23 Years Ago: GODFLESH release Songs of Love and Hate

Daily Noise - / 2019

23 Years Ago: GODFLESH release Songs of Love and Hate

Our initial goal of Godflesh was to have this brutally heavy shit, but have a mechanical side to what we do: To be groove-oriented. We always wanted a fat groove. Obviously, we were able to get that fat groove, having a drummer, unlike before, when we used a drum machine. Now, with a drummer, we can have this groove going and mix it with drum machines to make this one, huge, fat groove. We want our music to evolve, which it has, and we want to defy serious pigeonholing. We are just mixing shit up. Every couple of years we try to outdo what we did in the past and just try to make a more fresher and original feel to Godflesh.

Justin Broadrick / Godflesh interview, Chronicles of Chaos, 1997

GODFLESH released their fourth album on this day in 1996. Songs of Love and Hate was the first record to include a drummer with Bryan Mantia joining Justin Broadrick and G. C. Green.

Hip Hop was a big influence on this album, I mean in a big way. I mean especially with the addition of the drummer, who's essentially a Hip Hop/Funk drummer who is from San Francisco. That really gave us... It's just another step you know, just something else in there, which took us up a gear ourselves. The drummer himself is an inspiration, just because it was so cool to see a really hot drummer, just playing and sorta giving it funky, Hip Hop grooves but with a sense of heaviness and a sense of brutality, which is what we wanted to take from Hip Hop anyway, and it's what so many people miss you know, as far as we're concerned anyway. For us this album is more physical, it's the most physical record we've ever made I think. Just down to the instruments, there is actually for the first time ever, there is drums, guitar and bass which is a semi-conventional set up you know. As opposed to in the past it's been guitar, bass and reams of technology, or not really a fat lot of technology, but that's sort of taking up most of the space in the sound. But this is the least amount of technology we've ever had on any single record, but in the same way we wanted to embrace cultures that use technology which is Hip Hop really, and Techno as well, and mix it up in a bit more brutal fashion basically. That was a conscious aim, to make something that you could groove to, we've never been tight ass anyway you know, we've always considered that our sound isn't tight ass like most metal is, you know, how it's really stiff. We wanted to take that premise of our usual sound and just loosen it up and make it groovier, that's what we wanted from this record, and personally we've succeeded. It's a new starting point for us, it's a new scope, so we can go from here now.

Justin Broadrick / Godflesh interview, Wormgear, 1996
Godflesh - Wake

It's not really negative. "Wake" is more about ignorance, which is what a lot of our stuff deals with anyway. Like the way people decide that something's right and that's the norm and everyone should fit in with that. It's about, like, artificial laws, things that don't mean anything, just things that man creates and says, "You will fall into line with this and anybody who falls out of it is automatically wrong!" What "Wake" is saying is, "Wake up to that--There is no right or wrong!" And there's only someone writing rules for us to follow really, whereas it's all bullshit and nothing really exists. All that stuff deals with the core of things, subjects that most people want to run away from. It's really just necessary. Things like death even, I'm just sort of one of those people. I'm obsessed with my fears, so it really comes out.

Justin Broadrick / Godflesh interview, 1996

The cover photograph was taken in an industrial area of Louisiana known as Cancer Alley.

Cancer Alley, Louisiana

I want to do remix of the whole Songs For Love And Hate so I hope that will be next. I want to really bastardize the thing until it's a completely different version. That was really my first excuse to get the computer. I virtually live in a recording studio. I've got one at the bottom of my house. I make music all the time.

Justin Broadrick / Godflesh interview, Seconds #40, 1996

These remixes would be released the following year as Love and Hate in Dub.