With the Decibel Tour in full swing, I had the pleasure to have a little chat with Jeff Walker, bassist and vocalist of the legendary Carcass and discuss the tour, the metal scene and the future of the band. The band released their long awaited comeback album Surgical Steel in September 2013 to rave reviews and fan praises. Carcass has been touring extensively and are taking the show to North America. The Decibel Tour line-up consists of Noisem, Gorguts, The Black Dahlia Murder and Carcass as headliners.
Walker explains that “you gotta package these days. You’re not just gonna risk going on tour in the States, cause there are so many bands out there, it’s quite a jaded audience that way down there. Same in Europe, the people are kinda spoilt in big towns […] cause there are bands coming through town all the time.” And it was logical to do a tour with The Black Dahlia Murder, who Carcass shared a stage with before, because both bands released new albums last year.
Walker also sounds very excited about seeing younger people attend their shows – “It’s surprising. I think we would just bring the old dogs out of the woods, you know, all the fans, but I’ve seen a lot of people who are probably your age” (Editor’s note: who knows what age group he meant?)
With a packed tour schedule, Walker notes that “There are always gaps in between the tours. We always take a few days to recharge our batteries. […] I don’t wanna be doing this cause it’s a chore or a job.” Between this and Carcass’ creative process philosophy, it is clear that they might be one of the few artists who treat what they do as art and not an ode to consumerism. Walker dabbed into that when I mentioned the crazy pace of the music industry, where big names are pressured into releasing new material under unbelievably tight deadlines.
“Because it’s the way they’re making money, you know. Just treating the band as if this is a joke. If we’re gonna make a new album, it’s probably because we really want to and that we believe we got something to offer. Because we’re not under any obligation […] we don’t have to fulfil any contract shit with any label. The only reason we’ll release a new album is that we really want to and we believe we’re capable of delivering something of the same calibre or if not better than our back catalogue.”
This, however doesn’t mean that there is no hope for the future. On the contrary, Walker is optimistic, when he says that “There are no plans, but, you know, it will probably happen. […] I’m not suggesting you’d have to wait 17 years … again, but we need to go places we haven’t been to yet, with this new album. [… ] And once we’ve exhausted doing shows for this album, then we’ll sit down and consider our future. It’s not unlikely. I mean, I’d like to think it’s not our last album.” And since Walker isn’t at all happy with the state of the metal community, he stays hungry for more “Maybe that’s what drives Carcass forward, the idea that things aren’t all rosy out there and that there is a gap, a void that we’re filling with what we do. […] What could we bring to the table? If the scene was all fantastic and there was good music out there than we would have no drive to put up our guitars, cause we’d be listening to this fantastic scene. That’s the way I see it.”
We ended our chat on a humorous note, with me asking Jeff Walker which celebrity he would bring to a deserted island with him. Laughing, he replied “Well, I don’t really like celebrities. I mean, I could be a complete pig and say a porn star. Um, could it be a dead one? I mean not a dead porn star. Or maybe bring a fat one so you could eat them.”
You can catch Carcass as a part of Decibel Tour in Vancouver on March 28th, Toronto on April 8th and Montreal on April 9th.
Written by: Raya P Morrison