Carcass interview from Peardrop


Carcass interview by Laurent Merle from Peardrop issue 2, 1990

They couldn't expect a better feature after their so memorable second LP. Yes, Carcass are in Peardrop (no stuck up)! Those three twisted minds have certainly better things to offer us than anatomy lessons. Musically tending to a technical improvement, we're now far of the early days of the band's so short tracks, but an experimental crushing metal which can accelerate like one thousand turbos raging and pounding through a huge break of heaviness. There's not two Carcass-sounding bands in the world and it's better like this, also it seems to be impossible to find some so complex parts with such a grinding heaviness. Carcass open now their abilities to a more melodious aspect of loudy music without forgetting the personal vocals touch so characteristic of that musical mayhem. Categorised like technical grindcore (like if it would be to put them outside of those noisy bandwagon jumpers, and it's true), Carcass have now certainly more insanities to give out. Let's see what my friend Bill, the band's axeman, has to say.

PEARDROP: Do you know anyone who broke his hi-fi equipment while listening to Carcass' first LP?

BILL: I don't know anyone who's blown any speakers while playing the first Carcass LP. Perhaps it might have caused some damage if the pressing hadn't been so quiet, but the guy at the pressing plant told Dig that it had to be that way or else the bass frequencies would take over completely. He said that he had never heard such low frequencies (sometimes touching 25 hz) on an album!

P: What are the best conditions for the band to play live?

BILL: That varies. For example, the first two gigs we played at Bradford were shit - bad sound, lame crowd, broken strings etc. - but the last time we played there, it was one of our best sets ever. Obviously, it helps if we're playing in an area that we receive a lot of mail from, as then we know there are people who actually want to see us. The bottom line is that if we get messed around with a shitty mix then we're not likely to play our best.

P: How do you label your fans? Do you think Carcass is a polyvalent band made for both noisefreaks and death metal fans?

BILL: We don't label our music, so we couldn't exactly label our "fans"! From what I gather, many of our listeners are into the death metal/grindcore underground scene, where a few are actually into slightly more mainstream metal or HC, plus there are those who enjoy arty noise, as well as fans of independent pop/rock.

P: Do you think that a few Carcass fans have been disappointed with the band due to poor quality sound at gigs?

BILL: Maybe, but of course anyone's who's genuinely into our music would enjoy us regardless of sound problems, provided that they can sense that we're on form. Our sound hassles are worse than most, as being a 3-piece where all three of us do vocals means that playing live can be extremely taxing even with a good PA. There's nothing we can do about this stuff, though. We have yet to meet a PA man that will put any effort at all into mixing us. Usually PA people are solely into dated rock music and utterly loathe what we're doing, so we suffer. All we can do is try our hardest.

P: What are the releases which made you choose Slaughterhouse studio and Colin Richardson as a producer?

BILL: I knew nothing about Slaughterhouse until I went there to record the "Mentally Murdered" EP with ND. During the sessions, it became pretty obvious that Colin Richardson was the best engineer I'd ever recorded with. He's totally enthusiastic about whatever he's doing and although his role is officially "mere" engineer, he puts forward so many suggestions that he really ought to be categorised as a producer. On the second Carcass LP his help was invaluable. He understood exactly what we were trying to achieve, and personally I have every intention of working with him for the next recording if everyone else agrees.

P: Do you claim "Symphonies of Sickness" like the top of the perfection for the band? Is there anything you'd like to see different?

BILL: No, it's not perfect, but then nothing is. We are satisfied with it and it's certainly the first time that we've had a proper production. In that sense, it's our only release so far that represents our sound at all. As for improvements, there are only very minor details that I think could be altered - nothing drastic.

P: What's on the cover?

BILL: Nothing much. The inner gatefold is where all the action is! I guess you've seen it by now anyway....

P: Will the next tracks be even more midpaced with less fast parts?

BILL: I can't really say at this stage. It's not as if we've been calculatedly reducing the amount of hyperspeed in our music, we just select tempos that the riffs require. So far, the new material seems to have a bit of everything. There's still the odd super fast part when it's needed, but often our favourite beat is medium-pace (neither fast nor slow).

P: What's the most recent track on the LP? Is it your favourite?

BILL: Probably the most recent tracks on the LP are "Excoriating Abdominal Emanation" and "Empathological Necroticism", and I'm sure they're two of the best on there. Right now "Empathological..." is my favourite. But it changes from time to time.

P: How was your parents' reaction when you showed them the first LP?

BILL: Generally, they didn't exactly love it, but they didn't condemn it either. Ken's parents said it looked "professional"...!!!

P: Are you the youngest band with two LPs out?

BILL: I haven't a clue. I know there are a lot of younger bands with demos out, but I can't think of too many around our age (19-20) with two LPs available. Mind you, I think we'd rather forget about that first album!

P: Do you think that Carcass is more melodic than Morbid Angel? Will there be even more melody in the next release?

BILL: I've never thought about that before. It's not exactly the kind of thing you can measure, especially as there's so much difference between the two bands. As for whether there will be more melody on our next release - yes, definitely. That's not because we've sat down and planned what we want. Our music has to develop. The sound will always be grotesque, and the melodies we use are unusual ones, not just "nice tunes".

P: What about the Earache deal?

BILL: Dig wants us to sign a new contract, and so far there have been no other decent labels making offers. That's all I can say at the moment, so the chances are our next LP will be on Earache again.

P: What's your opinion about Napalm Death now?

BILL: Well, I haven't heard their new material yet, but live they are interesting. It wouldn't surprise me if they continue to get bigger....

P: Do you often stop the show when problems come with the security, like during the London show?

BILL: That incident in London was the first time we've had to stop because of security problems. I hope it doesn't happen again. In that instance it was important that we stopped playing, as the bouncers were getting violent with people who were getting onstage to dive. We had enough problems that night without some paid muscleheads finding an excuse to beat people up.

P: Do you listen to any Glam?

BILL: No, unless you count the Sweet or Guns 'N' Roses...?! (You're a poser! P.)

P: Do you consider yourself musically open minded? What do you listen to except usual stuffs, and do you think it's important to progress?

BILL: All of us listen to a lot of things besides thrash/death, so I guess we're open minded in the sense that we'll listen to anything we enjoy, regardless of who plays or listens to it. Apart from the usual names I appreciate the music of bands and artistes like Queensryche, King Diamond, Racer X, Cacophony, Raven, older Judas Priest, Scorpions, Texas, Scritti Politti, Joni Mitchell, Tank, Manowar, Slide, Suzanne Vega, Weather Report, Tytan, Joe Satriani, Vicious Rumors, Mr. Big, Queen, Helloween, Rock Goddess, Vinnie Moore, name a mere handful. Progress? Yeah, if that means improvement, it's essential.

Transcribed by Gary Kelly,