Meat Train from UK are on the verge of releasing their second full length album and interestingly, completed a tour of Asia not too long back, narrowly missing India. The band’s adopted a unique and interesting approach, inspired by Clive Barker’s famous story (and a pretty good movie adaptation too!), and their death metal music is full of surprises and promise. I delve in to find what the band’s up to these days and their plans around their new release. Meanwhile, stream their new song off the upcoming album here –
TO: Hello! What did you like most about Clive Barker’s ‘The Midnight Meat Train’ story? How has that worked out for you as a band name so far?
Meat Train: Okay we like the fact that the victims could be just anybody. You could just have the misfortune of getting on the train and become a victim and as the story progresses it becomes more brutal and involves the supernatural, monsters. We’re all fans of horror and gore so the story appealed to us and the name was mentioned so Meat Train was born. I think the name has worked well. It gets people asking why the name.
TO: Clearly a ton of effort has gone into creating the appropriate look for your band? Can you tell us the thought process behind it?
Meat Train: The image idea was always there. We originally had this dishevelled look, like a group of friends after a great night out. Torn, dirty clothing. We took the costumes to Asia but the heat was so intense wearing a suit onstage would’ve definitely done for me. I almost passed out at the Manila show. I think the whole band suffered a bit in that heat. Bangkok was hot too, but Manila. Wow!
Iki designed the masks for the new look Meat Train. It’s based on our love of horror. The evil preacher, the Butcher, the masked Psycho and the deranged hill billy. It will add to the intensity of the new songs.
TO: Coming to the music, it’s brisk, chugging like a locomotive and bears an air of sickness – which is a refreshing change from the done-to-death kind of death metal or goregrind out there. I can also detect a smattering of other influences such as the thrashy energy, a slight melodic undercurrent and so on. Can you explain your current sound and intent?
Meat Train: I’m glad you like the chugging style. We’re fans of that big chug. Getting a great riff that you can chug out and get in people’s faces and heads with. It does have the feel at times of being a locomotive, grinding along relentlessly gaining pace. The thrashy influences are just natural I think. We have a love of thrash; the pace, the twists and turns – and as for the melodic undertones, well you have to have a hook that can grab you and stay in your mind, something to open a song up, lure you into a false sense of security before that next massive chug smashes into your head. Ha ha.
TO: I’m itching to know about your experience playing in Nepal and other Asian countries. How did that come about and how was the response?
Meat Train: Our Asian experiences have been awesome. We’ve loved every minute of taking Meat Train to Asia. The responses to our music have been excellent, very positive – to go and play there was an awesome experience. We made a lot of friends and we still get messages from people in the countries we’ve played asking us to come back. It started with contact from a promoter in Vietnam; she asked us to come and play, so we did. We were well looked after and the shows were awesome. From there she got us to Thailand and we were approached by a promoter in Manila. After that tour Vishal said ‘Come to Nepal! Play Deathfest!’ It was an easy decision to make. We definitely want to return and play again and bring the Meat Train back to Asia. South Korea, Taiwan, Japan are in our sights and Mongolia. We’ve an offer for Mongolia so we figure we could base a tour around that.
TO: What can you tell us about your upcoming album?
Meat Train: The new album is in the mixing stages. It’s sounding great. We’ve got ‘Block 11’ done and it’s on our management pages. The new album takes ‘Flesh Made Man’ to the next level. We toured that album and have taken the next step. We’re more focused on the sound on the new album. We tuned down and Chas really pushed me on the vocals. In fact he pushed me to try a different style so much so that I redid the album with this style. I think I’ve three different vocal styles on this album. Overall the songs are more death metal, more focused. We all agree it’s a major step in the defining of Meat Train‘s sound. The rawness is still there but the sound is more complete. It’s a bigger sounding album. The production is bigger. If you liked ‘Flesh Made Man’ you’re going to love the new album.
TO: I couldn’t help but notice the presence of a female member in the band, which is rare given the style – Ana of Haemorrhage comes to mind. How was she convinced to be a part of a gory death metal band, if I may ask?
Meat Train: Iki was a no brainer choice for Meat Train. It came about from Chas and Iki being at a Basement Torture Killings show. I know they’d been friends for years and Iki just said to Chas ‘I’m up for playing’ and the rest is history as they say. She’s a great person, great bass player and she loves the music. She agreed to join as soon as she was asked.
TO: How is your new album going to be sonically and aesthetically in comparison to your old one ‘Flesh Made Man’? Are you on the lookout for a different label for this one?
Meat Train: I think I covered the musical aspect earlier. The new album sounds big. It’s still heavy, with twists and turns, but it’s more focused this time. As for the label, I know Contagion want to release it, but we’ll see what happens after they hear it. I think our management will take care of the label side of things.
TO: Under a new management, can we expect more tours and exposure from the band? Do you have anything lined up as of now?
Meat Train: Now we have management we’ll certainly be more active. Definitely more touring and more exposure. We love playing live so we’ll be guided by them. As for plans, yes, we have a lot lined up but they’re still being finalised. I know we will be doing some shows with Fleshcrawl in Germany in 2017. Check out our Facebook page for more though as we’re talking with several bands regarding shows and of course for the release of our new album.
TO: Thanks very much for your time. I hope your new album reaches out to a wider audience and don’t forget to include India in your Asian tour next time around haha! Last words are yours.
Meat Train: We plan to come to India. We were hoping to do a couple of shows in India right after Nepal but the promoter ran into some financial difficulties so we couldn’t play in India. We did however make good friends in Rip Off who we played two shows in Nepal with. They’re a great band and a great bunch of guys who we will hopefully get to play in India with. They’re more than welcome to come to the UK to play some shows with us too. Thanks for your time and we appreciate your support.