Meeting Manchester’s Most Extreme Band and their Love for Vegan Food

"It is sh*t when I hear a band I like and they end up being some spicy Nazis, who want to keep their Scandinavian forest full of white people.”

In the early 00s, System of A Down, Slipknot and Linkin Park were soaring the UK charts. We had baggy jeans with chains on, patches sewn on to the back and a Guy Fieri-esque shirt with flames on. This ‘mosher’ phase was so important to our lives back then, it was a rare time where extreme was the mainstream. Most of us grew out of this phase, quickly shunning metal back to the fringes of society. However, there’s a Manchester band who couldn’t drop the phase and have been battering ear drums ever since.

Their name is Ingested; they’re a born and bred Manchester band and their music is not for the faint hearted – they are on the extreme side of death metal.

A band for over a decade, they’re regularly on a US tour with some of the biggest metal bands in the world. During this time, releasing an extensive back-catalogue of 4 LPs and 1 EP. They have 122k followers on Instagram, and 110k on Facebook. Their top viewed Youtube video has half a million views. Add in drum and guitar contracts with established brands and recently signing on to one of the biggest metal promoters. Ingested are the Manchester kings of extreme metal.

Blistering guitar riffs layered on break-neck drumming with visceral screams from the depth of hell. When you can unpick the lyrics, they are brutally explicit. For Ingested, this has led to controversy and they were recently banned from playing a university’s student union. This isn’t the first-time metal music has been under the microscope. With extreme metal’s link to the far-right in Scandinavia and a historical link to Satanism. Metal music has been a hotbed for controversy through its existence.

What many consider far away from extreme is vegan food. However, it is something that the boys from Ingested hold close to their heart. In-fact its roots with metal music runs deep. 90’s bands such as Carcass and Napalm Death used veganism as a sort of political rebellion, it was a middle-finger to the establishment and the meat industry. It’s fascinating that these bands were using environmental and social consciousness connected to veganism as means of anarchy. Despite their name, Cattle Decapitation are a new wave death metal band who actually use pro vegan lyrics.

To many it could seem quite paradoxical, aggressive songs about sacrificing and torturing people but at the heart a community that prides itself on consciousness. For the last two decades has metal music been telling us to open our eyes? Could this be another time those on the fringe of society have been trying to warn us?

I sat down with Sam the guitarist of Ingested and vegan of nearly ten years, to talk everything from Greggs’ sausage rolls to right-wing metal bands…

Your lyrical content recently created controversy, can you explain what happened?

“Yes, we were banned from playing a show because of lyrics we wrote as 18-year-olds. I get why some people would be offended by some metal lyrics. However, where do you draw the line? There’s probably 1000’s of books and films in Canterbury library that depict the same content. It’s non-fiction, it’s entertainment and we want to shock people. It’s not our actual thoughts when we meet people, we want everyone to have the best in life. Only three people complained, it was weird we had played Dundee University that tour. Our lyrics aren’t who we are as people, it’s an image we use as a means to entertain.”

It’s not metal’s first controversy, there’s been a lot of links to the “alt-right” and extreme metal, what’s your take on that?

“Metal is an extreme genre on the edge of society therefore its bound to attract extreme personalities. Unfortunately, some use it as a political tool, we choose not to touch politics. We consider ourselves liberal and if anything, we aim our lyrics at those people who think everything they say is the truth. It is shit when I hear a band I like and they end up being some spicy Nazis, who want to keep their Scandinavian forest full of white people.”

You’ve been a vegan for 9 years; do you think you used veganism as a tool of rebellion?

“Nah, not at all, I did it for a past girlfriend. I don’t like to preach vegan, I like to educate people more with a Greggs vegan sausage roll and some positivity. I prefer that than trying to scare people with masks and videos. However, I do like to encourage others, everyone should do their bit – it feels good. People are more vocal about my life as a vegan than the whole death metal thing.” – “I’m in a death metal band on tour in the US and I’m also a vegan” “What? You’re a vegan? Let me talk to you about proteins…”

You’ve recently gone full-time as a band, how is that?

“Being in a full-time metal band is hard work, especially if the other bands on tour think they’re Metallica, when really, they’re a bunch of stoners who are just making enough money to eat. Lots of bands get it in to their head that arrogance gets you far, it doesn’t. Think it’s a good motto in life even at any work, just be easy to get along with.”

You travel round Europe and USA, where is the best support?

“Our home support is always great, it’s always so warm and supportive. Everyone in Manchester feels proud of us, even if we aren’t everyone’s thing, we just get a great turnout. We are proud to be a Manchester band, even as a death metal group we thank bands like Joy Division for creating a lasting scene in Manchester. Other than that, our US tours are always the best turnouts. We did 150 shows last year and 120 more this year – it’s getting better every time. Only took us 12 years to get a half-decent crowd.”

Any suggestions on where to get your vegan food-fix in Manchester?

“We’re lucky to be blessed with some great options in Manchester. I’m always eating the vegan Momos at the Little Yeti in Chorlton. Around the city centre you can always count on This and That, Common and Soup Kitchen. Got to shoutout Little Aladdins for always being there for me”

If this has peaked your interest and you think you can handle Ingested, their music is available on Spotify. Don’t act like I’ve not warned you, their new EP is coming out in June if you manage to get through the whole back catalogue. They have plans to play a Manchester date later in the year, if not you can catch them on an upcoming EU mainland tour with Cryptopsy.

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