Published Sep 30, 2011In 2009, when NYC grind masters Brutal Truth released their first new album since their 2006 reformation, Evolution Through Revolution, the band proved they could still create some of the most grimy, visceral gindcore the world has ever heard. Now, with their follow-up, End Time, the pioneering act toss in some new dynamics, and as the group's Danny Lilker explains in an interview with Exclaim!, an overarching apocalyptic theme ties the record together.
"It's not a very uplifting record; it's kind of just stuff about how the world's going to end," he says. "I mean there's different things contributing to that, just the Earth itself, all the crazy shit happening with the weather and then just certain apocalyptic politicians; people who are a little too involved with going to church every Sunday and they get a little reckless and they don't give a shit what happens because of the rapture and all that. So, it doesn't make you too confident about the longevity of the world."
Lyrically, politics has been the primary subject matter Brutal Truth have been drawn to. But Lilker says he wouldn't call themselves a political band. "We've always been politically aware and had sociopolitical lyrics, and yeah, we are continuing with that. We're not going to switch it up now and start writing goregrind or anything," he laughs. "A lot of early grindcore was political/sociopolitical in nature, and that's something that we've always had and will continue to have."
While the message that Brutal Truth convey is as important to the band as the music, Lilker explains that he doesn't mind if people aren't thought-provoked by the lyrics. "We realize that a lot of people that come down to our shows just come to check us out because we're fast as fuck, you know? I'm not going to be disappointed if somebody comes down to see us play and just enjoys the intensity and doesn't get something out of the lyrics.
"I'd say it would be good if the lyrics were as important as the music, but if they aren't and if somebody comes down to our show just because we're totally intense, then that's fine with me too, it doesn't matter to me."
And while End Time certainly is intense, it also showcases some different dynamics from Brutal Truth, with a few slower-paced, sludge-esque tracks, such as "Warm Embrace of Poverty."
"It's interesting, I think that when we did Evolution, we had to come back and show the world Brutal Truth are back and we're not fucking around," Lilker explains. "So maybe on this record, we're still going to have all the complete intensity, but maybe we decided to mix it up a little bit just for ourselves, just to go 'Okay, we've got nothing to prove this time, we showed the world that we're back and we're fuckin' loaded for bear, so this time let's throw a little bit more mid-tempo and sludgy stuff in.'"
Lilker says that during the writing process of End Time the band unconsciously realized that at this point in their career, they can experiment with their sound, without completely changing it.
"We don't actually sit down and go 'Let's write some slow stuff.' It's just, we came up with some stuff that sounds cool and thought 'Hey, we already got 20 fast songs, lets throw in some slow songs, why not?'
"It's just mixing it up, it makes it more interesting for us; if the whole record is just like a fuckin' jackhammer, then there's not enough contrast. You know, if you put more slow stuff in, the fast stuff sounds faster."
End Time is out now via Relapse Records. To read more of Exclaim!'s Brutal Truth interview, head here.