Interview Carpenter Brut – “Metalheads who are used to digging deeper will realize the music is kitschy fun and not kitschy dumb” (GMM 2019)

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It’s been a couple of years now since Graspop Metal Meeting has started thinking outside of the box for their line-up selection. The biggest metal festival in Belgium is no longer solely boasting bands who fall into the that category. That’s how last year, we were treated to a set by The Bloody Beetroots or Parturbator, the latter having been the first synthwave artist to be featured at the no longer puritain festival. This year, colleague in eighties-themed musical mischief Carpenter Brut held the synthesizer spot in the Redbull Metal Dome. I danced my ass off to their set, and after it was over, hurried said ass backstage for an interview with the mastermind behind ‘Trilogy’ and ‘Leather Teeth’.

GRIMM: The way you describe the sound you want to obtain, reminds me of GosT’s music. His last release ‘Possessor’ is also dark, almost purely electronic and every now and then veers off into black metal.

Hmm, well it’s never really going to sound like that. Not that I don’t like his music. On the contrary, I took GosT on a tour last year as my support and it turned out great. We just don’t share the same musical vision. Of course there are going to be similarities between the two of us. But I find his melodies peculiar in the sense that they’re quite heavy and a little too “in your face”. I want mine to be more disturbing in a less straightforward manner in the same way that In Slaugther Natives‘ melodies might be. I want to give people a sense of mystique with a ritualistic emphasis. That’s the direction I want to head in in the future. Mind you, what I want and what turns out may be two completely different things. I might end up only making disco music. *laughs*

GRIMM: That wouldn’t even be a bad thing. I’d listen to it.

You say that but the initial reactions I get for songs like ‘Inferno Galore‘ or ‘Disco Zombi Italia‘ are not that positive in the beginning. People often need to warm up to my new releases and get in on the joke. More so when we’re talking metalheads. Even guys like Perturbator, who create a much darker sound than I do, experience this. Metalheads who are used to digging deeper will realize the music is kitschy fun and not kitschy dumb, and will therefor be able to appreciate it much more. You’ll loosen up a bit and just have a good time.

When I released ‘Inferno galore‘ I could see the audience react like “what the fuck is this?”, apart maybe from one or two people who dug it from the get go. But that song, for example, took a while to lift off.

It’s disco time!

GRIMM: You seem to observe your crowd and appreciate the feedback, dont you?

I do. In the early stages we used to play the set without breaks. But these past few tours have been interesting in the sense that in between songs I could get the crowd’s feedback. See what songs they reacted to best and which ones they enjoyed less.

I want to play future sets without breaks again, by the way. So it’s been interesting to see which parts made people lose their minds the most. I want to play one-hour sets where, when it’s over, people are just sweaty and tired from partying. I want to make it as intense as possible. I don’t even want to allow them a spare moment to go grab a beer, you know?

GRIMM: Is that why you didn’t treat us to ‘Paradise Warfare’ tonight?

Paradise Warfare‘ is a song that takes its time to build up. You could work it into a longer set of one hour and fifteen minutes or so. That, and due to lack of time. We didn’t even get to play ‘Maniac‘. I’m not one to talk in between songs anyway; even after the set for that matter. So you see, we don’t lose time there. I’ve got nothing to say, really, and it kind of suits the genre. I’ve got visions and ideas, but those aren’t things I have to put into words.
Another song I’d like to include in the set again is ‘Run, Sally, Run!‘. Not just that but do it the way we used to with the percussion and the glowing drumsticks.

GRIMM: Oh yeah I remember that. My first Carpenter Brut concert, by the way!

Ah, well, now there’s something I’d like to include more often. Even our drummer’s solo during ‘Disco Zombi Italia‘ is an element that I’d like to see return. There’s a ton of things I want redo or still want to do. Playing the set without breaks and include special elements is definitely on my mind for the future.

This interview continues on page 4.

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