Just under two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to chat to the drummer from Deathcore legends, Carnifex. We chatted about the most recent album, the new upcoming album, the changes in music industry and his advice to new upcoming bands.
Thanks to Sarah at Nuclear blast for organising and Shawn for his time.
You’re currently on tour with: Fallujah, Within the Ruins and Boris the Blade. How’s the tour been going so far?
It’s been good so far. It’s only day 4 so it’s hard to tell but so far so good. We’ve known Within the Ruins for a long time and it’s good to tour with the other two bands.
The most recent album, Die Without Hope came out around 20 months ago. How do you think the fans have responded when you play these newer songs live?
They’re intense! The fans seem to love the new album and there’s a lot of new fans coming to the shows as well so the overall response to those tracks is better.
If my sources are correct you’re working on a new album and Mick Kenny from Anaal Nathrakh is involved in some way. Is this correct?
Yeah it is. We’ve been working with him for the last 9 months now. He’s been helping with the arrangements and programming ideas. He’s put some really good ideas forward and we go into the studio in February to record the new album.
The band has been going for around 10 year now. How do you think the metal scene has changed since the band started?
Oh man… A lot has changed. I think it’s harder to get folk out to shows as bands are touring more often now. It’s a lot harder to get people buy records. You need to have something amazing or something that will really grab peoples attention. The overall dynamic of the scene has changed as well, particularly in the deathcore and death metal scene. Back when we started, it was new and something people were excited to see. Nowadays, there’s only 3 or 4 bands from that era which still tour and do well. There’s Whitechapel, Suicide Silence and us. Thy Art is Murder are new band which are killing at the moment, which is nice to see.
The band went on a hiatus for just under 12 months. Did you ever think you would come back at any point during that time or was it indefinite?
It was indefinite for sure. We weren’t getting any of the tour offers that we wanted. If we kept going then we would have broken up for sure as we were all tired from touring. We were trying to get off the record label we were on which was a big reason we took the hiatus in the first place. We really didn’t want to put Die Without Hope out on that label because they would have shat that record out too. When we eventually got off it, we got a lot of label offers. Nuclear Blast offered us a really good deal and they had what we wanted. Because of the label we were on, we didn’t get a lot of tours in the States, we were actually bigger in Europe and the UK. Nucelar Blast is a European based label which is why we wanted to go with them as it made sense to us.
What sort of gear do you guys use to play live?
We rent gear for Captured Live. I use Pearl Drums and I bring my Zildjian cymbals along with my Vic Firth sticks. We use Mesa cabs but the guys are playing out of Kempers now so we bring them over as well. We are debating maybe hiring them as all you need is a usb for the profile.
What inspired you to start playing this kind of music?
For me, it was wanting to play my own heavy music. No one was really writing the stuff that I was super stoked about. I mean, I was stoked about stuff but I wanted to write my own stuff. I was a fan of Bleeding Through, Black Dahlia Murder and Slipknot. They had a influence on me.
Drummer question for you now, what’s your double kick tecnnique?
I use what could be classified as the floating heel technique. I just try and stay relaxed as I play. The more you relax, the faster you play. I’ve started incorporating the swivel technique, just to keep my legs more relaxed when I play. Some drummers, not a lot but some, rely on just tensing their muscles up and just shaking. That just causes problems like carpel tunnel and will stop your joints from working. When you play drums, you should be relaxed but you can still play hard. It should be a very relaxed experience. When you look at really fast drummer, you notice that they are really relaxed about it.
What sort of set can we expect tonight?
We’re playing a lot from Die Without Hope, as that’s our most recent. We play a song from every album and the classics of course. It’s a good set, I’m looking forward to playing tonight.
And finally, what advice would you give to a band that is just starting out in the industry?
Don’t play shows until you have recorded music and Tshirts. Who’s going to remember you if you have nothing? Have merch available for potential fans at shows. Also make sure everyone in the band is on the same page. You need to able to get along with everyone in the band as you’ll be crammed into buses for weeks on end.
Thank your for your time!