Lords of Metal e-zine recently conducted an interview with former CARCASS frontman Jeff Walker. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Lords of Metal: "Welcome To Carcass Cuntry" is your first solo album. How did you get the idea of releasing a solo album? And moreover, an album full of country and blues songs?
Jeff Walker: "Well, I have never really bumped into musicians again that I could be in a band with, to a certain extent, back in the U.K. So I couldn't see myself getting a band together you know, advertising, trying to hang out with people I don't know. For me being in a band is all about being able to get on with people, having a good time, having fun, having a laugh. I saw this as a project that I could do, and take control of and see through. To be honest, the idea of doing a solo album is a joke, to a certain extent. I am not very artistically, it's more kind of tongue-in-cheek, it's kind of 'Who the fuck do I think I am?,' you know, and that's the irony. I mean, originally the project was going to have a band name, but in the end it's much more funny to say it's a solo album, because I guess, ultimately it is. It's what I wanted to do, I picked the songs and asked people to play on it. I was really into some country stuff and I thought some of it would really lend itself to be done in a kind of, for lack of a better term, metal style, in a kind of TROUBLE, BLACK SABBATH kind of thing. Because I wanted to do a really miserable album, like the first CATHEDRAL record and I really love TROUBLE, so I wanted something really soulful and morose and something with a lot of pathos, and I think a lot of the old classic country songs have a lot of soul to them. I thought it was kind of a neat idea, so that was it really. And then I got a message from Lee from CATHEDRAL saying that Ville Valo from H.I.M. was asking whatever happened to me. There was talk at one point that maybe we would do a band together or so. I remember I made a joke, 'Well if it doesn't sound like country done in the style of TROUBLE or ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA then let's not bother". I mean that was a joke. And the funny thing is, it just sounds like it, it's kind of a hybrid of that kind of stuff. Funny how it turned out."
Lords of Metal: How did you pick the songs for the album?
Jeff Walker: "Some of them I wanted to do, as in 'You're Still On My Mind' and 'I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love With You', but originally when I went to Helsinki I thought the recording would just be used as a demo or something, but some of the stuff we were recording we were kind of forging ahead without stopping and I just took songs that I love or my girlfriend loves or other people like. Again, it had nothing to do with thought or trying to be cool, I could have picked the really obscure country songs, to be like really cool. But these songs are quite popular and well known and it was also important whether it would work or not. For example, the songs 'I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In', the original is kinda very bizarre, off the wall, it's not even country at all. I was in Helsinki wondering how the hell could we do this song, and it just kind of came to me. Yeah, we'll do it CANDLEMASS speed. It was a real organic process, it wasn't that well planned or thought out. Literally, I was here in England on a Saturday and thought 'Fuck it, I am going to go to Helsinki and do it,' I called Gas and he was free, so I was on the plane to Helsinki on Monday, it was as simple as that."
Lords of Metal: You have most probably already read a couple of reviews for the album. How are the fans and press reacting on the album?
Jeff Walker: "I've only seen two and I've read some of the reactions on Blabbermouth from some 14-year-old kids in the States saying it is gay, [laughs] but that doesn't bother me. At the end of the day I am doing this to please myself and it's not a CARCASS record. It's a record for people my age who still appreciate extreme music, but at the same time like all kind of music. The irony is, I am still involved in heavy shit, I mean I just came back from Mexico playing bass for BRUJERIA and I'm kind of still involved with TO SEPARATE THE FLESH FROM THE BONES. I am still involved with doing heavier shit, you know. But I just can't exist by recycling the same old stuff. I could go back to playing in the style of 'Reek of Putrefaction' and I could back to playing in the style of 'Heartwork'. I am very privileged in that every record that I've ever been on sounds completely different. I think there's a lot of bands out there whose albums all sound the same."
Lords of Metal: Ever since CARCASS split up ten years ago there were rumours about you guys reuniting. You have most probably also been offered a lot of money to perform at festivals like Wacken Open Air. I know that some of the reuniting bands that play there receive astronomical amounts of money. Are you waiting for the market value of CARCASS to peak or is there really no chance that you are ever going to come together again as CARCASS?
Jeff Walker: "Some people have approached us yeah, and I mean, Wacken have approached us this year, but no money was mentioned. But I remember Barney from NAPALM DEATH, telling me he had heard we had been offered a million dollar to do a show haha. I was also talking to our old agent and another agent someone said we could do an excellent amount of money for a gig and we were kind of, 'What the fuck!?,' you know. But, at the end of the day, Bill is doing FIREBIRD now, he still plays. I mean, I like to think that we could do it again tomorrow, you know. But Bill is not really thrashing at his guitar no more. That doesn't mean he couldn't do it, but he's not been doing it for so long now, he would have to retrain some of the stuff. We'd never do it for the money though. Bill has got to believe in what he's doing, so that's probably one of the reasons why CARCASS won't reform. He doesn't want to do it. And I am not going to spend the rest of my life trying to convince him to do it. And if we wait another five years we'll be too old haha."
Read the entire interview at www.lordsofmetal.nl.