Carina Round, July 2016
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With the release of Deranged to Divine in a few days and a few shows in United Kingdom next month, I took the opportunity to ask a few questions to Carina Round about her solo work but also Puscifer as
she is now one of the principal collaborators within the band.
Salival : Hello, Carina! The Puscifer tour in Europe just finished. Was everything alright? You made a strong impression even at Hellfest, where music is
Carina Round : It went great. We played a wide range of shows from theatres to metal festivals, and we got a favourable response across the board. I think the Puscifer show, with its own
very specific brand and in its unique way, has a wide reach. No matter which background you are watching or listening for, there is something about it that will appeal to you.
There's now the release of your double retrospective album coming. Is it a way to take a look back before going further?
I released the album partly because I knew I was going to be travelling through Europe with Puscifer, and the response to our latest album has been so great. It has picked up a
lot of new people, and I wanted to release something that would be a cohesive yet eclectic, experimental and very personal introduction to my solo work for people who have never heard it before.
Back to the beginning, what's the first marking musical memory that you remember of? Also, when did it became obvious to you that you would follow that
I don't think the realization came as an explosive epiphany, it was more a deep undercurrent of understanding or recognition that, for better or worse, this is what I am. I was a somewhat isolated
child, and music was the biggest source of joy and expression in my life for as long as I can remember.
What happened later for you to choose becoming artistically independent?
I had the kind of negative experience you hear about a lot with a major label. After that, I started my own label and began putting out my own records. Overall, even though it was pretty dramatic at
the time, it was a valuable experience.
Meeting yourself back in time at different periods, which advice would you say to yourself?
Funny, I get asked this question a lot. Most likely, I wouldn't have taken the advice and would have had to learn the hard way. I think the most important thing that I learned is that in any
collaborations, or relationships in general, it's always good to remember that, no matter who is telling you otherwise and how many years of experience they have, it's ok to say no to something that
you don't feel is an authentic move for you as an artist. The flip side of that of course is to learn to make the distinction between a 'no' that is safeguarding you from future regrets of
inauthenticity and a 'no' that is just from fear of being pulled out of your comfort zone.
Now, how was the first time when you met Mat and then Maynard?
It was quite strange. I had been asked to go up to Jerome, AZ, and meet them both and experiment on some songs. Two weeks before, I had been attacked and savaged by bed bugs in a hotel room in Vegas,
and my entire body was covered in hives upon hives, including my face and feet. I was hoping they would have gone down by that time, but they just kept on multiplying and itching more that words can
express. Anyway, I met Mat at the airport, and we flew to Phoenix and drove 2 hours up to Jerome together. Poor Mat was in a confined space with a deranged woman. All I wanted to do was hack my skin off.
Anyway, we eventually got to the house. I was practically in a burka, covered toe to chin, and was so distracted by discomfort that I could barely hold a conversation. Maynard was distracted about something
to do with the winery, so I barely saw him at all and I sang "The Humbling River" with Esmerelda the hairless cat wrapped around my neck the entire time. I loved her. We had a bond and an
understanding, mainly that I was a source of heat and she was hairless, but she was the one that told me to hang in there.
What's your feeling about the evolution of your relationship with them?
It's gotten a lot better. Less hives overall.
Do you have your own interpretation of the lyrics written by Maynard, or do you just remain at the surface? Did you sometimes even asked him some explanation?
I imagine on some level that they signify our seeming insignificance in the face of the sheer enormity of the universe; the feeling of freedom and joy one can reach by meditating the absolute
vastness of time and eternity and realizing that, although our life is just a tiny speck, each speck's role is an important, unique and vital part of the intricate puzzle of our existence as an
entity; Man and his relationship with Nature; letting go of the trivialities of one's life and embracing the bigger picture. Also, there are a few very skillfully written words about being annoyed
by small tiny insignificant small picture shit. I don't know. I could be wrong. I thought "Galileo" was about Galileo, and then Maynard and I had a conversation about the deeper meaning and I was
like "Do you have any ice cream?"
During the shows, there's also an important part for staging/choreography. Which part is prepared and which part is spontaneous?
Regarding MJK and me, it all begins as a spontaneous, wordless experiment, and whatever feels right stays. There has never been a conversation about it outside of "We will be upstage for this song."
or "In this part of this song, we will grab the cocks."
From all this experience with Puscifer, what do you think will impregnate your solo work, whether you want it or not?
There's an extreme simplicity and minimalism to the way that Puscifer work. Whereas I have a tendency to keep the kitchen sink "just in case", Mat's philosophy leans more toward delete the living
day lights out of everything if you're not using it there and then, and trying to create an effect with one sound or movement that I might use a big production for. I'd like to be able to implement
that kind of simplicity at the times that it's needed. I tend to feel like I need to make things as complicated, precious and labored as possible to get the best result.
So thank you very much, Carina! Can we expect more shows in Europe? Maybe a new album soon?
Thank you ; I have some shows in The UK in August. I hope to spend 2017 making, releasing and touring a new record.