Guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof of West Coast metal veterans METAL CHURCH spoke to United Rock Nations about the inspiration for the band's new album title, "Damned If You Do".
"It has a lot to do with the state of politics in the world and current events — in the sense that we're in an era of 'fake news,' we're in an era of finding out that the governments are not necessarily looking out for the people, and there's a bunch of evil going on in the world that people are trying to call good," Kurdt said (hear audio below). "So that kind of stems from it. The cover is also a statement in the sense that you have to be careful of who you listen to and what you listen to and what you believe — you have to be careful. For example, just because you're sitting in church does not mean you're hearing the truth. You have to be able to check and test everything you hear anymore because there is so much… We're in a media-saturated world, and there's so much lies and so much deception out there, and it's everywhere. So, if you're not careful about what you listen to and what you believe, you're damned if you do."
Part of the problem is that falsehoods spread like wildfire on social media, getting quicker and longer-lasting pickup than the truth and in the process eroding public trust in real news. However, not all hope is lost, according to Kurdt.
"People are waking up to the fact that we're being lied to and have been lied to for an awfully long time," the guitarist said. "The coolest thing about the Internet is that you can find the truth if you seek it out. It takes some time, but you can find the truth if you spend the time and put in the effort. And that's what's happening. People are standing up all over the world against evil."
"Damned If You Do" was released on December 7 via Rat Pak Records. It marks the group's first album with drummer Stet Howland (W.A.S.P., Lita Ford), who replaced Jeff Plate (SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) in 2017. The latest release is the follow-up to 2016's "XI", which saw the return of legendary frontman Mike Howe.