The Southwest Terror Fest is a two-day festival covering the best of Arizona’s metal scene with some of the best bands from the underground playing in an intimate setting over two days in Tucson, AZ. The Age of Metal is partnering with the folks from The Southwest Terror Fest to give you a primer of all of the bands playing. Today we look at sludge bros Godhunter…
Band name: GODHUNTER
Where are you from?
Born and raised in Tucson, Terrorzona.
What do you sound like?
I am pretty bad about being objective about our sound, but I think that Godhunter is somewhat of a hybrid between Red Fang, Black Flag, Neurosis, and Down. Also, if you like some brains with your metal, you will appreciate our lyrical and songwriting styles.
How did you get involved with Southwest Terror Fest?
Well, being in Godhunter, and David Rogers being my band-mate and one of the principal organizers behind the event, so, by default, I have been involved with its organization and facilitation since the beginning.
What do you think of Arizona’s metal crowd in general?
Arizona has a pretty rabid fan-base. Phoenix is by far the metal-head capital of our state. They do get the lion’s share of awesome metal shows that roll through on tour. Bands like Landmine Marathon, TOAD, and Twingiant are really taking the sounds of the underground in new, and amazing, directions. Tucson, on the other hand, is not without its fair share of innovation. North has released what I and many others believe to be, the best metal album of the year, so far. Although Tucson does not get as many bands rolling through on tour, those shows that stop by are always packed full of fans who are eager to party and have a great time!
What’s the most ridiculous thing that’s happened to your band?
Well, there are lots of crazy things that happen to bands, especially on tour. Some are positive, some are negative. That being said, I sometimes have a tendency to drink a bit too much at shows. Let’s just say that whiskey, Godhunter, and beer (especially of the free variety) usually makes me a tad insane in the membrane. And that is both a positive and negative thing. Yeah, it is fun in the moment, but absolutely terrible in the morning.
How has your sound changed over time?
Before I joined this band I was in Gat-Rot. We played a completely different type of heavy music than Godhunter. It was fast, breakdown laden hardcore, definitely a far cry from the sludgy stoner-metal that I play now. Joining this band, and learning to approach songwriting in a new way, was definitely a challenge. It is one that has proven to be extremely satisfying.
The soundscapes between our albums are pretty drastic. For example a song like “Teargas”, from the self-titled 10”, is a raging I-don’t-give-a-fuck type aggression that is more akin to Black Flag and Slayer than what is displayed on our second release, “Wolves”. With that album, the sound was more refined, more about creating an atmosphere and groove that was all-encompassing. “Wolves” has a sound that is genre-shifting, different in its approach, but at the same time familiar-sounding to the casual listener. (damn, it is hard to discuss your own band in this way) With the new album that we are currently in the process of creating, we are going to be focusing in more on some doom aspects that will set the stage for a much more moody approach to the songwriting. We will still have songs that are outright aggressive in nature, but they will be much more diverse.
The lyrical approach over the albums has changed a bit over time, but the central themes of self-determination, rejection of the status quo, and social criticism are always going to be fundamental keystones to our songs. That will never change. We will always speak truth to power and encourage our fans to do the same. The one tenant of music that I will always hold closest is the power of a song to empower and to assist in the facilitation of change. I believe that what you sing is a reflection of who you are. If you are singing along to a song by Converge, Sick Of It All, or Refused, you will have a much different mindset and perspective, than if you do so to Rihanna or Maroon 5. Fill your mind with what you want your soul to be a reflection of. Do not be persuaded by the bright and shiny lights of the toxic dream machine that clouds this society.
What’s the one thing you’re looking forward to the most at the fest?
I’m really excited to see so many bands, playing underground music, all in one place. The overwhelming nature of a fast like this is always fun. I’m looking forward to seeing bands play on the floor as a part of the Metalifestyle.com Stage. When bands have a direct synergy and eye to eye contact with the crowd, amazing things can happen. That sort of approach will bring a much needed punk approach to a metal show of this size. I have been putting my liver through a rigorous training session, in order to prepare for this show!
What band do you recommend seeing aside from yourselves?
At the fest, I am most excited to see Seas Will Rise, Rise Of The Willing, TOAD, North, and Swampwolf. Swampwolf is a crazy collective of insanely brilliant musicians, disguised as bomb-throwing madmen. These Flagstaff punks will make the calmest of drones rage like an MMA fighter, smile like the Joker, and smash things like never before. It’s great to get those dudes to play with us in Tucson! We played with them last winter, up at the Big House in Flagstaff, and it was a mighty good stop on our tour!
Is there a place we can hear your music online?
You can check us out on Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube, and Reverbnation. If you really want to support Godhunter, you can also buy a CD, a shirt, or other merch that will piss off your parents/neighbors/co-workers from our Bigcartel page at http://godhunter.bigcartel.com/ Start fights! Cause problems!