They were young and looking for love
They were beautiful and looking for fame
They wanted to dance, dance, dance
But all they did was: die, die, die
In the world today, there is hardly a musician who grew up in the 80s and that creative and inspirational influence of incredible musical decade did not leave a mark on him. Every musician who successfully in his music evokes the spirit of the ’80s has its own seal; in music, in creative aspect and thats deeply integrated into their own vision of creativity. Carpenter Brut has all of the above, plus uncompromising musical fusion tables on the border of eclectic and ingenuity. Only for Vision Rock Metal, Carpenter Brut speaks about his vision of music and art!
1. What’s the story behind Carpenter Brut, how did it start? Do you consider Carpenter Brut a bend or a project? How many permanent members are in Carpenter Brut?
Carpenter Brut is a project, not a band. I am the only member. I started in 2012 and I wanted to combine John Carpenter’s as well as other horror movies’ ambiances with Justice music beats.
2. If I’m not mistaken you made three EP’s and one live album. Are you happy with how the band is received? Do you have any plans to sign a deal for a strong label?
I have 3 EPs out indeed but no official live yet. I’m very happy about what’s happening to this project. I know that all bands would say that but I really did not imagine it would turn out this way. I actually don’t know what’s left to achieve. As far as I’m concerned, the goal has already been reached. I have created my own label to remain independent and if I had an offer from a stronger label, I’d probably turn it down, I’m not interested in that. The higher you shoot at the higher you can fall from. I’m not interested in music business. Without going into details, I can see the compromises or other things it can imply just by managing my own label. So I take things as they come and I make decisions based on my instinct.
3. From where do you draw the inspiration for your music?
Mostly from movies and series. Movies soundtracks too. I’m basically reinvesting everything that my brain has recorded since my childhood thirty years later.
4. When I first heard Carpenter Brut’s “Live in Paris” I was left stunned, amazed and deeply impressed all at the same time (and I am not easily impressed). The musical opus which goes from 80′s synth music that reminds of the best days of Jan Hammer, modern electronics, soundscape lines, EBM and industrial flavoring all to progressive rock and, I would dare say, many fragments that a lot of technical heavy and progressive metal bands would be proud to use…I simply do not know if I heard anything so progressive in the last 25 years in the field of electronic music. I can’t resist the feeling that behind the band there is an author with a rich musical background, in both the listening and playing field, and a great talent which gives him the possibility to make a big crossover far far ahead of its time (despite a strong retrospective note). Am I right?
I don’t know what you call “Live in Paris” because as far as I can remember I never released a live with this name ahah! I’m guessing you listened to the Chelles bootleg. Anyway, metal is what I’ve been listening to the most since my childhood. I cannot ignore its sounds, its structures, its brutality when I compose, it comes naturally. So I mix electro sounds with a rock approach. I like to add an “epic” element because I cannot be content with just a simple basic structure. Still, I like pop and simple structures. I kind of like everything actually.
5. You use real drums and guitars on your live shows and you remind me more of a modern progressive metal band than of a classic electronic artist. Is that a part of Carpenter Brut’s iconography and striving to erase boundaries between various musical styles and approaches to music?
I prefer to have a real drummer who plays electronic drums. Sounds must remain electro; I don’t play rock music. At the beginning, I played alone with my computer and I hated it. It was out of question to continue to play live that way. I asked two musicians to play along with me. Songs had to be modified a bit; I wanted to have a show without any pause and also give a place to the guitar since everything is made with synthesizers on the records (a couple of solos aside). The result is a hybrid of electro sounds with real musicians.
6. I noticed that your new video Turbo Killer is quite different from the earlier videos. Can we expect in the future from you equal influence of animation in the movie background?
I don’t know what the future will look like.
7. Can we look at your videos at the same time as a dark, almost implying dystopian creations but also as a sarcastic view of world today and complete modern society?
Carpenter Brut is all about fiction and will never be about politics. I have nothing to claim. That being said, the world, people and society obviously dictate my artistic approach of things. And it’s quite negative.
8. You are featured on the song “Complete Domination” on Pertubator’s “Dangerous Days” album. Has he contacted you for this song or do you know each other from before? Can we expect more collaborations like this in the future and maybe with some other artists?
I know him since 2013. We appreciate each other; he’s a nice guy. He offered me to be feature in Complete Domination. It was cool to do this. It’d be great if he could feature on one of my songs in return but I don’t know how the next album will be like, I actually even don’t know if there will be a next album, so we will see.
9. Tell us about your favorite musicians. Are there any special artists you keep coming to? Have you discovered some new artists who, over time, rose to the status of your favorite musicians? When looking at different time periods of music, what time periods would you say is your favorite and why?
Depeche Mode, Tool, Deftones, Iron Maiden, Ghost, Justice, Emperor, Behemoth, Mgla, Deathspell Omega, Kaiser Chiefs, Type O Negative, Messhuggah, Ulver. These are the main artists that I listen to and I respect and that also influence me. They count in my culture and in music in general. I don’t listen to a lot of new stuff. I’m quite behind; I can’t keep up with all those new releases. In the meantime, I don’t really care. Kickass bands always arrive to my ears one way or another through my friends so I don’t feel like I’m missing a lot ahah!
10. Do you closely follow the retro synth wave scene? Do you actively search through the various new artists in it to discover something you could like?
No, I keep an eye from far. The scene is very active and counts a lot of bands. Of course I’m quite close with Perturbator, Gost, Dan Terminus, Protector 101, Scattle and Tommy 86, so I follow them. But I strongly recommend that you listen to the new Voltor X’s album. Not sure when it’s out but really good stuff.
11. Are you happy with the development of the scene? Where do you think this kind of music will end up in 10 to 50 years, can you see it growing even more, in new directions?
des mecs pour en faire quelque chose de mortel. On verra bien.
I think the genre is already dead “commercially speaking”, but it timeless in its artistic form. This music exists since the 80s and will keep going. There will always be musicians and listeners to keep it alive. As well as there will always be people who will modify the codes to create something new, like we did. I would say that the next step is to wipe the dust out of the MC505 and to resurrect the 90s, but I’m worried that the sounds would actually be too shitty. But you will always find some guys to make something killer out of it. We will see.
12. The music videos for your songs are impressive, to say the least. What is the process of filming the video like?
I pay a tribute to movies through my music so I find it normal to do the same with my videos. At first, without money, Silver Train managed to find images to match my music thanks to his incredible movie collection. That’s why I asked him to make some short movies I show when I play live. It works great. For Anarchy Road and Turbo Killer, I asked some friends of mine who are filmmakers. I think it is important to have your own images. I don’t hesitate to throw some money in videos because it leaves a mark in the culture, just like an album. So better do it well. I’m usually disappointed by the quality of most music videos. They tell absolutely nothing and are boring to watch. Videos are just promotional tools actually, but they’re much more fun to watch when they slay. That’s why I pay a lot of attention to these.
13. When you listen to your songs do you already have a video/story “playing in your mind” or do the ideas for that come later, or from somewhere else?
I start with a scenario or an a visual idea in mind. Nobody makes a movie without telling something. Well, actually when you watch some, you’d have preferred they had nothing to say. If you don’t have that, if I have nothing to say, well I shut my mouth and I don’t create anything.
14. What else has inspired you in your music? Any special movies, books, etc. which heavily influenced and shaped you and perhaps your music?
15. Do you enjoy doing live shows and what are your favorite parts of doing a gig? Are you perhaps thinking of coming a bit closer to Croatia?
I prefer to be at home to be honest. But we have a lot of fun on the road, we meet people, and we go to cool countries like Russia. But more importantly we play where we are expected. Some people are upset because I don’t play in their country or in their town but what do they think? That I intentionally skip them? I guess they’re the kind of people that go to a party without being invited. If we don’t play somewhere, it’s simply because no booking agency invited us. So if these people read this interview, just a reminder that we don’t decide where we play, bookers and venues do. So I suggest they get in touch with them.
Jan Sohr & Dalibor Mladenović