CARCASS Giving People What They Want

Joseph Schafer of Invisible Oranges recently conducted an interview with bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker of reactivated British extreme metal pioneers CARCASS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Invisible Oranges: To me, "Surgical Steel" sounds at its heart to be a very sad record. Walker: You think? Invisible Oranges: I think so. Walker: If anything, "Heartwork" and "Swansong" were, lyrically, very serious. This is a throwback to the old days of CARCASS, where it was very lighthearted. But this is cool because you're extracting something from this album. Which is fine. I'm not here to dictate how people should perceive or enjoy this album. People who look at the lyrics and titles and think what the fuck they want are ultimately fragile and stupid. There's no real agenda here, no real issues, nobody's trying to brainwash anyone. I'm not Barney Greenway [NAPALM DEATH]. You can look at it at whatever level you like. You can view the lyrics as throwaway, or look very deep into it, and that's fine. People keep asking me what the chorus is, the numbers on "The Dark Granulating Satanic Mills", and I'm not going to say. I've heard some interesting theories as to what those numbers are about, and that is far more interesting than the reality. Invisible Oranges: Would you describe to me the moment when you realized you were happy doing CARCASS again. Walker: The first rehearsal. I was just happy to be playing with Bill [Steer, guitar] again. He's a far superior musician to me, and a far superior human being as well. It was cool to be back where we started. Invisible Oranges: It really seems like, retroactively, CARCASS is the relationship between you two. Walker: Yes, you could argue that. If I hadn't met Bill, Bill would have achieved musically, but I don't think CARCASS would have existed, so in that sense you're right. But the central songwriter of CARCASS has always been in flux. In the old days it was Ken [Owen, drums] who wrote a hell of a lot of the riffs. If you look at "Reek", we had an equal three-way split. On "Symphonies", Bill started doing more, and I did more of the lyrics. "Necroticism" is 95 percent Ken and Bill. Mike [Amott, guitar] came in at the end with one riff. "Heartwork" was all Bill and Mike's riffs. So as you can see the core of the band is constantly changing in terms of who's writing the riffs. On "Surgical Steel", it's all Bill who's coming up with the riffs. The more I think of it, you can't really call the band mine and Bill's because in the past so much of it really was Ken. Ken cast a long shadow on this album, and his ghost is in the drumming, is in the lyrics and the songtitles. And he even tracked some backing vocals. He's still there in spirit very much. Invisible Oranges: That's sort of poetic considering the way he is mixed into the record, his vocals are lower, so he almost literally is a ghost in the songs.

CARCASS Frontman: ‘We’re Not Trying To Compete With Any Bands That Are Influenced By Us’

David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker of reactivated British extreme-metal pioneers CARCASS. A few excerpts from the chat follow below. DeadRhetoric.com: With the new album ["Surgical Steel"], what was your "Hey, this is going to work" moment? Walker: In the rehearsal room; it's that simple. Bill [Steer, guitar] actually was like, "Okay, let's try this out and if it works, great, if not, we haven't lost anything." My attitude was that it will work, like, "Don't worry, Bill." I have enough confidence in myself and him as a guitar player, and Daniel [Wilding] is a fantastic drummer and I was never under any illusion that we couldn't pull something great off. I mean, we're hungry and we have something to prove after 17 years and we don't want to disappoint people. We don't want to be one of these bands who come back after a long period of time with an album that people are like, "That album sucks!" We already made that album — it's called "Swansong". It's important we don't shit on our legacy. This is almost like making our first album. We've done this off our own volition, with our own time, and our own money. No one was dangling a carrot in front of us. We could have easily found a record deal, then made this album. But I think it was out of pride — especially from my side that it was more important we put our money where our mouth is. We kept it secret, and we didn't want to be accused of doing it for the money. DeadRhetoric.com: There's no money in metal anyway. Walker: I disagree. [laughs] Joking aside, it's easy to deal with those kind of snipes, but I don't want to give people ammunition.

CARCASS Frontman Says MICHAEL AMOTT Was ‘Too Busy’ To Continue Playing With The Band

Raymond Westland of Ghost Cult magazine recently conducted an interview with bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker of reactivated British extreme metal pioneers CARCASS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Ghost Cult: Can you talk us through the point CARCASS reformed to the moment you actually started to work on the new album? Walker: We got together in 2007 when Bill [Steer; guitar] finally agreed on doing a couple of gigs. We didn't play any gigs that year, because I walked away from the whole thing, due to certain business arrangements I wasn't happy about. In 2008, the whole reunion thing came about. It was never meant as a long-term thing. Then 2009 came about and we got more and better offers coming in. Same thing in 2010, including a couple of events and venues we hadn't played before. Last gig we did as CARCASSwas in August 2010 with Michael Amott and Daniel Erlandsson of ARCH ENEMY. That was the closure on the whole reunion thing, becauseMichael made it explicitly clear he'd be too busy with his own bands to even consider doing anything in the future with CARCASS. At that point, we hadn't discussed doing anything beyond the whole reunion thing, so that was quite a relief. At some point, Bill contacted me about whether I'd fancy doing anything with Dan Wilding, who was a member ofABORTED when they toured the U.S. Bill has a thing with drummers and he wanted to do something musically with Dan. As for me, I was really prepared and willing to do more music with CARCASS back in 2009. When you're in a band with Bill Steer, Michael Amott and Daniel Erlandsson, it would be wasting a great opportunity not to. Daniel would have made himself available if we would continue doing music with CARCASS, but when push came to shove, he had to make a decision and he decided to stay with ARCH ENEMY. It wasn't really a matter of choosing for him. If he stuck around for longer, a CARCASS album would have been around sooner perhaps.