The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Scott Lewis Carnifex - Interview
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California based metal outfit Carnifex will be releasing their latest album "Slow Death" on August 5th through Nuclear Blast and vocalist Scott Lewis recently spoke to our resident metal writer Steve about the new album and more while going through a little history of Carnifex's back catalogue.



Is it just me or is the term "Deathcore" thrown around too much and are fans overly quick to pigeonhole bands if they don't fit into a square box? In the case of San Diego brutalists Carnifex, these terms have been used with almost a cavalier attitude and yes the deathcore tag could be used at the beginning but to me, their sound and overall growth as a band has evolved beyond all expectations. Their latest album "Slow Death" is a real departure from previous releases compared to something like 2010's "Hell Chose Me", there's more of a black metal influence, in particular tracks like "Countess Of The Crescent Moon" and "Drown Me In Blood".

"Absolutely the black metal influence is not something we've really done on previous releases", vocalist Scott Lewis comments. "It still has our sound incorporated into it but we slave away, for instance the track "Black Candles Burning" had about 3 or 4 different takes before we were happy with the finished product that you hear on the album. As a side note this happens to be my favourite track at the moment".

I discovered Carnifex by pure chance with little to no fanfare starting with 2008's "The Diseased And The Poisoned" and instantly found the sound that I'd been looking for. From the hellish opening track "Suffering" to the track "Innocence Died Screaming", this band meant business with intricate fret work and howling vocals. Next for me was the highly anticipated 2010 opus "Hell Chose Me" and by Scott's own admission, the band at that particular point in time were in the throes of major turmoil as he pointed out. With this album you could start to really see the strengths of the band finding their groove with evil down tuned guitars on the track "The Scope Of Obsession" to the earth shattering title track "Hell Chose Me", this album comes highly recommended as it really captures the band at a peak in my humble opinion. As far as influences and bands that inspire Carnifex, I asked Scott what was out there that stood out for him and there were a few surprises to be honest.

"Chelsea Wolfe is on rotation at the moment, an amazing female vocalist and song writer", says Scott. "The Body" are a great band, sort of an ambient black metal band and if you're in the right mood or frame of mind this band can really take you places." Scott also mentions a band called The Dude which I had never heard of but by his own description of their style and sound, it was intriguing to say the least. "Oh check him out, I think you can find his stuff on YouTube. He's heavily influenced by someone like Johnny Cash with a real gospel tone going on, great stuff but here is the real twist....his lyrics are very tongue in cheek with an almost satanic tone about them, well worth checking out!"


Getting back to Carnifex's back catalogue, 2011 saw an album drop called "Until I feel Nothing" which was a little lost on me but by my own admission I haven't given it a proper listen. 2014's "Die Without Hope" came with a much darker tone in terms of production and overall sound with tracks like "Dark Days" and "Rotten Soul". I saw this album as a real turning point for the band which of course leads us to the impending new album due out August 5th. I can only imagine how great these songs will be live so I ask what the upcoming tour will be like and what fans can expect.

"Well we definitely want to bring more theatrics to our live show, we don't want to be just a couple of dudes standing on stage with guitars and drums". Scott explains further, "I'll give you an example, someone like King Diamond has a real show and not just standing around. It has a real sense of theater about it simliar with bands like Ghost, they may not have 'Hits' but their stage show and presence is like no other and while we may not have the same budget as someone like Slayer and we may be a little bit limited, we try and give the fans a real experience."

I managed to catch Carnifex the last time they came through Australia and am hoping they come back again but it looks like we may have to wait a little while. "It wont be this year, we are already booked up until December", Scott states but he continues, "This is also a perfect opportunity for me to say if anyone reading this interview knows of any reputable promoters to get us down there, then this is us putting our hand up. It's crazy, we've been to Russia like 5 times, we have a good connection there. We've wanted to play Soundwave but the promoter had absolutely no interest in us so we'll just have to wait and see but I definitely want to get back there."

Scott also mentions our hometown of Perth and remembers how much he enjoyed it. "That was my favorite place when we were last on tour down under, we had some time off and I went to Brighton beach. A totally amazing place which I guess is funny coming from a guy from San Diego [laughs]".

Let's hope Carnifex return to Australia in the near future! Carnifex are today's true underdogs in the heavy music scene and my advice to you is check this band out if you haven't already done so, there is a lot more under the surface then first thought. Read a review of "Slow Death" HERE.

Interview by Steve Monaghan on June 18th 2016