In conjunction with the release of their new music video “The Ritual” Seattle’s raging metal/hardcore hybrid FILTH IS ETERNAL joins us today to discuss their new hard hitting record “Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal”, mid-COVID times, the return of live shows, their local scene in Seattle, and more!
Seattle’s FILTH IS ETERNAL always felt fundamentally untethered, a wild thing. Comprised of vocalist Lisa Mungo (He Whose Ox is Gored, former touring member of Daughters), guitarist Brian McClelland (He Whose Ox is Gored), bassist Rah Davis (Skelator, Cages, former touring member of Cattle Decapitation), and drummer Mathew Chandler (Reburied), the band achieved an air of unhinged freedom mainly by thrashing their way through unassuming, beloved punk venues, writhing across unwashed floors and DIY spaces, hosting their own sort of hardcore communal exorcisms. They’ve toured with Haunted Horses and Languish, and shared the stage with varied acts such as Amigo The Devil, Cult Leader, Goatwhore, Graves At Sea, Infernal Coil, Marissa Nadler, Wolves In The Throne Room, and YOB.
Accelerated by isolation, a rechristening in 2021 seemed fitting to more accurately celebrate their divine vulgarity: FILTH IS ETERNAL. With it comes their second LP, Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal, a follow up to their debut, Suffrage. This sophomore album is a high energy expansion of sound, harvesting experience from highs and lows, and pushes ahead with tracks that span from raging d-beat to serpentine sludge. Play this album loud if you’re spinning out in the world. Chaos bodies exist.
“The Ritual” is a single off of the band’s latest album, Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal, which was recently released on Quiet Panic (USA) / Church Road (UK/EU) on August 27th, 2021. Produced by Brian McClelland / Lisa Mungo. Mixed and recorded by Robert Cheek. Mastered by Blake Bickel at Dynamic Sound Services Kalamazoo. It is available on three different vinyl variants, including black with white splatter, transparent magenta in clear with yellow splatter, and transparent orange. Order, here. | Spotify
Ok guys, first things first. A name change is always a major strategic action, and I guess it was exactly the case for Fucked And Bound. Apart from Search Engine Optimization issues, what led you to this decision?
We’ve toyed with the idea to change the name pre-pandemic for myriad reasons; having a different rhythm second from the previous record helped us notice a different approach to songwriting dynamics between our musical influences, while conjuring up unconventional ideas and aesthetic. Once we started rehearsing regularly again, we knew a name change was in order. It became clear that we all collectively grew apart from the old name, so we started brainstorming on something abominable and direct.
Why FILTH IS ETERNAL?
It’s a mantra/statement that has been a part of our lexicon for a while now. We envisioned, “Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal” as the title of the next album and already made merch with the statement. It really spoke volumes to our ideology regarding global issues: political and government corruption, climate change and pollution, violence rooted in social, cultural, sexual, racial, with radical economic aspects of the world leaning towards general existential conflict.
𝐹𝑖𝑙𝑡ℎ 𝐼𝑠 𝐸𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑓𝑖𝑡𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑎𝑏𝑟𝑎𝑠𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑛𝑖ℎ𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑠𝑡 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒.
How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected you and your closest? How has it shaped your beliefs and values and how have you embedded this lesson into the lyrics of your new album?
The pandemic has affected many aspects of my life. The isolation in the very beginning was very mentally exhausting. The deep-rooted racial injustices were not-surprising and very emotionally taxing. Working in the service industry has been incredibly stressful. The transfer of wealth and disparity between houselessness, lower-middle class, and the rich is infuriating. Not much has changed in my core values and beliefs. As for the virus itself, it’s been a trip seeing the division it has been creating in our society, no matter the age, gender, creed, profession, political spectrum, or wherever you lie on the caste system. It’s so polarizing and comes as no surprise. The unfortunate reality is how unpredictable the virus has become. I know many people who have contracted covid-19, with no symptoms, and others who suffered worse symptoms with quick recovery, and others who have ended up in the hospital. I’m just doing my best to be acute, aware and follow precautions.
Music wise, though it sounds like you didn’t want to reinvent yourself, ”Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal” brings in a rich variety of influences, blending sludge, d-beat, metallic hardcore, noise rock and more styles for a good measure. It slightly expands your original foundation for the sound and has definitely made it mightier. Tell us a bit about your idea for this sonic assault and how you feel you have evolved since your early approach with F&B.
The idea was to maintain the aggression and intensity of the first record, while exploring heavier influences with unique themes and darker overtones. We channeled a lot of anger, depression, despair and disdain to create a cohesive record. From the tempo and pacing, key changes, note choices, rhythm curating, and lyric development, we wanted to ensure that we wrote songs with intention and purpose conceptually. It was a collaborative effort to create an onslaught of fury. It’s imperative that we continue to expand musically creating dissonance without diverging from rage.
What was it that initially drew you to heavy music and eventually starting your own band?
A few things. Growing up in poor in tumultuous neighborhood and knowing I was as an outsider from an early age, it definitely helped led me to this path. I had a strong interest in extreme sports (surfing, skating, etc.), comic books, scary movies, and board games with evil themes, so I was mentally halfway there. My introduction to heavy music was Van Halen at either age 9 or 10 and I went further down the rabbit hole shortly afterwards. Pretty sure I listened to an X-Games soundtrack that got the ball rolling, discovering punk and metal and its many sub genres. Started playing guitar around age 12, then bass around 13 and started my first band shortly after that.
Do you remember the first time you performed live with a band? Have you always been such a wild live animal on and below the stage?
Oh, I remember. It was my second band ever and I was 14 going on 15. I didn’t feel nervous but I remember overcompensating stage presence for lack of talent. The feeling was exhilarating and I knew I wanted to continue some form of this for the rest of my life. I was always realistic of the genres of music I gravitated towards, so the notion of being a rock star was abhorrent, but I knew that touring was paramount.
Did you have a chance to attend many shows in the last couple of months? How have live gigs changed due to the pandemic?
There has been a resurgence of outdoor shows since May that peeked my interested but I’ve been too busy with work and band stuff to attend. I stayed clear of indoor shows until I played my first one last month. It was important for me to assess how safety measures were being taken from an artist viewpoint. Eventually did go to a couple shows shortly after our gig. One was a small local show with a good turn out, the other was larger venue (about 1,200) and it was nearly sold out. What I have noticed is that everyone’s comfort level is different. Personally, I felt pretty comfortable in both situations because mask are mandatory here in indoor spaces.
How thriving was the community before COVID hit in early 2020 and how do you feel it has affected the independent arts scene in Seattle?
That’s a mixed bag. Pre-covid the scene had its ebbs and flows depending on the genre of music. Lately, I’ve noticed people being supportive of arts in different ways outside of going to shows, especially those who are middle 30s and older. There’s been a strong emphasis purchasing product, or in some cases, donating to their favorite artist. Through live streams, the internet is making some aspects of this easier, but there’s an energy that’s missing from attending a live performance. As for other forms of art outside of music, some people are doing much better since the pandemic started. It really depends on what you have to offer artistically.
What’s the DIY and underground venues’ situation in Seattle nowadays?
There are a couple of underground venues that still exist but haven’t done any shows yet. I’m sure they are trying to figure out the logistics to keep a safe environment, so I understand where they are coming. As I mentioned before, outdoor shows have different been a hit for the last few months. Not sure what’s going to happen once the weather turns and seasons shift in our area. Challenging to say the least.
How about the thrivingness of the youth? Do you get a lot of new bands adding their fresh energy to the community?
The younger generation are definitely excited that shows have made a comeback. I’ve seen the energy and the eagerness to return back to “normal” from them the most. I’m sure there are new local bands (even those who aren’t comprised of younger kids) who have played shows already, or are ready to play but I’m not aware of them. I’ve been mostly concentrating on my own art during this unfavorable time.
How often do you travel outside of the city? Is traveling and exploring other places an important aspect of your creative process and creating a better picture about the world around you?
Before the pandemic I traveled outside the city pretty often. Haven’t really traveled much since March 2020. Occasionally, I’ll go to the coast or towards the mountains to hike and contemplate, but it doesn’t personally help fuel my creative process. The audacity of the world’s egregious is plenty for me.
Any chance we’ll see you guys live in Europe one day?
Hopefully sometime in 2022. We are very much looking forward to across the Atlantic showcasing our band for the masses on that continent.
Ok, so lastly, what can we expect from FILTH IS ETERNAL in the coming months?
Keep a look out for us in the fall and winter. We’ve got some exciting things in the works!
Are there any other projects, bands, movies or books you’d like to recommend before we go?
Buy the Re-buried/Deconsecration split.
Great, thanks! Feel free to share your final thoughts and take care! Good luck and all the best for the rest of the year!
“Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal” available on all major streaming platforms. Keep a look out for physical copies soon! 🖤
Some love from the press:
“With a sound rooted in suitably grimy hardcore, all but three songs clock in at under two minutes, making their modus operandi clear: get in, do as much damage as possible and get back out again, and they pull it off with style. There’s definitely some old-school influence holding sway, with plenty of d‑beat and bouncy riffing, but there is also a malignant darkness to the whole thing, making this a long way from being a feel-good record.” – Kerrang!
“On their sophomore album, Filth Is Eternal unleash a torrent of vicious, ripping, metal-tinged hardcore punk, that is fast, frenetic, and full of vitriol.” – New Noise Magazine
“‘Where ‘ZED’ was more of slowed-down, grimy evocation of ’90s noise-rock, “On The Rake” is more in line with the fast, jagged music that Filth Is Eternal made on Suffrage. The song is a feverish D-beat sprint with a guttural lead vocal from Mungo, and it’s over in just over a minute. This shit will fuck you up.” – Stereogum
“whiplash-inducing hardcore ripper that sounds built to turn a packed venue into a sea of moving bodies.” – BrooklynVegan
“…incredibly addictive… the band rages from start to finish with vicious rhythms, bombastic drumming, and savage vocals.” – Metal Injection