By Ben Doy
I caught up with guitarist Mark Hosking earlier this week on the phone, while he sheltered from the rain in his car outside the band's studio in Perth.
It's been four years since you released your last album ‘Sound Awake'. What have Karnivool been up to during that time?
Well since Sound Awake was released we just toured the proverbial shit out of it really. We spent a lot of time overseas touring the album, trying to make a bit of a name for it and expressing what it is we do. And during that time between sound checks and hotel rooms, you sort of start writing and start thinking about what the next step is. While we were touring I guess we kind of put together the guts of three or four songs with some extra beats and pieces. We then headed back to Perth, reset the studio and dived into the new project. We discussed ideas and things and kind of pushed on from there.
And you played a massive festival in India. How was that experience?
We did man. We had a lot of response from India. There was this student festival that came up, which worked as we were on our way to England. We went there expecting to play to 300-400 people in a small uni café or something, but instead it was this huge outdoor festival type environment with about 5,000 guys singing along to our music... which was surprising in a good way. Since then we've been back for the NH7 Festival they have over there, and that was another huge response. It was a nice surprise that they were so into the music.
Your new album Asymmetry is out now. Where did you record it?
That was recorded in Byron Bay, which is probably the most Eastern point of Australia. It's a beautiful studio there, which Powderfinger recorded at, and it's a really good room to record drums. We'd been talking to a few different producers, one of which was an LA based guy called Nick DiDia who we were thinking of flying over. As it turned out he was moving to Byron Bay and setting up residency in the studio that we'd chosen. So it all just fell into place. So we moved our studio over from Perth, freighted all our gear, set up a home for a couple of months and recorded it there.
Is it quite different from your previous releases?
It is man, it definitely is. We're a band who has said we are never going to do the same album twice. We're a band that likes to change its sound and not get comfortable with something that is working. And with the process of recording with Nick, we had already set the path to a different sound. Every album before this we had used a fantastic gentleman named Forrester Savell who works out of Melbourne. So it was a step away from a comfort zone for us and a chance to really explore some new territory.
How long do you reckon it took to record?
We started it in December, and it took us solid studio time of 12-13 hour days, and I think we got out of there second week of February. So it almost a two and half month process. Then we flew everything back to Perth and started mixing, so I would say it was nearer three and a half to four months for the entire process.
I checked out the music video for your new song ‘We Are' which is fantastic...
Thanks. It was a concept that we had originally, and threw it at director Christopher Frey, he's actually done every Karnivool clip that we've made and a long term friend of the band. So he was obviously the guy for the clip.
Do you have plans to play in New Zealand in the near future?
Not strict plans but we have a priority list (laughs). And New Zealand is near the top of that. We haven't been over for a long time and it's long overdue and we can't wait to get back there. Our drummer Steve was born there, so any time the word comes up he's got his hand in the air saying "Yes, let's go!". Probably not this year, but once this campaign as far as Australia and Europe goes, and then we'll look at tackling next year. So it's coming.
So a lot of touring over the next 12 months?
Pretty much. We've got a big Aussie run coming up now, then we hit Europe again in November, come back for the Christmas period for some festivals, and next year will be expanding territories. Possible a US run, definitely a NZ run, and really just touring as much as possible.