Vans Warped Tour Interview with Scott Lewis Of Carnifex

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The Vans Warped Tour opened up in Seattle.  This year it brought with a very diverse group of bands.  One of the heavier bands on the bill is death metal/deathcore band Carnifex.  This band has a very hard work ethic.  I have seen Carnifex four times in the last year since they released their latest record “Slow Death“.  I once again got to sit down with vocalist Scott Lewis right after their set in Seattle. Here is the interview.

Patrick Burt (YesterdazeNews):  With Warped Tour it is different from headlining a tour of your own.  How do you enjoy playing in front of such a diverse crowd as well as playing with such diverse musical acts?

Scott Lewis: I think the most exciting or more interesting thing is that we are the only death metal band on the tour. We’re the only band on the bill that does blast beats as well as playing black metal style riffs. But I think it is really going being able to represent a little bit of the death metal or death core scene to a group of people that may not know anything about death metal or death metal bands.  So I think that is the best part about playing to a crowd like this.  I am guessing that a lot of the crowd probably hasn’t seen us before which is great because that is a chance that when we bring bands like Lorna Shore or Fallujah or Rings Of Saturn on tour that those kids who heard about us are now going to hear about those bands as well.  That’s how you keep the scene alive.

Do you and the rest of the band have any goals you hope to accomplish by being on Warped Tour?

Scott: For us we just want to play the best show we can and get everyone excited about extreme metal because it’s such a small scene. You can put all of these big name and great death metal bands on a bill and you may sell like 200 tickets. We’ve all seen that. And everyone says the same thing like “why doesn’t this band tour with this band. And why doesn’t this band tour here?”. It’s probably because it’s a small scene and it’s hard to get people to come out. We are hoping that from this we can bring people back with us to the underground metal scene.

Is there any spots on the tour that you yourself or the band are particularly looking forward to the most?

Scott: Today for sure. I love Seattle and I love Washington. Tomorrow too, I really love Oregon. You know I guess really all the west coast shows, San Diego of course since that is where we are from.  Las Vegas will be wild, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico are great places for us and Chicago too. Florida and Denver are sick as well.  Actually Denver may be the day I am most excited for. Denver is awesome.

I saw you guys put “The Heretic Anthem” onto the setlist again. How did that feel getting to blast that out to newcomers to the extreme metal scene?

I think it is a great gap for those people who may not want to listen to blast beats repeatedly for a half hour. Some people may be like “eh yeah okay enough of that, let’s see what else you’ve got” so it’s good for that plus it’s just fun to play for us. We’ve been playing just our songs forever and for us it is fun to throw something onto the setlist that we don’t always play. And it’s fun for us because it is a band we all like so it’s great!

I definitely know what you mean about the constant blast beats at shows. It’s like going to a black metal show and all you hear is the same blast for four hours by three different bands and sometimes you just think “Alright enough of this”. Or when you go to some of the typical death core shows and hearing the same bass drop or breakdown each song.

It would be like going to an action movie where it is literally one continuous action scene from beginning to end. At some point you’re going to want some sort of diversity.

Since you guys are on the entirety of Warped Tour do you have any particular hobbies you enjoy on the road in between dates?

Scott: Normally we like to try and get out see whatever city we are in a little bit.  For me I am trying to write a bunch maybe lift some weights here and there as well.  We don’t have a bus or anything so we are doing our own driving so we are just going to try and keep our sanity.

I was just talking to Suffocation last Monday and they were talking about how their drummer liked to play videogames while touring.

Scott: Was that the Morbid Angel show? How was it?

It was really good. Morbid Angel killed it.  Suffocation was fantastic as per usual.  If you get a chance to see them anytime soon with their new line up definitely do so.  The new vocalist and drummer are members of Pyrexia.  So they just kill it live.

Scott: When we were on the road with Suffocation it was still Ricky Meyers from Disgorge.  Which he had a great voice.

I remember when I first saw Suffocation with Ricky. It was during the Carnival of death tour and people had been seeing pictures of Frank Mullen from some of the shows.  When he got up on stage people kept asking where Frank was.  Ricky did a good job but during the set here his voice was pretty much gone.  He was introducing the second song which was “Catatonia” and you could hardly hear him.  Have you ever had that kind of thing happen on stage where your voice is gone?

Scott: I lost my voice one time while on tour.  It was back in 2010 and we were going to Australia.  I got something on the plane.  It’s a really long flight from Los Angeles to Australia, it’s like a 14 hour flight or something like that, and I guess I had fallen asleep with my mouth open.  And when I woke up I just had nothing.  The only way I can describe how it feels is like you’re going up on stage with an out of tune guitar that you can’t fix and you just think “nope! going to play it as is”. It sucks.

I know it is day one and everyone is probably still taking it all in as they should be but, do you guys have any plans after Warped tour?

Scott: We have some time off after this.

I think we talked about it last time, when you guys are at home and just relaxing that’s when you guys start writing a bit more correct?

Scott: Yep! we’ll be writing after this tour.

From a different festival perspective.  I saw you guys had played Impericon Festival.  How did that go?

Scott: Those festivals are pretty large. One of them we played it was 10,000 tickets and there were only 10 bands. So it is a little bit different from a festival like this where there is like 40 bands on a bill for a day. So it’s a little bit different in that sense.  Also, Impericon is usually metalcore and deathcore bands so for the most part the audience is framiliar with the bands that are playing.  So I guess it is different because of the type of crowd but I guess it is similar with the size.

Last question for you.  What is your personal favorite festival story/ memory that you have?

Scott: The summer festival circuit over in Europe is really unlike anything else. We have been able to play shows in front of a 45,000 person audience before which just seems impossible anywhere else.  Those festivals have the fans that show up year after year. Some of those festivals are pulling in 60,000 to 80,000 people.  So for a band like us where we do a club tour and we sell around 400 tickets.  I would say those are some of those perfect days.  The weather is perfect, the crowd is just a never ending sea of people and you have this great slot.  We did Full Force a couple years back and it was Aborted, Carnifex, Cannibal Corpse, Meshuggah, and Amon Amarth. That was the line up.  And it was like where else is that going to happen?  Not only that but there were 60,000 people there for it.  You could do that show here and maybe pull in 3,000 people.  It’s just different is all, plus you don’t get tours like that over here in the U.S. But the thing about those tours over there like that is it is just stacked.  Every day on those tours it is something like that.  I think the night before that show we played it was Machine Head and Slayer as the headliners.  So in a three days you could see every band that you’ve always wanted to see in one place.

Thank you for your time Scott!


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