Monday, January 25, 2010
[guitaredge.com] Tired of flipping on the radio and getting the same ol’ song and dance? Are you looking for something fresh to sink your teeth into? For the first time in America we give you the new kings of progressive rock, Karnivool.
Karnivool’s musicianship is jaw-dropping. Listeners will find themselves kicking back and enjoying every sonic second of every track. With a clear focus on dynamics-driven power, the band’s approach to guitar tone is masterful, gradually building and teasing your eardrums with atmospheres and textures before unleashing their monstrous guitar wall on your senses. The furious fretting of lead guitarist Andrew Goddard and rhythm guitarist Mark Hosking is an art form of its own. The duo feed off of each other’s playing, surgically striking back and forth, not in battle but in complete musical harmony. Whether they’re creating ambient textures or burning their fretboards with insane licks, the fusion of emotion and technical precision on the newest record is an accomplishment of guitar mastery. Simply put, with this new album Karnivool is showing the world, and now even the US, that they are truly cutting edge.
GE: Tell me about the new record, Sound Awake.
Hosking: We are very proud of this album. Sound Awake is what we really wanted Themata to be, a record we released over four years ago. It’s so much more of a group oriented record. We had been writing the record for 3-1/2 years, so it feels right to us and it’s a big steppingstone for what we will create in the future. It’s always interesting getting five guys together and trying to create something out of nothing. This is all exciting because the people that are hearing it are getting it and enjoying it. It’s inspiring when people understand what we are doing as artists.
Goddard: This thing is four years in the making, so we are very proud of it. We released this record in Australia in April of 2009, the UK in September and now in 2010 it’s in the States! This is also the first record that we will be touring the US for. We will be out with the band Fair to Midland for a nationwide tour through the spring. We are really excited to see how people will react to the record there as well as see people out at the shows.
GE: The song “Set Fire to the Hive” includes insane swells, crazy riffs and enough effects to drive players crazy trying to figure it all out. Tell me about that beast.
Hosking: “Set Fire to the Hive” was one that was very complicated. [Laughs] We spent a lot of time trying out different effects. One thing the band really grasps is the theory of beautiful accidents. It starts off as a jam or whatever and turns into something truly beautiful. That song actually stems from a jam we had with a little MIDI keyboard with ridiculous sounds on it, and our bass player playing this funky groove. It turned from this crazy jam that just captured an essence into this meticulous, fast-moving, angry song. The way we write is that we put it together then add all of the layers afterwards. In each layer comes a certain type of sound that comes basically out of nowhere. [Laughs] A lot of the tones that were used in that song came from a pedal called a Z.Vex Fuzz Factory. It’s a grungy, little confined-bandwidth pedal that takes the entire fat guitar tone and pushes it through a tiny hole. There was actually another pedal we play around with a lot live during that song a TC Electronic Analog Delay. We find ourselves making these crazy noises through it and messing with people. That’s where half of that song comes from, but it all comes back to beautiful accidents. You have to find these beautiful accidents, whether it’s a random pedal or a random unit to plug into that can make an interesting sound to play with.
Goddard: This song is probably the heaviest and angriest little number on the record, and was great for us to channel our various frustrations into. But it was also meant to have a playful tongue-in-cheek element to it as well. It’s such a fun one to play live! Especially the “bee” riff.
GE: That “bee” riff is really cool. How do you do it?
Hosking: [Laughs] Yeah! We do that by basically both of us — one on the left, one on the right — playing tap-ons a semitone apart during the trilling “bee” riff of the song. Those riffs bounce off each other in a dirty and bee-sounding way. It makes this vibrational, angry part that bites. You can really feel the insect-like tension as it builds, and it’s a lot of fun to play.
Goddard: It’s a riff played up high on the neck on the fifth and sixth strings using some quick hammer-ons and pulls offs as it creeps up and down the frets. The 2nd guitar plays a semitone out with the main riff to give that droning effect while one is played through the Zvex Fuzz Factory with the compressor and gate settings ramped right up so it gives it a really nasal, narrow insect-like tone. Voila, you have the flight of the pissed-off, anarchic ex- worker bees.
READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE.
Posted by Dan Goldin at 4:08 PM