It’s been quite the wild rollout for the latest offering from Bring Me The Horizon, with multiple singles coming at us from all quadrants of the sonic universe and guest features from both time tested favourites and new commodities. Now, as we hold the release in our hands, it’s clear even with all the pieces we were given, there was no way anyone could have solved the puzzle of what POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR was going to look like – a complex, but accessible rejection of genre. A stern record that knows how to have fun.
It would be early in the morning UK time on release day that band mates Jordan Fish and Lee Malia would be taking calls, and as such, the pair were yet to have the time to trawl through the internet for feedback. “I’ve not checked the internet enough today to see a full reaction,” Lee says. “I need to sit there for an hour and scroll.”
Already, there was a fan with a tattoo inspired by the album. “Is that the mask guy?” Jordan asks. “I did see that. I should have probably replied.”
At this stage in their career, the fan tattoos aren’t new, nor is the phenomenon of their fanbase’s swarm to new releases en masse as they attempt to extrapolate all sorts of meaning, purpose and direction from lyrics, track names, et al. – whether it’s there or not.
While it’s possible for fans to overthink these things, the band recognises and supports this fan-driven calculus.
“It gives them a focus and excitement. It’s good to see people getting so much more out of it than you think it’s going to give someone,” Lee explains. “I think it’s crazy. Kids find so much meaning in all these lyrics and it’s pretty amazing. They find a lot, so it’s pretty cool.”
“Oli has a way of writing about things like depression, especially, and sad feelings,” Jordan adds. “He can write lyrics in a way that people connect with quite heavily. That’s one thing about our band: Oli can convey that desperate pain in his lyrics without him feeling convoluted”
Jordan points to single ‘Teardrops’, which was accompanied with a clip directed by Sykes, as a key example of radical candour that resonates with fans. ‘Teardrops’ is essentially a homage to the specific brand of numbness that emerges when global calamities continue to impact our lives.
“Not only have they had their feelings articulated to them, but they’ve also got that connection of, ‘Well, someone else has it, too, and he’s in a band that I love and someone I look up to.’ It gives them someone to look up to and be like, ‘Well, if he can deal with it, then I can deal with it.'”
“It’s good to see people getting so much more out of it than you think it’s going to give someone…”
Indeed, the whole record is peppered with instances of existential dread, motifs of an unachievable future, of lost hope and the nihilism that all too easily encroaches on account of it all. The intention is not to dwell on these things, but to address them; naming and shaming them. “That’s the aim with this whole record…” Jordan begins. “To actually articulate the way this whole year has made us feel.”
“You don’t really realise how much of an effect all these things have on you; everything that’s going on in the public and seeing the police dragging people, people dying and constant COVID updates. To be fair, it does start to grate on you.”
It isn’t just the extended play that Bring Me The Horizon have sent forth as a beacon of hope for fans, but also a hard-fought UK tour announcement rescheduled to September 2021 which, at the time of publishing, seems achievable. Though also at the time of publishing, the COVID situation in the UK and Europe is fluid at best.
“We don’t even know if it will happen next year,” Lee admits. “We hope it does. We weren’t sure whether people were going to buy tickets, but they’re buying tickets. I feel like it will be a celebration more than a show.”
Now emerging from studio hibernation with their most expansive, complex release to date, and a taste for entering uncharted sonic waters, if there’s one thing Bring Me The Horizon know for sure, it’s that even now they’re yet to reach their final form.
“I don’t think we know what’s coming next yet, do we really?” Lee asks rhetorically. “You don’t want to just do this and then the next EP do the exact same thing again. I think it’s still going to be different, isn’t it?”
Having said that, deep within the POST HUMAN sessions, there was an epiphany. One that may not have been a ‘reaction’ to 2019’s Amo, but certainly informed by it. “It’s nice slightly rediscovering that side of the band that we maybe didn’t really touch on as much,” Jordan interjects.
That being the primal Bring Me The Horizon, the one driven by raw instinct, and unashamedly so. “I think that has been a cool thing, just getting us a bit more firing on all cylinders. We’re just going to be like, ‘Bring Me The Horizon to the max.’
“There are things that we do that are big and stupid and we’re really good at them. It feels like we’re being a bit cheap and easy, but it’s not cheap and easy…It’s something that only we can do in the way we do it.”