Idol Listening

Summer Slaughter Celebrity Playlist: Cattle Decapitation Guitarist Josh Elmore’s “3:31am Tour Driving Reflection” Playlist


Summer Slaughter Idol Listening

MetalSucks is a proud sponsor of this year’s Summer Slaughter tour featuring Arch Enemy, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, The Acacia Strain, Obscura, After the Burial, Cattle Decapitation and Beyond Creation. We’ve asked one member of every band on the tour to assemble a themed playlist for our Idol Listening series and we’ll be counting down one per week until the tour begins in late July. Get dates for Summer Slaughter right here to make sure you don’t miss it!

Today Cattle Decapitation guitarist Josh Elmore shares a playlist for that most daunting of tour tasks: the overnight drive. In the Q&A that follows, Elmore talks about the keys to getting through those brutal drives and his love for Gillian Welch. 

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1. Nightbringer – “Lantern of Eden’s Night”
2. 16 Horsepower – “Hutterite Mile”
3. Union of Uranus – “Circumstance”
4. Laaz Rockit – “Fire In The Hole”
5. Holy Terror – “Debt of Pain”
6. Gillian Welch – “Time (The Revelator)”
7. Tears for Fears – “Laid So Low”
8. Charon – “Solution Averse Tenebrous Answer-Nothingness”
9. Scott Walker – “Jesse”
10. Trenchmouth – “How I Became Invincible”
11. Deathspell Omega – “The Shrine of Mad Laughter”
12. Swans – “The Sound”
13. Jason Isbell – “Yvette”
14. Chalice of Blood – “Shemot”

Variety is the spice of life, or so the saying goes. Is that the motivation behind this playlist?

Somewhat. For long van drives fatigue and boredom can really wear on you, so it pays to have a dynamic selection of music to choose from. A good mix of styles and moods keeps you mentally alert and prevents an already monotonous activity from being absolutely abysmal. Some nights I’ll pick music that is all about adrenaline to keep me engaged. Other nights the tunes will be all about contemplation and introspection. This list represents what I listen to on a regular basis both off and on the road.

Which band member is the usual night-driver in the van, and why?

That would be me. Dave [McGraw, drums] will do stints when the drive is really long, but maybe due to some weird control issue I will usually be found in the driver’s seat. Despite how tired I can or should be, it’s these long drives that allow me to have down time where my only concern is to safely get to the next town. Depending on one’s choice of music and the stretch of road, it can be almost meditative.

What’s the key to staying awake during those brutal all night drives?

A riveting playlist and lots of Pilot coffee. Frequent stretching and bathroom breaks are also a good tool to keep yourself from folding up into a ball and drifting into the guardrail. 20-30 minute cat naps at a rest stop or travel plaza can also be very restorative and a good safety measure to prevent dozing off .

Love that Gillian Welch album! Can you talk about what you love about her a bit?

It’s a classic! Her (along with her partner David Rawlings’) sound and style is of quiet desperation set in early 20th century rural America. I’m originally from said rural America and can identify with a lot of the sentiments in their music. There is this hopeful melancholy in the songs that often gives way to resignation. It’s hard to pick a favorite album of theirs. Revival, Time (The Revelator) and even their newest, The Harrow and the Harvest, are all fantastic.

Which bands are you most looking forward to seeing and hanging out with on Summer Slaughter?

We’re sharing a tour vehicle with Beyond Creation, so I would assume we will be socializing and hanging with them quite a bit. Strangely enough, we usually end up bonding with bands that we have the least in common with musically. So, maybe The Acacia Strain? I dunno. Unless you are one of the top three bands on the tour, set times are very short. That leaves everyone with a lot of time to get into trouble and wander back to the merch table every 10 minutes to check the tally and make either a smugly satisfied face or the hapless “what more do we have to do?” face.

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