Do politics have a place in metal? These Bucks hardcore guttersnipes are willing to risk it all to make a stand
“We’re not directly
saying we offer any solutions in our music, that would be ridiculous,” scoffs Casket Feeder guitarist Connor Cazalet-Smith. “But at the same time, when you put a microscope on certain issues, like how the recent tracks we’ve dropped have been about the rise of far-right groups and the KKK coming back, that shows how horrific that scenario is. Then you are showing people that that is not the [right] path.”
Connor’s band have a hell of a lot going for them. They’re young, they’re intelligent, they’re articulate and they’ve just released an EP, Scalps, that sounds like Frank Carter fronting Trap Them after they’ve had a Nihilist and Dismember binge. Forming, as Connor puts it, “to make the sound of the Swedish death metal from our youth that we’d missed hearing, and to address the sociopolitical frustrations that we all share”, they have a purpose, too. If you’ve been looking for a band that have the words, the drive and the attitude to back up their musical chops, then Casket Feeder are essential listening.
“We’re from Milton Keynes, which is obviously a fairly modern town,” Connor continues, warming to the theme, “and a lot of my family heritage is in India, so I have friends from all walks of life, all creeds, and I can’t fathom [the rise of racism]. It makes me feel really angry, and also really sad for where the human race is heading. We’re just repeating ourselves again.”
“The thing is,” chimes in vocalist Matt Downes, “we’re living in the digital age. We were all told that this would be the start of the unification of the human race, that we’d all be connected, and it’s absurd that it is doing the opposite to that. You have every single piece of information in the world at your fingertips and you still choose to be a narrowminded bigot? I call it wilful ignorance. That’s the most worrying thing to me.”
The guys cite the viral success of Childish Gambino’s This Is America video as exactly the kind of statement they’d like to see more of in our world.
“It’s not a type of music I enjoy,” says
Matt. “But you have to respect the intent, you have to respect the bravery and message he is trying to put across. I’d love a metal band to have the budget to be able to do that. It would feel like ground zero for all of us.”
Of course, there are many fans that listen to music as an escape from the banality and constant bad news of the real world. If you’re firmly in the ‘keep politics out of music’ camp, chances are you’ll be rolling your eyes at yet another bunch of socially conscious punks telling you what you to think.
“I’ve seen that a lot, yeah,” admits Connor with a sigh. “And that frustrates me. Surely it’s our music? Surely we should be addressing what we feel we need to address? The thing is, people in metal, I think, are usually more switched on and do have a lot more to say, and we all have a different perspective on things…”
“And people want to shut us up,” says Matt, jumping in. “The sad thing is that bands then do keep quiet because they’re scared to lose fans! That’s insane.”
Clearly, it’ll take a lot more than just losing a few Twitter followers to dim the noise coming from Casket Feeder.
“BANDS KEEP QUIET TO AVOID LOSING FANS. THAT’S INSANE”
Casket Feeder: making a stand