Shane Embury - Napalm Death

Together with the sheer intensity of Napalm Death and your lyrical themes on humanist and political themes, Napalm Death will go down as being one of the most influential bands in the history of extreme metal. How does it feel to be a part of metal history and in such an influential way also? being older and this being my 32nd year in Napalm, you do look at it all in wonderment sometimes. We all take life in our stride and like to think we are pretty down to earth people but when you stop for a second and look at the bands achievements, it’s hard not to smile and feel good about it all. For all of us and I know speaking for myself, it’s nice to be part of something that was very special to me growing up and to carry that on is great. 

Obviously history shows that Birmingham is one of the most iconic places in the world for producing game changing bands in the world of metal. Are there any bands or perhaps a particular genre that you think will uphold that legacy moving forward into the future?

It’s hard to speculate. I am pretty sure there's a band or two lurking out there in Birmingham ready to launch itself out into the world but there are many cities out there as well. It’s not just Birmingham but the whole of the Midlands is spawned with a lot of great bands. What’s interesting to me is that music will always expand boundaries and the future might just come from inside the mind of a person sat at home in his bedroom, living with his parents. You just don't know but there are people such as myself out there listening and waiting.

With 15 studio albums behind you, the last of which being 2015’s “Apex Predator - Easy Meat”, I believe that now Napalm Death are working on a new album due to be released later this year? How are things shaping up for the new album and is it correct that Mitch Harris will be back joining you in the studio for the new release?

The music for the new album has been recorded now since June of last year and it was done in 2 sessions. Mitch did come over and record guitars on the new record but all the compositions were written by myself which was quite a challenge to make it all flow but at the same time hopefully have diversity, which I think it has. Barn has nearly recorded all his vocals parts. We have been playing so many shows in support to Apex and of course the coded smears compilation and there's more shows already booked coming up towards the end of September, so we have decided to take our time with this album. We have a strong amazing album title but I don't think the album will be released now until early 2020.


On a creativity level and also from your multiple live performances with all of your bands, it must make you one of the busiest musicians in the industry. How do you manage to find the time in your busy schedule to fulfil all of your commitments and what keeps you motivated to keep driving the genre forward?

As time has moved on I have become more confident in writing songs, music, whatever and have been even luckier to have recorded with some amazing people and you learn a lot from those experiences. I just also love making music and being in the studio as well. I work a lot with Russ Russell as well of course but it is my life and it has become part of what I do. I think confidence has a lot to do with it also. Of course albums take time to be released so a lot goes on behind the scenes before it comes out but with modern technology now you can record ideas when on the road and well, my mind never shuts down I fear. I like and have always liked many different genre’s of music so its great inspiration. I have the support of my wife too and she knows it's what I have to do.

Between all of your different bands and projects you have worked with a large amount of incredible artists, all of whom have varying backgrounds in metal. You must have gained some invaluable knowledge and have some fantastic memories from your journey so far?

Well as I mentioned earlier, the people I have collaborated with over the years have helped me become more confident and you do share knowledge of your experiences. I have been lucky to record with a lot of people who I admire and that's been great for me as a fan of music as well and its encouraging for the future. When working on a new project, I think of who else can I ask next to take part in this particular journey and it certainly helps you grow as a musician.

Over recent years your bands have joined forces for tours all across the world, with you doubling up and sometimes even pulling triple duty. May sees Brujeria team up with Venomous Concept for a European tour, just how demanding do the tours become in these situations?

It’s not something that I always wanted to happen but sometimes situations dictate that as in the campaign tour a couple of years ago, Lock Up had a new album come out and the band never really gets the chance to tour so I suggested it when Napalm and Brujeria were already confirmed. I did find it challenging but it was something that I wanted to try, it worked well and it kept me busy on tour. From mid afternoon every day it was full steam ahead and that was cool for me. I looked at it like warming an old engine up and by the time Napalm hit the stage, it would be all go. Saying that, the last week was tough, more so on the ears but when the situation dictates, I just step up again. I guess I get a kick from it.


2017 saw Napalm Death play Glastonbury Festival and this year you will be destroying Boomtown Festival with At The Gates. Now there is an online petition for you to play an MTV pop festival also. What is it like playing these type of shows which are very much non metal festivals and is there anywhere that “The fathers of Grind” won’t try to bring extreme metal to the masses?

Well Glastonbury has always been quite a subversive festival over the years and I guess that is at times forgotten so I think we did fit in. A lot of the people involved with the festival were genuinely happy to see a band like Napalm get the opportunity to play and it was an incredible show. I feel that Napalm is a band that can play any festival really, there's always a certain amount of interest there and for us we take it in or stride. We are pretty easy going people with little demands so I think festivals embrace our attitude, we get a kick out of the experience and I hope that there's more to come.


Also last summer saw you take the opening slot supporting Slayer in North America along with Lamb of God, Anthrax and Testament. What was it like to be a part of such a huge farewell tour?

Well that was unexpected for us but we had to say yes as Slayer were and are a big part of our DNA growing up. We had a lot of friends and band members working in crews on the tour so it was a lot of fun. We knew we had only 30 minutes to play every day, we just went for it and enjoyed the whole spectacle and it also left a lot of time to enjoy the rather generous catering. Then we also got to check out Slayer and their intense pyro show. I think it was a brave move for Slayer to take out Napalm and of course in Europe it was Obituary and that was an honour. We gained a lot of new interest from that tour and we are forever thankful for the opportunity.

Back in August of last year you unleashed a new project called “Born to Murder The World” where you teamed up with Mick Kenny of Anaal Nathrakh and released the blistering debut “The Infinite Mirror of Millennial Narcissism”. How did this collaboration come about and will we ever get to hear you guys play this material live?

This was an album Mick and I had recorded for sometime. Mick is a guy who lived in Birmingham and he especially kept me focused with his enthusiasm. I have had an idea to have an exclusive Digital label for a while now and since this had literally been sitting around I asked Mick if I could put it out there. He said yes and that was that. The Label is a way of me releasing stuff easily without the hassle of a normal cable like some of my projects. I want to just put it out there, to just see what happens and let it grow organically. In some cases, its just for me and just so people can check it out but yes we will record some new stuff soon and I think once that's done it would be cool to play a live show or two. 

You recently announced yet another new project called Tronos. This time you have teamed up with renowned produced Russ Russell who you mentioned earlier, can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from this exciting collaboration?

Russ and I have been the best of friends and have worked together for over 20 years and Tronos is the culmination of many of our late night conversations about the music we love and what we would like to create together. This has been a slow process and I am happy it's finally coming out. It's an album of many different flavours with a few guests on the album as well and so far the reactions have been very positive so all the years of silently toiling away on this album have paid off. Its a very personal album for Russ and myself. We poured a lot of heart and soul into this record so it has many different influences.

Thank you for your time and we look forward to yet another busy year of extreme metal from Shane Embury.

Cheers Harvey and thank you for the interest.

Don't forget that Brujeria and Venomous Concept are teaming up for a European tour in May. Tickets available now.

Tronos dedbut album will be released on April 12th via Century Media Records. You can pre-order the album via the link below.

Also other links to Shane's projects:



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