Cianide - Gods of the Working Class Part I
By: Mike Sloan
Cianide has been around for a very long time. Theyíve been creating a sludgy, grimy, nasty style of doom-laden death since before John Wayne Gacy was executed; since before the Chicago White Sox moved out of ďoldĒ Comiskey Park, since before Michael Jordan won his first NBA championship; since before the Orange Line was constructed on the Chicagoís Southwest side.
In terms of a national scale, Cianide has been one of The Windy Cityís best-kept secrets for almost 25 years. Their own take on vintage Celtic Frost and Hellhammer has defined the band, for better or worse. With each ensuing full-length release, Cianide has maintained a true-to-their-roots style; they never desired to alter their sound to swim with the other fish up the trendy river. After all these years, why bother to do anything different? Cianide are who they are and wouldnít have it any other way. Save, maybe, for a little bit more recognition and some added adulation.
Blistering.com caught up with guitarist Scott Carroll a while back on the heels of the bandís latest release Gods of Death. Arguably the strongest effort to date from the doom-laden death metal veterans, the album harkens back to both the early years of the bandís existence up to today, where Cianide hasnít wavered one iota and continue to crush the listeners every time around.
Blistering.com: First of all, congratulations on the terrific Gods of Death. It hits all the right marks and the sound is crushing. What are your thoughts on the record? Do you think itís Cianideís strongest to date?
Scott Carroll: Oh shit, itís hard to say, you know? I like them all [laughs]. Itís easy to say that itís our strongest one because itís our newest, but itís really just more of what we do. Iím happy with it and Iím stoked on it that we finally got it done. I think itís an odd album in the sense that we didnít set out to write it as a record. We just kept writing and writing and at one point we were like, ďSupposedly we gotta put a record out.Ē We then decided to put it out as a record. I donít know, we werenít really ever set in our head to write a new record. Hellís Rebirth, Divide and Conquer and the others, those were ones where we set out to write a new record. With this one, we did little pieces here and there and werenít playing as much as we used to because of work and family and stuff like that. Basically, we just had our own riffs and ideas and eventually we had enough songs to write a new record. Itís gotten good reviews so I guess people like it [laughs].
Blistering.com: Considering you guys werenít in ďrecord writing modeĒ Iím going to assume that there was little to no pressure on Cianide to write new material. If this was the case, was this much more of a fun album to create than the others?
Carroll: Oh there was definitely no pressure on us at all. It let us do it at our own pace, you know? We are a total hobby band; this is what we do for fun. I mean, we all go to work everyday; itís mandatory. So weíre always laid back about shit and we never have the mindset of where we have to do this or we have to do that. Weíre all pretty laid back about writing so no, there was absolutely no pressure on us at whatsoever. Except, maybe for the fact that weíre 43 and itís been six years since Hellís Rebirth and, Jesus Christ, letís get a record out already! So that started creeping in about our fifth year [between albums] and we realized that we didnít have a record or anything. We needed to do something so we did pick up the pace a little bit around that time, about a year-and-a-half ago. But even still, we didnít rush into it.
Blistering.com: Cianide has never been a band in the tabloids and news about you guys is scarce, to say the least. Not much is ever really known about Cianide save for the music. So, pleading some ignorance here, why did it take so long between Hellís Rebirth and Gods of Death?
Carroll: You know, maybe we just got lazier. That sounds like a good answer to me. From 2000 to 2005 when we did Hellís Rebirth, that was five years. Maybe weíre just stuck in this mode or something. I guess weíre just a lazy band [laughs]. Lazy in the sense that we donít think about this shit every fucking day of our lives where I gotta rush home and write riffs. I never pick up a guitar at home. It could be a fucking coffee table for all I care. When Iím home, I have no desire to pick up my guitar and write riffs; itís just boring to me. Iíd rather listen to a Hellhammer record with a beer rather than sit around and play guitar.
Everything is down in the basement and we practice once a week for a few hours and within that little window is where we come up with stuff. And half of the time weíre just sitting around, drinking and just bullshitting about metal, talking about work and bitching about life shit, you know? Weíll play a couple of old tunes and then work on a new tune and then somewhere along the line we realize that we actually never finished that tune [laughs]. Weíve just slowed down and maybe weíre just not as motivated as we once were when we were younger. Age definitely takes a part in it, I would think. Weíve been doing this more than 20 years so itís not really a big deal if we get a new record out now or next year or anything. Itís going to sound the same anyway, so when it comes out, cool. Thatís the way I look at it.