When HEALTH‘s new album, RAT WARS, was first announced, it was said that they wrote it during the most emotionally trying period of the band.

“I think [record] labels and press agents, they love snappy copy,” frontman Jake Duzsik admitted to Chuck Armstrong on Friday’s Loudwire Nights (Dec. 22). “I’d say that statement is a little bit reductive.”

Duzsik said that his bandmates seemed to have had a pretty good experience during the writing and creation of RAT WARS, but for him personally, it was one of the hardest periods of his life.

“I think the reason that it was phrased that way is because it’s a little misleading or not in keeping with the spirit of how we work creatively to say, ‘Singer Jacob Duzsik had an awful time,'” he explained. “It just doesn’t really read the same way. But yeah, it was more me than everybody else.”

Even though the HEALTH singer and guitarist didn’t want to get into a lot of the “personal stuff” he went through, he did say his experience during the pandemic lockdown was a little tougher than the average person.

“My restrictions were a lot more acute,” Duzsik told Chuck. “I had a son born on Jan. 1, 2020, so he’s an antichrist and then all the shit hit the fan. My partner’s father is immunocompromised and living down the street from us and we had to care for him and the child. And, you know, you had the looming sort of destruction of my career.”

Why Jake Duzsik Enjoyed Making RAT WARS

While his experience seemed less hopeful than normal, Duzsik did tell Chuck that the actual making of RAT WARS was one of the best things he had ever done.

“It’s actually a really interesting contrast between the two things that we’re discussing because I would say [RAT WARS] was one of the most enjoyable records that I’ve ever made,” he said. “Probably because of my need for catharsis … I really needed that creative outlet to cathartically expel all of this stuff that I was going through.”

Duzsik said that he became a lot more productive and even prolific during the pandemic. On one hand, he thought that was a surprise because he was also tasked with raising a child. But on the other hand, he, like nearly everyone else, had no social life.

And even after things opened back up, his social life was unlike it had ever been because of his son.

“I just worked a lot.”

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While most of Chuck and Duzsik’s conversation revolved around his personal experiences over the last few years, he did want to make sure the Loudwire Nights audience had some expectations set for RAT WARS.

“It’s the heaviest [record we’ve done] … It’s dark. There’s some thrash with a lot of electronics. It’s not just me [doing] spoken word about my problems.”

What Else Did HEALTH’s Jake Duzsik Discuss on Loudwire Nights?

  • What it was like collaborating with Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails
  • Why he connects with William Blake’s idea of the imaginary life and corporal life
  • Why HEALTH crack jokes and share memes on social media
  • What’s on the horizon for 2024: “We’re just trying to stay as active as possible, making music, so there’s actually a lot of new music that’s going to be on the horizon.”

Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below

Jake Duzsik joined Loudwire Nights on Friday, Dec. 22; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream RAT WARS at this location and check out HEALTH’s full tour schedule.

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