Napalm Death - Godflesh - Techno Animal - Jesu - Pale Sketcher Page 9

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JUSTIN BROADRICK - Napalm Death - Godflesh - Techno Animal - Jesu - Pale Sketcher Page 9
By Dimitri Nasrallah2000 to 2002
"In some ways my life had been relatively accelerated," says Broadrick about his music and career at around the turn of the century. "A lot of people have their mid-life crisis around 40, 45, and I think I had mine at 31. Which makes sense, because I started doping everything at such a young age. Many personal things happened at that point, many musical things."
In 2000, Godflesh enters the studio to start recording their seventh album, Hymns, but Broadrick and Green have trouble deciding where to take the band next. "Even during the recording of that last Godflesh album," Broadrick says later in an interview with Magnet magazine, "I was already aware of Godflesh's mortality. Though I enjoyed a good amount of the album, I still felt a bit restricted. I started doing a lot of stuff during the recording of that album where I really trying to get past the limitations of Godflesh, which were self-created."
To overcome the session's growing restrictions on their creativity, they bring in ex-Prong and Swans drummer Ted Parsons to replace Godflesh's signature drum machine. Even though the sessions prove pleasant enough and the band is mostly happy with the songs they've written for Hymns, the live drumming ends up alienating Broadrick and Green from the sound of their band even more. "But I wasn't entirely sure what we were trying to achieve any more by then," Broadrick tells Quietus. "It should have been a different band towards the end really."
Among the songs recorded for Hymns is one called "Jesu", which in hindsight Broadrick sees as part of a burgeoning desire to start fresh in another direction. "I had this fantasy during the making of the Godflesh album that I had this new band called Jesu," he tells Magnet. "I was writing the song at the time and couldn't come up with a title so I called that song 'Jesu.' A lot of times I use titles, which I could be tempted to use as a band name."
Shortly after the Hymn sessions wrap up, Ben Green decides that after 13 years the time has come for him to leave the band. "He wanted to leave because he'd spent too many years on the road and didn't want to tour anymore," says Broadrick. But Godflesh is already booked for a major European tour opening for Fear Factory, which is due to begin in two weeks' time. "I was in a complete and total dilemma, wondering if this is where we pack it in," Broadrick tells Decibel magazine in 2005.
Bound by commitments, Broadrick has no choice but to keep the band going. He hits the road with Ted Parsons and bassist Paul Raven, another ex-Prong member who has also done time in Killing Joke. But a week into the tour, Broadrick tells Decibel, "I was like, 'This is all wrong.' Raven is a fantastic bass player, but it just wasn't Benny, who I had been playing with for 13 years and was a whole part of what Godflesh was. It really started to get me down, and I knew it was the fucking end."
The pressure keeps mounting. With Godflesh in the middle of their European tour, a North American headlining tour is already being planned and booked without Broadrick's input. "I felt things were out of my control," he tells Decibel. "When the European tour finished, I felt really disoriented and disengaged from the whole experience. I told Ted and Raven and they were like, 'The tour is on paper. If you want to do any soul-searching, we suggest you do it after the American tour.'"
To make matters worse, Broadrick and his girlfriend of 13 years also break up at this point, sending his into a mental tailspin that results in what he refers to as a "Brian Wilson job." "I literally didn't get on the plane to leave for the tour," he tells Decibel. "I couldn't even get out of bed. I was just paralyzed by the stress, anguish and the thinking that this was the end of something that's been mine for 13 or 14 years."
Instead, he takes a flight back to Birmingham, where he hides from the world at a friend's house. With the North American tour already paid for and abruptly cancelled, everyone from opening bands High on Fire and Halo to equipment companies and promoters comes after Broadrick looking to recoup lost money. "I split Godflesh up really badly, " he says, "and it fucked me up financially." As Broadrick loses his house and practically every other valuable asset in his name, he slips into heavy drinking.
We finished Techno Animal around that time as well," Broadrick says. "Kevin started doing the Bug, which I was really supportive of. I felt he needed to do something on his as well. And because I'd reached a bit of a peak in my life and then dropped off the edge of cliff, it was basically time to go it alone. So we split Techno Animal, split Godflesh, and I just tried to get my life back together as an artist."
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nice work mr Nasrallah, great story, long live Justin!
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really nice interview, thank you!
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Article Published In Sep 10 Issue