Interview: Brody King Of AEW Talks God’s Hate, Hardcore and Nu Metal + Friendship With Code Orange

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Closed Casket Activities
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The name Brody King brings much to mind; for some folks, they may think of Brody King, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) star, and member of The House of Black. For others, the ferocious and menacing sounding hardcore act God’s Hate may come to mind – given that King is the frontman of the band.

We are big fans of God’s Hate and Brody’s work in the ring, so of course we were super interested in arranging an interview with him. We had an awesome conversation with the God’s Hate singer and AEW superstar – so awesome in fact, that we decided to release our interview in two-parts!

In part one, we talk to Brody King about all things God’s Hate and music related. We learned about the origins of the band, his friendship with Colin Young of Twitching Tongues, what it was like to play at Sound and Fury this year, his friendship with Code Orange, and much more.

The Pit: For anyone who doesn’t know, can you talk a little bit about the origins of God’s Hate and how you and Colin connected? 

Brody King: Colin and I have been friends for, shit, at this point, over 15 years. He was in Twitching Tongues and he was always doing projects with his brother Taylor. I had been in a couple bands before God’s Hate and they just kind of didn’t do anything, didn’t go anywhere, kind of fizzled out. [Twitching Tongues] had just written, I believe, In Love there Is No Law, and they kind of had a down period between touring and stuff. And Colin was like, “Dude, let’s do a band. Like just a heavy hardcore band, something that kind of fits what you look like.” And that’s kind of where God’s Hate was formed.

He wrote the demo, which was the Divine Injustice EP. We did that, just the two of us – basically together – and wrote that in Taylor Young’s Studio, and Justin from Closed Casket heard it and put it out. [The demo] was very reminiscent of old school [hardcore music associated with] Closed Casket Activities. So it kind of struck a nerve with him and then we started playing some local shows and it kind of blew up from there. 

The Pit: How often does the band find itself on the road? It looks like you and the band had an amazing time at Sound and Fury. Can you share what that day was like?

BK: I mean, God’s Hate has always been a band where we don’t ever have a set plan of what we’re gonna do. It’s always just kind of, like, we look at what’s presented to us, and then we decide if we want to do it or not. [God’s Hate has] always been kind of like a side project to obviously my wrestling career; [there’s also] the other stuff that the other people in the band are doing. We have members of Terror, we have members of Twitching Tongues, and other bigger bands.

But over the pandemic, we wrote our self-titled record and we put that out March of 2021; then that just kind of projected us way further than we ever thought we would go. We had a pretty good following from Mass Murder and from the Divine Injustice EP, but the God’s Hate self-titled LP just kind of struck a nerve with people at the right time and it just kind of blew up the band.

We’ve done a bunch of festival dates; I obviously really don’t have time to tour. Prior to [Sound and Fury], we had done a tour with Nails and Terror, but they were only like a week or two long. It wasn’t anything very committed. Once the prospect of Sound and Fury came up […] we wanted to play, and Martin [Stewart, guitarist in God’s Hate] obviously is one of the coordinators of the whole fest; he’s in God’s Hate. He [knew we] wanted to play; he gave us an offer. I’ve been to every Sound and Fury like from 2006 to now; I’ve never missed a year and so I feel like we had no idea the scope that they were going for.

It was honestly, like, I couldn’t wrap my head around it; when I saw that it was an outdoor venue and it was at Exposition Park, I was like, this seems kind of weird. Because every other year, Sound and Fury [had in attendance] 1,500 people. I think maybe the biggest they had was just under 2,000 and that was when it was in Santa Barbara; that felt like a lot of people. Now it’s like they’re doing it at an outdoor park in downtown Los Angeles. [They’re] doing two stages, and when I started seeing photos of the day before, [I was] like, “Holy hell, how many people are they expecting here?” I feel these are all questions that nobody really thought to ask, because we’re just expecting business as usual – like Sound and Fury will be a great couple of 1,000 people.

And then the first day they had 5,000 people there and it’s just like a massive, almost European Festival for just Hardcore bands. That was completely mind-blowing and, you know, it was very intimidating as well. It’s funny because, at this point, I’m used to performing in front of like 5,000 people weekly doing wrestling, but for some reason, when you’re doing that with God’s Hate, I feel like there’s more pressure on you. Because maybe in a 5,000 person arena, not everyone’s gonna be a Brody King fan, which is fine. But when it comes down to hardcore, it’s like such a niche audience that I feel most of the people there are probably gonna watch your band play.

We were basically headlining the second stage; so we were the last band on the second day on the second stage, so we played about 7:00 PM right before nightfall and that was a great position. We’re kind of in our hometown and it’s like, “All right, I hope people really show up for us.” And it ended up being the greatest set any of us had ever played, and it was really, really special. Really unbelievable. 

The Pit: That is awesome to hear! Interesting you bring up that difference between performing for wrestling and performing in God’s Hate – we are curious to learn more about that. What is the difference like – as an artist, performer, and athlete – navigating two different artistic fields?

BK: I feel like I’ve been able to blend both Brody King the wrestler and Brody King the singer God’s Hate; I feel like I’ve been able to kind of blur the lines between the two. I definitely look at performing and God’s Hate differently since being a pro-wrestler on TV; ’cause when you’re an independent wrestler, you’re performing in front of 200 people and you have to connect with the people there. When you’re on live TV, you have to perform for a million people that are watching you live across the world that are not in the arena. So it’s like, I’m trying to blur the line with that and God’s Hate, where I’m trying to give the people that are gonna watch this on YouTube a show, I’m trying to give the people that are there experiencing a show. I want everybody to feel the emotion and the energy that’s happening at that moment, through the pictures that they’re gonna see, through the videos that they’re gonna see. And you know, obviously in the live performance. 

It’s funny ’cause, I’ve never thought of hardcore music having gimmicks; some people try to do it and it comes off corny. I feel God’s Hate has found a way to do it, where it’s like people go, “Well, that makes sense. You know their lead singer is a professional wrestler.” At the same time, it’s not far from who we are as people; we [as in the band] are very… I don’t even know the proper word… caveman-esque. 

We like what we like and we love heavy music. Then we love hard mosh pits and stuff like that. We just kind of tap into that and we kind of turn that up to 10 and we just go full speed at it. I feel like people might take that as a gimmick, but it’s just at the core – it’s who we are. We wanna play what we want to hear and we wanna represent that in a certain way. It’s like, we’re all bigger guys, we all kind of have our own style, and we just kind of amplify all of that and we want to show that to our audience. 

The Pit: What are the bands that, when you were growing up, stuck with you and may have inspired you create music one day?

BK: I would say, junior high is when I really had my musical awakening or whatever. My dad always listened to more alternative bands like Tool and Rage Against the Machine; at the time, it didn’t really register with me, [but] I like the way it sounded. He obviously listened to Black Sabbath, AC/DC, all that stuff too, but I wasn’t really digging into it. I feel like AC/DC was probably my first favorite band, if you want to call it that.

When I was in middle school, that’s when I started finding music on my own, and I got really into punk rock music. I got into bands like Bad Religion, Pennywise, AFI, Black Flag, and stuff like that. Then from there, it was also around the same time as nu metal was kind of exploding. There was Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, and Mudvayne, all that stuff. I grew up in a small town outside of Los Angeles, so it’s like you just found things [pertaining to discovering music]. It was also kind of pre-internet, so we just  found these things and went to Hot Topic; you saw some t-shirts you liked. You watched MTV2, which was like the actual MTV that played music, and you would wait to see what music videos were on. They had a metal block and I remember Mudvayne’s “Dig” would be on it, and Slipknot whatever would be on it. That’s kind of where I got my music from – I was this weird hybrid of punk rock kid mixed with nu metal music. 

But I would say like the big turning point in my musical taste was I saw Hatebreed‘s “I Will be Heard” on MTV2. It’s the music video where they’re playing in an industrial venue and there’s just kids pitting and stage diving and it’s just like the most insane thing. There was no gimmicks, there was just five dudes playing hard music and the crowd is going insane. I was like, “I need to know what this is,” and I went out and I bought Hatebreed’s Perseverance and that was my first hardcore record. At the time I thought it was, you know, just a metal band; but then from Hatebreed, I found bands like Terror and Madball, and then it kind of just became this all consuming thing, like, this is my type of music. This raw energy and anger, like, all of it is right here for me. And you know the message is true, it’s not like they’re not telling stories, it’s not make believe stuff. It’s like it had that realness of punk rock, but it had the aggression of metal and that was what I needed. 

The Pit: That is so sick as hell. Funny enough, Perseverance turns 20 this year, which is absolutely wild. Have you guys toured with Hatebreed?

BK: No we haven’t. 

The Pit: Would you be up for that? 

BK: Yeah, of course. 

The Pit: Sometime ago, via the band’s Instagram, we saw you at a Code Orange show tossing fellow AEW wrestler Darby Allin off of the stage where the band were performing. Let alone that being incredibly bad ass, we are curious to learn about your relationship with Code Orange.

BK: So I’ve known them for yeah, like 7 or 8 years now; before I Am King came out […] they had started making their routes. They were working hard touring and Colin was actually friends with them first. I think Twitching Tongues had played some shows with them or had done a tour with them and then I kind of met them. They were on a Terror tour, and I remember they were just the weird kids that were just kind of doing their own thing. The Terror dudes liked them a lot and they were just playing Magic The Gathering off the side. And I just kind of went and started talking to them and we became friends.

I’ve known those kids for a long time and they’ve always been really good; like great supporters of my wrestling career and I’ve always obviously seen them project their band to where they are. Now it’s always been kind of, you know, we’re almost climbing our respective ranks at the same time. It’s always been really awesome. 

The Pit: What’s in-store for the future of God’s Hate? Obviously you have the 2021 self-titled record, so that’s the most recent release; but, what’s in mind for potential material down the road?

BK: Well, you know, after Colin wrote God’s Hate [the self-titled LP], he legitimately said “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to write another record again.” Because he said that it took so much out of him mentally and physically that it depleted his brain of everything. Of course, that’s you know, a little bit dramatic, but so is he. But I would definitely say with the response that this record has gotten – that definitely lit a fire under his ass [to write more music]. And then after Sound and Fury it was like it was almost a lock; it was like we had to do something else. [Colin] told me the other day that he spent three hours just playing guitar and recording it; he called it “Hans Zimmerman style.” He’s just gonna record everything and pick apart what he likes and what he doesn’t and try to put something together. But we have like a rough blueprint for a new record. So you know, I’m not making any promises, but hopefully within the next year you might start hearing some new God’s Hate music.

We would like to thank Brody for his time talking to us! You can watch Brody King kick ass on AEW, and check out the latest God’s Hate album via the band’s Bandcamp page. Keep a look out for part two of our interview with Brody King coming out soon!