DANIEL FROM CARCASS
TM - Hi this is Elizabeth and Amelia from twinmusix, and we are here with Daniel Wilding from Carcass, thank you for having this interview with us today we really appreciate it.
DW - No worries, thank you for having me
TM - That's ok, how's everything been going for you?
DW – It’s been good, just like everybody it's a little bit weird. It seems like in the UK we are slowly emerging out the other side, we thought that last year but it kicked off again. I really can't complain I've been very busy I've got two young children, I've been keeping busy with them and playing drums as much as I can. I can't complain even though it's been a crazy time it's been alright actually.
TM - I think all eyes have been on the UK from everyone
DW - We didn't do it quite right initially
TM - I think it's impressive you are opening back up
DW - Yeah and it's quite strange for me. I enjoyed not having the pressure to see many people, it's a bit like now I have to go and do stuff again, it's intimidating.
TM - Your new album comes out September 17th, what can fans expect?
DW - It's kind of hard to describe the new album I think. Surgical Steel the last one we did, was kind of straight forward thrash death metal. I think as a band we were trying to prove, especially the other guys, that they still had stuff to offer. Whereas this one is a bit more, I don't want to say mature that's a little bit harsh on all of us, but it's definitely more diverse. It's got aspects of the entire band, there's groovy stuff, there's faster blaster stuff, there's definitely a whole bunch of stuff that the band has never done before, so I think it's definitely more of a unique experience than the last one. I think it's better, but I think everyone will have their opinion on that. We will just have to wait and see, but I think it's a great album
TM - What was your writing and recording process?
DW - This is one of the reasons why the album took so long to make. The writing process is more old school than a lot of other bands. A lot of bands these days start everything in a computer, they write demos inside a computer, and they program drums and everyone learns the song from the demo that's written on the computer. Carcass is very old-school, the way it works is me and Bill the guitar player we get in a room. He shows me a bunch of riffs he's got, and a bunch of ideas that he feels works well together and between us we figure out good ways to link everything. Then we figure out what the best drums are for each section. Once we have a bunch of stuff together the singer and bass player Jeff come in. He rearranges the whole thing to make it work with vocals and then after that we tweak it all together, but then none of it is done in a computer it's all done in a room, because especially Bill and Jeff, they barely know how to answer emails. Well, that's not true, Jeff is good on the computer, but Bill isn’t really interested in using the computer, and he's the main music writer so it's just all of us in a room. Especially after the last album and touring so much, to get that time together in a room, not just time together but to actually want to be together after touring so much and for so long. You want a break from each other that you don't want to just come back and start talking about making new music. I just want to be at home and ignored them for a couple of weeks, so getting that time in a room was great and it took a long time to peace all that stuff together. Then there was recording it, which again took a while because we did it in chunks because we were still touring. We did the drums first which is relatively standard, then we had a couple of months away because we were touring and doing other stuff. We went back and did guitars and then we did another couple of months away touring, and because of touring it made everything take so much longer. It's cool though it's a very organic way of writing, it's kind of like what people do when you're in a high school band or whatever, just get in a room and jam it out. It's really cool, it brings a very different vibe then learning something off a computer demo with programmed drums. I think it makes it a bit more organic and more of a live feeling I think anyway.
TM - I think it would be fun to be in the studio anyway
DW - It can be, at sometimes be a bit stressful sometimes because all eyes are on you don't want to mess up, you have one chance do it right
TM - Your album cover is a heart made out of vegetables, how did you come up with this?
DW - It seems to be quite polarising. The album cover, this was 100% jeff the singers idea. That's kind of his world, artwork, and visuals and all that kind of stuff. I’d probably get some of this wrong so it's probably best asking him if possible. There's a Kind of Japanese art that deals with pics of Decay and death, you know that kind of horrible stuff, and he was really interested in it. There was also another art that he discovered. Again, he will know much more than me about this, that was making body parts out of vegetables. Then he had an idea of mixing the two and making an organ out of fruit and vegetables, seeing the decay of it, and seeing what it would look like. It was one of the ideas, he had a whole bunch of other ideas. When he told me and Bill we were like “ok that sounds kind of interesting” and then he sent it to this guy from Poland that had wanted to work with the band for a while, and then we didn't hear from him for a while Then he sent back pictures of a sculpture he made against a white background, and I think all of us were blown away with it we didn't expect it to be that striking. I think the fact it is literally just an image is kind of cool, there is no CGI magic going on or Photoshop trickery, it's literally is just an image of a sculpture on a white background, and I think it's pretty striking and I think why it's so polarizing it’s a bit different to most metal album covers. There's no black on there, it's a white and all the other colours are quite rich with bright colours. I think it's stepping outside the box of metal a little bit, which I think is a good thing. The aim of the album cover was to do something different and striking, so I think it worked for what we were trying to do, but it's definitely taken some people by surprised I think.
TM - Do you have the sculpture?
DW – No because it's natural it would have decayed and fallen apart
TM - I would love to see you take it out on tour and do a 3D printed version of it
DW - That would be awesome we could ask him to do another version that is preserved forever, but the original one is probably turned into mulch in someone's compost
TM - Well the worms are happy then I guess
DW - See there you go, we are helping the worms
TM - You also have a knife, fork, and plate set with one of your albums, tell us about that
DW - This was more of a Jeff thing, but I think it started out as a joke because these days everyone's trying to sell as many physical copies as possible because there is no money in streaming. As we all know physical copies are great, and bands try and make some money back from this music stuff. Everybody tries to do something a bit different and unique, not just so people will buy it, but so people have collectable stuff with it. Kind of being interesting now one a of a kind things is really cool, because everything is so instant, and everyone can access everything all of the time it's nice to have exclusive things. So, the label wanted us to do something like that, so we offered something limited that only a certain number of people could get. I can't remember what the original idea was, but it was a little bit less silly, and jeff said “If you are going to do that you might as well go all out and make a full dining set” and he meant it as a joke. Then Gerardo, our guy in the states, said “that is a great idea!” and kind of ran with it. Then he sent us all these proofs and ideas of how we could do it, and our response was ‘that's a joke but if you guys want to go with it, I think it's cool’ I hope I can get one when they release them, but I know they are really limited and quite expensive to make. I don't know if we will be allowed 1 each but that will be quite cool
TM - I would love a dining set of all these different bands, that would be cool!
DW - There's so many band logos that would look good on a knife, fork, and a plate! Bands have been doing mugs for a long time, even we have Carcass mugs, I think this is taking it to the next step. Hopefully it will start a dinner set and cutlery revolution.
TM - If you could have any band play one of your songs, which band would it be? What song? and in your style or their style?
DW - First thing that comes to mind is the band. I would have to be Pantera, Dimebag and Bill have similarities in their playing. I think Dimebag trying to interpret bills riffs would be pretty serious, and just hearing Pantera play together again, which is not possible. I think Pantera in their style, but I don't know what the song would be that would be really tough! I think Pantera playing Kelly's Meat Emporium would be sick
TM - You are going to play damnation festival, what can fans expect?
DW - We are kind of excited, intimidated, and a little bit scared. I think we have had so long off now, I was talking to Bill about this the other day, because he hasn't played with a plectrum this whole time. He's only been playing fingerstyle classical guitar for the last 2 years, so he was like ‘oh crap’ so we really need some work in theory. There's this other tour we announced with Behemoth and Arch Enemy that's so wildly up in the air at the moment that no one knows what is happening, because restrictions are so crazy all over Europe that I'm not sure that is going to happen. So, for now, we can confirm this festival in the UK because the UK is going really well right now. Who knows what's going to happen in the next few weeks as it all changes. You know it changes day by day, but the UK at the moment is going really well. We thought ‘right we will at least confirm one UK show that we will know will happen with this tour’ but we are definitely going to play some new stuff, at least a couple of tracks. Hopefully we will play something that hasn't been released, some deep cuts as it were, but hopefully we will get some time to practice. I think once we get in the practice room as we are going to do in the next couple of weeks, it will tell us how bad it is or how good it is, if you know what I mean We could get together and we could be like ‘oh my, we have to practice every day for the next 3 months to get up to scratch’ or we could surprise ourselves and it could be alright. We could think outside the box a bit more and try some songs here and there, I think obviously we will play the classics, but we will definitely try and play as much new stuff as we can. Our goal is to try to make it as good as possible because it's been so long, and I think we are all a bit nervous to get back to it and get back up to speed. It's nice to have a goal, it's nice to get back in shape now we have so much stuff that has been confirmed, then cancelled, then confirmed, then cancelled. So, we like to think this one should happen, we hope the UK tour will happen. We are super excited to play this one and to get back out there and try not to wear ourself out in the first couple of songs, so it will be good to get back out there.
TM - Another one (line-up) I noticed you were on and it’s our favourite festival ever, is Hellfest
DW - You and me both! It's the best festival in the world I think, it feels like a long way off that one but it's going to come around very quick. Time just seems to disappear very quick, especially at the moment, that's going to be very special because it's one of our favourite festivals! We played it the year before Lockdown I think, and it’s always just incredible even just as a fan, walking around and watching bands is incredible. As a band they treat you incredibly well, it's just great I love it! The weathers always good, just can't wait to get back to those kind of situations again, we have just all been dreaming about it for 2 years.
TM - Anything else you want to say to your fans?
DW - Thank you! I think the fact that people still listen, because again, we released surgical steel 8 years ago it's just crazy thinking about it. But the fact that people still care and are still excited about this type of music, I think it's more than any of us ever expected you know? We get messages every day from people telling us how much they like the new music, and they’re excited about the new album, and us coming to play again. So, thank you for sticking around and still caring after all this time of no new music and obviously a pandemic getting in the way! Yeah just, thanks and it blows my mind every day that people give this effort to this music this music that we all love so much!
TM - Thank you for having this interview with us today, we really appreciate it
DW - Thank you for having me