Full Of Hell: “We wanted to ask what it would sound like if the Butthole Surfers played grindcore”

How did working with NOTHING on last year’s When No Birds Sang change your approach to ‘conventional’ songwriting?
“Really, the NOTHING record was written in an unconventional way. We played Roadburn a couple of years ago and they asked if we could do a NOTHING collab. Rather than just going on and playing each other’s songs or doing improv, we got together to write a record. Nicky [Palermo] and Doyle [Martin] from NOTHING just came to Dave’s house and we spent, like, four days writing the entire thing. The main thing I took away from that whole process, though, was that as much as we had a ton of ideas for what we could do, it’s better to serve the song rather than ourselves or our egos.”

You collaborated with Primitive Man last year, too. Is it fair to say that some of their doomy, sludgy influence seeps through on Coagulated Bliss’ longest track Bleeding Horizon?
“I don’t want to pigeonhole the type of music that Primitive Man or NOTHING make, but ever since Full Of Hell started out, we’ve taken influence from bludgeoning drone bands and shoegaze bands as well as noisier pop bands and things like that. So if you look at a song like Bleeding Horizon, it’s more about how Melvins and Harvey Milk are two of my favourite bands, and they do the super-droning blown-out sound that goes into almost catchy pop-rock oriented riffs. I wanted to do that.”

Does working on so many different projects help stoke your creativity?
“It’s more about taking things as they come. If I start thinking, ‘I have to write a new record!’ I’ll be stumped. That’s happened to me before. But if I’m just messing around with my guitar at home, I’ll come up with riffs and send them to the guys. If they like them, I’ll try to turn them into songs.”

How did writing and recording sessions for this ‘proper’ Full Of Hell album compare to working with other bands?
“We wrote the whole record with NOTHING before we recorded but, normally, like working with The Body in the past, we prefer to collaborate by going into the studio together and trying to be creative on the spot. We might be in the studio for a week, spend the first three days writing songs, then the next four recording them. For a solo Full Of Hell record, it’s different. We might come up with some songs on the spot like that, but I prefer to have gone through that process of sending around ideas, building them into full songs, then going into the studio. It’s more fun to have the meat-and-potatoes done and spend more time combing through and adding extra bits.”

Stylistically, does it feel like Coagulated Bliss could be a turning point for Full Of Hell?
“It’s hard to say. You don’t really know until you get to the next thing. But we would like to try to do different stuff, both in terms of songwriting and doing different tours so that we can play to some new people. If you play with the same bands to the same people constantly, it’s going to get stagnant. So it’s a turning point in as much as we’re trying to keep pushing ourselves, entertaining ourselves, trying new things. On some of the older recordings between Weeping Choir and Garden Of Burning Apparitions, it felt like maybe some of the songwriting had begun to get a little safe. But this record and the NOTHING record is very much about us getting out of our comfort zone.”