Much more than a gimmick to justify the most startling and disgusting album artwork around, Cattle Decapitation is a unique metal band with a bone to pick with meat eaters the world over. The group's vegetarian agenda goes beyond dietary recommendations, instead taking a hard-lined pro-animal/anti-man stance, all set to a backdrop of death metal guitars and guttural screams that make Napalm Death look like a bunch of longhaired pansies. Singer Travis Ryan takes a break from tour to talk about Beef Jerky masks and his Mom's favorite death metal lyrics.

Cattle Decapitation plays at Loveland on Tuesday March 15. How has your tour been going with Death Metal legends Cryptopsy? A little rocky at first but things have smoothed out. They're insane musicians, Lord Worm (longtime singer, now back with the band) is great!

Do you think there is a stigma in the Death Metal community against bands with short hair?

Not now, since everyone has it. At first people didn't know what to think about bands with short hair, but with the Metal-Core crap invading our scene, it's getting to be where long hair isn't "the thing" anymore. But long hair in Hardcore is coming on strong… At the end of the day I could give a shit, because I've never paid attention to how I dress, or how I look. I still dress the same way I did when I was in ninth grade. Not that I'm proud of that.

What does your mom think of Cattle Decapitation?

She's supportive. My mom said the only lyrics she didn't like were the ones where I'm talking about killing whole families standing on the street ("Pedeadstrians"). I'm like, 'so the part about me making a hose/mask ensemble to eat my own shit doesn't bother you?'

What happened to the Beef Jerky mask you used to wear onstage? Was it weird to be a vegetarian in a mask made of dried beef?

I only wear that on special occasions. Actually I said 'fuck it' after a while because it's just standing in the way of me actually sounding good. I can't concentrate when I'm being suffocated by the stench of beef. Only I know how truly brutal it is to don such a thing, the brutality gets lost on the crowd when all they have to do is smell it from the stage. I'm drowning in the fucker, I ate the shit as a kid so at least I was familiar with the stench of meat, but it's fucking gross.