California based metal act Carnifex, have been an act for over 10 years, releasing their sixth album to date, "Slow Death", a lot has been going for them, from switching labels, to writing new music for this album, to playing shows, touring, and so much more is happening, it's hard not to resist. Frontman vocalist Scott Ian Lewis discusses the band's historic past, present, and future.
1. First of all, who are you, and what do you do in the band?
Scott: Scott Ian Lewis. I'm the vocalist and lyricist.
2. Let's talk a little about the history of your band. When did you originally form and is this the original line-up?
Scott: We formed in Shawn's bedroom in the summer 2005. Initially we were a four piece, Shawn and I are the original remaining members.
3. Do you remember how the idea of forming the band first came up?
Scott: I had been doing bands since I was fourteen but had given up on it after trying for five years and none of my bands going anywhere. Shawn's roommate was a friend of mine that introduced us and we started jamming from there.
4. How long after you formed was it until you played your first live show?
Scott: I think our first show was in early Oct 2005, so about two months.
5. What are your memories of the performance?
Scott: We played in a dive bar for about ten fans and the rest of the bar had locals that kept yelling for us to shut up and put Hank Williams back on the juke box.
6. Why did you want to play this genre?
Scott: I've been a heavy music fan for most of my life. There is an energy and honestly to metal that isn't found in any other style.
7. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?
Scott: When we were thinking about names a friend mentioned that Carnifex means executioner and we knew we wanted something dark so that was perfect.
8. Who are your influences and how have they shaped your bands sound?
Scott: That's a question without a direct answer. Artists that influence me are artists that I recognize authenticity in. People writing with real emotion and passion. It extends beyond bands to any art form, painting, writing, film, anyone who is passionate about their craft.
9. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?
Scott: My lyrics always are from a negative place but Slow Death more than any other album there is a sub text of hope. One of the scariest feeling when you are depressed is the idea that you are alone, that you have no one to relate to, no one that understands what you're feeling. Slow Death gives you something that knows your pain, that can relate. Misery loves company and this is the album that does that.
10. Let's talk a little about your latest release, what are the listeners in store for with this release?
Scott: It's everything DWH did but better. We learned a lot of lesson throughout the writing process of DWH. We took those lessons and applied them to the 2 years we spent writing Slow Death. Everything is built towards creating huge songs.
11. What is the concept behind the album and how did the idea come about?
Scott: It's an album that takes a close look at isolation and depression. The concept that being alone is truly a slow death.
12. What was the writing and recording process like for the album?
Scott: It was a long process, Shawn and Jordan generate the majority of the riffs than the three of us go through the arraignment process, which is pretty lengthy for each track. Once we have something we're happy with we would take it to Mick Kenny for final arrangement changes and programming, then I would put my lyrics and vocal patterns on it and do last tweaks before we track that as part of our pre-production and take it to Jason to actually track for the album.
13. You have released two full lengths on Nuclear Blast Records. Are you happy with being a part of the label, and what are some of your favorite label mates?
Scott: Absolutely, Nuclear Blast is hands down the most legit label around. They truly care for their artists and everyone working there has real passion for the job they do. Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth are at the top of the list for me.
14. Back in 2012, word broke out that the band was disbanding, breaking up, this and that, and turned out you guys were off on a hiatus, so can you give a brief summary, as to why this happened and was made such a big deal?
Scott: It was a number of factors. At that time we had been touring for nearly seven years straight. We were facing a number of problems on the business side of the band. All that led to us needing to step back from the spotlight and figure it all out on our own time. As far as the reaction,we were part of starting a genre. We were and continue to be one of the biggest bands in the scene. We were on top when we took the break
and that's not something you see very often. It was upsetting to a lot of fans. We worked so hard on DWH and Slow Death to make it up to them for the time away.
15. Are there any plans to release any more videos from the album and will they be a
continuation of the first?
Scott:Yes, we have another single coming in late June and a second music video in late July.
16. Will we ever get to see or hear Carnifex go acoustic, BUT keep the screaming vocals, with the acoustic instruments, that'd be something different.
Scott: Can't see that ever happening.
17. When can we expect to see a live album or DVD from you guys, is that something you would consider or want to do?
Scott: We've talked about it but right now we're focused on releasing new material. The market for DVD's is nearly non existent. It's hard to justify sinking 20K plus into a live DVD when it'll be watched on YouTube for free.
18. Did you know it's been 8 years, for me to get the chance to talk to you guys? Every time between now and then, been trying but it would fall through, so what do you think of that?
Scott: I think you must have been talking to the wrong people. We're some of the easiest people to get a hold of. Were always on line talking to fans and answering questions everyday. Reach out direct if you have problems in the future.
19. It will be almost 10 years for your debut "Dead in My Arms", can we expect a full album performance of that said release, or is performing full release in their entirety not your thing?
Scott: Hard to say, to go back to album that's ten years old and dedicate an entire tour to that is usually for bands trying to live in the past. Our best music is coming out now. Maybe we'd do some type of mix of first album and newest album someday.
20. Do you have any last comments for our readers?
Scott: Slow Death is available world wide August 5th. Pre order through our website www.carnifexmetal.com.