gf- hi, justin, how are you?
justin broadrick- okay.
gf- where are you calling from?
jb- at home in england.
gf- in birmingham?
jb- i don't live in birmingham anymore. i live about 60 miles away... so i'm a little bit away from there. i moved out of birmingham about 2 years ago.
gf - i guess the first question I want to ask you is what happened to the whole columbia deal?
jb- ahh... i wish that was a long story but it isn't[laughs]. umm. i mean basically, yeah, we did selfless, we did a tour, we did a video-- a video which promptly got sort of banned everywhere in america.
gf- i never saw it...
jb- yeah, i can believe it. which is a real shame, though. we're so proud of that video. it was the best thing we'd ever done visually... ever. but it wasn't done by us-- it was done by andres serrano[infamous artist whose work was banned by Senator Jesse Helms for pieces like Pisschrist]. he's absolutely mind-blowing... and then mtv viewed it and they were like, no chance. and then what they did was they made serrano edit it. and we went through about 10 edits, no joke... and they still turned it down. so of course columbia was getting a bit pissed about the fact that things weren't going quite as smoothly as they required. and then when we didn't become the new nine inch nails or whatever they thought we were going to be, they sort of dropped us, really. it really was as simple as that. it was all about that whole game with major labels they just want to get quick turnovers and all this sort of business, you know?. and we knew when we went there we recognized the fact that... we were taking them for a ride more than they were taking us. we just knew for a fact that we weren't going to be the new nine inch nails [laughs].
gf- well, you guys are way better than that anyway, so...
jb- yeah, i'd agree with that one.
[laughter resounds on both sides of the atlantic]
gf- didn't they [columbia] give you money to buy a studio or something?
jb- oh, yeah.
gf- did they let you keep it?
jb- oh, god, yeah. thank god it does work like that in this business. i mean, with major labels, when they do things like that and dish out quite a lot of money, it turns into a tax loss, you know? so, it sort of saves them money almost, they've got that much money, these people. yeah, for us it was brilliant-- that's why i say we took them for a ride, if you know what i mean. we got more shit out of it than they did.
gf- you ended up buying like a 16-track digital with that, right?
jb- well, yeah, like a 24-track digital setup...
gf- oh my god! that's perfect for you guys!
jb- yeah super-duper desk, and loads of all the required effects... all the business, really, i guess. everything that we could have wanted at the time. this was... it was 3 years ago when we got the money. it was brilliant at the time. then we made the album and then it was just quite obvious that... it[selfless] wasn't going to be what they required it should be, you know what i mean? but really-- it was a bit of a disaster for them; for us it was good because we got the money and the studio so we were like, "yeah, great!" i'm quite attracted to the idea of taking money off of major labels, you know what i mean. if they weren't giving it to us, they'd be giving it some real shit band, you know? so as far as i'm concerned it does bands like us a lot of good.
gf- definitely better that godflesh got the money.
jb- yeah, too, right? i mean at least bands like us are interested in, you know... it isn't just like we just make a record-- we're interested in the whole process, you know what i mean? you know, we produce it ourselves and record it ourselves. i think they thought that it was pretty novel, initially, that here's a band who want to do it all themselves. let's give them some money and see what they do. and it worked out to plan, really, for us... apart from getting dropped [laughs]. but i mean we were sort of ready for it, but we still thought they did it really badly. they said that they were going to take the next option so, as far as we were concerned it was still happening, you know? we were sort of banking on the rest of the money and all this business and all of the sudden we found out in a really bad way that we'd been dropped. and they sort of dropped us in the shit, financially, and everything for quite awhile, really. but we got it sorted and things worked out well, basically.
gf- what happened with that whole danzig tour... because godflesh was supposed to come back and headline and then put out a home video, but these never happened.
jb- that goes back to the columbia thing again, really. when we made the video and did the danzig/type o negative thing... sort of finished all that and into that christmas.... and then as far as we were concerned as soon as soon as it hit the new year we'd be back in town, you know? and then we were saying to columbia, "oh, we'll either come back and headline or maybe do another support" and at the same time.. you know, Primus? well, we know them pretty well and they hung out with the guy who did the drums for godflesh all the time, basically. primus was like, "Come back and support us..."
gf- you're kidding! you and Primus?!
jb- yeah, yeah. and we were like, "Great! this'll be a great tour." it should have been about february of '95. so we were like, "Yeah great, okay, all we need to do is get the tour support." so we went to columbia, and that was when they started being really funny. they turned back and said, "look, we're not going to give you any more tour support." and we were like, "well, if you don't give us tour support we can't come out and play, but you want us to come and play to sell you records", you know? which is the way it works anyway. so, basically, we knew then that something was going wrong, you know what i mean? we thought, "well if they don't want us to come back and tour, there's a problem here", you know? so, we said, "well, why don't we come back and we'll headline or do something like that, but we'll still need money." and they started being really funny about money. and then we just got the silent treatment and it got all fucked up, so we were like, "oh, fuck it. let's just wait a bit and see what happens." then of course we got dropped so we were like, "oh shit, we're back to square one." so we couldn't come back thanks to columbia turning down giving us tour support. so it got really out of hand, you know what i mean?
gf- i was really looking forward to you coming back and headlining and just the fact that you would have been playing with Primus is absolutely fucking terrific.
jb- a lot of people said the same thing. it would have been a really good deal. and Primus really wanted us as well-- it would have worked out really good, that tour. and we were psyched for it, but then when columbia just pissed and said, "No, no, we're not going to give you the money" it was like, "well this is a bit hypocritical, isn't it, you know? it's like one minute you're throwing money at the wall and the next minute you're not bothering. so, consequently, it was just like, "end of story there", basically. so, i mean we were real upset about it, but now were trying to work out what we can do. because as far as we're concerned we owe it to our fans in america and to our selves to actually come out and finally do more than thirty minutes on a stage, you know what i'm saying?
gf- i think you guys only did 4 songs the last time you were here[with danzig & type o].
jb- it worked out that we got about 30 minutes. which works out anywhere between 4 and 6 songs. it was usually about 6 songs a night which is a real piss-off, you know?
gf- when you walked off i was like, "wait, where are the monitors; that's it?!" because godflesh was supposed to have this whole visual set-up... i was so disappointed.
jb- yeah, we should've had the visuals as well on that tour, but that went pretty wrong as well, basically. i mean, there's a lot of, like, political bullshit that goes on when you're supporting big bands and... did you check danzig, because he had this big scary face behind him. so we couldn't use our films because he had his scary face, you know what i mean? the organization won't let you put up a shape to show your films if there's a big backdrop; and we were the support band; and we were first on. that's why we won't come back to the States and be the opening band again. you have to do a shit amount of songs, you can't have your full set-up, and also, you just disappoint people, you know? it's not like godflesh comes to America frequently, let's face it.
gf- you have too many good albums not to do more than 30 minutes-- too much material.
jb- exactly. and we owe it to people, i think as well, you know. people have invested a lot of time in the band and it's really nice to just do it on our own terms, really. which is what this album[Songs of Love And Hate] is gearing up to, which is good. everybody's talking about supports and stuff again, but we're just refusing to do openings this time. 'cause we're just saying to people, "look, we don't come over and tour a lot, so we want to do what's good and right at the right time", really. so, we're gearing up to headline this time, basically.
gf- i heard you were going to tour with Ministry or Meat Beat Manifesto.
jb- just before the new album came out, about 2 months ago, we toured with ministry in europe. and that was really, really good. we were the main support, you know? it was just ministry and godflesh. that was a healthy tour. we did that and we sort of hoped that ministry was going to come out again in the Fall in the States. and if so, we would've went out with them, but ministry turned around on the tour and said that they're not going to tour for 2 years. so it was like, "okay, end of that one." and for this album we've been offered... i mean, yeah, the first was MBM, but we just didn't think it was that appropriate, really.
i love MBM... well, years ago i thought they were one of the best new bands, you can imagine. these days, they're still good, obviously, but we didn't think it was that much of an appropriate tour, if you know what i mean. if we're going to have someone support now, we'd rather the band be really big, you know. and they still aren't that big in the States. it's not like we'd draw thousands every night-- it'd be more like a thousand between us, so it'd still be better for us to just come over and headline. type o negative wanted us again, but i don't know how appropriate that is either, really. i mean we really get on with the band after we did that tour.
gf- so you like them?
jb- well, they're a friendly band. entertaining and interesting people. and they love godflesh-- they're massive fans of the band, especially pete steele. he loves the band. so they wanted us out there again, but we still think, again, it's inappropriate. and then, it looks like pantera want us as well.
gf- oh, god.
jb- i know, it just gets weird. we can never find a dead-right tour, you know? we don't want to come out and just play with everyone, which is what agencies would like us to do. if it was up to the agencies we'd be in the states now supporting everyone and anyone who'd care to have us. which is only fair i guess at the end of the day, but for us, we love playing shows but we don't like touring, if you know what i mean? we love the time you get on the stage to play , but not the shit you have to do in between, which is the annoying thing, really. so we always like to do exactly what we think we should do.
gf- so who is godflesh going to take in support?
jb- that's the big mystery at the moment-- we haven't got a clue, we really haven't. i keep thinking about this like, "who can come out with us?" we're just stumped. we'd rather have something not much like us, really. something a bit different. we've been considering dj's and all this sort of stuff. just to try something a bit more different and turn it into something a bit more besides a rock show. but we're still thinking on that one-- it isn't sorted yet at all.
gf- i'd imagine it must be hard [getting a good support act] considering that godflesh's sound changes on every album. with pantera, you're just getting metal, or with danzig you're just getting schlock/horror. but you guys have something different to offer.
jb- it's easy to put godflesh in many places, but hard to make a choice, i guess. but it's either one or the other: either metal bands want us or schlocky/horror stuff... or more sort of typical industrial things. and we don't really fit in with any of it, if you know what i mean.
gf- as soon as your album came out i figured you were going to tour with danzig again, since he always comes out for halloween.
jb- i don't think he'll ask us again, because after that tour... you know he asked me to join the band?
jb- yeah, 'cause john christ isn't there anymore...
gf- that's right-- and the bass player[eerie von] is gone too, i think. so, he asked you to join?
jb- he asked me to join the fucking band.
gf- that's unbelievable!
jb- yeah. but basically, he asked me to join in the context of "goodbye, godflesh." and obviously there's no way that we're going to sacrifice it all.
gf- yeah, danzig's a nice guy, but he's on his way out; he's more in the line of type o negative that anything else. you guys are too innovative. you don't deserve to be a pawn, which is probably why john christ left.
jb- exactly. that's exactly what it would've been like. you know, he wanted me for my style and all this sort of business, but he'd still be shooting the orders, obviously; which is... i could do that in a project situation or something like that, but i can't really do it in a full band. you know immediately he [danzig] had his manager on the phone-- he's like guns-n-roses' manager, you know, like this big-time dude, "hey justin, we'll do anything for you, man-- any money, anything you want..." and all this business. it was like being dangled a golden carrot, you know?
he wanted my style, but he wanted to sort of manipulate it. anyone in a big position can have that power-- they can take who they want and then manipulate them, but i wasn't willing to play games, basically. which is really funny, because glenn phoned me up himself in the end, besides his manager, saying, "come on, man. come on and do it" and "we'll do this and we'll do that" and all this sort of stuff. but one day, i actually found his manager and said, "ah, nah. i'd do it if i could record just a bit for his new album, but i can't tour with the band." and he said, "oh, i'll get back to you on that one, then" but they never got back in touch. no big loss, though, because if godflesh had to go then fuck it. nothing would go for that.
gf- do you have any idea as to when you'll be hitting the States?
jb- we would've been coming out before the end of this year. and we still hope so, but the way it's going at the moment, we aren't sure. purely for the fact that... you now the guy you saw drumming with us before?
gf- Brain, right[brian mantia]?
jb- yeah. he's really untouchable. and basically for us, he's really made this album. but he does so much stuff, he's away in many different places all the time, and what we're trying to do at the moment is just, literally, get ahold of him to work out the tour... and we can't find him. we don't know where the fuck the guy is. he's not at home and we can't get ahold of him, and i've sent letters and everything.
gf- so is he a permanent member or...?
jb- well, he has a relationship where he sort of does what he wants. and we sort of let him do that because we like him so much. but the problem is that we knew we'd come to a problem and this is it now. it's happening at this very moment, basically. we knew that in the summer he was in hawaii for 2 months. and he was working as in... 'cause what he does is drums for a living-- he's a session drummer. but with us he's not. he's with because he likes the band and all the rest of it. but he's a high-earning session drummer. he doesn't have to come out with godflesh to earn a living. so what he wants to do is up to him by choice. and we won't replace him, because we love the guy and we want him with us in whatever we do from now on. so we're just praying that any day now he'll be on the phone, and we'll be like, "yo, bro, let's get this shit together" you know? and he's over in san francisco as well, so he's like 5,000 miles away. it's sometimes hard when you've got a member of the band who's 5,000 miles away.
gf- did he help with the writing on any of the new songs?
jb- well... i always write the core. brain recorded in san francisco and we recorded the rest of the album here. so we sort of initiated things. i mean, i always write the basics of all the songs and we sent him over the tapes with the drum machine parts and samples and loops and all that shit. and we just let him go off and add/create next to the drum parts. and he basically follows and adds little bits and pieces. and it just builds from there, really. then the tapes come back to us and we added more stuff and then did the finished mixes. and the whole process took about 2 months, really.
gf- didn't selfless take 2 months to record as well?
jb- i think it maybe took a bit longer, you know? from what i can remember, 'cause we were working on selfless for quite awhile, 'cause we'd only just got the studio. with selfless, we were really still learning a lot with the studio. i mean, we'd had our own smaller studio for quite awhile, until getting the columbia deal, but when that happened it was like, "alright we can get a big big-ass fucker" and that's when we really took off. the thing with selfless was we mixed the album then we sort of went away for a little while-- i can't remember what we did-- then we came back, listened to it, and we weren't happy, so we re-mixed about half of it. that's why selfless took a little while, but with this album it was pretty quick really.
gf- are there any b-sides/remixes for this album, because i know on the last one you had a "crush my soul" and "xnoybis" remixes.
jb- what we want to do with this album is, but i haven't talked this out with earache yet-- i've gotta work it out (probably because touring is the big thing at the moment), but i actually want to remix the whole album. and it's going to be called Songs of Love and Hate In Dub, which makes it sound like some really old sort of record. not like a modern sort of "hey, super-duper remixes", more like an old school-sounding thing, really. and i want to remix the whole album over the full length of a single CD, like 78 minutes.
gf- what i find a lot of godflesh fans asking me is if you'll ever release the other, seldom seen remixes, like "pure/spite" and the acoustic version of "empyreal". and what about the really rare "love is a dog from hell" and "my own light"?
jb- we've been kicking this around for 2 years now. we want to put out a heavy compilation with loads of stuff on it. 'cause we did this radio show-- Radio 1 in england. but there's a really good show called john peel. and we did a john peel session once which was never released. and it's a really brilliant session; we did it years ago... from about 1989. and there's a version of "pulp" on there from streetcleaner which is like 10 minutes-- and it's like super over-the-top. all this stuff we've wanted to group together on one record, but with earache we always mention it and it's like, "yeah, yeah, it sounds good but let's get on with what we're doing at the moment."
we want to do something really big, something really special. we will do it, but i guess it'll be when the next work schedule comes up. we wanted to do something with a really big booklet inside it as well. as you know the new album's actually got the lyrics on it. so I wanted to include the lyrics to every godflesh song in this book. 'cause i've been reading some of the lyrics that other people have been getting from the songs and it's just totally messed up, what they think i'm singing. so to kind of clear the air, i'm going to include all the lyrics from all the songs.
gf- what about headdirt, that's your label, right?
jb- umm... i've sort of packed it in, but i'm trying to get the Fall Of Because album together again at the moment. i'm talking to some people in america about getting a good licensing deal for it. i don't want it to come out really small; i'd rather it come out and people not have to search for it.
gf- have you got any new side project material coming out?
jb- oh, yeah, there's a ton of stuff already out and coming out. umm... let's see, there's another Final album out called Two; there's a new Techno Animal album out [Babylon Seeker] on Virgin Records. that may take awhile to get to the States, i'm not sure. there's a project called Sidewinder that's got an album, Colonize, coming out. Ice has a new album coming out. i'd really recommend the Ice album.
gf- so when godflesh tours, can we expect to see any of your side projects live?
jb- oh, yeah. i mean how often does godflesh come to new york?