Posted on by Oran

As previously reported on Overdrive a few weeks back, Biffy Clyro members, Simon Neill and Mike Vennart’s new Noise/Grindcore project, Empire State Bastard (featuring ex-Slayer drummer, Dave Lombardo) were due to drop the first single from the forthcoming new album. Today is that day…

Despite the band keeping things under lock and key for the last few months, today fans can finally listen to the first new single, ‘Harvest’ ahead of their sold out UK run of club dates, which will also feature Lombardo on drums.

The prospect of Simon Neil, and Mike Vennart’s leftfield extreme metal band, Empire State Bastard has fascinated fans for years – and that excitement was amplified when it was revealed that the legendary drummer Dave Lombardo would be performing on their upcoming debut track and at the live shows in March.

The band’s momentum continued to fire at full ferocity as next week’s debut headline tour sold-out in a matter of moments before they signed to Roadrunner Records. Now, Empire State Bastard unleash their debut track, ‘Harvest’. Listen below…

Bursting into a blitzkrieg of aggression, ‘Harvest’ sees Mike Vennart’s inventive, barbed riffs complementing Simon Neil’s feral vocal attack, which darts between manic screams, Fantomas-style yelps and a fleeting melodic delivery. Anchoring the chaos is Dave Lombardo, whose battering ram rhythms bring the savagery, and swing that defines the best of his work with Slayer.

The band said, “Empires fall, States rise, Bastards sing…it’s Harvest time motherfuckers!” ‘Harvest’ features artwork from Radio 1 Rock Show host Daniel P Carter, who described the track as, “a blistering noise/metal assault.”

Empire State Bastard emerged from the dark recesses of the duo’s mind, inspired by spending downtime during Biffy Clyro tours by sharing the heaviest, most avant-garde or the most sickeningly confrontational music they could find.

Split between Mike (guitars and songwriting) and Simon (vocals and lyrics), the duo emerged with a collection of songs which adventurously probes almost every dark crevice imaginable from the myriad sounds of metal and genre-adjacent extremity.

Their terrifying tourist trail visits slamming hardcore in the vein of Siege; frenetic, visceral thrash in Slayer’s ballpark; the claustrophobic sludge of Melvins; the freeform vocal dexterity of Mike Patton; and the gargantuan stoner riffs of Sleep. It’s a band that’s rooted in the tradition of metal’s forefathers but informed by more recent waves of leftfield aggression.

Completed by bassist Naomi Macleod (Bitch Falcon) for live shows, Empire State Bastard will follow their debut headline tour with UK festival dates at Download, 2000trees, and ArcTanGent, as well venturing to Hellfest in France, and Norway’s Malakoff Rockfestival. The dates are:


9th – UK, Download Festival

18th – France, Hellfest


7th – UK, 2000trees Festival

17th – UK, ArcTanGent

21st – Norway, Malakoff Rockfestival

Oran O’Beirne

www.overdrive.ie 2023