Carnifex Interview with Scott Ian Lewis @ Underworld, Camden

8th December, 2015
Interview and photos by Stephen Buss.

Carnifex – Scott Ian Lewis
Carnifex – Scott Ian Lewis

How’s this year been for Carnifex?

Very busy and a lot of new fans. We did a lot of support tours on this run and we’ve been able to play for a lot of different crowds. You know, we were able to go out with Parkway Drive, which was a lot different to the normal type of tours we do. In the States we went out with Chelsea Grin, which was also a lot different from some of the tours we do. So yeah, a lot of new fans – it’s been a lot of growth. I feel like, on this headline run in the States and here, a lot of people that we talk to – even though it’s a ten year tour – they’re saying, “I’m seeing you for the first time.”

So, how’s the tour in England been so far?

The UK for us has always been a work in progress. I feel like we’ve come here a number of times, we’re an underground metal band. So, it’s about putting in the work and trying to put on a great show and get more people each time. Thankfully, like London, tonight’s almost sold out and that’s exciting. It’s nice to see some of that work pay off. And hopefully more and more people keeping listening to us.

Do you have a lot of time for sightseeing on tour?

No [laughter]. You know we’ve… When you do a support run, you’re able to get out a little bit because there’s really not much pressure on you. So, when we’re doing support tours, yeah. We can fuck off a little bit. But doing a headline run, you got to do the sound check, speak with the press and do the meet and greets [they arranged a big meet a great for their London fans before the show] then get ready for the big, long set. When you’re doing the support run, you can show up, get on stage and then you’re done.

What have been your favourite shows this year?

We had a lot of really good shows over the summer. Brutal Assault was really fun. Summer Blast was really fun. Resurrection Fest in Spain was really fun. We played some really good shows, headline shows back in the States, just a few months ago. The Impericon Fest (3:11) with Suicide Silence and Whitechapel were great. Yeah man, 14 and 15 have been really fun years for us.

Are there any bands that you particularly love touring with?

Touring with the Whitechapel guys is really fun. Those guys have good attitudes and they have great fans and our fans get on well, so it’s great turnouts. The Chelsea Grin tour was really fun and the Suicide Silence tour was real fun. Yeah, pretty much anybody can have a good time, when you get to know them.


Do you see a bigger reception in Europe now?

Yeah, I think so. We’ve never been a band that’s been on some hype train and just went straight to the top. It’s always been slow. It’s kind of two sided. In one way you have this slow climb but the other… I’m sure we can both think of bands that were huge over a year ago, back to 06/07 that don’t even exist anymore. So, I’ll take the slow climb, verses the overnight and then gone.

In your ten years have you seen much change in your scene?

Yeah, Deathcore’s dead. Who else is around now? It’s just a few bands now. It’s just us, Whitechapel and Suicide Silence. That’s kind of it that’s left from that original wave. Three bands left but we’re all putting in the time, for sure.

What’s been your biggest influence?

I’ve always been, film wise, a big David Fincher fan and the stuff he’s been doing with Trent Reznor because he’s had Trent score all of his films – I love that stuff. I listen to those scores a lot. It’s awesome to see my favourite musician team up with my favourite film maker.

Is that the music you listen to on tour?

I do listen to Nine Inch Nails on tour – I listen to a lot of different types of music. I listen to heavy stuff, new stuff that we’re working on, Lana Del Ray and Chelsea Wolfe. I’m not stuck in some, oh I only listen to one genre or I never listen to metal, which so many guys say, which is so stupid. I listen to everything.

Have you written the lyrics for your new album already?

We’re in process. We have a little over half of it done. So, still working on it.

What inspires your lyrics and do the other members of Carnifex have an input?

No, they don’t [laughter]. I’m a ruthless dictator. No, it’s all personal stuff. I write what is important to me and I write what I think is going to connect with the people that are listening.

I can tell you, it really is good.

Thank you, I appreciate that.

What prompted you to start performing in the first place?

Probably a complete lack of a social life and friends. You know, when I started doing music and band stuff, at 14, I was not cool or anything close to cool. I had no friends, really, just the kids that I made music with. And, so that was just what I did. I didn’t hang out with anyone or get invited over for video games or anything like that, so I just did music.

Can you name any friends bands, from back home, that you think deserve more recognition?

Yeah, that whole friends thing… [laughter]. Well, the Wovenwar guys – we’re friends with them and they live right down the street from us. So, that’s all the guys from As I Lay Dying. They’re doing really well. I think they were over here with InFlames. I think they’re getting ready to do another record. But, who else? I’d be excited to Despised do some stuff over here.

What have you enjoyed most about being in Carnifex?

Yeah, thinking of something and it becoming real.

Great thank you.

Carnifex will continue there tour on through Europe before returning back to the States to complete work on the next album.