Kelly Tee speaks with INHUMAN REMNANTS vocalist Dave Hughes about all things Death Metal, blood & insanity
Inhuman Remnants (IR) were formed in 2011, what is the story behind IR coming together? How did it all begin?
Dave: The story is simple actually. I called JJ and said, “oi cunt let’s start a band and be broodal.”
JJ replied, “oi cunt I’m on my honeymoon but that sounds good.”
I accidentally interrupted his honeymoon. But, yeah everything just flowed from there.
I am truly blessed by Satan to have such killer band members. The work ethic that JJ, Mosh and AG show just blows me away. They are writing machines. I’m surrounded by workaholics. If this was my solo project you wouldn’t have even heard of IR.
IR is fairly unique, especially in lyric content. There is a feeling of depth to your lyrics around hatred, anti-religion and Insanity, which reaches beyond the “Death standard” of murder and gore. Where does one find their inspiration for such lyrics as yours?
Dave: Cheers big ears. I try to leave as much as I can to the listener to interpret my lyrics for themselves. Murder and gore is still rad but I like my writing to be more cerebral, almost arbitrary on the surface but use a little brain power and you’ll find something within Your Own subconscious.
Death Metal is notoriously renowned for being rather misogynistic and violent toward a woman. It’s hard not to notice that many Death bands are moving away from those themes, why do you think this is?
Dave: It’s a sign of the times we live in, I don’t mean PC culture but people moving away from religion. No more rule of thumb to flog your wife etc As time continues on men will become more enlightened and maybe even get to a maturity level of a woman, maybe. But I have to say we do have a couple of shirts with violence towards women but I think that’s just because dudes like tits.
Your latest EP Solipsis is a brutal journey and sets a deep scene for the listener. Tell me the story behind Solipsis? What is it all about – Mantra?
Dave: Solipsis comes from Solipsism. A term I first heard reading an article on lone astronauts with too much space-time showing signs of hyper-narcissistic traits psychologically. It’s where one has thoughts where everything around them, including you and I don’t exist beyond one’s mind. Like a psychotic interpretation of descartes cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am. But its more like, I think therefore I am God, life, death and all that lay between.
Inhuman Remnants really bring the viciousness with Solipsis and sneak in the beauty of orchestral scores where the sounds of the violins create a real sense of an old fashion horror classic. Do you think the Death Metal genre is evolving from the usual heavy distorted and low tuned guitars and often inaudible low gutturals into something more progressive and deep and meaningful? Or is IR an exception to the rule?
Dave: I love old horror movie scores but I’m massively influenced by contemporary artist like Hans Zimmer, the man responsible for the scores of some Batman films and one of my favourite movies Inception. I just hope one day we can have access to a real orchestra instead of me sitting in front of pro-tools (in the case of Solips is I, III.) But keep an ear open for the future of IR because we may have some changes coming that people will either love or hate.
I hope Death Metal doesn’t change too much if it does I’ve always got Grindcore to listen to.
But there is still a ton of meaning in those ultra broodal bands like ‘Circle of Dead Children’ and ‘Cock and Ball Torture’ and ‘Wretch’ you just have to look deeper. Sometimes I feel that violence is brutality is apart of so many peoples lives that they write what the know, violence.
Which bands would you say Inhuman Remnants are most inspired by within the Death Metal genre, and why?
Dave: A lot are fellow Aussie bands for me and the other guys too. ‘Wretch’ is another Canberra band that are constantly pushing the boundaries of brutality and the vocalist Benji is a beast! He makes me want to be better every time I watch him perform. Damaged, The Day Everything Became Nothing, Fuck…..I’m dead, Psycroptic, Mephistopheles, Somnium Nox, the list just goes on as far as influences go. Shit, I love Tyler the Creator, ASAP Rocky, 21 Savage, Tupac, K-Reno, Clipping, Earl Sweatshirt. I listen to a lot of rap when I’m writing to avoid a subconscious theft of work.
There are definitely blackened sounds that can be heard in your earlier works on Inattentional Blindness and of course Solipsis, is this deliberate? Do we have some Black Metal influences going on here too? and if so who are they?
Dave: Black Metal was my first love. We all listen to Black Metal. Vocally its a huge influence on me.
I think if someone put a gun to our heads and said “Change genres with IR now” lol when the fuck that would happen I have no idea haha. But anyway if that stupid scenario did happen I believe we would all say Black Metal. Is Behemoth Black Metal? I think we would be like Behemoth if we changed. But for now its 45 string guitars, 33 bass kickers and gravity blasting deep vocals all the way. Sub drops even haha. Deeper, harder, faster. Its what she said and its what we do.
When Inhuman Remnants get up on stage it really is an aggressive and frightening performance. How does one prepare to channel that energy and withhold it an entire set? Is there any mental preparation process that you go through before taking the stage?
Dave: I have to speak for myself here. I have a bronze bird skull beaded necklace I have to have with me. There are two of these bird skulls, One around my neck and the other was cremated with my daughter. The beads my brother was wearing when we turned his life support off at the hospital on his 30th bday. Next to all that serious shit we just want to entertain people. Not much makes me happier than seeing people genuinely enjoy watching act a fool on and off stage while we perform for them. It may be brutal shit we’re playing but I want the audience to have fun, be happy and take their mind off work and whatever shit they’re going through at home. Leave that shit at the venue entrance and come mosh with us and smile. Life is short, Mosh.
The artwork on Solipsis is very brutal and perfectly fitting for the sounds on this album. Who created the idea for this artwork and is there a story behind it?
Dave: The artist actually created a very similar piece of work many years ago and Moshman (Bass) managed to get him to create the Solipsis art for us. I love it so much I’m halfway through an entire full sleeve tattoo of the art. The art is a perfect visual representation that embodies the entire concept of Solipsism and the consequent of such a rare psychological disorder.
Are the lines being blurred with Death Metal and Grindcore at the moment? And if so why do you think this is?
Dave: Most definitely, that’s where DeathCore comes from. The Bree breeeees of Grindcore have entered the world of Death Metal for some time now. As you said before its a natural evolution that most people are going with the flow with. Some people have a cry about it but that’s because they’re old lol. It’s an argument that’s on the interwebs constantly.
I stay out of those conversations. I hate the sub-genre conversations. I swear people argue about what labels bands should have slapped on them more than actually listening to music.
Shut up! Shut the fuck up! Just listen to the music. Shut your mouths and open your ears FFS.
When members of IR aren’t performing and rehearsing their brutality of music, what other music genres do you guys listen to? Do you live and breathe Death Metal in your spare time or like to wine and Zen to Jazz for example?
Dave: I love to wine and listen to classical and after another wine or 5 I’ll be cranking rap, another 7 wines later I’m cranking Infant Annihilator and Slam like Disfiguring the Goddess. Next morning after a quick vomit I’ll quietly listen to some chill shit like Acid Bath, Woods of Ypress and Katatonia.
I feel that’s the same with the rest of the band. We don’t just listen Death Metal.
What is the most shocking thing IR have done on stage to create putrid ambience?
Dave: I wish I had a good answer to this question. I think my face is the most disgusting thing we’ve shown on stage. But we don’t cut ourselves or set shit on fire or literally shit on the stage. Yeah, just my face haha That’s shocking enough.
IR film clips definitely have that Death Metal shock factor, which works so well. Who comes up with the concept for these film clips and is there a real obsession with blood and death among the band, or more so a façade to fit in with the savage nature of the tracks and Death Metal genre?
Dave: The blood obsession is mine, But JJ and Mosh are the masterminds behind the film clips along with myself and AG but JJ will come up with the initial video concept then we all talk together.
As for the visuals and the lyrics being a match, Solipsis would be the track that has come to the closest to being 1:1.
Our live-action film clips are more of a fun fuck around being filmed and put together.
It’s easier for our animated lyric videos to be some cerebral. It all comes down to money, if we were rich as fuck we could hire a special effects studio and do an amazing CGI live-action video but that a couple of years off.
What is next for Inhuman Remnants, live shows? More writing for your next album?
Dave: We are currently writing 2 albums. I could tell you but then I’d have to shoot you. Joking of course But I’m not going to answer that because I have to sound like a dickhead at least once. People love that haha So how dare you ask me that.
Yes, we’re playing shows. We are a band, what do you think we would be doing? Wow, I can’t believe how rude some people can be while asking questions.
Where can people follow purchase Solipsis, follow your band, and gig guides?
Dave: Check us out on BookFace, YouPubes, Instagrum and Shitter. You can purchase merch through our Big Cartel. Google it you lazy fuck!
Hey, I’m joking. I love you all. If you read this whole thing I love you. We love our “Fans”, that word is corny as fuck. But we really do love you guys and appreciate every bit of support.