The Metal Crypt on Facebook  The Metal Crypt's YouTube Channel


Green Carnation

Interview with guitarist Tchort

Interview conducted by Christian Renner

Date online: December 12, 2001

Green Carnation is a band that for the moment at least is better known for who is in the band rather than the band itself. Starting in 1992 the band soon split and the members went their separate ways joining and starting bands such as Emperor and In The Woods. The new album (Light of Day, Day of Darkness) will obviously change that perception. It is an incredible piece of work containing one track that is an hour long and while listening to it you never even realize an hour has gone by. This will easily be one of the best albums of the new year (it will be released officially on JAN 8th) and one that will be talked about for quite some time. I recently had the chance to do an interview with the Tchort, the main man behind this masterpiece and this is what he had to say….Enjoy….:)

Let me start by saying this new album just completely blew me away. This is simply put a masterpiece of songwriting. Congratulations on such an incredible album.

Thank you very much! I appreciate comments like that, since I put a lot of effort into the album and kind words like yours, makes the work worth it.

Now that I have kissed enough ass I guess we can get started…hehe

Green Carnation has been around in name at least for quite a while. Was it always your intention of getting the band started again or did things just fall into place?

No, I honestly never thought we would regroup after the split up in 1992. When we split, we lost some of the friendship that was the main reason for the start of the band in the first place. We didn't see each other for years; although I knew about their progress with In The Woods and they obviously knew about the bands I was in during the years after the split up. We met by accident in 1998 and came together to talk, and it didn't take long before music was on our lips and we reminded each other that we never fulfilled the big goal/dream we had, when we started up in 1990 - to one day record an album together. We made a compromise on musical direction, came together and fulfilled our dream with our debut album, Journey to the end of the night.

Is there any special meaning behind the name of the band? Green Carnation isn't really a name that you would associate with a metal band.

It doesn't have a deeper meaning, although we thought it could mean something like Rotten Flesh, as Carnation was also listed as a word for Flesh in a dictionary we found, and green flesh was, to us, obviously rotten flesh, which suited our music style back then (Death Metal). It's also the name of a very rare flower. At least we didn't think any one else had used that name, and that was a problem back then - to find an unused band name.

How did the new album come about? Was this something you had in your mind for quite a while or did inspiration while writing just flood you for it?

A lot of the music was material I had for a long time, but the idea behind the album, came when we finished the first album and was ready to record it. I was very creative during this period and I wrote the rest of the song/album and arranged it within a couple of months - one month before, and one month after the birth of my son.

The complexity on this album is simply mind numbing when you think about it. Was it always your intention of making this one continuous 60 minute song or was this just how it turned out?

We did some long songs on the first album as well, and the first album was made out of 4 songs. I had never written so long songs before, and I wanted to stretch my limits to see if I could manage to make a 1 song album, so yes, it was my intention from the beginning, to write the album in one track. It demanded some more effort when it came to arrangement and structure but I thought of it as a challenge and also a thing I had never done before and would most likely never do again.

The song really seems to run the entire spectrum of human emotion and flows like a continuous story in the same vein as an opera. It is almost like a book that you just cant put down since you are waiting to see what comes next. Did you realize this during the recording process?

No, because I was too personally involved in the album and its recording process. All I could focus and think of, was the details. I didn't want this album to be an album that I after finished would be going: "damn, I should have tried that or done this differently". I wanted to try all the ideas I had and all the different sounds and samples to find the best fitting one. My intentions though, were to make the album as interesting as possible, like a good film. You don't turn that off in the middle for a week before you finish watching it, or like you said, with a good book, you just cant put it down. That's also why I didn't see it as a big deal to skip the indexes, because when I put on an album, I don't change CDs after one song - I listen to the CD till it stops and it doesn't matter if its 1 track or 100. It's the mood, the music and message I want to hear and feel. I also feel that the album is like a mirror, it reflects my whole life with its very different emotions and happenings. For example the very opposite feelings I experienced when my daughter died and when my son was born. I tried to reflect this not only in the music and the lyrics, but also in the album title and the visual side of the band.

The time and care taken on this release is very evident. The use of the choirs, string ensembles and all the samples not to mention your own child's voice just demonstrate the massive scope of the songwriting. Did you have this all pre planned before hitting the studio or did it just seem to snowball once you started recording?

Most of the instruments and ideas used on the album were planned. We did a rehearsal tape of the album 6 months before the actual album recording, so I had a lot of time on my hands to think about ideas, but some parts, like my sons voice, where improvised in studio. Because I knew this album was going to be massive and time demanding in studio, it took some time before I was finally able to get the needed budgets, and that's where The End records come into the picture, as they were the last piece of that economic puzzle, and something I am very happy worked out.

I can easily see this album as going down in the history books of metal as one of the most innovative albums ever. Did you know you had something this special when you finished it?

Wow! I take that as a great compliment! Thanks! I thought I had something special when I was writing and arranging the song and I was very confident when I was approaching the label for a bigger recording budget, to make the album, as I wanted it. I am happy that it came out the way I wanted it.

Doing this song live would be one hell of an undertaking. I don't suppose there are any plans to do this live are there?

Actually we were officially confirmed for Wacken Open Air in Germany, summer 2002. I will be making a live version of the album, lasting probably between 40 and 45 minutes and we will be an 8-piece orchestra that will perform. I look at this as a great challenge for me as a composer and as a musician. We are also going to record the few shows we are doing for the album in 2002, and I hope that we can release this as a live album in the future.

I usually end each interview I do with something I call "The Final Five". These are five ignorant questions that are simply here for a little humor and to do something a little different than normal. I am sure answering the same questions over and over again can get really monotonous so here goes…

1. Which would you rather do? Britney Spears or spearing Britney?

For obvious reasons I would prefer to spear her and hoping to hear "oh baby! Hit me one more time". ; P

2. What is your favorite breakfast food?

Potatoes and eggs, and a lot of coffee and orange juice.

3. American cartoon character Woody Woodpecker's name has three different slang terms for the word dick in his name. Is this a conspiracy or simple coincidence?

Wasn't it a gay guy who named that character? -He was probably using his boyfriend's nickname when he came up with the name idea for Woody.

4. Who is funnier, Cheech or Chong?

Looking at what Cheech is doing these days, I would say that they were funnier - when they were together.

5. What is more annoying, Limp Bizkit's music or an interviewer asking dumb ass questions like these?

Limp Bizkit`s music is always more annoying!

That just about wraps it up. Once again I would like to say how much I enjoyed your new album and congratulations on some brilliant work. Any messages you would like to end with for the fans?

Thank you very much for your interest and kind words! I want to say that I really appreciate all the positive feedback we have received on this album and that I hope people are able to see us live next summer, either at Wacken or at another festival/concert, as I believe we will have a great show to present. I have some incredible musicians with me and I think it will be awesome!

Other information about Green Carnation on this site
Review: Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness

The Metal Crypt - Crushing Posers Since 1999
Copyright  © 1999-2024, Michel Renaud / The Metal Crypt.  All Rights Reserved.