Cattle Decapitation

Cattle Decapitation

Posted: January 15th, 2009
"We wanted to do a death metal band and I guess we decided to call it Cattle Decapitation."

Interview by Aaron Schmidt | Photos by Zach Cordner

Bovine mutilation is the act of killing cows in the name of mass consumption. Inherently evil are the multi-national death corporations who regulate population control by brainwashing our fast food-infused societal mass of fat, retarded humans into an early grave. The following is a Q&A with Travis Ryan, lead singer of San Diego’s finest death metal band—Cattle Decapitation. With a brand-new album out on Metal Blade, The Harvest Floor is the band’s most brutally intense work to date. During our interview at a recent show, some drunk dude wandered into the street in front of the venue and got hit by a car. Awesome.

So there’s a veggie burger named after the band?
Yeah. Our friend Dave, who plays in Tiltwheel, owns this restaurant called Hamilton’s in South Park. We used to go there all the time. He called us up one day and asked if it’d be cool if he named their veggie burger “The Cattle Decapitation.” I said, “Fuck yeah!”

Everyone in the band is vegetarian, right?
Pretty much.

Who came up with the name Cattle Decapitation?
These dudes who aren’t in the band anymore. They wanted a band name with the words “cattle” or “decapitation.” They basically wanted to rip off Carcass. They wanted it to be a Carcass clone band. It didn’t really work right off the bat. After I joined the band, our main objective was to do a Carcass-esque death metal band. At the time, we didn’t think there were many bands like that out here. The only bands that ever tried doin’ that were from fuckin’ Sweden. I don’t know, we wanted to do a death metal band and I guess we decided to call it Cattle Decapitation.

Cattle Decapitation
Photo: Jason Winkleblack

Are you guys animal rights activists?
Not like everybody portrays us to be. I mean, everybody tries to make it sound like we’re out fuckin’ picketing Burger King or McDonald’s or whatever. I mean, we all have real jobs. Honestly, it’s kinda just like an underlying theme in our music and our lyrics.

Everybody in the band is from San Diego?
We all live here. Josh is from Bumfuck, Illinois. Our drummer is actually from Chile. He is very Latin. He’s definitely the heat of the band.

He kinda looks like a yoked-out version of the bass player from Interpol.
Great observation, but I think he looks exactly like the drummer.

Cattle Decapitation

Do you guys think the San Diego metal scene is weak?

Kids here don’t seem to really try to branch out and test new things, or even go to a show just for the sake of there being a show in town. They go to only what they know. I mean, fuck, if somebody told me there was a metal show goin’ on in San Marcos when I was growing up in Escondido, I would’ve shit my pants. North County doesn’t get shit.

What’s your guilty pleasure? What album do you listen to that nobody would ever think you listened to?
I’m gonna say the fuckin’ Blackout album by Britney Spears. It sounds like candy.

  • Creature x Gwar

    Creature x Gwar
    Chris Russell gets sacrificed onstage with Gwar for their Creature collab. Get a board with some gore, you maggots. 
  • Run The Jewels Interview

    Run The Jewels Interview
    Not many musical acts bridge the gap between hip-hop's "Golden Era" and those who seek fresh new sounds. Run The Jewels stands tall over this divide. Killer Mike and El-P already each had a rich legacy and their combined forces have produced something unique.
  • The Shrine's "Born To Waste Away" Music Video

    The Shrine's "Born To Waste Away" Music Video
    The Shrine’s raw new music vid pushes back on the American Dream in LA and helps give funds to protestors for legal aid. Bump this on your next bowl session. 
  • Hacksaw Interview

    Hacksaw Interview
    Hacksaw's music is not here for your enjoyment. It exists to pummel you into submission. We caught up with these heavy noise makers, but we were particularly curious about guitarist/skater Mike Hell's perspective and ethics of eating garbage straight from the can. 
  • Cobra Man Interview

    Cobra Man Interview
    Musical act Cobra Man was conceived from the fire of skate videos but it has now grown into its own groovy, dance-music monster. The band's DNA is shared with the skate pscyhos over at Worble and their tunes are hot and heavy throughout the new vid Party Destroyer.
  • Soccer Mommy Interview

    Soccer Mommy Interview
    Blending genres of different musical eras, Sophie Allison AKA "Soccer Mommy" has crafted her own unique sound. She's a true songwriter and Atiba Jefferson had the honor of directing her latest video which, of course, involves skating.
  • Jeff Ament: Rock Stardom to Skate Philanthropy

    Jeff Ament: Rock Stardom to Skate Philanthropy
    Selling 85 million albums worldwide is quite an accomplishment. But Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament has another epic legacy. He has been pivotal in getting skateparks built in underserved rural areas including many Native American reservations. Here he talks about his roots in music and skating.
  • Grind and Slam in Amsterdam

    Grind and Slam in Amsterdam
    If you’re near the Netherlands this month, make sure you get over to Skatepark Noord’s Grind and Slam event for a damn good time skating and circle-pitting to Vitamin X and Kaak. Check the crucial details on the flyer and learn the 24-hour clock while you’re at it. 
  • Death Match Austin 2020

    Death Match Austin 2020
    As many of you know, on March 6th the City of Austin issued a disaster declaration, cancelling SXSW in light of concerns relating to the COVID-19 virus. As a result, the Death Match on March 19-21 has been cancelled.
  • Orville Peck Interview

    Orville Peck Interview
    The mysterious performer Orville Peck has managed to draw a dedicated following ranging from country fans, punks, pop enthusiasts and everyone in between. Writing from the heart and keeping showmanship a priority has proven to be a successful combination. We were stoked to hear he's down with the mag.