There are so many bands out there doing so many interesting things, it's hard to know where to turn. That's why we've created Crash Course, a recurring feature offering a concise introduction to a band or artist that we think slays, covering their origins, process and vision. Our latest subject is Loathe, a U.K. experimental metal group that can veer seamlessly between gauzy shoegazing atmospherics and mosh-driving death-metal-inflected extremity, sometimes within the same song. They've been compared to Code Orange. They recently earned a nod from Deftones' Chino Moreno. They just dropped their stunning new album, I Let It in and It Took Everything. We caught up with lead singer Kadeem France to find what exactly Loathe stand for and get some insight into what makes them tick.
WHO IS LOATHE?
KADEEM FRANCE Loathe is five like-minded individuals who express freely for ourselves. We feel it purely and we hope everyone else does, too.
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE YOUR BAND'S MISSION STATEMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
To create a world that one may find pure escapism within.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO HEAVY MUSIC?
Honestly, it was mainly through video games like Guitar Hero and WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw. There are so many bands that I discovered through those video games, as well as growing up watching WWE and listening to the wrestlers intro music.
BEING IN A BAND, WHAT'S THE HARDEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE COME ACROSS SO FAR, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
I'd say balancing my life at home with band life can be challenging at times. Recently I've made more of a conscious effort to do more things with my family and friends while I'm home from tour.
WHAT'S YOUR PRESHOW RITUAL?
I usually like to isolate myself from everyone else — go in a dark room or even just be in the tour van on my own for at least half an hour to get myself into the correct mindset for the show.
WHAT'S THE CRAZIEST THING THAT'S EVER HAPPENED AT ONE OF YOUR SHOWS?
A guy broke his leg at one of our hometown shows a while back, where he ended up needing to get a massive metal plate inserted in his leg. He did end up getting a free T-shirt though ...
WHAT'S THE BEST PART OF BEING ON TOUR AND WHAT'S THE WORST PART OF BEING ON TOUR?
The best part is how free you feel traveling new places with your best friends and being able to step out of "reality" for a while, doing something you genuinely love. The worst part though is, of course, missing family and friends, missing birthdays, and missing other special occasions because you're away. Also, getting into bad sleeping habits and eating badly.
WHAT'S THE WEIRDEST PLACE YOU EVER SLEPT ON TOUR?
On our first E.U. tour, there was literally no space to sleep in the van, so we all got our sleeping bags out and slept underneath the van.
WHAT ARE YOUR ESSENTIAL ITEMS THAT YOU HAVE TO BRING WITH YOU WHILE ON TOUR?
A sleeping bag, for sure — for the reasons above.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS?
I have a golden brown American bulldog XL. She's called Akira and she's the most beautiful dog in the entire world .
WHAT BAND OR MUSICAL ARTIST ARE YOU A BIGGEST FAN OF?
Earl Sweatshirt is probably my favorite artist of all time, but I've never got a chance to see him live, unfortunately — although I've probably watched every live video of him that's on YouTube.
IF YOU COULD ONLY PLAY ONE OF YOUR SONGS FOR SOMEONE TO INTRODUCE THEM TO YOUR BAND, WHAT SONG WOULD IT BE?
The title track of our new album.