Profile: Mike McClatchey of Lament Cityscape

Image courtesy of Mike McClatchey

Industrial music is pliable and can be bent to the will of whatever artist wields its power. Ministry made it a rock ‘n’ roll hot rod, Godflesh made it a religion, Fear Factory made it a metal mainstay, and so on and so forth. To me, the real success of industrial music is if it has the ability to paint a horrid, twisted landscape in the mind’s eye and offer an unsettling feeling to go with it. Over the course of the past decade and a cavalcade of releases, Lament Cityscape has sharpened their sound in such a way that it does exactly that on new album A Darker Discharge. Imagine being on the sidelines for world destruction then venturing out to witness twisted steel, crumbling facades, a populous decimated, and having the insurmountable feeling of what life will look like while knowing any sort of remaining life cycle will be short and probably impossible. Captivating is an understatement and the fact that mainman Mike McClatchey approaches this thing with body horror in mind makes it all the more terrifying. This is one of the best culminations of noise, sludge, and industrial metal to blaze through our ears in quite some time but also one of the most anchored to modern day atrocities as can be. We recently posed our set of Profile questions to Mike and below we present his responses. While you’re here, hit the links contained within to secure your own copy.

How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?

In high school a good friend of mine put a bass guitar in my hands and told me what to play so he could solo over it for an hour. That was the gateway in wanting to learn more. I have never had real intention on any “financial” success but I definitely feel creatively successful. I enjoy each album more than the last. I try to push myself to be more honest and open with where I am in the moment of writing.

What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)

Honestly, interviews. I appreciate any help in getting people to listen to the music, but… that’s why this one is a month late. I’d rather find a clever friend to do these for me.

What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?

Unfortunately, I’m super detached from the scene right now. I still don’t go to shows. I DO try to find new music and have found a handful of albums that have connected with me, but I have no idea what’s going on right now. That sounds like I’m trying to be some old asshole, and I really try not to be. I just tend to get stuck listening to 1-3 albums for six months instead of absorbing everything I come across.

It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?

I totally try to help in the small ways the band can allow. We are currently donating album funds to Equality Now and Black Futures Lab. Politics have only really popped through into lyrics, in explicit ways, a handful of times, but the current political trajectory, especially in the US, has added to the overall oppressive nature and tone of our albums.

What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?

My cousin gave me Vulgar Display of Power when I was 11. It had just come out and I hadn’t heard anything like it before. That led me to looking for more. A couple months later Psalm 69 came out and that changed my life. A couple months later the Broken EP came out and my path was kind of solidified. My mom was pretty cool with it. She never gave me shit about my make-up or nail polish.

What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?

I’ve been doing this long enough that I should have a great answer for you, but I don’t. Some critics don’t do their homework, I suppose.

What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.

Yeah, we all work. I guess the current goal is to get enough time off to tour once a year. Or maybe I’d like to just curl up into a ball and explode into a bunch of flies. 

When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently?

Mount Desert just released one of the best rock albums of the year. Been jamming HEALTH a lot. Black Magnet. Author & Punisher. New Mountaineer is killer. I’m always listening to Gary Numan. 

What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?

My kid is too young to get vaccinated so until that can happen we won’t be doing shows. Hopefully we can make that happen this year. Maybe one more video? I’ll definitely start writing the new album later this year.

Summarize your band in exactly one word.


Many thanks to Mike and Lament Cityscape for their time!

A Darker Discharge is available now on Lifeforce Records. For more information on Lament Cityscape, visit their official website.

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