Vice: Hello Shane. Napalm Death have been going for three whole decades now. That is a pretty long time. What has allowed Napalm to endure where so many others have whimpered off into obscurity?
Shane Embury (bass): We have always been fans of music so that helps. There have been many times of doubt but we have hung in there somehow. We are pretty close as friends but we’re also diverse as people and our influences reflect that. We also came from the old school way of doing things and although we keep an eye on what’s happening out there we just try and do our own thing. We’ve reached a point now where we feel very confident in our style but we equally feel like we can’t res on what we’ve done in the past so we try to move forward while keeping respect for what got us noticed in the first place.
Supersonic is a Birmingham metal festival. Do Napalm still feel like a Birmingham metal band?
We are a Birmingham band for sure even though we have two Americans in the band these days they’re probably more Brummie than we are. Birmingham is a strange city. I think it has a lot of layers that people overlook and a lot of great musicians as proved by the past and the present. Supersonic will feel like a homecoming I am sure.
What was in the water in Birmingham and the Midlands to cause so many bands like Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, Doom, Heresy, Ripcord, Unseen Terror to pop up in the 80’s?
Well ENT were from Ipswich and Ripcord were Bristol based but still smallish cities nontheless, If you are into heavy music in Birmingham there has always been a thriving scene of kids who are eager to break out of where they are. If you go into Scruffy Murphys you will see punks and metal heads coming in after work and there still seems to be a fire in the eyes and a keenness to bond and reach out and create. I actually come from Shropshire near Ironbridge and moved to Birmingham many years ago. All I wanted to do was make music like my heroes: Black Sabbath. Judas Priest and Discharge and when I moved here I met people who wanted to do the same thing. Life can be oppressive sometimes and music helps you escape that plus Birmingham has a grey, dark side like most cities but look at it's track record. There have been so many great and musically different bands that have emerged over the years that there has to be something in the water. It all just depends on how you want to channel your energy really.
Godflesh, Swans and no doubt some othe