Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan On A New Record, New Bandmates, and Summer Slaughter Tours!!

At the very end of the summer I was able to sit down with Travis Ryan, vocalist for CATTLE DECAPITATION. This was done at work, so you guessed it, it’s another episode of Hiding in a Broom Closet Interviews. But that’s part of the thrill, right? Anyway, we were able to talk about how the new album is progressing, the big announcement they dropped just a few hours before our scheduled call, and more. Check it:

Amps: You made a pretty big announcement this morning, huh?

Travis: Yes we did. Sorry we didn’t alert you guys in the press before today’s interviews. We added two new band members.

Belisario Dimuzio from EUKARYST on guitars and Olivier Pinard (CRYPTOPSY) on bass. We’re really excited to have them in the band as full-time members, and on the next album. This is the new line-up going forward.

Amps: Last time I saw you was the 2015 Summer Slaughter Tour and you guys crushed it in Philly!

Travis: Thanks, man. The Troc is a hard place to play. The crowd is a mix of some dudes standing there arms crossed, and others going crazy. Then you have those guys doing that hardcore fuck you horseshoe-dancing. I really like the venue but sometimes it’s a weird vibe in there. It’s not like it was back in the early 90’s.

Amps: I agree 100%. Speaking of the next record…can you give me a ballpark figure as to when you think it’s coming?

Travis: It’s most likely fall of 2019, just because we needed a good year just to write the record. We got off to a late start because we gave ourselves some extra time. The way the vinyl industry is bogged down with all kinds of Record Store Day releases and a lot of bands dipping into old re-issues, it holds up the process.

In my opinion nowadays if you’re smart you’ll release the vinyl as soon as you put out the other media as well. That’s just my opinion. With that said you’ve gotta wait for the vinyl to get pressed.

That’s basically the yardstick for when your album will come out. It can be anywhere from five to six months for a bigger label like Metal Blade, you know?

The waiting kills us, believe me. We spend a year on something, we live with it, perfect it, master it, and by the time it comes out we’re sick of our own fucking record (laughs)! Then we go play it on the road for another two years. Plus, we don’t want our record to come out the same time as some big-ass band either, you know?

Amps: The Anthropocene Extinction was an absolute home run anyway. That’s still in pretty heavy rotation here at A&GS HQ, so I can wait. I’m patient.

Travis: Rad. That was a great summer for metal releases.

Amps: Tell me about the tour you’re doing with SUFFOCATION.

Travis: Yeah man, that’s gonna be kickass! We’re gonna be at Reverb in November. Everybody keeps talking about that one.

Amps: Because Reverb is an awesome venue, that’s why. The staff is awesome, drinks aren’t expensive, and the beer is ice cold. I love, love, love going to shows there!

Travis: We’re really stoked on this package. It’s such a great line-up.

Amps: That’s where I think Summer Slaughter kind of got it wrong these past couple of years, for lack of a better term. It just feels like having more bands like you guys, SUFFOCATION, and the heavier ones on the bill would bring more people out. I know they wanna be diverse, and I enjoy that, but here in Philly we had maaaaybe 50 people.

Travis: Dude, I’ve heard about it all summer. The thing about that tour is, I’ve noticed a trend. And that’s this: one year it’s really brutal, and really extreme bands that have a little bit of something else peppered throughout.

And then they flip-flop the next year. It’s those “something else” kind of bands mostly, with a couple brutal acts peppered throughout. We played two of those years, and we also played the first one. I don’t know why more people aren’t recognizing that trend. I personally think it keeps things interesting.

Amps: Oh, absolutely. I go every year. I see the bands I want, and don’t stay for the ones I don’t like. The internet was vicious when this year’s line-up was announced. “Don’t like it?” Then don’t go!” is my attitude.

Travis: Right. I mean, it’s called Summer Slaughter for a reason, and it bills itself as the most extreme tour of the year. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the whole bill’s gonna be Brutal Death Metal. While that makes up a lot of modern metal, so does Deathcore, Metalcore, and others. Also, it’s Sumerian’s tour so it will be heavy on the Sumerian bands. What I’ve always admired about it is that they do take chances. The people who take to the internet just to trash it make me laugh. Get a life, you know?

Amps: Back to the new stuff, about how much of the record is done?

Travis: We’re five songs in. I’m way behind on my lyrics (laughs), and I’ve been dealing with a lot of other things. It’s moving along. We’ve got studio time booked for next spring. I think a lot of people assumed that when we said on last tour, “We’re gonna go home and start writing!”, and it’s true, but we also had an Australian run that came up. After that we started writing, and it’s been a little bit of a slower process than usual this time around. But I can write pretty quickly when I want to. I’ve got a file full of 120 potential song titles to be used in the future that I constantly keep in my phone.

Amps: What are you listening to nowadays?

Travis: I’m all over the place. I like a lot of music from other countries like India, Turkey, Cambodia. I’m into weird shit. The Sky Over by VOID OF SILENCE is my album of the year. They’re phenomenal Doom/Funeral Doom from Italy, but the music is very cinematic and gorgeous. They should be doing soundtracks for major motion pictures.

Amps: What do you want to say to all the CATTLE DECAPITATION fans out there in the world?

Travis: Sorry it’s gonna take so long to get you guys our new music. But we’re working on it, and we’re gonna make it happen. Look for us to come back stronger than ever. It’s gonna be fuckin’ sick!

Since this interview was recorded the band released rarities collection Medium Rarities on Metal Blade Records, featuring tracks from the pre-Human Jerky period and some other cool tunes as well. So definitely pick that up if you haven’t already. I did not make it to the tour with SUFFOCATION last month, but my spies who did said it was killer, so hopefully some of you made it out for that. In the meantime I can’t wait for some new CATTLE DECAPITATION music, and I know you can’t either!

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