Perth band Karnivool released their sophomore album ‘Sound Awake’ a little over two weeks ago. The album has already gone Gold here in Australia. That’s an insane effort for a band that has received no commercial airplay or television or radio.

We caught up with guitarist Drew Goddard to have a chat about what’s going on inside the Karnivool camp.

Thanks for the interview.

No worries.

Can we start with your name and the instrument you play in the band? 

Drew Goddard. I play the guitar.

The band just released ‘Sound Awake’ and it debuted at number 2 on the Arias. That’s pretty huge, especially consideing the heavy nature of your sound. Are you guys stoked on how the album has been going? 

Stoked! A high chart position is something we never expected so it’s come as a welcome surprise, I think it’s testament to our patient and passionate fanbase

How have your fans been reacting to the new songs? 

It’s been very positive so far. I think there were some people who were expecting or hoping for Themata part 2, but for the most part I think people have really embraced the new record. I think there is still an air of curiosity around the new songs, but we like that. I think the new songs require a bit more patience from the listeners than Themata did, but because of this I believe it will have a longer life as people get to know the songs more intimately over time.

It must feel pretty good that a band like Karnivool can become so successful without the help of commercial radio/television. Is it a more satisifing feeling knowing your success is due to hard work and writing good music rather than a certain image or a huge marketing team?

Yeah it feels great. It has very much been an organic ‘grassroots’ process from the early days. The fans of the band and our relationship with them has been the kicker I think. We’ve never tried to write music for radio or television or to any kind of agenda,, really. We have always just tried to do what feels natural and true, and to challenge ourselves as much as possible, I think our audience understands this, and this is a beautiful thing. 

In an interview with X-Press, you guys said the new record was a more collaborative than your previous album ‘Themanta’. What was the reason for mixing up the way you write? 

This was the first time we’ve had a complete lineup through a creative process, Mark our other guitarist joined near the end of the writing of Themata and Steve our drummer joined after it was finished. So this kinda felt like our first album in a lot of ways, and the collaborative effort was just the obvious approach. We all respect eachother’s opinions on music and I think what we created through the chemistry is much more broad and interesting than if just two or three of the members were involved. 

‘Sound Awake’ leaked about a week before it was released at the end of May. What are your thoughts on kids downloading albums, especially before it is even released? Do you just embrace it or try and fight against it? 

It’s something that is always going to happen, the music industry has changed forever and we have to move with it. So I don’t see any point in fighting against it. As long as people are still hearing our music and spreading the word, I think it’s a positive thing. As artists we just have to make our records more attractive to the buyer, whether it’s the artwork or added bonuses, and also have faith in the fact that a lot of people will still fork out the cash if they like what they are hearing, because this is what we do, and

You guys played some shows over in the U.S. What was that experience like? What bands did you play with and how did it go down?

A great experience. We played around 42 shows in just over 50 days. It was just the band and our sound guy Luke bundled up in a van that fell apart over 20 something states.So the perfect first experience of international touring! J We played with three other bands from Bieler Brothers, the label that released Themata. Ankla, Skindred and Nonpoint. The response was great, we’ve been hearing consistant feedback from a lot of American folk since. We’re releasing Sound Awake internationally in early 2010, so we’re hoping to get back and do it all over again.

How did your Sony Musc distro deal come about?

Well it is just a Pressing and Distribution deal in Australia, but internationally it is being released through the ‘Sony Independent Network’. Someone specifically from Sony had been very into the band for quite sometime and has been very…. shall we say… instrumental in making things come together. We have always wanted to retain our independence in Australia, so when the opportunity came through to release our music internationally while keeping our independence in our homeland, it was a no-brainer. It is a very unique agreement and we’re extremely excited about it.

Going back to your debut album ‘Themata’, how would you say the band has progressed in the last 4 years since it’s release? 

I think we’ve come together as a real band for the first time, a real collaborative unit. We just wanted to let the songs on Sound Awake take their course and write themselves to a certain degree. Themata was very calculated in terms of it’s song structures and slick ‘in your face’ production.. we wanted to explore new territory this time around and make a much more natural sounding record overall, one that you could really get inside of and then look around from different angles.

Judging by the venues you are playing and the reaction the new album has got, what’s left for Karnivool to achieve on Australian soil? Have you thought about re-locating to the U.S or the U.K or do you think there is still a lot more you can do over here? 

There’s much more we can achieve in Australia. Most of the country still hasn’t heard the band. We are very keen to get overseas and push Sound Awake as hard as we can, but we will always be based in Australia

Who are some of your favoruite bands in Australia right now? 

Sugar Army, Regular John, Kid Sam, Coerce, Cog..  to name a few.

If you could tour with any band in the world, who would it be and why? 

Nirvana,… oh wait,……Damn it.

If you were to describe Karnivool to someone who hadn’t heard the band before in one word, what would that word be? 


Any final words for the kiddies out there? 

Question everything. Including why you’re questioning everything, oh and cut off that fucking fringe, when you start driving it could be real dangerous.

Thanks for your time.

No probs, and thankyou.

Karnivool‘s new album ‘Sound Awake‘ is in stores now. For all the latest news and shows head to the bands Myspace page.

4 Responses to “Karnivool”

  1. tome

    The Metro show the other night was one of the best sets of music I reckon I have seen in a long long time.
    Awesome band, awesome album that was recreated amazingly live.

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