Late 1995 marked the end of Carcass, but their last studio record was put out by Earache Records. The following is an interview with Jeff Walker, bassist/vocalist, for the now disbanded Carcass.
Why the demise of Carcass?
Well Bill decided he didn't want to continue (last October), and without him it wouldn't be Carcass, so...
What are the members of Carcass going to go on to now?
Well I'm still playing in a band called Black Star with Ken and Carlo from the last album's line-up, tho' it's not a continuation of Carcass - it's more hard rock'n'roll sounding. As for Bill, I do not know...
Do you feel it was for the best?
Yes. I'd had enough of it anyway, so to try and carry on wasn't really an issue... it's just a pity timing wise - I still stand by Swansong.
On your older material from the days of Genital Grinder and such, Carcass seemed to focus on gore aspects of music. Then in the Heartwork era, the lyrics seemed to swing more to the real life issue, and emotional subjects. Do you agree?
And what influenced this change?
Well originally the lyrics were like that because that's what Bill and Ken wanted, but over the years I ended up being the sole vocalist/lyricist so I started to write with an influence from the stuff I was into when I was younger -the whole 'gore' thing had run thin, so I tried to make a subtle change which would still befit the name Carcass - I mean there's still no 'happy' songs!!!
Carcass is also notorious for having the biggest vocabulary in death metal. Where did you learn such words as Descanting the Insalubrious?
Ken came up with that... It's just through having some imagination in a very worn out genre (plus having a dictionary helps out!!!)
Musically, Carcass has evolved very much, and changed very much. What is behind the changes in the music?
Growing older, branching out musically...we couldn't listen to Repulsion etc. all our lives!!! Having said that, the main reason for the 'change' over all the albums is probably due to an ever changing writing situation. Reek was written equally between me, Bill and Ken, tho' Ken probably wrote more riffs and me more lyrics, Symphonies was mostly Ken's riffs/my lyrics, Necroticism was Ken/Bill and Mike Amott who had joined the band/my lyrics, Heartwork was just Bill/Mike's riffs/my lyrics and finally Swansong was mostly Bill's riffs, with a few songs written by me/Carlo Regadas who had joined/my lyrics again. So as you can see the musical axis was constantly changing....
What kind of musical training have the members had?
None whatsoever. We did all our growing up in public!
I have noticed that some of the songs off of Heartwork and Swansong sound like they have a hint of a Satanic or anti-Christian undertone, especially the song Go To Hell, which is the most straight forward, and Doctrinal Expletives which sounds like a vague description of what a lot of people see the Bible as. Would you say I am even close or way off?
Way off as far as Satanism goes, Anti-Christian, yes, tho' I guess I should have written some lyrics about all religion! Go To Hell is more a celebration of everything that's great which the Church looks down upon... Doctrinal Expletives is not just about the Bible, it's about people living their lives through other peoples' experiences on different levels, be it books or whatever.
Can you tell me a little about how Carcass formed and the time before you got signed?
It's a bit of a mess... Roughly, I'd been playing in a 'hardcore/metal' band out of which I was kicked, Bill was playing in a Discharge clone band who were changing direction. Anyhow I joined that, we kicked all the other members out/they left and we got Ken on board on drums. We originally had a vocalist who sang on our first demo, we played a few gigs, which were probably awfull!!! Bill had been 'helping' Napalm Death out on guitar and because of this Dig (Earache) after seeing the lyrics wanted us to record an album, which we did in December '87. By this time we'd got shut of the vocalist...we didn't even sign a deal, it was just a 'gentlemen's' agreement - we only 'signed' a real contract before Necroticism.
Looking back at Carcass`s musical career what are some of the high points?
Anything stick out that you will always remember?
There's too much, it was all good, especially the early days, which were torturous!!!
What were your early influences?
Repulsion, Cryptic Slaughter, Master, Insanity, Discharge, Siege, NYC Mayhem, Morbid Angel (I know...!), Napalm Death, Slayer, Macabre - these all influenced the first album...
What kind of music do you like now?
All sorts, from the Four Horsemen, to The Clash, to Mott The Hoople, to Iron Monkey, to Spiritual Beggars, etc. I like other stuff besides guitar stuff...
What do you think of newer death metal bands?
None of them really interest me - it's all dead as far as I'm concerned, I mean look at our influences from our first album, it had all been done back then!!!
How do you view your older albums today?
With my eyes...I think they're all great in their own ways - I can't believe we played some of that stuff - they sound like another band compared to how we were at the end!
Will you continue in music?
Yep, I'll give it another few years - just for fun...
Aside from music what else are you interested in?
Beer, Graphics - not much really!!
Lastly, I`d just like to ask is there is any resentment between the members?
Nope, sorry, there's no gossip!!!