"If we were in the 1700's we'd probably be burned at the stake," laughs Godflesh guitarist/vocalist Justin Broadrick. Less than 12 hours ago, he had been covered in cow's blood for a sequence in the closing scene for the band's "Crush My Soul" video. Shot by controversial photographer Andres Serrano, who insisted on using real blood, the video bluntly sums up the group's visceral artistic vision.
"I feel that music should hit you full on in every way imaginable," says Broadrick, "If it's a passive experience, I don't want to know about it."
There's nothing passive about the way Godflesh mix dense, sludgy riffs and piercing slivers of feedback w/ bloated basslines, barked vocals and battering-ram drum machines. Since 1988, the band have been instrumental in shaping the apocalyptic course of industrial metal, inspiring a legion of imitators along the way. But while Godflesh are undeniably heavy and oppressive, Broadrick insists the ban's music is not malevolent. "What we do isn't about crushing people, it's about being crushed," he says. "To me, the world is absolutely overwhelming. I feel like a scared, withered, tiny individual, and sometimes we like to remind people how insignifican we all are."
Godflesh's new album, Selfless, is raw and savage, spitting out clipped bursts of mechanized noise w/ brute efficiency. It's trudging rhythms and repetitive riffs are also strangely intoxicating. "There's a real beauty to brutality," explains Broadrick. "Even the most graphic violence can be beautiful if it's presented in an artistic way."