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The Horrors on the new direction of brutal EP ‘Against The Blade’: “It’s hard for a band to stay interesting”

The London band have delved further into industrial metal on their second release of the year

By Nick Reilly

The Horrors pose live
The Horrors (Picture: Till Janz)

The Horrors have opened up on heading in a drastic new direction on their latest EP ‘Against The Blade’, which sees them experimenting with industrial metal.

Arriving last Friday (November 5), the record follows their previous EP ‘Lout’ which came out earlier this year.

While building on the intense industrial sounds of that last release, Horrors frontman Faris Badwan previously said their latest EP is a “further descent into chaos”.

Now, he has explained how he explored heavier sounds by himself before it came to winning the rest of the group around for their new direction.

“I’d been into it for a while, but Rhys [Webb, bassist] has seen the light and got into a load of black metal,” he explained.

“But I didn’t imagine we’d do something inspired by it. Joe [Spurgeon, percussionist] is always quite deep into techno and it converges at a point where we’re all into it.”

“That would normally be a danger, because it’s hard for a band to stay interesting but also democratic.”

While the intense sounds appear to be miles away from their last album, 2017’s ‘V’, Badwan added that it contained hints at where the group was headed next.

“We definitely find it hard to come to a consensus on things, but in this case I think it was one of the more easy transitions because there were elements of the last record that we wanted to explore. ‘Machine’ off the last record hints at where things are going,” he said.

There is also the small matter of avoiding creative boredom on the record, guitarist Josh Hayward explained. After releasing 2011’s ‘Skying’ and 2014’s ‘Luminous’, the band were on the path to becoming one of Britain’s most prominent bands.

“Had we stayed on the same path we’d have got quite big but bored with it and ultimately stopped doing stuff,” he added.

“It’s an odd one because you’re shooting yourself in the foot by constantly moving about. You’re keeping it interesting for yourself, but risk a point where you explode.”

The new-found direction will also make for one of their most intensive live experiences to date too – with a string of UK dates lined up before the year is out.

‘I think it will be akin to shoving someone’s head in a bucket of water and then watching them get out! It’s going to be a claustrophobic live show. They’ll be like enveloped and we’ll let you off occasionally.”

The new releases are also likely to shape the band’s next album, even if Badwan believes the format to be “totally finished”.

“I think you should release things in that format in the end, but to start with that is just nuts. You’re more than shooting yourself in the foot, you’re cutting your feet off and jumping in the river? How can you do that? I say that, but we also just thought it was a cool format and liked the idea of having shorter bodies of work that allow you to experiment,” he said.

Hinting at what’s next ,Webb added: “I’ve got a folder with 200 Horrors songs on it. They’re different pieces of music and a selection of compositions.”

“But they’re not all songs!,” Badwan clarified.

“And not all of them will be heard. At least not by human ears.”

You can buy tickets for The Horrors’ upcoming UK tour here.