Following the re-release of their debut EP The Infinite Growth Paradigm vs Finite Resources earlier this year, Codex Alimentarius have been on the periphery of my musical vision. When a time was confirmed for an interview at this year’s Amplified Festival there were so many questions I wanted to ask them. I find any band that writes music that speaks out against the way things are, very admirable. When the music is as crushing as this too, it’s a match made in heaven and although I didn’t have long in their company, I hope this is the beginning of a long friendship.
What are your thoughts on Amplified so far?
It’s great that there’s a new Open Air on the scene and it’s close to us too. It can’t be helped when you get setbacks like the rain but there’s people here rocking out to the music so it’s all good.
Are you sticking around on site to see any other bands over the weekend?
Yeah we’re here to enjoy the whole weekend and we’ve got a load of friends here so come rain or shine, we’re going to make the most of it. We’ve seen a couple of bands over the past few days but to be honest I’ve drunk quite a lot so I don’t really remember a lot from yesterday. There was Outright Resistance this morning who are always good but a lot of the time we’ve been huddled in tents with friends drinking.
Did you guys all make your way here together?
Yeah, a few of the guys have gone back up with the gear already though.
What were you listening to on your journey here?
I was listening to the Deals Death album Point Zero Solution which is very much melodic death metal all the way through which is really good for driving. Some thunderous music for the thunderous weather really.
What has Codex Alimentarius got in the works for the rest of the year?
Well for the rest of the year we’ve got tours that are yet to be announced and we’re still in the process of supporting the re-release which is going really well as well as doing a couple of festivals next year. We’re doing the charity show in September with Red Mist in our home town as part of the Hope Through Devastation shows. It’s been great working with The Moshville Times on the PR for the event so thanks a lot for that!
More broadly, where do you want to see the band go in the next few years?
The full-length album is what we want to get done. We’ve done EPs and that but we’re beginning to build a concept around a full-length album on the political stuff we’ve touched on already. We want to get that recorded and out there and hit the road because that’s a lot of what Codex is about. Going out and playing live is our main love and it’s the reason we do this. There’s two sides to us really, we’ve got a big sound that we’ve been building when we want to record but we do try and strip it back to make it more raw when we play it live so we want to push both of those things further if possible.
So you’ve talked about the EPs you have out, where from your own discography would you point people to if they didn’t know the band for them to understand what Codex Alimentarius are about?
I think the re-release of the first EP (The Infinite Growth Paradigm vs Finite Resources) that we’ve just done is a good place to start because it’s a little dip into something heavy whilst the original release is kind of the bread and butter of Codex’s sound. The re-release nods back to where we were when the band formed and our output conceptually and lyrically, fused with a more modern production because we produced this one ourselves so I feel it’s the best of both worlds. It’s classic Codex but with a newer sound.
And with your releases, what’s the key message that you want to get across in both your live shows and your music?
Well we don’t like to pigeonhole ourselves into any particular genre of metal, we just class ourselves as metal and we enjoy what we play so we hope that translates to the audience. It’s not something that we’ve sat and tried to come up with. Codex is what it is and that’s just how it is. In terms of messages though, I think we’re quite a broad spectrum of guys and we’re very politically driven so there’s a lot of themes, for example the Infinite Growth… EP is centered around corruption within the oil industry and going to war for the sake of profit.
A lot of us are very environmentally driven as well and that’s quite prominent on the new album so I think looking after the planet and not going to war are the messages I would try to convey. I would say as well that when we re-released the EP, all the songs we wrote back then are still relevant now which is part of the reason we wanted to re-release it, I think, because it’s as pertinent now as it was back in 2009 – which is depressing but cool at the same time.
And lastly, with The Rolling Stones “Top Metal Albums” list going around at the moment, what would you put together as Codex’s “Top Metal Albums” list?
Ooh OK, we’ll do one each. Alright, I think we’ll have Pantera’s The Great Southern Trendkill because playing bass myself I just love the rhythm all over it. Secondly, I’m a big fan of melodic death metal and the bleak Finnish style of metal and as Insomnium are my favourite band, I love the sound of Above The Weeping World so that would be right up there as well as something by Gojira because that’s what I want to get out of our live sound. They always sound enormous so I’d say From Mars To Sirius because it’s just one of the true metal tones to have recorded on an album. I love mellow and I love thunderous!
I’d have Slayer’s God Hates Us All too because that for me is everything I want out of Slayer, one blast of hatred!
If Sam were here he’d definitely say Helloween, he’s a big power metal guy whilst Elliot would go for something in Djent and Tim’s a massive Iron Maiden fan while Frank would go for something by Meshuggah or Gojira though he also likes the weirdness of Primus so there’s a massive variety within the band and that’s what makes Codex work I think. We don’t love exactly the same thing and that makes us unique because you’ve got power metal, you’ve got death and djent and it all sort of comes together.
What about a top album that’s influenced the whole band?
I might say something by Dimmu Borgir or maybe Amon Amarth like Twilight Of The Thunder God. I think if there was a Dimmu Borgir record with power metal and death in it, that would be us but such a thing does not exist!