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Filth Is Eternal: "We lost a tour because people objected to our old name"

Filth Is Eternal
(Image credit: Church Road Records)

“The goal with the first album was to come out swinging.”

The above quote proudly tumbles from the smiling gob of Brian McClelland, guitarist for Seattle-based rippers Filth Is Eternal, as he describes the intent behind the band’s debut album, 2018’s Suffrage, and how its follow-up, Love Is A Lie, Filth Is Eternal compares and contrasts.

“Coming from the previous band that Lisa [Mungo, vocals] and I were doing, He Whose Ox Is Gored, it was a big shift from progressive, experimental metal towards more traditional and immediate hardcore punk where we wanted to make something really gnarly,” Brian says. “For the new album, we had time to reflect on what worked during that process and what resonated. We also got a new rhythm section, got to learn all those Suffrage songs with the new line-up and apply that knowledge of how these guys play that material to how we wrote the new material, and how we were able to expand our sound beyond coming out swinging and playing fast and hard.”

In hindsight, Brian admits that Filth Is Eternal may have come out swinging a bit too hard for the broader and genteel public, especially once they began making headway beyond the world of gigs in sweaty basements and record stores. That’s because before landing on Filth Is Eternal as their moniker, the band’s original handle was Fucked And Bound, and the description definitely lived up to billing. 

From the first notes of Suffrage’s opener Wild Thing, Fucked And Bound shot out of a bristling vein with a barbarous and kinetic metallic hardcore. They also quickly learned that, despite the DIY scene embracing the vulgar nod and innuendo-meets-socio-political-commentary of their original branding, the rest of the world doesn’t swing as free and easy or take as kindly to titular confrontation, especially within the murky world of social media.

“Over the course of the pandemic, social media was a wreck everywhere,” says Brian, analysing the reasons behind the band’s name change. “The fact is we’re a largely word-of-mouth kind of band that garners attention from playing live and having really intense live shows where we try to go out and have fun with the crowd. And not being able to play live, while at the same time culture wars were crushing some of the algorithms, we were having a hard time getting to people we were already engaging with. We were even having a hard time getting our record out to fans. Before the pandemic, we were already having problems with booking – we lost a tour because venues were getting opposition to our name. Everything was getting censored more and more. We didn’t necessarily want to change the name, but the reality is when you’re doing this DIY, you’re doing it by the skin of your teeth and we didn’t want to put out another record and have all that hard work go to waste.

“But, we also got half a new band. Lisa and I had been doing Fucked And Bound from the beginning with a different drummer and bassist and after we welcomed Rah Davis [bass, ex-Skelator, Cattle Decapitation (live)] and Mat Chandler [drums, Re-buried] we had been talking about a new name because we were a new team.”

What has this entire story dripping in ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ irony is the fact that Filth Is Eternal’s original moniker was selected in part as an uncouth reaction to the hammerlock sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have on the world today.

“In some ways, we initially picked Fucked And Bound because it was intense, fun and different, but it was also a ‘fuck you’ to social media and that kind of thing. We started this band as a side band when Lisa and I were doing He Whose Ox Is Gored, so we’ve run promotions and venues, done shows, booked our own tours and done that work, so we know what that’s like, but I don’t know if we expected this band to take off in the way it has and the reality is that it’s really hard to get anything done today without social media. The majority of the way people absorb information, news and culture is through social media. I work in social media, so I have an opinion about it and it’s great for certain things, but in a lot of ways it’s an unnecessary burden when you run into obstacles for reasons that are incorrect.”

Accordingly, Filth Is Eternal responded in the best way they know how; by channelling their frustrations into a 12-burst seismic volley of lacerating and screaming hardcore that’s equally as caustic as it is catchy.

“We wanted to reflect our personal intensity and make it so that’s there no mistake what you’re hearing is us, especially since it’s our second album and we have a better knowledge of the tools we’re working with. The album was started before the pandemic and we took our time to make sure the mixes and mastering were correct and the sequence and artwork was what we wanted. At the same time, we wrote a bunch of new music during the pandemic, so we have what amounts to almost an entire album of stuff that is even heavier!”

Love Is A Lie, Filth Is Eternal is out now via Church Road Records