INTERVIEW AND WIN: Karnivool

Karnivool are an Australian rock band formed in Perth in 1997. The group currently consists of Ian Kenny on vocals, Drew Goddard and Mark Hosking on guitar, Jon Stockman on bass, and Steve Judd on drums. Karnivool emerged from a band Kenny and Goddard formed during high school.

Tell us where your passion for music started?

My whole family is musical, we ran music tuition classes since I was in early school so weekends either involved me teaching there or helping to run the equipment shop, which they still run. My parents have a gold record for a country music album they contributed to, my brothers both play music, so it was in the family from day one. That’s where it began, then I was just lucky enough to hang out with people who had their own passions and they became inspirations.

How did everyone come together and decide to start a band?

Originally it was one of those high school cover bands that slowly evolved into a band with a direction. Kenny and Drew were a part of that early formation, then Jon, Steve and myself all came at various stages. I joined halfway through the writing of Themata, and Steve came on after the release. Officially, we class that day when Steve joined as ‘Day One’ of the band as this unit of people is definitely what Karnivool is about.

What is your aim with making music and who are you specifically making it for?

We have often stated that we are quite selfish when it comes to music. We write completely for ourselves, we find that serves this band best. We are extremely lucky to have such passionate and patient fans who have followed us over the years, we certainly challenge them as much as ourselves in some of the directions we take musically and how long it can be between releases! We love their passion and patience!

Tell us more about the members and what everyone does when they don’t play music?

We’re an eclectic bunch that’s for sure. We all have different projects that keep us busy outside of Karnivool, both musical and other projects. Steve is actually a super-hero. no, literally a superhero. I cannot tell you his actual superhero identity, I don’t even know it.. but we’ve put all the clues together and come to the conclusion that he’s 99.954% a superhero. The rest of us do what we can to give our lives meaning, and not feel too bad about not achieving as much in our lives as Steve.

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What bands are Karnivool listening to currently?

You’d have to ask the other guys personally. But as stated our tastes are quite eclectic, you can have in the tour van at any one time everything from Meshuggah to Sam Cooke and everything in between. I personally am really cranking all my old Nustrat Fateh Ali Khan albums (I’m having a real vinyl resurgence since we released ours last year), Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin – I am loving that period of music. sleepmakeswaves also getting some solid airtime in my house, but I have two boys now so that gets played around a fairly consistent playlist of “Wheels on the Bus”, and “Old McDonalds Farm”…

What’s your favourite song from Asymmetry to play live?

“The Refusal” and “A.M. War” are great aggressive songs to play live, really challenge the heart rate and control. That whole album actually is great to play live.

With the vinyl boom we are seeing, are there still plans to release your albums on vinyl?

Yes, this has happened last year! All can be purchased! Wait, no, they can’t. We sold out, but I know there was a discussion to do a re-press so if you’d like to go to the store and there’s none there just email your details and we will get back to you when the pressing has happened? They all came out on gatefold 180gm black vinyl with the lyrics printed on the inner sleeve. Smelt great too.

Touring South Africa can’t be the most financially rewarding countries to tour these days, what were the thoughts behind this tour and what was the major deciding factor to why you wanted to tour our country?

We have had South Africa on our ‘dream list’ for a long time now, we made a conscious decision a while ago to do it as soon as we could make it work and make it happen. We have had a lot of great emails from people in South Africa talking to us about music and asking us to tour there so we are more than happy to oblige! Cannot wait to check out your amazing country!

What will Karnivool be enjoying to do in their off time in South Africa?

We hear we are near wine districts, do I’m definitely keen to check that out, I’m sure some sort of safari will hopefully happen, heard so much about South African wilderness and reserves, but really just catching up with locals and meeting folk we have as yet not met will be wonderful enough me feels.

Would you like to collaborate with someone in the SA industry, and why?

I don’t know. I do like me a little bit of Die Antwoord, not sure Yolandi would be up for a collaboration or not, but I’d be up for it 😉

What are your influences (groups)? 

I have many… Will name some: Radiohead, Queen, Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, Meshuggah, Muse, D’Angelo, Prince, Jeff Buckley, Queens of the Stone Age and Clutch.

What has been your most embarrassing on-stage moment?

I once threw my guitar perhaps three feet to my guitar tech whilst standing on the lead.. yeah. Guitar went up, the guitar came straight back down, headstock snapped in two. At least, it was the last song of the set.

Do you support and listen to up-and-coming bands? 

Of course! Everybody starts somewhere, as with all things amateur there is a lot of awful music out there, but that just makes finding the gems all the better when you finally do, and rare is the lucky musician who didn’t start out playing music that wasn’t 100% perfect!

Karnivool are often compared favourably to Tool. How do you guys feel about the comparison? Do you take it as a compliment?

Absolutely. They were probably a band that drew us all together in the early days of the band, not so much anymore or for quite some time, but back then they were instrumental I believe in elements of what we were trying to do with music and the style of music that most intrigued us.

WIN: We’re giving away double tickets to both the Cape Town and Johannesberg date of Karnivool’s South African tour. All you have to do is comment below with which city you’re in and with which South African artist Karnivool wants to collaborate. 

11 Comments

  1. Hanli J v Rensburg

    April 16, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Cape Town – Die Antwoord

  2. Peter Bodkin

    April 18, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Cape Town
    Die Antwoord

  3. Cherisse

    April 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Cape Town
    Die Antwoord

  4. Roxzann

    April 19, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Johannesburg
    Die Antwoord

    • Ashley Brown

      April 20, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Congrats Roxzann, you’ve won yourself 2 tickets!

  5. Daniel Harris

    April 19, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Johannesburg – Die Antwood

  6. Felicity

    April 19, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Johannesburg, Die Antwoord

  7. Anthony Strauss

    April 20, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Cape Town – Die Antwoord. Also my birthday on Friday. Would be a rad b-day present.

  8. Bradley

    April 20, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    johannesburg – Die Antwoord

  9. John

    April 20, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Johannesburg – Die Antwoord

  10. Owen Ingarfield

    April 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Hey Ashley! Super amped for this been a fan for years… would really love tickets. And great interview btw.

    The band mentions they would like to collab with Die Antwoord. Specifically Yolandi in fact, could be interesting.

    \m/

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