Carbon Black talks upcoming debut album, and having ex Mortal Sin drummer Luke Cook as an awesome permanent addition to the band.
By Mandy Craig.
Wollongong metal band Carbon Black have come along way since they unleashed onto the local metal scene last year, and the band have more awesome brutality heading their fans way as they begin to work on their debut album.
Carbon Black released their debut EP Principium earlier in the year, and only this month announced ex Mortal Sin drummer Luke Cook as their permanent drummer.
Each track off Principium has such raw intensity, an unspeakable force that you can gorge your ears on, and when the band play live, the power of their music and performance possesses you.
Talking to Rob Giles and Jon Hurley, they reveal the awesome evolution their sound will take on the debut album, and Luke Cook talks about what excites him in being a part of Carbon Black.
Q: Carbon Black, you guys have achieved so much since you made your debut September last year, with your well received debut EP Principium, winning the Heavy Music Magazine and Wildfire Music digital distribution competition, and now your new addition to the band; ex Mortal Sin drummer, Luke Cook. How do you feel about your awesome success so far?
Jon: Success is such a loaded word. We are not what you would call a successful band, in my opinion. I think that we are working hard, seizing opportunities and running with them. Not for success, but just for the love of performance and creation, as well as to see how far the rabbit hole really goes.
Rob: When you’re busy working you don’t really make the time to sit and take stock of how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved. The goal with the first EP was to get it out there as soon as possible so people could hear us. I think we’ve achieved a great deal in a short space of time!
Q: You guys are now well into the second leg of your Principium Tour, how has that been going?
Rob: People are responding to the music and loving it, which is great.
The highlights for me have been Byron Bay and Adelaide! Such a great experience getting out to play these shows and I can’t wait to return with new songs!
Jon: Good fun so far, late nights, early mornings; lots of driving and lots of drinking, new places and faces. It has been a huge challenge to face, performing show after show for me personally, as I have not been in the situation where we have to perform night after night before and you don’t want to suck. So learning to keep my voice in check and the show at a hundred percent has been big for me.
Q: Luke, you have been performing with the band through the tour, and have now become Carbon Black’s permanent drummer. What do you find epic about being in Carbon Black, and what do you find most exciting about this new step you’ve taken?
Luke: I guess the most exciting thing for me playing in this band is the ability to step outside of the drumming mold I’ve put myself into. These guys write very challenging music for me. Very heavy, melodic at times, and it just really fits where I’m at these days as a musician. I think I can learn a lot from playing with these guys and have no doubt we’ll make some great music together.
Q: Rob and Jon; what do you find awesome about having Luke Cook in the band?
Jon: Having Luke as our drummer is so wicked. He immediately blended with the personalities within the band, so not only can he smash the shit out of his kit, we all have a great time together which is massive for all of us. Plus the professionalism and experience he brings into the room is huge. He has done it all, toured the world, supported massive bands, and has been in a massive band! Mortal Sin was Australia’s number one thrash band for many years, but he doesn’t have an ego, which is an attribute to his strong character. All in all we couldn’t have asked for a better drummer for Carbon Black.
Rob: I can accept responsibility for approaching Luke! (Laughs) I’d seen him perform with Mortal Sin a number of times and I knew he had the chops we needed. Since getting to know him a bit better I’ve found we can relate on levels other than purely metal music, which is excellent! We can discuss Pink Floyd, Hellhammer and Sting all in the one conversation! (Laughs) Seriously though, I couldn’t be happier with how it’s going. It’s a really interesting time, creatively speaking.
Q: You guys are getting ready to work on new music, a debut album specifically. What can you reveal to us about this upcoming release?
Jon: So far we are working on the writing dynamic. When we first wrote the EP it was all rush, rush, rush, as we had a deadline, now we can take our time and let the songs mature. With the new elements that Luke is bringing we are excited about the new music coming from Carbon Black. We are aiming to have light and dark shades on the album, and we hope to achieve a dynamic release that will make old listeners happy and intrigue new ones into finding out about us.
Rob: We have four new songs on the boil at the moment, with lots of other ideas to sieve through after that. Our regular followers will know that we uploaded a number of acoustic cover songs to our YouTube channel (Through Glass by Stone Sour and Closure by Evergrey are my favourites). The new material will see us developing the really heavy, thrashy, groovy stuff further… but we’ll also be incorporating the acoustic flavours you’ve heard in those YouTube videos. How those facets will be represented, we’re not sure yet! Maybe a two – CD release? Maybe it’ll work all together somehow.
Q: What direction will this new album be heading in lyrically and musically?
Jon: We have no idea! Musically we start bouncing an idea around the room working on different bits, coming up with ideas that slowly form the skeleton of the song and it grows from there. Lyrically I like to tell a story or make a reference to life lessons that are generally hard to learn and get through, but these come to me when I am sitting and listening to the music we have worked on, It speaks to me in that way.
Rob: There aren’t any lyrical themes to speak of just yet. From a production point of view I really want to spend some time making it interesting, adding more layers. I have the game plan in my head, when we’re ready I’ll need to speak to the right producers to hopefully get them involved!
Q: Have you started writing new material, or discussed what the album will be about?
Rob: Too early to say at this stage, but I think judging by the discussions we’ve had so far there will be a real diversity to this album that will surprise people. There’s going to be a lot of light and shade. All extremes.
Jon: We are currently working on a handful of new tracks with some almost finished, and some not quite there, but all needing work. The album will be about Carbon Black making a statement that we can stand through anything that the world throws at us and smile, because if it isn’t fun, there is no point.
Q: Your next gig is on Saturday 19th July with King Parrot, what are you most looking forward to on the night?
Jon: Checking out King Parrot for one thing! Then surviving the next morning. (Laughs)
Rob: King Parrot is an amazing live act and I’m hoping to hear some new songs in their set! Damon and I have performed with them every time they’ve played in Wollongong, so it’s cool to be catching up with those guys again!
Q: What else do you have in store for this year?
Jon: Shows, writing and practice! A rock and roll life! (Laughs)
Rob: We have a few shows booked, The Sydney Dime Show in August and a couple of gigs with our friends Miazma, from the Northern Territory. The main focus will be on getting the new songs ready and with a bit of luck we’ll be doing some recording, or at least pre-production before the end of the year!
Extra awesomeness from Carbon Black
Q: What are your favourite albums to head bang to at the moment, and why?
Luke: Same as it’s always been, Seasons in the Abyss.
Jon: I have been massively into Protest the Hero’s, Volition. It is an amazing work crammed with fantastic ideas, catchy as hell hooks and musicianship second to none.
Rob: The new Marty Friedman album Inferno has been on heavy rotation in my car, it’s his best work in a long time; some amazing collaborations on there too. I met Marty at the NAMM show last January and he was a really nice guy, so it’s great to listen as a fan with those memories from only a few months ago.
Q: What message would you like to shout out to your fans?
Jon: Come to our shows! Support the scene, etc….
Luke: Watch this space.
Rob: Check out our YouTube channel if you haven’t already! Hope to see you at a show soon!
Copyright © Music Mayhem with Mandy 2014
Want more Carbon Black? Check them out via the following links:
Watch Carbon Black’s Stone Sour and Evergrey covers!!