There is no argument that Bring Me The Horizon are titans of the alternative scene, continuing to venture to corners of the sonic universe that no one else has gone before.
Having said that, at the end of the day, they’re only human, and have been as fallible as the rest of us to the virus that paused the world earlier this year. Lamenting on navigating the Earth with its lights out, new single ‘Parasite Eve’ amplifies the anxious race we’ve all been running since 2020’s troubling starting pistol fired off. We caught up with Jordan Fish about the fresh release.
To call ‘Parasite Eve’ a pandemic anthem wouldn’t be entirely accurate. To call it a successful read of the vital signs from a zeitgeist plagued with metaphorical and literal pandemics for some time, perhaps. Jordan explains somewhat of an uncanny synchronicity: “It was weird, in the weeks prior to when [the pandemic] was beginning, we were writing the song. We already had a little bit of that zombie vibe going on with the song anyway.”
“Then it just started to become a real thing as we were working on the song.”
That’s not to say the situation didn’t seep its way into the writing/recording sessions via a process of osmosis.
“It was more of a feeling, I guess, the feeling of anxiety and worrying about catching this fucking virus off of basically anyone and everything, for a while. It started to feel quite stressful. That influenced the vibe of the song more than anything.”
Tension and stress were always part of the mission plan for Parasite Eve, something that fused seamlessly with the background radiation of the pandemic. But the vision to create a chest-tightening, palpable sense of dread in Parasite Eve was there from the beginning. “We had a rough idea when we were going with it early on; we wanted it to feel quite hyper-produced. There’s a lot of detail and a lot of little sounds and stuff like that.”
“It sounds a little futuristic. And for some reason, to me with ‘futuristic’, I just think quite ADHD, hyper-detailed. That sound the production really just gives you is a vision of a futuristic vibe, quite claustrophobic and hectic, and a bit of a head fuck.”
Having already ear marked the first half of 2020 as a chance to hunker down in studio hibernation, Bring Me The Horizon were somewhat self-insulated from the onslaught of COVID-19-related logistical nightmares. Having said that, tough lockdown restrictions did present a problem. “We’ve never written separately before,” says Fish. No doubt however that after some teething problems and technical frustrations, Bring Me found their new normal: “I’ve got quite accustomed to it…it sounds really weird, because I never thought it would be that way, and the shit we’re getting is really cool.”
“That sound the production really just gives you is a vision of a futuristic vibe, quite claustrophobic and hectic, and a bit of a head fuck.”
“There’s no real reason for us to change the way we’re working, because we’ve got a really good kind of online….In some ways I kind of prefer it. We have our different perspectives. So rather than going down the rabbit hole completely together and we lose it, it’s almost like we can step away separately, gather our thoughts and come back every day and be like, “Okay, what do we think? Where are we going with this?”
“The only thing I’m missing, obviously, is the shows. But at the same time, we wanted to write a lot of material this year. So that’s what we’re going to be doing now, just writing.”
It’s also likely that the ongoing pandemic will rear its head further down the project line for Bring Me The Horizon, given that the current supply chains – and many tradition systems related to the release of music – have been dealt a brutal blow. “I feel like this is probably the death knell of the CD,” Fish points out.
“I think for me, physical is just done anyway. It already really was…I think vinyl is cool, it makes up a share, don’t get me wrong. I still think it has a place. But for me, the lead times on vinyl is so long by comparison to how quickly you can deliver virtual assets.
“We did a random EP drop at Christmas, just fucking remixes and experimental shit we worked on. And we delivered it five days before, and they were so quick. We had it online as a release a week later.”
As for the live element of Bring Me The Horizon, Fish firmly believes there’s no substitute for a live performance in front of a live crowd; meaning the answer may not be a virtual one. “Our attitude to shows has changed completely”, he asserts.
“We’re always very picky about where we play and how often we play. Before it was like, ‘No, we’re not going to do that. Why don’t we just do three shows?’ Our management have been coming to us with shows for next year, saying, ‘Well, what about this? Do you want to do 10 shows in Russia?’ We’re just like, ‘Fuck yeah. Just put us down for anything basically.'”
And by anything, they mean anything – Fish would even sign up for a drive-in concert “just for shits and giggles”, though upon hearing of the Australian experience at such events, may walk that back somewhat.
“Are they allowed to honk? That would put me off, to be fair.”
While their focus remains on successfully incubating, and releasing ‘Parasite Eve’ into the world, Fish and co. have one eye, at least, focused on the future. The horizon looks to include several smaller releases as opposed to one big one. “We’re working on an EP at the moment. I don’t know how long it’s going to be, but it’s got to be something probably close to an album.”
“I think we’re going to do a series of EPs now, over the next year, year and a half. I think we’re going to do a few EPs, I don’t know exactly how many, but they’re all going to be kind of connected.”
“First things first, get this song out and take it from there.”