(Today in the annals of NCS interviews we present Comrade Aleks‘ discussion with the Australian death/doom band Carcinoid, whose debut album was released this past fall.)
This filthy and sick death doom outfit was formed just one year ago by Az (guitars), Carter (drums), Jess (bass), and Josh (vocals). All of them previously played in different underground bands, but the will to perform this macabre metal from the graveside unites them. The result of Carcinoid’s efforts are the full-length debut Metastatic Declination (Memento Mori, October 2019) and a split with the Russian death metal crew Gosudar (Fucking Kill Records, October 2019).
I’ve tried to root out the band’s origin and other details in this interview with Carcinoid’s collective mind.
Hail Carcinoid! The band was formed in 2018, and since then you’ve managed to record a self-titled demo the same year, and now Memento Mori has release the full-length Metastatic Declination, and I also see your split with Gosudar was planned for an October release too. How did you manage to organize all of this in this brief period?
Yeah!! It’s been a very busy 12 months for us. We’re a very hard-working band and all very driven to achieve things. We’ve also all played in other bands previously, so we know how to go about things. We know what sound we want and all work really well together, so this definitely helps.
By the way, how fast did you catch Memento Mori? A lot of new bands nowadays fight to find a label without any result.
They approached us when we had written about two songs for the album. We had to work on a tight deadline to get it done but it all worked out. Our friends from Vile Apparition had worked with them previously so we heard good things. All the labels we have worked with have been excellent (Caligari, Headsplit, MM, and Blood Harvest). It’s all about communication and being organised a lot of the time, I think.
The band’s title, and the name of your debut Metastatic Declination — did you put any special meaning into this? Or did you search for a marker to point toward Carcinoid’s sick death metal essence?
We just thought we would go with something in the same vein as our band name to do with cancer-related sickness and suffering.
It’s quite a common theme for death metal, do you feel it fits your music better? How do you see the band’s macabre negative vibe? Is it just a scene-related thing or is it a real need to get rid of something inside?
Yeah, I think our music is definitely an outlet for all of us to get rid of negativity that we suffer, so it’s releasing real emotions of hate, anger, pain, and individual demise that we’ve gone through. It helps us personally to channel that through the music to produce something really brutal at the same time.
The lyrics and music are a mix of personal struggles but also take influence from horror/ gore/world-demise. I guess that our main theme of the album is about suffering and negativity and pathological cancerous deterioration which stems from our band name, and I think we will continue to draw off this in our future releases too.
What dr0ve you to choose that grim old school sound? Did you analyze what kinds of your inner content you wanted to unleash through this?
We all love the rawness of old school ’90s death metal that isn’t too overproduced, and wanted it to sound as grim and heavy as possible, basically. So recording live and recording to tape is essential to our sound. All of our songs basically are based around mental health problems, death, anger, pain, and depression which all four of us can relate to.
Carcinoid – Sickness
Can you separate your death and doom influences? What was your original idea for Carcinoid?
Jess and Aaron forged the band from the beginning, then recruited Josh on vocals and Carter on drums. Jess was playing in a doom/psych band and is heavily into doom, drone, and sludge like Coffins, Eyehategod, Cathedral, Winter, etc., and Aaron is into a lot of different genres but mostly takes influence from bands like Napalm Death, Pungent Stench, etc. We write the riffs half/half, complement each other with the balance of fast/slow riffs, and feed off each other’s ideas in the songwriting.
What’s more important for you in Carcinoid’s tracks — keeping the old school raw sound or the technical side of composition? Would you prefer to play simpler stuff?
We definitely value catchy riffs that you can bang your head to over being super-technical. We love technicalities like tempo changes and time changes over more shreddy metal riffs. The rawness and the heavy riffs are iconic to our sound, so that is very important to us. We have been pushing ourselves with writing more complicated things but we never want to be too techo, just heavy as fuck.
The death metal scene (well, as death metal elements dominate in Carcinoid, I would point to it) is overcrowded nowadays. How do you see the band’s place in it? And how do you see Carcinoid’s chances to break out from the underground?
Yes definitely! Death metal seems to be the ‘in’ thing at the moment. I think we stand out from the crowd with our sound, which incorporates rawness, overpowering bass, and an under-produced sound, even though old-school death metal has been re-produced by a lot of bands already. We seem to be popular within the underground, but with bands like Fetid and Cerebral Rot breaking out at the moment I believe it could be possible one day. We plan to do a lot of touring overseas next year, so I think that will help more people hear our stuff.
Is it important for you to play your stuff live? What’s your touring experience in your area?
Yeah we like to play at least one show every couple of months. The scene in Melbourne is pretty cool and includes a lot of different genres, so we play mixed bills — punk/hardcore, metal, grind, sludge/doom. We love playing with our mates and there is a lot of talent around — Gutless, Vile Apparition, Incinerated, Internal Rot, Derailment, Contaminated, Whitehorse, Faceless Burial, etc.
Carcinoid toured in Japan during October 2019, and I’ve seen that Mark Boulton from Contaminated performed vocals instead of Josh. What happened?
Josh, our vocalist, was unable to come due to other commitments. We’ve known Mark for years and he really likes our music, so it was a good fit. He did an amazing job, had great energy, and was very fun to travel with, so it was pretty perfect.
Carcinoid – Red Mist Descending
You have one album on your hands, so the tour in Japan looks like an escapade. How did you manage to organize it?
We all really love Japan a lot so we wanted to go there first, even before touring around Australia. The underground death metal scene is relatively small, so people from other bands there helped us out with booking shows, advice, and being able to play at Asakusa Deathfest.
What are your impressions from this tour? What’s your most unique experience of playing your stuff in Japan?
We had a great response from crowds over there. It was really cool to see people getting really into it as we didn’t know what to expect with the culture being so different in Japan. But it was really sick! People we very welcoming and we had great responses at mid- week shows where we thought no one would show up, but they turned out to be very rowdy.
Okay, thanks for interview! Did we miss anything? How would you like to finish the interview?
Just want to say thanks to all the people and bands that have supported us thus far. We really appreciate it. Next on the horizon we are working on a split with Charnel Alter (Death/Doom from Adelaide) and are in the midst of booking two overseas tours for next year.