Interview with Carcariass group to the new album Afterworld
With a slight exaggeration Carcariass (Latin name of the great white shark) from France. The latest album Afterworld, which they released in April of this year (2023), moved the imaginary bar in their work, again by another level, or more precisely, levels up. More than 20 years of playing and existence, it works wonders. Inquisitor, kindle the light in your heart and reveal it to us.
Alan – Hi gang. Only for those who don't know you. Your first start and rise?
Carcariass - Pascal (Lead Guitar – Music Compositor) - At the base, we formed between me (Pascal / guitars), Bertrand (drums) and Raphael (bass), we met when we were in high school in the 90s and started music. the first demo was released in 94, and then local success helped motivate us to go ahead and release albums. We are not very productive, the music remaining a pure pleasure for us without commercial or professional claim.
Alan – During its existence, X people went through the band. The current stable group is who? And who is a rental player? Do you play in other groups at the same time?
Pascal - Group has remained very stable over the years, we are a band of friends for whom music is also an excuse to party and eat and drink well! I believe this is the recipe for our longevity. The notable change, however, was the arrival of jerome for the recording of planet chaos. Raphael, who is a bass player but also a singer, is now concentrating on his instrument.
Alan - Where have you been written about in the past 20 years? Which newspapers or magazines where you appeared are top for you?
Pascal - We had a lot of support from Metallian magazine, especially at the time of the cd compilations (for the Killing Process album in 2002) it was an excellent promotional support for us and made the group take off. Otherwise yes, we sometimes have requests from magazines and webzines, like all bands I think. It remains quite routine and it is a must after the release of an album or any other important event, but it is a point not to be overlooked. It is because to all this armada of enthusiasts that metal music has survived the years and changing trends, and continues to evolve.
Alan – What about radio and Tv, how are you doing?
Pascal - Tv is shit in France, just for broadcasting commercial soup and making people stupid. Radio is more interesting, especially web radios where metal enthusiasts have their place.
Alan – Have you traveled all over Europe yet? Which festivals or concerts were the best for you?
Pascal - As we all have a profession besides music, we don't have enough availability to commit to tours. We only do occasional dates or rarely a small series of concerts. That's enough for us, the important thing is that it remains a pleasure. Long tours are not paradise as one might think, it's long (the trips), very tiring and not necessarily productive. The best concert memory was undoubtedly the Hellfest festival! An incredible welcome and professionalism, and playing in front of a human tide was very impressive.
Alan – Did you play in the Czech Republic and Slovakia? Do you know any Czech or Slovak groups?
Pascal - Unfortunately we have never set foot there, but it's not the desire that is missing! I know krabathor, an old death metal band. Budweiser Budval too! I Save some in my fridge!!!!
Alan – The Afterworld album carries a lot of interesting information. You recorded elsewhere, did the mastering elsewhere, and Art is also an interesting production. Inform us.
Pascal - In fact we used exactly the same formula as the previous album (Planet Chaos) which worked so well. Everyone was available to do it again, why change? namely, Drop to studio production (recording and mixing), we've known him for a long time, he's a great guy and he works super well, and his studio is close to my house, so it's perfect! Jens Bogren at mastering, no need to introduce him and talk about the quality of his work. And finally as on planet chaos, the cover was made by headsplit studio. I came up with the idea for the design, they put it together wonderfully.
Alan – Why did you decide to split this album this way? Recording in Switzerland, mastering in Sweden etc .... Quite interesting.
Pascal - Even if originally carcariass was formed in france, i had moved to switzerland quite some time ago, the singer also lives in switzerland close to my home, and we are based near geneva where the drop studio is. The other members live in the east of france, close to the swiss border, (we can say that we are a Franco/Swiss group) for mastering, drop likes to work with jens, to have a fresh and professional ear on his mix. It's also drop who advised us to send him the mix, the result was very good, so we did the same on the last album.
Alan – How long did it take you to prepare and record? And did anyone else help you with the creation - recording? Guests on the album?
Pascal - This album was composed quite quickly. Right after recording the previous album, i was all fired up and inspired, so many ideas were flowing. The covid break also accelerated the process, all concert and festival dates planned following the release of planet chaos were cancelled! so instead of lamenting our fate, we set to work to record this album.
Alan – Do you have (maybe have) any funny experiences from recording an album? And maybe even from shooting video clips, or from playing, from traveling?
Pascal - We didn't film anything in the studio, we stay pretty focused. It's very interesting, but also challenging. It's where you see your limits, it's also where you see the limits of your groups, where discussions, divergent ideas and tensions are created. It's very intense! But there are also big laughs and good times!
As an anecdote:
We didn't know everything that Jerome the singer had composed and how he was going to sing on certain tracks. Especially the angst track, which was a big surprise! Jerome was singing in the cabin, we discovered his vocal line and we were quite surprised and disconcerted, we didn't expect that... Drop too! he turned to us and said: are you sure? (while jerome continued to sing).
Heuuuuuuuuu.... ok let's continue! We'll see. Looking back, I don't regret it, you have to know how to take risks and get out of your habits.
Alan – Afterworld a very (again) interesting album that cannot be described as just melodic death metal. You combine genres in an interesting way. Intention? How do you feel about your work?
Pascal - when I compose it's not a label that will set me limits! I don't give a fuck, my influences and inspirations go far beyond death metal and metal in general. so I don't hesitate to explore other sounds and emotions. Music is like cooking, sometimes very opposite ingredients and flavors can once mixed create interesting flavors. This still creates a problem for us, we no longer know what music we make, personally I can't label ourselves! And I sometimes read chronicles with amusement where the person who writes it is disconcerted and upset at not being able to put a label on us, suddenly he doesn't like it! So much the better, it encourages me to continue on this path.
Alan - I don't want to ask how the album was received by the metal staff. It is clear to me that it is positive. Rather write/write where did this album take you next? Has it opened more new festivals Next playing in Europe or overseas?
Pascal - It's still a little early to talk about return on investment, the album is fresh! But yes the reviews are very positive in general and it's a pleasure. It was not won for us, because on this album we took more risks than usual. Especially by accentuating even more the melodic side and by modernizing and simplifying the compositions.
Alan – Just in a nutshell. Lyrics, what do you mainly rely on for the Afterworld album? And who writes the lyrics?
Pascal - It is Jerome the singer who writes his lyrics. We use a very science fiction background, which allows unlimited subjects and parallels with the current situation, in addition it sticks with the musical atmospheres. He is influenced by books and movies, (blade runner, alien, modified carbon, black mirror, etc)
Alan – Speaking of writing. Who composes Carcariass music? One of the members comes up with an idea, and the others build their tools on it?
Pascal - From the start, I've been composing all the music and arrangements. I proceed as follows: I record models on a multitrack, I send to Bertrand the drummer to ask his parts, then we discuss it and put it to the point. Then i compose the bass line that Raphael records and keys them. When the whole is assembled and coherent, Jerome the singer has his support ready.
Alan – Thanks for the interview, and maybe we will meet sometime in the future at a concert or a festival in the Czech Republic or Slovakia.
Pascal - Thank you to you for this original interview, and to the readers for having had the patience to devote time for us! I can't wait to go play in your country! And even if i don't play it i'm very curious to visit Prague, Bohemian Switzerland - national park (i'm going to feel at home!), and taste your local beers!!!