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LISTEN: Dragged Into Sunlight + Gnaw Their Tongues Album
Toby Cook , November 9th, 2015 14:49

Dragged Into Sunlight team up with Gnaw Their Tongues for brand new collaborative album; check it out in full exclusively below. Homepage photo courtesy of Brian Sayle Photography

Dragged Into Sunlight, the mysterious British death/grind quartet who have penned such pleasant sounding classics as ‘Buried With Leeches’ and ‘Lashed To The Grinder And Stoned To Death’ have teamed up with the equally secretive Gnaw Their Tongues (one of many projects helmed by vino-guzzling Dutch agoraphobe Mories), whose latest LP, Abyss Of Longing Throats, was about as enjoyable as “bathing in sulphur and rusty razorblades as you cry-wank over Victorian amputee porn”, because, well, life isn’t quite terrible enough and you’ve clearly come to take your sanity and balanced mental hegemony for granted.

The results of this horrifying collaboration, N.V. (which stands for ‘negative volume’), is released later this month via Prosthetic records, but why wait to ruin the rest of 2015? Today, tQ is immensely proud to premiere a full stream of the upcoming album. We also caught up with an un-named member of DiS to get a few answers about how the collaboration came about, meeting death row inmates in the US and whether we’ll be able to buy DiS/Gnaw Their Tongues-branded bongs when the two head out on tour early next year. Enjoy! Or not.

Your collaboration with Gnaw Their Tongues looks and sounds like a particularly formidable idea, although when posters/flyers popped up at Temples festival this year it definitely came as quite a surprise. When did you first meet, and how exactly did the collaboration come about?

Dragged Into Sunlight: Our paths crossed as early as 2010, and by 2011 seemingly there was a very natural gravitational pull to collaborate or at least see how it would sound given the commonality between our respective sounds. It was total experimentation with a view to creating audio madness. There are very few bands that possess such a raw unadulterated passion for hatred.

Where did the initial genesis of the tracks come from? Were they created from material you’d already been working on? And how did the writing and recording process work? Were you all able to come together in the studio at all, or was it mostly created by sending pieces of music back and forth?

DiS: The sound that Dragged Into Sunlight creates is driven by daily frustration and in Gnaw Their Tongues we found a tension to push each other further and continue pushing the sound. Initially, and with Visceral Repulsion, the ambition was to create something totally disgusting and so messed up that it bordered between the two extremes of physical sickness and madness. It went from there and we continued to push the sound. The collaboration was very much the same as any Dragged Into Sunlight record with the added benefit of Mories, and one certainly should not underestimate that input as Mories continued to push the arrangement of the tracks, particularly the vocals and noise – there were just these sonic swells of harsh noise everywhere, akin to Merzbow on acid. We fed off those parts and new sounds to create drops that were on par with the likes of Arkangel and Converge during parts of 'Strangled with the Cord' and blasts that rivalled our favourite black metal sounds with 'Omniscienza'. The challenge to continue pushing the levels of extremity is what eventually delivered such an intensely consuming record.

N.V. stands for ‘negative volume’, right? What is the significance of the title? What, if any, is the conceptual theme running throughout the album?

DiS: It was derived from a discussion with an old friend during a Will Haven set at Temples Festival in Bristol in early 2015. Will Haven were performing and the concept of 'modern volume' came about in passing. The thing about modern volume is that it just isn't as good as that negative volume, that real fucked up 90s wall-smashing, soul-crushing volume, a level of unrivalled misery and a time when extreme music posed a genuine threat with bands such as early Obituary, Mayhem and Godflesh. It is on that basis that the title N.V. best summarises the intent of the music.

Rumour has it that one or more of the band has first-hand experience of meeting with murderers and death row inmates in the US – were the audio samples used throughout N.V. obtained this way? If not, where did they come from?

DiS: That is correct. Having met some of them, talking first hand, the words spoken are particularly chilling – although here the majority of samples are taken from interview and documentary footage in the most part. It is different hearing such commentary, disregard for human life, denial of responsibility and distorted views first hand, however the ambition to convey both the message and feeling is there and proves complimentary to the music and sound, or at least its intent.

One of the points highlighted with the initial announcement of the album was that you “took heavy inspiration” from Godflesh’s Steetcleaner – can you expand on that a little? Were there particular aspects, sonically, that inspired you or was it something deeper?

DiS: Godflesh created a unique sound, and any artist that creates a record which doesn't sound over a year old but was in fact produced over 25 years ago is certainly deserving of such credit. The cold and sharp feeling that Streetcleaner delivers shares a common ground with the aspirations of N.V.; There are certainly particular aspects of Godflesh that crossover into the sound that Dragged Into Sunlight strives to create. As stated previously, modern volume just isn't what it used to be and that is the significance of Streetcleaner. It stands as testament to a time when creativity knew no boundaries and artists freely produced music without looking for a box that it should or could fit into. New boxes were created with every record, boundaries and bands were continuously pushing levels of extremity. Contemporary extreme music is somewhat diluted and pale by comparison but most importantly, it is restricted and contaminated with concepts of industry and scenes which tend to belong to mainstream genres. No one is retiring from this and the thought that anyone would sacrifice their integrity to essentially sell a product undermines the core ethics of extreme music.

Justin Broadrick co-produced the record – how did he become involved? He’s also kind of the ‘go to guy’ for remixing metal songs, have you given him any of your material to work with/remix for a future release?

DiS: Our relationship with Justin is something we tend not to discuss in any detail. It’s a small world, put it that way. Certainly his input on the record is defining and proved to be the perfect addition. Everything, even the drums on N.V., sounds distorted and whilst you would expect the production to disintegrate as the volume goes up, the louder N.V. goes the more visceral and punishing it sounds, which was of course the desired result. We opted to work with Justin on this particular record but the unspoken influence was as per usual: Tom Dring, the producer for Hatred for Mankind and Widowmaker. Tom always has a pivotal and substantial input into the sounds that we create. Tom is without doubt part and parcel of Dragged Into Sunlight. On this occasion, everyone involved knew that Justin's finishing touches would ultimately conclude the record that N.V. set out to be. It may or may not be that we will work together in future.

Seldon Hunt produced the artwork – how did he become involved?

DiS: Dragged Into Sunlight draws a heavy influence from Khanate in places and so it was a given that upon concluding N.V. Seldon Hunt would oversee the artwork. Seldon is a perfectionist when it comes to fine detail and consequently we share a vast common ground in our approach. The artwork surmises the cold and premeditated intent that N.V. delivers.

What’s next for DiS? Are you going to be producing any Dragged Into Sunlight + Gnaw Their Tongues-branded bongs I can buy when you hit the road together briefly next year?

DiS: Dragged Into Sunlight is due to tour in Europe briefly prior to Maryland Deathfest and Temples Festival. Time will tell from there. It would be more appropriate to produce a Dragged Into Sunlight/Gnaw Their Tongues switchblade on this occasion.

N.V. is released worldwide on November 13 via Prosthetic Records. Dragged Into Sunlight + Gnaw Their Tongues will be performing live rituals next year – dates below

January 2016

15th - The Brudenell, Leeds (UK)
16th - Kuudes Linja, Helsinki (FI)
17th - Vulkan Arena, Oslo (NO)

February 2016

12th - The Borderline, London (UK)
13th - Het Bos, Antwerp (BE)
14th - Patronaat, Haarlem, (NL)

June 2016

4th Temples Festival, Bristol, (UK)