David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker of reactivated British extreme-metal pioneers CARCASS. An excerpt from the second part of the chat follows below.
DeadRhetoric.com: The albatross over the [new CARCASS album, "Surgical Steeel"] album is [guitarist] Mike [Amott] not being involved. Had he been involved, do you think the album would be even more melodic than what it already is?
Walker: It's very hypothetical, isn't it? What do people think this melody is? Are they referring to the dual guitars on "Granulating Dark Satanic Mills"? That's not melody in itself. If you go back even to "Reek", there's melody. There's not twin-guitar harmonies, but it's there. Do I think there would have been any more melody? I don't know, but the reality is, Mike is not on the album. I think, credit where credit is due, Mike definitely brought something to "Necroticism" and "Heartwork", but with all due respect, he's got a lot of mileage and credit if we were to analyze the situation, some of it would be quite unfair to Bill [Steer, CARCASS guitarist]. Things are credited that are actually Bill's at the end of the day.
DeadRhetoric.com: Just reference some songs on "Swansong", like "Child's Play". That's melodic, and all Bill.
Walker: You can't take away from what Mike contributed on the leads — it's fantastic, and a breath of fresh air when juxtaposed to Bill's playing. But there are a lot of leads that are on "Heartwork" that people assume are Mike, but it's Bill. There's one moment on the new album on "Granulating Dark Satanic Mills" and Bill plays this lick and we're like "Hmmmmm…" Even Bill was like, "Uh, okay." Even after, when having a drink, he goes "Hang on, that's like my lead from 'Heartwork'." I think a lot of people are downloading music and not reading the credits. Like I said — I didn't want to take anything away from Mike Amott and his contributions to CARCASS, but I do think people have ran with it.
DeadRhetoric.com: He's now a high-profile name, so that's probably why.
Walker: He is, and he's proven himself to be better than me and Bill when it comes to running with the ARCH ENEMY thing. People can think, "Look at Bill and Jeff — they've had no success when it comes to running a melodic death metal band," so it's understandable. If you're asking what Mike could have brought, I'm not sure. How many albums has ARCH ENEMY done?
DeadRhetoric.com: I think they're up to eight or nine.
Walker: Some people ask if I'm missing Mike's riff or leads, my response is "There's eight fucking albums to go off of." [laughs]
DeadRhetoric.com: Are you slowly working through the process with people in terms of what the reasons for him not being involved are? I think it's clear now.
Walker: Not really. For example, we did some gigs in South America, [and] his name wasn't mentioned once. These interviews, it depends on the people asking the questions know anything about the band, or they're just Mike Amott fanboys. What's annoying slightly, it's hard to choose your words carefully, because no matter what you say, when it's in black or white and in print, it can look nasty. There's no real… problem either way. I'm happy with the album and I don't think it's missing Mike. I don't think it would have benefited with him playing on it, and I don't mean it bitterly. We did talk about getting another guitarist involved, but Bill never really showed any interest. Bill wanted to do this to prove he's kind of the daddy when it comes to CARCASS. If we were very cynical, it would have been great to have Mike involved, never mind the fact the man sales-wise, has a large fanbase. The guy is practically a rock star in Japan, and that's not an exaggeration. He's a Marty Friedman character there, but it's also important for us to set the history straight, you know?
Read the entire interview at DeadRhetoric.com.
"Captive Bolt Pistol" lyric video: