Empire State Bastard talk ‘Rivers of Heresy’, Dave Lombardo and honouring their metal roots

A formidable musical entity emerges as Empire State Bastard release their debut album “Rivers of Heresy” this Friday September 1st via Roadrunner Records.

Comprising of Mike Vennart (Oceansize/Biffy Clyro), Simon Neil (Biffy Clyro), metal drumming legend Dave Lombardo and live bassist Naomi Macleod (Bitch Falcon), the band have dug deep into their metal, grind and stoner sludge roots to pay homage to their early musical influences, creating a project that bends genres and melts faces.

The Everblack Podcast spoke to Mike Vennart (Oceansize/Biffy Clyro) and Simon Neil (Biffy Clyro) from EMPIRE STATE BASTARD about their debut album, Rivers of Heresy, recruiting Dave Lombardo, honouring their metal roots and influences, future of the project and more!

Watch/listen to the interview here: 

Simon Neil and Mike Vennart first envisioned the idea of Empire State Bastard during downtime on tour with Biffy Clyro, goading each other to find the most visceral and vitriolic music they could uncover. It took years for the idea to be fully put into practice, with Mike crafting instrumentals inspired by SiegeSlayerSleep and The Locust before Simon added equally feral vocals a world apart from what he was previously known for. The band was completed by the ultra-consistent bassist Naomi Macleod and all-time drumming great Dave Lombardo.

The band’s debut album, Rivers of Heresy, adventurously probes almost every dark crevice imaginable from the myriad sounds of metal and genre-adjacent extremity. Their terrifying tourist trail visits slamming hardcore in the vein of Siege; frenetic thrash in Slayer’s ballpark; the claustrophobic sludge of Melvins; the freeform vocal dexterity of Mike Patton; and the gargantuan stoner riffs of Sleep. It’s a sound with roots inspired by metal’s forefathers, but more deeply influenced by the weirder, darker and unconventional leftfield twists that the genre has since voyaged into.

The result is the Rivers of Heresy which is available to pre-order HERE. Very limited stock remains of Assai Records’ poison green obi-strip vinyl, but other physical formats include a CD with an exclusive 24-page fanzine; a limited run of 666 cassettes with artwork by Simon; and red-and-black and poison green vinyl.

The Empire State Bastard live experience has already resulted in a run of instantly sold-out headline shows as well as festivals including Glastonbury, Download, 2000trees, Hellfest, Wacken Open Air and ArcTanGent. They will play North American dates in September (including Riot Fest and a New York headline gig) before returning to Europe for a wider tour in November.