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Coffinworm’s Dave Britts talks new album, line-up changes, lyrics, harsh vocals, and more

By Doug Moore

Coffinworm at Power of the Riff East, 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)

Metal is full of unlikely success stories, and Indianapolis’s Coffinworm are among them. This reclusive band virtually never tours (though they are fond of one-off visits to NYC); they play a head-spinning amalgam of virtually every extreme metal style; and with song titles like “Spitting in Infinity’s Asshole,” you can tell right away that the subject matter is unpleasant, to say the least. And yet this band has built a sizeable international following — their upcoming second album IV.I.VIII., which comes out on 3/18 via Profound Lore, is hotly anticipated. You can stream one of its tracks, “Black Tears,” over at Pitchfork.

We interviewed Coffinworm vocalist Dave Britts over at Invisible Oranges as part of our ongoing series about harsh vocalists. Here’s an excerpt:

What new things do you feel like you’ve done on the new Coffinworm record?

For starters, almost all of the lyrics were written in the studio over the course of the two sessions. Some really serious stuff happened to me personally just before we recorded. When I looked at what I had written previously for the album at the time, it all seemed very, very fake. It seemed like it was written by a different person for a different band, a thousand fucking years ago. It just seemed irrelevant. I tore the lyrics out of my lyric book, which I don’t normally do, and destroyed them. We had already recorded “Instant Death Syndrome” for the split with Fistula, so I already had that. But otherwise, I had my work cut out for me, since I’m ordinarily very meticulous. I like to take time to really approach it like I’m writing a book or something. But this time, I had to come up with everything on the spot. We had a week where we recorded, then a week off, and then another week where we recorded, and that was it. Before that, my lyrics had always been written over long periods — years, in some cases. So that was a huge change.

I don’t know the fuck I’ll ever top that record. I don’t have any children and I’m not married; when I listen to it, I imagine that it’s what giving birth to your first child must be like. I felt extremely proud of the first record, and I didn’t think we’d ever top that one. Frankly, it’s a minor fucking miracle that we even did a second record. With all the shit we’ve been through as a band and as people — I don’t know how the fuck I’ll ever top that second record.

You can read the full interview over at IO. Listen to the first single from IV.I.VIII., “Lust Vs. Vengeance,” and an older Coffinworm jam below…

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