener the whole way through when it suddenly becomes a chore to listen to. Cory agrees and admits the band like to keep things structured.
“If you look at a lot of our songs, there is a structured feel to them. There’s verses, there’s choruses, there’s repetition, and I think if you can have that and not have it be boring for the listener, then you don’t really need to write five minute long songs.”
Oh, thank God! As most of you will know, being in a band is more often then not, one big expense after another. What shouldn’t be expensive is reaching the fans that are already following you online, yet that’s exactly what Facebook is doing. Some do okay without the boosting of statuses whereas others desperately need it. The guitarist weighed in on this topic, which has even seen a change.org petition calling for Facebook to change its policies.
“We all use the site and it’s like, how much more money can they make? It’s just complete capitalism. They’re pinching every single penny off us – we spend so much money. Facebook is one of the only suitable platforms for musicians to interact with their fans and get their music out there. We pay for all of our posts just to get them out there more, and now they’ve reduced the reach on the amount you’re paying; – it’s just really unfair and uncalled for, I think. Hopefully they fix it soon because the scene is getting outraged.”
The God Delusion is out now via Shock Records.