Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Check out HUMAN CARNAGE from Canada. Meet their music on the edge of Old School Death Metal and modern influences and you will get a bunch of fresh and brutal tunes! I have talked with bassplayer Yves.
The band got formed in december 1999. Have you done something special for your 10th anniversary?
No, not really. We did our last show in october, and then locked ourselves in the jam room, writing and rehearsing. And it will be so until march/april. No shows are planned for the winter, we should hit the stage again this spring.
Can you tell us more about Human Carnage? Where do you see yourselves musically?
Well, we’re a technical and brutal death metal band; it is hard for me to categorize or compare the band to others. Lets say that we could please both old and new school fans, for we have a huge range of influences. As you mentioned above, the band is in its tenth year of existence, there‘s been a few line-up changes throughout the years, but now it is stable since 2 years or so. We have released an Ep in 2009, ‘’Feast Of Darkness’’, and are now working on our next release due out later this year. The band also released a 6 song Cd in 2006, ‘’Rest In Pieces’’, but with a different line-up.
How is it going with the Ep so far?
The response’s been great, we’ve had good comments from around the world. But if you ask me about sales, it’s a bit disappointing, but this is no surprise, people don’t buy Cds anymore, unfortunately….
You’ve also started your own label, Stabwound Industries. Was it because other labels didn’t show interest in releasing your Ep?
We’ve send a couple of promos here and there, but no one responded quick enough for us; we wanted to release it as soon as possible and be able to promote it all summer long with a bundle of concerts, which we did. As of now, we are looking for a proper distribution, which isn’t easy to find. Sadly, the record industry is slowly agonizing, labels hesitate to sign new bands ‘cuz sales aren’t there anymore.
What are the assets and drawbacks to hold all strings in hand?
Well, you have total control of the content, no deadlines (at least you decide them). But the biggest drawback is money for sure. Quality studios are expensive, artwork and printing do cost a lot also, so you have to be imaginative and hard-working to get all going, which sometimes can be breath-taking!
Can a small label like yours be able to invest lots of money in promotion? Sending CDs worldwide and all?
Postage fees are very expensive nowadays, so you have to target your shipments, send your promo stuff to the ones that should get you the most exposure. Fortunately, Internet is an amazing tool for promotion, fast and reliable. But it is impossible for us now to get, for example, a half or full advertising page in popular magazines like Terrorizer or Kerrang, that’s way too expensive.
How big is the influence of Internet for a label? I mean, promotion is easier, but once the Cd is out, it becomes, most of the time, available for free download via a bunch of sites. How do you see this?
As I just said, the web is a must in today’s industry. Sites like MySpace, Facebook or Reverbnation are great for promoting music, and they’re free. The only sad thing, as you said, is illegal downloading, which is the main reason people don’t buy Cds anymore. Fans should be aware that if they do continue so, it is the whole music scene that will disappear. Bands and independent labels won’t be able to afford the costs without revenue.
More scheduled for Stabwound Industries?
Well, as for now, I really don’t know. I am kinda on a hiatus right now. The next Human Carnage Lp will probably be released on SWI, but I am hoping that, at least, I can find a good distribution. I am not signing bands for the moment, I do not have the financial strenght for it.
Back to Human Carnage. How is it going so far for the next album? Will it be similar to the Ep?
‘’Dead Eyes Open’’ is our working title, and will probably stand. We already have songs that are finished, other that we are still working on arrangements. Our way of writing has changed if you compare it to the Ep; we now try to find a main ‘’theme’’, then work around it. We’ve been influenced a lot by classical music lately; Bartök, Beethoven, Wagner, Hölst…these composers have a huge influence on how we arrange our songs now. I would say that our new stuff is much heavier and technical in a way, so it will definitely blow ‘’Feast Of Darkness’’!!
Musically, the band has changed a lot since the old days. Is there something left from the old crust tunes?
‘’Sang Espoir’’ (the first Lp) was released in 2003, and only Dan and Dave remain from this line-up. We now definitely don’t sound like it, that’s for sure. Maybe someday we will play one or two songs from it live, I don’t know, but for now, we prefer to concentrate on our new stuff. There is probably a little influence left of it in Dan and Dave’s playing.
You had many line-up changes in the past years. Ever though of restarting under a new moniker?
You should’ve ask this one to Napalm Death!! No, seriously, you rarely see bands having the same line-up unchanged since their beginnings. I think it is inevitable in a way; as a band evolves, there is often some members who will diverge from the new direction the band takes. Our line-up is stable since almost 2 years now, and hope it still will be for years to come. As for the band name, I don’t think the original members ever thought about changing it.
How solid is your structure now? Can something hold you back yet?
We have developed a strong musicianship together, you can feel it in our live performances, as well as in the rehearsal room. We all know each other well, our habilities and weakenesses…And it gets stronger as we go on, so…The only thing that could hold us back would be ourselves I think, if we try to do more than asked.
What is the fascination in spending lots of time and money, permanent rehearsing and doing shows in front of, sometimes, 10/15 drunk freaks? What motivates you?
First of all, we do it for the love of music. You have to be passionate about what you do. Some spend lots of time and money in other hobbies; collecting old cars, scubba diving and so on…Our motivation comes from the pleasure we have playing music, and even if there is 15 or 1500 people in front of us, we will always give the best we have. It doesn’t matter to us.
Every member has his own musical background. Does it make the band more creative or can it be hindering at times?
I think it is a good thing to have different influences. It gives the band its own identity. Each members’ experience is a plus for us. If this makes us more creative, well, I really don’t know, but if I look at the way we are working now, it sure ain’t hindering at all.
Are you always full-motivated or would you like to pack it all sometimes?
As in everyday life, you have your ups and downs. Financial issues would be the most demoralizing thing I’d say. But you have to stick to your guns, every negative experience just gets you stronger in the end.
Where do you see Human Carnage in 10 years? On the fast lane or stuck in the traffic?
Hope we will still be there in 10 years, although I’ll be 47 at the time!! As long as we have fun doing this, I don’t see any reason to stop. And if we can get more exposure and recognition in the future, it will be great for sure. But, you know, we all have our day lives, work and/or school, some have kids, so, it’s hard to say.
Any last words?
Well, thanx a lot Jörg for the interview. Long live to Fatal Grind!! Keep supporting the underground scene. Everyone interested in Human Carnage, just drop us a line, it will be a pleasure for us to write you back. Cheers and take care.