Heaviest deadly sin

The Abominable Iron Sloth returns from its slumber and achieves … Zen?

INDOMINATABLE <br>With Andre beside him on drums, Justin Godfrey has resurrected the Abominable Iron Sloth.

With Andre beside him on drums, Justin Godfrey has resurrected the Abominable Iron Sloth.

Photo By Justin godfrey

The Abominable Iron Sloth at Paradise Lost Fri., Feb. 13, 9 p.m., with Armed For Apocalypse, Aubrey Debauchery & the Puke Boots and Cold Blue Mountain.

Paradise Lost
177 East 20th St., Chico

Justin Godfrey gave the real world a try. It didn’t work.

In 2006 a little band he masterminded called the Abominable Iron Sloth was peaking—new record, new label, music videos and a U.K. tour. The Sloth, arguably one of the heaviest bands on the West Coast at the time, also helped spawn a new metal scene in its hometown of Chico.

Around that time Godfrey also got married. Soon after, band members split, the tour fell apart and Godfrey got a real job and stopped playing music. He laid low for two years, occasionally hinting at resuscitating the Iron Sloth.

Then it happened. Last year things fell apart, including his marriage and his job. So when Godfrey was approached by Boston label Black Market Activities to produce a long-delayed Iron Sloth EP, he jumped aboard. He got his friend Andre (no last name) to play drums and the two hit the road in early January for what has been a true hell ride.

But Godfrey insists he’s having fun. The Abominable Iron Sloth will make its return to Chico next week as a plodding, sludgy, Zen-embracing two-piece. Godfrey chatted with the CN&R via e-mail from the road about what’s in store for the Iron Sloth in 2009 and the liberating effects of unemployment.

CN&R: Sounds like you’ve had an interesting tour so far …

Justin Godfrey: Yeah, I’m having a great time. There have been problems like food poisoning, drunk dudes and ambulance rides to the ER, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Especially for a 35-day tour in the middle of winter. Fingers crossed.

So how did you get the Sloth going again?

I started getting unemployment checks in October, and it had to be the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Andre and I started booking a U.S. tour. Being able to live and pay the bills while playing music for almost six months has to be the most liberating and awesome thing ever. Go democratic socialism.

How have the past few years changed you and the music?

Well, a few months back it sort of came down to killing myself or figuring out how to live. I sold most of my shit and gave up on trying to win the game. Minimalism and achieving Zen in 2009 are my only real goals. The music will reflect that.

Will there be older songs on the new record? Or are you strictly concentrating on newer material?

I wrote most of the songs for the first CD between 2003 and 2005, so quite a bit has changed musically since then. I have quite a few older songs and a huge stack of riffs that I’ve written in the last three years, but looking at them now I feel they are already in the past even though no one else has heard them. The spirit and vibe of the band has changed significantly in just the last few months so I’m not entirely sure which songs will be recorded and which won’t.

When can people expect a new Iron Sloth record?

We’re gonna record in March after we get back from tour and get settled in. It will probably be set for a summer release when we’ll try to tour the U.S. again.

What comes to mind when you realize that this project you started in Chico back in 2003 is still going?

It’s crazy how much things have changed with the band and the world since then. More than 20 people have played with me in this band at one time or another and I’m still doing it. I guess I realize that I’m stubborn and I’d still rather play a show for 10 people than work for the man.