Somewhere between Through Silver in Blood-era Neurosis and the most cerebral of Godflesh‘s material lies the sound that Lament Cityscape possesses. This Oakland-based duo released an album of apocalyptic proportions by the name of The Torn just a few short weeks ago. The record is immense and powerful. Behemoth, down-tuned guitars collide with thunderous percussion for maximum sonic abuse. But darkness is often met with light as shimmering melodies, although somber in their expression, entangle themselves in the mechanical inner-workings of these industrialized opuses. This group has crafted, arguably, one of the more enthralling albums of the year. American Aftermath recently caught up with Lament Cityscape head honcho, Mike McClatchey, to discuss the new record, future plans and the inevitable VHS version of the album.
Could you please introduce yourself and your role in Lament Cityscape?
-I’m Mike. I play some guitar and I guess I do some singing now.
How did Lament Cityscape come into being?
-Shit. A bunch of years back, when I was in other bands, the idea for Lament Cityscape was that it was going to be an outlet for more personal music; a much more selfish project. It took several years to get focused enough to know what I wanted out of it, but that always changes. I recorded and released a couple EPs alone but then I got a rad drummer, named Sean, who fucking changed everything. The “I” is now a “we” and it’s weird and awesome.
What can you tell me about the new record, The Torn, in terms of writing and overall sound?
-We definitely had an intention with how we wanted the album to sound. I think we both feel a solid 90% with how it turned out. I don’t know a fucking thing when it comes to recording so we had Jack Shirley from The Atomic Garden record our drums so they wouldn’t sound like dogshit. Everything else we can do ourselves. We were on no time restraint so we spent months mixing it until we got what we wanted. As for writing, who the fuck knows?! I wish I had something awesome to say here.
Are there any specific themes explored on the record?
-Yeah, I suppose there are.
The album cover features a barren landscape, which leads me to believe that environmental change and collapse might be a theme touched upon on the record. If so, what are your thoughts?
-I like that. I’d love to lie and say that you’re right. It’s a lot more of a personal record, though. There are definitely themes of change and collapse, but I’d say it’s done in more of a human and individual narrative.
Throughout the album, I can hear the sounds of flies. As the record reaches its conclusion, the buzzing becomes more mechanized sounding. Do these sounds have any significance in relation to the album’s themes?
-Yes, I suppose they do.
What is the significance behind the album’s title, The Torn?
-This is the first record where I’ve ever written lyrics. Before ‘The Torn’ we were an instrumental project. The main themes of the album didn’t really expose themselves until several songs into it. The whole fucking process is littered with self-doubt and second-guessing oneself. The title of the album came half way into writing it. The loose themes and ideas behind ‘The Torn’ are stemmed in duality.
What’s next for Lament Cityscape?
-We are gearing up for a tour through the southern states, in an attempt to avoid ice, throughout Nov and Dec. After that, we going to have a digital-only release of remixes, called ‘Turn Outward’. We got some incredible artists to remix/reimagine our songs and we are currently finishing that up. We might release a VHS version of ‘The Torn’ just to be assholes and waste money on bad ideas.
Any final words or thoughts?
-I guess not. Take care!