Fit For An Autopsy // Will Putney

For almost a decade now, Fit For An Autopsy has been making a big-ass buzz in the deathcore scene. They wowed fans with their intricate riffs and massive breakdowns, and eventually became one of the biggest bands in the scene off the back of 2015’s ‘Absolute Hope Absolute Hell.’ Ever since then, the band has been fine-tuning their sound and carving a unique path that no other in this sub-genre has been willing to explore. After 2017’s ‘The Great Collapse,’ Fit For An Autopsy seemed to shake off their “deathcore” label (a tag that they seemingly didn’t take any issue with) and break into the world of melodic, atmospheric death metal, whilst still keeping most of the qualities that made them so loved to begin with. The result was an LP that, despite its growing pains, was stellar and was even labeled as a masterpiece by a good chunk of their fanbase. So then begs the question: where would the band head from there?

The answer came in July of this year, with the band releasing a music video for their massive new single ‘Mirrors’ and announcing an album release date for October. ‘The Sea Of Tragic Beasts’ sees Fit For An Autopsy continue to embrace their atmospheric death metal elements they instilled into ‘The Great Collapse,’ whilst greatly re-introducing the anger and aggression of their previous releases. This record is the sound of pure rage when looking at the current state of our dire world, and perfectly encaptures the hopelessness in the wake of the gigantic problems that we are all facing as a human race. In an Instagram post earlier this year, the band described the LP as “the record that we have put more into than ever before,” and considering the sheer quality of the final product that is this behemoth, I’d say that’s about as factual a statement as anything else. 

Despite being a very busy guy, I recently had the opportunity to chat once again to the brains behind Fit For An Autopsy’s operation: guitarist, key songwriter and lyricist, and record producer/extraordinaire, Will Putney. Following up on our last interview together, he and I spoke about all of the ins and outs of the mammoth that is ‘The Sea Of Tragic Beasts.’

Last year, you posted a picture on Instagram showing that you were already working on demos for a new Fit For An Autopsy album. This was less than a year after the release of The Great Collapse. Are you constantly writing music for Fit For An Autopsy during the album cycles? Also, did any of the ideas from those early writing sessions end up making it onto The Sea Of Tragic Beasts?

“I try to chip away at it in longer intervals of time now because it lets me sit with the songs for longer and decide what’s going to stick.  Funny enough this time I probably scrapped most of our initial demos, we had a lot of material to work with this time.”

The album title ‘The Sea Of Tragic Beasts’ definitely draws up some powerful imagery at first glance, and upon reading the lyrics of the title track on the album, it packs a heavy punch. What’s the meaning behind that title and how does it tie into the theme of the record as a whole?

“We have to be these puffed up aggressive people to survive in this world. It’s dog-eat-dog shit out there. Lyrically the song touches on that violent way of thinking, but it also shows the inherent sadness that comes along with a life of this nature. It’s the two main themes that the other subject matter on our album was born from, making it a fitting title track.  Musically, I think it’s a cool display of everything we do as a band, some classic metal foundations with some new tricks for us, and a fight riff for good measure.”

With every new Fit For An Autopsy album comes more and more experimentation and growth. How would you describe the new album in comparison to the previous records and what is new this time around?

“I think this time we approached songs more themed-based as individual pieces, rather than trying to throw the kitchen sink into each track.  I feel like the songs have their own identities moreso than we’ve done in the past, and it lets you live in those emotions for longer.”

Are there any particular tracks on ‘The Sea Of Tragic Beasts’ that are a favorite of yourself or the band as a whole that maybe will be thrown into setlists in the future?

“It’s so hard to tell right now, we all have different favorite tracks, but generally, we seem to gravitate towards the heavier songs in a live setting. I’m sure Warfare will work its way in there.”

A particular song that stands out as something that has rarely been done in your music before is ‘Warfare,’ which almost dives into the hardcore territory in certain parts. Are there any moments or songs on the album that stand out to you as new territory for Fit For An Autopsy?

“I think Napalm Dreams was pretty out of the box for us, it’s definitely the most pulled back song we’ve ever written as a whole.  It was fun to make!”

Reading through the lyrics on the album, I can’t help but notice the overarching theme of hopelessness in the face of the destruction of our world and our society. Can you tell me a bit more about your personal thoughts on this and talk about how some of the songs on the album tie in?

“My personal thoughts are the lyrics. We say what we mean in this band. Whether it’s a social issue or a song about the personal struggle they all come from a real place, no filler involved.  So if you read the lyrics you know exactly how I feel” [laughs.]

The music video for the single “Mirrors” shows some harsh imagery of the struggles of addiction and the damage that it does to families and society as a whole. Was there any personal inspiration from your own life in this video?

“There is, it’s not something I want to go deep into but that narrative was an interpretation of some similar experiences our band has been through.”

When listening to The Great Collapse for the first time, one thing that was noticeable was the amount of experimentation and ambiance that was added to the band’s sound. This time around, it seems that this has happened once again, but the record seems a lot heavier than previous efforts. It’s a very dark and gloomy record with a lot of energy and aggression behind the music and lyrics. Songs like “No Man Is Without Fear” and “Your Pain Is Mine” are easily some of the heaviest and most energetic songs the band has ever written. Was there an overall decision to go heavier this time around, and what brought that idea to fruition?

“It’s funny I don’t even consider this a “heavier” record in the sense that it’s got more dynamic variety and melodic moments compared to our back catalog that was just brutal straight down the line.  I think those dynamic moments help create that weight the listener feels, so I’m glad you feel that way!”

Songs like “Birds Of Prey” and “No Man Is Without Fear” seems to be about how the people who are ruling our world are destroying it by trying to mold the people of society into identical figures who don’t speak up about or look further into the issues that are currently facing our world, and how one day they will destroy themselves and our society in the process. What do you personally see in our society that needs immediate action, and how can we avoid being lumped in with the sheep of the world who remain content?

“There are so many layers to that, and so many things need immediate action that I couldn’t even begin to answer this, but I suppose the entire system of control and the growing divide between the powerful decision-makers and the rest of the population needs to be rebalanced.  It’s clear our world is being shaped by those who do not seem to have the best intentions for the greater good, and who knows if that’s ever going to change without actual resistance or war. Aside from that, the environmental challenges we’re going to face as a population in the not so distant future, and the lack of urgency to address them is clearly extremely alarming. It’s all a disaster really, and I don’t have real answers because truthfully I don’t even know where one person could begin at this point.”   

One thing I immediately noticed when listening through the album is that there is not a single filler track in the entire timespan of the album. Every single track on the album has the hard-hitting energy of a lead single, which leads to the question, why was “Mirrors” chosen as the first song that people would hear off of “The Sea Of Tragic Beasts?”

“We all just love the song, and I think it was a good showcase of what the band does well, it has all the elements that define our band, and we liked the theme of it a lot.  It all just fell into place on that one.”

As mentioned before, this album is extraordinarily bleak and filled to the brim with a hopeless atmosphere that sinks deeper and deeper with each line delivered. Tracks like the exceptional “Mourn” and “Napalm Dreams” hold such a tense feeling of gloom and pure rage. Can you speak a bit about the personal inspirations that spawned such a dark and angry album?

“Mourn is moderately abstract so to dive into that one it’s a song about my father, who abandoned my family.  The perspective shifts through the song, but generally, it’s about coming to terms with the fact that when he’s on his deathbed I won’t be there, and I have to rationalize that guilt with anger.  Now that you know that, the read probably makes more sense [laughs].

“Napalm Dreams is an appropriate swan song for this record, it just reflects on everything we covered lyrically and is the personal reaction to getting all that subject matter out.  It was the last song written, and that’s where we were at by that point. “All I Wanted Was A Way Out.”

After the continuation of darkness in the band’s sound with The Sea Of Tragic Beasts, how do you see Fit For An Autopsy progressing with future projects? What’s the next step?

“I want to push the extremes of what we do. Make the themes and moods more polarizing in opposite directions. I’d expect more curveballs next time. We have our footing now, and it’s going to be fun to really push the limits of our band. It’s only getting better.”

‘The Sea Of Tragic Beasts’ is out now – read my review here

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