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Cianide - Gods of the Working Class Part II

By: Mike Sloan



To read the first part of Sloan's interview with Cianide, click here.

Blistering.com: Over the years youíve always maintained your roots and youíve kept that core Cianide sound. Youíve never strayed from that. When you hear bands over the years change into something that they werenít when they started, what goes through your mind, especially with bands you like?

Scott Carroll:
Oh, like the new Morbid Angel [Illud Divinum Insanus]?

Blistering.com: Oh my godÖ

Carroll:
[laughs] Yeah, I donít know what goes through these bandsí heads. Itís like you started one way and thenÖ At least theyíve got 25 years under their belt so one gay album, sureÖ A lot of bands change. I mean, look at Entombed. They went through their little gay period with Same Difference and stuff. Itís like when they grow as musicians, they gotta branch out and do this or do that. Itís like, ďOh we love Joy Division now so letís incorporate some of that music into our ownÖĒ That annoys me. It just pisses me off to no end. I like bands that how you started, that core sound remains in tact and it doesnít change. Like AC/DC; I donít care if you write the same song over and over again because at least I know what Iím getting. Iím happy with that.

Blistering.com: I agree. At least with a band like Amorphis, who always had a unique, ever-changing sound to begin with, you know theyíll change things up quite a bit with each new album. Amorphis always delivers even if each album, for the most part, sounds different from the previous.

Carroll:
Right, right. And look at Voivod. Them, too. They always had that natural progression. Look at their first record and second record. You knew they were going to go places. But when a band completely changes, it drives me nuts. Like Entombed. When Entombed did Same Difference, I lost my head. A lot of people felt that way when they did Wolverine Blues, but I love Wolverine Blues.

Blistering.com: Iíve had this argument with plenty of people, but I think Wolverine Blues is hands-down their best album. Itís in my top twenty albums of all-time.

Carroll:
Oh, itís pure genius. I love everything they did up until Same Difference. That one just sucks ass. They had a mild little comeback after that, but it was never the same.

Blistering.com: Back to you guys and the new album. In my opinion, ďTerrorstrikesĒ is the best song youíve ever done, period. Itís just so catchy and heavy. It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun writing it, with the ebbs and flows and the hooks. Where did that one come from?

Carroll: Thatís one of the songs that came about pretty easy, too. It went through a couple of changes, but overall that one was actually pretty easy. Out of all the songs on the record, that one justÖ We had a little problem with the middle part. Nothing major, but it just came together. When we started writing the riffs, we thought they were kickass and kind of Master-y. Then we rolled into the double bass part and Iím playing these fast chords. I usually will play, like, fast notes and stuffs but never fast chords. We were all hard on that one because it has almost a Morbid Tales vibe to it. Itís one of my favorite songs and itís one Iím very proud of. I love that whole pounding middle section. We had some problems with that part, like I said, but one day we were like, ďLetís just [hit] open E and crunch the shit out of it!Ē And they worked. It came together. We really captured the feel and the energy of the band with that song.

Blistering.com: I love that guitar solo at the end of ďDead and Rotting.Ē Where the hell did that one come from? It sounds nothing like your solos.

Carroll:
You know why that one sounds so fucking good? Because it ainít me [laughs loudly]. Ha! Thatís not me playing that solo. [laughs] I read your review [of Gods of Death] and laughed because you credited me for that solo. You must have gotten the promo copy without credits or a byline.

Blistering.com: [laughs] Thatís correct. All I got was the promo album and lyrics. This is classic! So, basically, Iíve given you the credit for a great solo all the while it was actually someone else. Thatís too damn funny.

Carroll:
[laughs] Yeah, that lead is courtesy of John (Alexander) from Post Mortem. You remember the old 1980ís band Post Mortem? Theyíre having a new renaissance and he helped out. Youíre not the only person to not know; thereís been a few others and Iím like, ďAh, they shouldíve put that in the promo pack!Ē Itís actually pretty funny [laughs]! So if thatís not in the promo packet and you didnít yet get the actual album in the store, how would you know?

Blistering.com: So here I am praising your newfound guitar soloing skills and itís not even you (laughs).

Carroll:
I read the review and Iím like, ďYeah! Kick ass! My solo is amazing!Ē [laughs loudly again]. Mike (Perun) actually wrote me an email after he read the review and he said, ďDude, I didnít know you were such a good guitarist!Ē Itís so funny. But yeah, we have been friends with John Alexander for a while now and we wanted him to do a solo or something. He lives up near Seattle and heís a real tech/nerd/geek [laughs] and we sent him some files through the mail. Dude, he sent us like 20 solos back in a day and said for us to just pick one. So, to clarify, that solo is from John Alexander from Post Mortem, not me. He rules.

Blistering.com: Talk about the Chicago metal scene. When I moved from there to Las Vegas, I quickly realized how lousy the scene is out here; itís mostly a punk scene here. When I lived in Chicago, I thought the scene was great, yet many of my older friends who were in bands and whatnot always complained that it sucked.

Carroll:
Well, thatís because weíre all a bunch of little bitches [laughs]. All we do is complain and weíre never happy.

Blistering.com: Looking back on the past 20 years, how has the scene changed, how is it better or worse than ďback in the dayĒ compared to today?

Carroll:
Well, itís always been good in the sense that thereís always been really good fucking bands here. From the early days of War Cry and Witchslayer and fuckiní Macabre and Death Strike, Master, Sindrome, Terminal Death, etc. Just amazing shit back in the Ď80ís and a lot of those bands died off. Master, obviously came back and Macabre still rules. Everyone else just died. Well, except for Trouble and Troubleís awesome. When we started coming up, we became friends with The Dead Youth, remember them?

Blistering.com: Yep. They turned intoÖUsurper.

Carroll:
Right, exactly. We became good buddies with them. There were a lot of really great bands. Dogod, too. But then around the mid-90ís, a lot of that shit died off. We didnít really pay too much attention as to what was going on at that time. There was Usurper and us going on, and Macabre was always around kicking ass. But in terms of a ďsoundĒ or something, I donít know. I never really thought of it as some sort of big scene or something. There wasnít this sense of togetherness, which makes it cool in a way because everybody has this little attitude with everybody else. Thereís this sort of unwritten tension amongst the bands but everybody is still pretty cool with each other.

There isnít really a Chicago sound, either, which makes it pretty cool. Thereís also Bones, too. Theyíre new album is fucking awesome. Itís the rhythm section of Usurper. Well, they actually have a Chicago sound in terms of its really dirty and ugly and intense. So now itís them and Cardiac Arrest and Kommandant who are leading the Chicago scene. So while there isnít an actual ďsoundĒ of Chicago because all these bands sound different, there is a sort of underlying heaviness and dirtiness to everybody. Itís like a working-class sound because nobody is here to further their career and make it big. Weíre all working class fuckers. Everyoneís here in the scene because we all love fucking metal, man, so I guess thatís the sound.

Blistering.com: With being a working-class band who admittedly are a bunch of lazy slugs, whatís Cianideís future?

Carroll:
[laughs] Well, I donít know. We wanted to get that Maryland Death Fest out of the way and get the album finished and take some time off. We had some other festival gigs, too. Mike said he already has another song written so maybe weíll do a couple of split 7Ē that we promised. I donít know. We are supposed to do a split with Kommandant and another one with Nachtmystium. I guess Nachtmystium had their song ready for two years and theyíre waiting on us. Itís kind of an odd combo with us and Nachtmystium. I donít know what it is but everybody dogs Nachtmystium. I think theyíre fucking genius. Aside from that stuff, I donít know what weíre going to do next.

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