Interviews : Carnal Forge
With Jari Kuusisto
The Swedish battery of Carnal Forge is the battering ram that very few contemporary thrash bands can challenge; and with the arrival of 2003 also comes their latest album, The more you suffer. Of course they decided just an album wasn't enough this time and got on the bill for the Metal gods tour to give the uninitiated Americans the one-two knockout punch. I was lucky enough to chat Jari from the band and get the scoop on whats going on.
You probably get this question every time; your band's name, Carnal Forge, that's a Carcass song.
Yea, I know it's a Carcass song and I'm not ashamed of it. We have borrowed it from Carcass, we wanted to have a name for the band that fitted for what we were going to do music-wise so Carnal Forge is a really cool lyric of the Heartwork album and I like that album, so we basically borrowed it from Carcass.
So when are you gonna cover a Carcass song and what's the favorite Carcass song you can cover?
Oh heh?I don't think Carnal Forge is ever going to play any cover songs because that's not what Carnal Forge is about, we want to do our own material. One of the best Carcass songs, I like is Arbeit Macht Fleischfrom Heartwork.
How did the recording process go for The More You Suffer? Did you approach it differently this time?
Well, we actually planned real well before we went to the studio this time. We checked every song several times and just listened to the song; could we add something or leave the song as it is. So everything was pretty focused and already done when we went into the studio. So what we had to do was to record, so we knew exactly we wanted to do and so we didn't change much in the studio. Of course, you can always hear something when you have recorded the song; this song needs a lead or something so we added it but everything was like 99% done when we went in.
How bout the cover artwork for the new album? Please?Die was a great album but the cover didn't look that good I thought.
Yea, you're totally right on that. I won't actually blame it on Carnal Forge because the cover we wanted for that album distributor said that they wouldn't release it because they thought it showed too much direct violence. So they said we are not gonna distribute this album if you don't change the cover, we had to go with a cover that no one was really satisfied with because we didn't have the time to look into other options. The new cover for The More You Suffer album done by our bassist, Lars, as the previous one and I think this is much better than Please?Die.
Yea, Firedemon had a real cool cover. What kind of art preferences do you guys have?
Not much, we really just try to satisfy some cool idea and if we have some cool title for the album and then we do the cover art after that. Pick up the camera, take some pictures, hopefully you can use it sometimes.
This was your last album Century Media. What are your plans for the future?
Well, we are right now starting discussion with Century Media about another 2 albums. We have the contract here and we will sign in a couple of weeks so we will stick with Century Media and see how much more they can do for the band.
Now about the new album, the one track that I like a lot is My Bloody Rampage, it always gets me going.
I think its one of the best songs on the album actually (laughs). So I think that song contains everything that Carnal Forge is about. You have all the slow parts you have fast and real cool hooks. I totally agree that it is one of the best.
You guys are gonna play it live right?
Yes we are going to do that but unfortunately not for this US tour. But we are definitely going to pick it up after that because we don't have so much playing time on this tour; its only 30 minutes.
How are your side projects going? [In Thy Dreams, Centinex, etc?]
Ehhh well, (laughs) its not going at all right now because we have so much to do with Carnal Forge that we really don't have time for side projects. We all take time for that when we don't have anything to do with Carnal Forge so for right now we are waiting when we can drink some beers and have fun with the side projects.
Please?Die had some guest appearance I think. What about the new one?
No guest appearances on the new one and I don't even think we had any on Please?Die actually.
No? Ok?maybe I screwed up [this is what happens when you don't read the credits carefully]
The bassist of Centinex wrote the lyrics for Totalitarian Torture.
Ah ok?my mistake. What do you guys do on a regular day?
Not much?relax and when we are not relaxing we all have regular jobs that we do everyday so its pretty much about sleep and go to work.
So when do you guys get a chance to listen to music?
The best time to listen to new bands is actually when you are on tour, then you meet so many people so everyone's handing you records and saying please listen to this and what you think. I think that's the best time you can listen to music because then you're doing music 24/7 and don't really have so much other things to do.
I was looking at the band's profile on your website [www.carnalforge.com] and it says that you guys like to drink a lot, have fun, and watch movies right?
Yea?(laughs) that's what it is all about, just to have fun.
It seems you guys are cooling down a bit on the new album ? a lot of the new solos are like Darkane and clean vocals on Baptized in Fire. What's going on?
I wouldn't actually call it clean vocals. Its almost clean I would say. It was an experiment that we did because the lead parts that we had added to the music. I think we all add leads if we think its necessary on the song so we don't build the song and then put a lead on it just to put a lead on it. We recorded all the music and then Jonas added all the vocals himself. So we didn't know at all what he has going to do. We said do whatever you want and feel free to experiment as much as you want and then we will tell you if we like it when we are done, and I think its really, really cool vocal stuff he has done for the album. So we are very satisfied with that.
How does Jonas approach his vocals? The way he's always screaming he's gonna lose his lungs pretty soon.
I wouldn't think so because he has worked out a technique where he is using much of his stomach so he is using minimal of his throat and maximum of his stomach so he doesn't lose his voice.
I see. My fellow writer had a question about that. Jonas dedicated his vocals on Please?die to Satan.
Did you guys dedicate anything to anyone on the new album?
I dedicate my part to everyone who has believed what I have always tried to do with my bands and believed that we are going to be something sometime later on So its for all those people who have supported me through the years.
What do you guys think of the current metal scene?
I think its looking really good actually. Major cool bands putting out records, you have Soilwork, Darkane, the Haunted, Testament, Slayer and I think it's an awesome metal scene right now.
Yea, what do you think of the new Haunted?
I think the new Haunted is a pretty good album, actually I would say that I prefer the first one and even think the second one is a little bit stronger than the last one. What I don't like with the last one is that the sound on it is too heavy a sound. Its hard to hear what they are playing and also I think the songs were little bit better on the first and second album.
Yea I think you're right. What do you think of the Internet and Mp3's and how far they have taken metal?
I don't really see any problem with it because we are not a major band making millions on what we are doing so for us its only free advertising. And to be on the Internet is good because I think everybody gets updated about what the band is doing right now so the internet is super for me.
I got a radio show in my college and I'm trying to get all the obscure bands all the airplay I can. How much do you think radio can improve the situation in case of metal?
I would definitely say that media overall is really important for music style of any kind because what people hear from the radio, TV speaks to their minds. If media starts supporting music like this then its going to be huge I think.
Yea, I'm having a hard time censoring the new Carnal Forge songs man, you guys say ?fuck' a lot!
How about a tour with the Crown and Defleshed when you guys come to US the next time?
Its hard to say of course, its always nice to tour with Swedish bands if organized but for now we are doing the Metal gods tour with Halford as the headlining act. Then we have to see if we come another time before the next record or if we are coming on the next record again.
How's the US tour going right now? Is it different from Europe?
Well its hard to say because we did only one gig in US so far and we are going to do 6 week long tour starting April 25th, so its hard to say right now because we haven't been on any longer tours in the US.
How was the New Jersey Metalfest like?
It was great, actually much better than we expected because we didn't know how the response was going to be because we never played in the US before but everyone seemed to like what we were doing and people were talking about us that we were one of the best live performances of the bill for that festival so we were satisfied. Century media thought it was great.
Did you guys like any other bands like Behemoth?
I haven't heard so much about Behemoth so it's hard for me to say if I liked them or not. We are going to do a tour with them later this year, a European tour. So, what I heard from the drummer of Carnal forge because he was the stand in drummer on the Centinex tour, he said the Behemoth guys were really great guys so I'm looking forward to go tour with them.
What's the best tour experience you guys have had?
I would definitely say that so far the best experience has been when we did a headlining tour in Japan earlier this year. That was awesome. That was totally different from both Europe and US. It was pretty strange to be treated like a rockstar because I'm not a rockstar (laughs). But they thought I was. That was pretty strange to be there but everything was real well organized and they liked what we were doing in Japan. So I would definitely say that Japan was my best tour experience.
You guys like Testament a lot right?
Yea?one of my favorite bands.
Yea, so you finally get to tour with then. How does that feel?
Feels pretty strange because I grew up listening to Testament and they were idols for me so being on the same tour and same stage to play is like a dream coming true so that's really cool for us.
You guys are gonna let me in free in the concert huh?
Yea, if we had the opportunity to do that we will. (both of us laugh) Just ask for me.
Alright I think that's all the questions I had. Thanks for doing this man. I hope I see you on tour. And I hope I have enough money to get in there. Last words are yours?
Check out the new album, its 100 % adrenaline kick so hopefully everyone will enjoy it. Definitely all Carnal Forge fans will enjoy the new album.
Check out www.carnalforge.com for more information on the Metalgods tour and new album The More You Suffer.