Rock ‘N’ Load conducted an interview with bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker of British extreme metal veterans CARCASS on October 25 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. You can now watch the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether CARCASS is actively working on material for the follow-up to 2013’s “Surgical Steel”:
“Not really. We’re too busy touring, so… What’s the rush? The last album only came out in 2013. We’re still touring on that. There’s still interest to plug it. This is so boring. The odd interviews that I do where people are already talking about a new album. To me, the last album, I still consider that the new album. It’s still fresh, and we’re still playing it, and it’s still ticking over sales-wise, so what’s the rush, you know? It took us, what? Seventeen years between ‘Surgical Steel’ and [1996’s] ‘Swansong’. So if there’s another album or not… I mean, there probably will be, but… I’m not gonna give you any timeframes, but if it happened, it wouldn’t be out that year, because it takes… The whole writing, recording, setting up the release just takes so long.”
On whether CARCASS‘s new members, Daniel Wilding (drums) and Ben Ash (guitar), will be involved in the writing process for the new album:
“No. I mean, the last album was written… Obviously, most of the music is Bill [Steer, guitar], with some tweaks from me and Dan, the drummer. So it’ll probably be a continuation of that. Having said that, Dan and Bill have been… They have had some practices where they are working on new stuff, but I’m kind of keeping out of the way. They’re purposely doing it down south in England where I can’t actually get to it, it’s so remote; I wouldn’t wanna spend the day going down there. And I think I was pretty hands on with the writing on the last album, and I think it’d be nice to step back a bit and just let Bill and Dan get on with it. ‘Cause some of the best CARCASS stuff was when Bill and Ken [Owen, former CARCASS drummer] were just writing, and then I’d come in and ruin it. The thing is, Bill‘s never really written a whole album with CARCASS. Don’t get me wrong: without Bill playing it, it’s not CARCASS. So maybe the next album will be one hundred percent Bill. Then when it flops, I can say, ‘I told you so.'”
On CARCASS‘s songwriting approach:
“There’s no specific style. I mean, the last album session… With the re-release of the [‘Surgical Steel’] album and the [‘Surgical Remission / Surplus Steel’] EP, I think there’s fourteen songs on it, and there’s different styles on there. It’s not all blast beats or all SLAYER speed or all thrash; there’s some groovy songs. And it’s funny, [some] people hate those songs. People can gravitate to whatever they like about each song, but there’s fourteen songs, and none of them sound like each other, and that’s what’s important.”
On whether CARCASS has reached its sales potential:
“We’re a cult, niche band. We know we’re never gonna cross over into a more kind of… not even mainstream. I mean, I know how many albums we sell, and there’s other bands that sell more than us, and we consider those bands pretty crap. But the reality is to have mass appeal or a wider appeal, you’ve gotta be playing pretty crappy music. In order to increase our sales, we’d really have to dumb our music down, and I don’t think we’re capable of that. Because what’s popular in metal nowadays is pretty… We’re not fans of that stuff. It’s like anything that’s popular… Anything that a lot of people can get into has to be the lowest common denominator, and hopefully what we’re doing isn’t. And we’re happy to be a cult, niche band — quite a successful cult, niche band. We’re happy with that a lot. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
CARCASS released a special edition version of its latest album, “Surgical Steel”, on CD and digitally on October 30, and on vinyl on November 20 via Nuclear Blast. The “Complete Edition” includes the whole album “Surgical Steel”, along with the entire “Surgical Remission / Surplus Steel” EP. All the songs were recorded during the “Surgical Steel” sessions, which were helmed by producer Colin Richardson (NAPALM DEATH, BOLT THROWER, GOREFEST, CANNIBAL CORPSE, SINISTER, RODRIGO Y GABRIELA) and mixed/mastered by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, ACCEPT, EXODUS, TESTAMENT).
“Surgical Steel” sold around 8,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 41 on The Billboard 200 chart. 17, 2013 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records.