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High On Fire Frontman Matt Pike Discusses "Electric Messiah," Sleep And Lemmy

Very few musicians make it so far as to form an influential band, let alone two. But since Sleep's debut, "Volume One" in 1991, metal fans have been treated to the awesome might of Matt Pike's guitar sound and in 2000, listeners have become familiar with his distinct voice, as High On Fire released their debut, "The Art Of Self Defence." Over the course of this nearly thirty year period of releasing records, Matt Pike has come to be seen as a modern metal legend, with fans often comparing him to Motorhead frontman Lemmy, something he modestly refutes.

Before their show in Bristol yesterday, I was lucky enough to sit down with the man himself to discuss his career, the new albums from both High On Fire and Sleep and the meaning behind the awesome "Electric Messiah" artwork. You can watch the interview in full below.

Speaking about "Electric Messiah":
"I think by far it's the most progressive. This one really came out with a twist. I thoroughly love this record. It really is our best album. As far as our intellectual and soulful sides and we've all gotten better at our instruments."

On lyrics:
"Well I did read but my eyes are going bad now so I haven't been as avid about reading but nowadays there's YouTube and documentaries and stuff like that so if you search YouTube you can probably find documentaries on what you're looking for, although I still have a library in case the electricity goes out."

On the album being a tribute to Lemmy and comparisons to him:
"The title track is. Me and Des had this punk rock song, with a riff that Jeff wrote a long time ago and I threw these chord progressions in there. I was thinking about themes for the record and when Lemmy died... I knew Lemmy a little bit, he was a big hero to me and I was on tour with, I fucking loved the guy. The day he died I happened to be at a friend's tattoo shop and I got this tattoo. I had this dream a couple of days later where Lemmy was kind of hazing me because people keep calling me the American Lemmy, which I'm fucking not. That guy was so above me. I wouldn't desecrate his memory like that, but I did want to do a tribute to him and every time we went through that song it was 'the Lemmy song' and we came up with some funny working titles and it was initially, 'Insect Workout With Lemmy' and eventually we came up with 'Electric Messiah, which sounds like a fucking great album title. The rest of the record has a lot more themes on it, it's not just blowing hot air up Lemmy's dead ass.

"I have this panic or dread about people calling me the American Lemmy. I'm not a dude that needs to feed his ego. I want people to appreciate me because I'm good at what I do and I do a lot in the music scene but I don't call myself that and I don't want other people calling me that because all that does is lead to narcissism if you're that kind of person so I don't want to be labelled like that. I'm just a dude that's really into music."

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Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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3 Comments on "High On Fire Frontman Heralds The Electric Messiah"

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1. gripper writes:

greatly appreciated Oz
fine work as always

# Oct 25, 2018 @ 9:29 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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2. Diamond Oz writes:

Thank you very much, Gripper! Much appreciated.

# Oct 25, 2018 @ 10:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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3. Bolt_Thrower writes:

“Blowing hot air up Lemmy’s Dead ass” would make a great album title.

# Oct 27, 2018 @ 6:47 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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