HEALTH, ‘RAT WARS’ | Track By Track

HEALTH’s John Famiglietti guides us track by track through the making of the band’s latest album ‘RAT WARS’, out now via Loma Vista Recordings.


“JOHNNY from HEALTH here.  Please enjoy this track by track breakdown of our new album RAT WARS.  One thing I won’t comment too much on is the lyrics. 1. Jake writes the lyrics and 2. As a band we don’t want to spell things out so much to say, “this song is about THIS specifically” like all forms of the art the personal connection and interpretation of the audience is the greatest joy. RAT WARS was written and recorded over a period of roughly 1.5 years with the album’s producer STINT.”



“In this song we are fulfilling some long unrequited classic rock desires we’ve had from the beginning and we personally feel it’s one of our finest moments. Much like Psychonaut on Vol. 4, this song is intended as a kind of a showcase of nearly everything that will happen over the course of the album in one song, setting the stage. The original version of this song was written as an entrance theme for the wrestler KILLER/KARRION KROSS and was used for a short time when he returned to Indies before being called back to WWE. The metal guitars and heavy arpeggiators on this one were re-produced/re-recorded from the original samples by the electronic producer SWARM. The guitar solo in the outro is played by TYLER BATES the composer of such films as Guardians Of The Galaxy, 300 and more. The outro also features background vocals from Leo Ashline of STREET SECTS.”


“Listening in the car a song randomly came on that just blew me away with this insane novel production and I immediately felt we had to have a moment on the record like this.  I reached out to it’s producer NEXY and asked if he would write a song with us aping some of these techniques. He was like dude Im in a different place right now I’ll send you the samples if you want.  So we kind of pulled a DRAKE with this one. Turning DARK THOUGHTS into FUTURE OF HELL, which is a fusion of EBSM, PHONK and INDUSTRIAL. The outro features some background vocals from Sara Taylor of YOUTH CODE.”


“We have been listening to a lot of EBSM over the past few years and my favorite artist from that scene is definitely SIERRA.  So it was a no brainer to reach out to her for the album, Jake featured on a song from her record HOLDING ON TO NOTHING, and she sent us this this amazing arpeggiator riff and percussion.  The song came together in seconds with very little struggle as is the best of outcomes usually with music.  The breakdown features backing vocals from Leo Ashline.”


“Vibin’ ze deutsch.  Probably a terrible idea for the streaming era but fuck it.”


“We were listening to a lot of MINISTRY/NIN while making this record and felt we could use some speed and aggression.  This track we feel is quite interesante in terms of production and I guess you could call “melodic unpredictability”.  The outro once again features background vocals from Sara motherfuckin’ Taylor.”


“This was an old demo we had for years that had almost been turned into several other songs.  We went back to the drawing board and started completely fresh from the original demo, the post apocalyptic dirge instead became dancer and catchier. EBM 2023.”


“There is intentional silence here. Flipping the record over so to speak.”


“If you’re wondering who is ripping this wild guitar thats Willie Adler from LAMB OF GOD and also If you’re wondering why this song sounds noticeably shittier than the rest, it’s because its my mix not Lars Stalfors’, we felt this demo mix had more vibe (kind of how RATM used a chune from their cassette tape release on the their self titled album). This song was a last minute addition that we were hesitant to put on cuz we felt it sounded too much like our last album VOL4 and in its place we had a spacey cool down song here but the sequence just wasn’t jelling so by putting CoS in here we have inadvertently made the most “fun” HEALTH record to date.”


“As you might have gathered this song samples the classic 1989 Godflesh record “LIKE RATS”. During the making of this album we were listening to a lot of classic early Earache records, I got to meet Justin Broadrick in person to ask his permission and he gave me the thumbs up.”  


“Definitely the pop song on the album that would’nt be terribly out of place on DEATH MAGIC. Jake brought in a nearly fully complete song with lyrics which while written quickly the production was obsessed over and changed many times over many months. Leo Ashline provides backing vocals.”


“This was a mostly improvised random interlude that ended being Frankensteined into Ashamed that really creates a great emotional moment. Taking a breath before the end of the album.”

11. DSM-V

“As is HEALTH custom every record always has two endings. Or maybe a Climax and Denouement…This is the climax.  Bonus points if you recognized the reprise. Could not resist going industrial metal. SWARM again contributes heavy guitars and arpeggiators.”


“The Durutti Cohen. As the curtain closes it is cut off abruptly “to be continued?””

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