The excellent 'Gods of Grind' tour came to a halt earlier this year. As I saw two of the UK shows, and was blown away, I sent some questions to Bill Steer to see how the rest of the tour went, and what Carcass are up to...
The Necroticism album showed a musical progression that surprised me. Did Earache give you more financial freedom to experiment and explore ideas - or did you have the material planned anyway?
All of the songs were written before we entered the studio, so the length of time we spent recording and mixing didn't really affect the music in any way other than production.
How long did it take to write and record the album?
As far as the writing is concerned, it's impossible to estimate how long we took - two or three songs were put together in early '90 before we started touring, while the rest were finished in the winter of '90 or the first half of '91. The recording, mixing and remixing of the album took roughly four weeks.
The subject matter remains as gross and clinical as ever. Do you ever think you'll exhaust the subject?
To be honest, those are aspects of the band I hardly think about any more.
The Gods of Grind tour was great, but some of the press found controversy in the name and the bands included. How do you feel about that? Who would you have liked to have toured with?
The only 'controversy' I was aware of was the fact that none of the bands liked the name of the tour. Personally I thought the line-up was very strong for a tour of that nature.
The band shot a video for ...Solvent Abuse. Why don't we see you in it?
I was in the video, but only briefly. To cut a long story short, the filming was a farce and we found the "director" difficult to work with.
Earache Records used to be a small, 'distribution' type label when it first began. How successful do you think it will be? How has it changed?
I can't recall exactly how or when Earache started, although I do remember that during the first few releases it was just a small, one-man label run from Dig's spare bedroom. I've no idea how successful Earache will be - surely that remains to be seen. As for how the label has changed, I suppose things have been changing ever since it moved into the first office and took on extra staff, but in all honesty I don't think I could give you a particularly useful answer other than a vague personal impression.
You toured with Cathedral, with Lee Dorian. Is there any friction between you or do you still get on?
There's never been any friction between us, in fact I can't imagine why you'd think otherwise.
What do you think of Napalm Death now, seeing as they have no original members, and three of them are American?
I can't see why my opinion should be more relevant than anyone else's.
Were you surprised that Mick left Napalm Death? What do you think of Scorn?
I don't remember how surprised or unsurprised I was when Mick left N.D... I haven't heard enough of Scorn's music to express an opinion.
Being in Carcass, you must have seen a lot of places. Which is your favourite?
It would be impossible to name one country as a favourite.
Does fan behaviour tend to differ from country to country?
What's the strangest request you've had from a fan?
Nothing truly bizzare springs to mind. Like any band, we've met our fair share of people who behave oddly. Often it's not what someone asks you that surprises you as how they ask it.
Looking back on the 'Arena' heavy metal documentary, how did it feel to see yourself on TV?
I thought the whole thing was embarrassing.
What were the best and worst experiences you had on the 'Gods...' tour?
It's hard to pick particular incidents as being high points or low points, but as far as we were concerned the worst sets we played on that tour were in London and Belgium.
Have you began work on the new material?
Yes, we have. So far we have about four songs completed, and there are numerous other bits and pieces that we're working on at the moment. I'd better not list any song titles as at least some of them are likely to change!
What are your thoughts on...
i. The Royal Family - It has been quite some time since I had an opinion either way on the Royal family. I can appreciate the concern over the Queen's avoidance of paying tax, but otherwise I wouldn't consider the Royal Family an important issue.
ii. The PMRC - I haven't heard anything about the PMRC's activities in what seems like ages so I can't think of any relevant comment to make.
iii. The Rock Press - Again, I don't have a particularly strong opinion on the Rock press in general. The only thoughts that come to mind are that the Metal magazines are rarely in danger of over-estimating their reader's intelligence, while NME is far too trend-obsessed to cover Rock and Pop properly.
What are Carcass's plans for the future?
In August we begin a tour of America, which at present looks likely to finish late September or early October. We hope to begin recording the album by December.
Any final words?
Thanks for your questions. Anyone wishing to contact us for whatever reason can do so (enclosing SAE/IRCs) via P.O. Box 210, South P.D.O., Nottingham, NG2 2EL, U.K.