Interview: CARNIFEX, on the writing process and the allegory behind their 7th album WORLD WAR X, featuring Alissa White-Gluz, the heavy scene and more.
After unleashing lead single No Light Shall Save Us featuring Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy back in June, California-based blistering outfit CARNIFEX are set to release their 7th studio album, WORLD WAR X on August 2nd , 2019 via Nuclear Blast.
Our editor-in-chief Alex had a fabulous opportunity to have a chat with the band of Scott Ian Lewis, Shawn Cameron, Jordan Lockrey, Cory Arford and Fred Calderon who took some time out of their busy schedule to discuss the writing and creative process behind the record, the lyrical inspiration and themes. We discussed the current deathcore/death metal scene, the importance of evolving or not evolving beyond metal, the featuring with Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy on lead single as well as the upcoming shows as part of The Summer Slaughter Tour and more.
- Hello Carnifex it’s amazing to have you here. Congrats for achieving a seventh album in studio. You guys are still on top of the game and apparently ready to rip our heads off once more with WORLD WAR X on August 2nd via Nuclear Blast. Let’s talk about the lyrical themes and concepts discussed along the nine tracks of the record and the cynical points of view approached.
The album is all about allegory, subtext and satire. The parallel between being on the front lines fighting an enemy hell bent on destroying you and facing our collective broken inner workings as a human beings head on rather than pushing it down.
- World War X is following up your last record Slow Death dating back to 2016. Those songs seem to be longer than previous Carnifex songs and to have a much more complex and layered structure. So what kind of progression has been taking place in terms of writing for this album as opposed to your previous record?
One thing to remember about Carnifex we are all self-taught musicians. No one in the band went to school for music or has a degree. So across seven albums you’re hearing us improve as musicians and as songwriters in real time. It’s our next evolution towards articulating our musical vision.
- What’s the typical writing and creative process when you guys sit down to write and record new materials?
It’s a long process for us. We started writing WWX just a month after Slow Death came out. The first two years we all about generating material and structuring. We concluded the Slow Death cycle in August 2018 and went straight into final arrangements for WWX. We spent about five months in pre-production before entering Audiohammer Studios in January 2019.
- Carnifex are a massive inspiration for breakthrough bands in the heavy scene, but who are your main influences in terms of bands and genres?
Our influences have remained unchanged since Dead in my Arms. Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Manson, Dissection, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu-Borgir, In Flames, Dream Theater. We really don’t listen to much new music.
- “Carnifex are pushing themselves within what they write, but not pushing themselves to go beyond their genre”. Let’s discuss this statement and the importance of evolving or not evolving beyond metal for popularity.
It’s all in our intention. And I think any band is capable of moving beyond their genre but it comes down to your motivation. So I think intention is really where it all starts. If you move beyond your genre through pursuit of your true musical vision then there a chance it can be great. But if the motivation to move out of metal is just “clean singing = popularity” then it’s most likely it’s going to suck. We’re following our own musical vision and leaving the genre labels to everyone else.
- What are your thoughts about emerging bands and artists falling in the current deathcore/death metal scene?
We need them. The more the better. I think having great up and coming bands to tour with is the key to keeping a scene growing and building. So we’re always on the lookout for the bands coming up.
- Let’s discuss the experience with Alissa White-Gluz on lead single No Light Shall Save Us and the mindset behind this collaboration.
No Light is a great example of what this album, from a musicians perspective, is all about. Collaborations with unique artists that are bringing something new to the genre. Alissa responded to the song immediately and from there it was a great exchange of ideas to develop the song from our pre-production demo to the final product that you hear. We’re hoping to do more collaboration with many artists in the future.
- Tell us about a favorite on-stage moment along almost 15 years of blast under your belts.
Asking my favorite moment on stage is like asking me what my favorite breath of air is. I needed every single one of them to survive and get where we did. It’s all one moment that we’re still enjoying.
- You are supporting World War X on the road as a headliner on this year’s highly anticipated The Summer Slaughter Tour including Cattle Decapitation, The Faceless. Rivers Of Nihil, Nekrogoblikon, Lorna Shore, And Brand Of Sacrifice. So what gets you amped up and ready to melt faces?
To be able to tour headline Summer Slaughter on our best record and the record we’re most proud of is all we need to bring our best show out. We can’t wait to see the fans and play the new songs live.
- What can your fan base expect from your set? Name a very few songs you will be playing from your discography.
A lot of hits from the earlier records and a handful on news songs including No Light Shall Save Us and World War X.
It’s been a pleasure, thank you so much for your time and for following up with us on your blistering album. We are fully supporting CARNIFEX into Europe and US!
Carnifex – World War X tracklisting:
1. World War X
2. Visions of the End
3. This Infernal Darkness
4. Eyes of the Executioner
5. No Light Shall Save Us (feat. Alissa White-Gluz)
6. All Roads Lead to Hell (feat. Angel Vivaldi)
7. Brushed by the Wings of Demons
8. Hail Hellfire
9. By Shadows Thine Held
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