"I think hip-hop is more important than any sort of rock music," states a resolved Justin Broadrick matter-of-factly. "Most of the beats are fatter and heavier than your average rock 'n roll riff"
Justin is the head of one of our planet's most brutal ensembles. England's Godflesh plows monolithic basslines and ear-searing guitar riffs over the most brutal breaks available. Their sound has been pummeling eardrums for nearly a decade now, and most of their fans don't even get where the music is comming from. You see, Justin is a total hip-hop junkie.
Not realizing what a hip-hop head Justin is, people tend to miss the low-key references to the genre in Godflesh's music. Break-beats have constantly cropped up throughout their history. Their latest disc of remixes, called Love and Hate in Dub (which consists of remixed versions of songs from their last record, Song of Love and Hate), kicks off with a clever KRS-One sample, and tons of Godflesh fans completely miss it. "Some people even think that it's me, " laughs Justin, "And I'm like, 'Yeah right!'"
"I've done lots of interviews with these metal magizines and they're really confronted by the hip-hop thinglike, 'What the fuck is this??' They don't even get it that I'm really into hip-hop."
And he is. Justin can ramble on all day about the finer points of the Wu-Tang Clan's lyrical prowess of the virtues of a solid Premiere instrumental or how El-P from Company Flow is guesting on on of his side-projects next records ( a new LP by Justin and Kevin Martin's Ice, which also features DJ Vadium and members of New Kingdom)-not exactly knowledged Godflesh fans expect their leader to regurgitate so readily.
"I mean given the choice between Venom, Emperor or some other black metal band and KRS-One, Jeru, or the Wu-Tang, you'll know which side I'll pick. You'd say the same thing yourself," he says laughing.
In fact if justin could have had his way, LaHiD would've been blessed with his favorite hip-hop gods. Orginally he wanted to get hip-hop's top producers to remix the songs.
"Ultimately. we'd want people who were so out of our context that, first of all, it would've cost us loads of money." Justin explains. "I mean, we'd love to get people like DJ Premiere, RZA, and a lot of European drum 'n bass, break-beat sort of people as well, but the big stumbleing block is that we just don't have that sort of label support behind us at this point. These days, we have to be much more self-sufficient." Since Earache couldn't really pay the fees for the RZA erector or Primo, Justin was resolved to do the mixes himself. "we have our own bastardized idea of whatr we can do hip-hop-wise anyway. It comes out even more perverted this way."
Godflesh, which includes the mild-mannered Benny Green on bass, and Brian Mantia (now of Primus) and Ted Parsons (ex-Swans, Prong) switching out on drums, has always pushed limits in one direction or another. 1989's Streetcleaner is the seminal industrial-metal hybrid sound that bans all over the world are still trying to recreate-and Godflesh evolving and innovating since and has never looked back. Five full-lengths and two EP's later, Justin is still trying to shed Godflesh's metal skin.
"All of these metal magizines are so pissed off at the way that metal has been treated that they don't even want to take a look at something like hip-hop," says Justin, noticeably frustrated. "They think that it's a world away from where they are. I try to stress to them that I've always hated metal. I've just used and abused it. I'm not from that background at all. I've never, ever been some sort of metal guy. I think people like to think that before we made Streetcleaner we were some long-hair band who'd just discovered industrial music, when that's not the case at all. The first music I was into was punk rock. It's so hard to convey these ideas to these people . They always come to me with how Metal should go back to what ist was in the eighties, and I'm like, 'Bloddy hell!!' I've always found metal rather conservative."
Next-up for Justin and Godflesh is their last full-length for Earache is the States ( their contract with Earache in the US expires after one more proper release), and Justin plans on moving on with a bang. He want to drop a double-CD worth of body-breaking beats on the public.
"I've really been inspired by Wu-Tang," Justin explains. "I like the idea of bombardig people with so much at once!"