It Only Gets Worse is a band that has flown under the radar for most, despite a handful of spectacular releases, until the recent release of their full length album Christian Country Home (which CVLT Nation had the honor of debuting the music video for the track ‘Still’ from). The band itself is composed of underground luminaries Matt Finney and Mories, providing the eerie, subdued vocals and the hazy, dark soundscapes respectively. The two men have crafted something truly impressive in Christian Country Home, a morbid stroll through personal strife and real world pain, far removed from the overbearing drama of black metal and stark nihilism of noise. The discomfort created by the dreary haze on this album is far more unsettling because one can feel the reality of the horror. This album is uncomfortable, beautiful, and terrible all at once. In light of the recent release of this masterpiece on tape from Tartarus Records and of the rumblings of another release from these masterminds, I was afforded the opportunity to chat with the men in question. The interview itself and my meager words on the album truly do the art these guys have produced no justice, and I highly recommend checking out both this release and all their previous ones.
So how did you guys get hooked up to do this project in the first place?
Matt: I wish I had some amazingly weird story to tell about how it happened, but it was pretty much just me emailing Mories and asking if he’d like to work on something together. I loved his work and I was so nervous emailing him but I heard back from him pretty much immediately and he said he was up for it. I wanted to do something unlike anything either of us had worked on before and that’s what IOGW became. Who would’ve thought the most accessible stuff I’ve done would be with the guy behind Gnaw Their Tongues?
What the recording process like for this record, given the geographical distance and Mories recent tour schedule?
Mories: Matt sends me writings first. Than he records them. I try to feel the mood he’s going for and records/compose the music. Distance doesn’t really matter. I’m pretty busy with lots of things and Matt is pretty quick with ideas etc. – somehow we make it work. Already finished another album + we are working on new material for a split with a well known band.
It’s been talked about before, but you guys use some pretty unique samples, given the genre of music you generally compose. You guys have some pretty eclectic tastes, who was the impetus behind those?
Matt: I think it was me. It started with sampling a Justin Bieber vine on Love Songs and it just grew into this thing that’s kinda become our signature. Turning people onto songs they wouldn’t have heard otherwise. The way Mories completely changes the mood with them… he’s a genius. It’s not everyday you have a collaborator who will go with every one of your insane ideas. I’m like “we need to put Enya in here” and he’ll go “YES” with no hesitation. I’m the most proud of how we worked “Arms of a Stranger” by Kevin Gates into our song “Great Northern” and it still makes my heart hurt. I was all in my feelings writing that one and I got chills when I heard the finished track the first time.
I have to say, this is legitimately the first record to make me uncomfortable in a very long time. You guys broach some heavy feelings on this. What was the mindset going into these recordings? And the mindset after?
Matt: I went into it wanting to make the most personal album I could. Not holding back no matter what, even if it made me look like an asshole. Abuse and drug addiction and things that were happening with my family. My dad getting sick, in particular, and trying to be a caretaker for him. Pretty much watching him die in slow motion. I feel like a weight has been lifted and I can let all of that bullshit go. I needed that.
Mories: Like I said..I always try to feel what Matt is going for, mood-wise. Sometimes shit works out really well!
Matt, tell me more about the thought process behind your vocal delivery?
Matt: I always try to be as sincere as possible and pack a punch with them when it comes to my parts in our songs, but I don’t want it to be cringey either. It’s a tough line to walk and hopefully I’m doing an okay job. I put a lot of thought into how I write the lyrics and how I’m gonna deliver them. I want it to sound like I’m talking to you, and you only. I’m sharing something with you and it’s not always gonna be the prettiest thing you’ve ever heard.
Do you guys have plans for further releases in the future, either as It Only Gets Worse or under any other name?
Matt: Absolutely. We have whole album that’s finished that we’re gonna be announcing soon, and we’re already working on this other album that we can’t really talk about yet. Much like Rich Homie Quan, we will never stop going in.
CVLT Nation’s premiere of the music video for ‘Still’ directed by Gretchen Heinel: