Interview: SCOTT CARSTAIRS of California progressive death metallers FALLUJAH on new record UNDYING LIGHT.
SICK AND SOUND has the pleasure to present an interview our editor-in-chief Alex had with SCOTT CARSTAIRS (guitars) of metal Jaggenauts FALLUJAH discussing in detail their fourth album in studio UNDYING LIGHT out on March 15th, 2019 via Nuclear Blast. Fallujah are a technical death metal, progressive metal, deathcore outfit hailing from San Francisco, California and founded in 2007. Undying Light comes after latest album Dreamless released back in 2016. We are now catching up with the band of Antonio Palermo (vocals), Scott Carstairs (guitars), Robert Morey (bass) and Andrew Baird (drums) on the meaning behind the name Fallujah and their sound. We also discussed the lyrical themes behind their new record, the artwork and more.
- Hello Fallujah and welcome at SICK AND SOUND. I am truly honored to have you here. So let’s start by discussing your journey as a band and how you came up with name “Fallujah”.
We came up with the name Fallujah back in 2007 in the wake of 9/11 and the US invasion of Iraq. It was a turbulent time for our generation and was a period that marked a shift in our perspective of the world. The name Fallujah represented those crazy times in our not so distant past.
- Fallujah have more than a decade of music under their belts and not pigeonholed in a specific soundscape. How would you describe your sound and its staples?
The best way to describe our music is honest. Fallujah always strives to create music that is genuine, and I believe that is why it’s so unique sounding. We always try to create the kind of music that has people saying ‘so and so sounds like Fallujah,’ rather than ‘Fallujah sounds like so and so’, if that makes sense.
- Your fourth album UNDYING LIGHT was out on March 15th 2019 via Nuclear Blast. This is the first to feature your new vocalist Antonio Palermo and considered not to be a follow up to Dreamless, but a significant step forward. So let’s discuss this progression.
When the decision was made to have Antonio do the record with us, we knew from the work he’s done with Rob in Underling that he had an entirely different skill set than Alex did. Writing a Dreamless follow up would have been disingenuous to both ourselves and our fans, and I don’t think we would have been happy with the result. Having a new creative force on the team offered different perspectives during the writing process and it allowed for much more back and forth between Antonio, Rob, and myself as far as a creative dialogue.
- What lyrical themes and meanings have been discussed in the record?
The lyrics on this record were all subjects that were very personal to all of us. Instead of writing about some dystopian fantasy that is so common in metal these days, we wanted the lyrics to be visceral and meaningful us. Distant and Cold was recorded after the untimely death of one of Antonio’s closest friends. Glass House is about our addiction to social media. Eyes Like the Sun is about freeing yourself from the mistakes of your past. These are subjects I’m sure most our listeners can relate to, having experienced some or all of them in their own lives. This is the type of connection we really wanted to explore more of on this record.
- What were some of the challenges or concerns you faced, if any, when writing and recording Undying Light?
I wouldn’t say there were any concerns during the writing process. One thing we had to figure out during the writing process was how we wanted to utilize Antonio’s voice. He has a ton of range and different types of vocals he’s able to do, so we really took a lot of time honing his sound to get it to a place that best served the music.
- Let’s briefly discuss the artwork chosen for the record.
We commissioned Nick Keller to do an oil painting on canvas design for the album artwork. We all are pretty meticulous and particular about the kind of artists and artwork we choose, so our decision to work with an artist as talented as him was definitely worth our while.
Thank you for your time Scott and all the best. We are longing for more music to be dropped by Fallujah and fully supporting you into Europe and US!
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