Crime Records

Monday, October 7, 2013

Interview: Jens Mortensen of Carnal Forge

This was my chance to chat with Jens from Carnal Forge. The name may ring a bell for those of you if not for the Carcass song but the band named after it. The band holds it's own with those thrash/melodeath bands like Hatesphere and The Haunted with a far less spotty track record. They took a bit of a hiatus but are now back and recording new stuff. Jens was cool enough to talk to me with a fever so give him your ears. Literally.

1) This marks your return to Carnal Forge since the amazing "Testify for my victims" 
It kind of marked a sea change in your sound to a more melodic sound without compromising technicality.
What do you guys have in store for us for the new album you are recording?

Judging from the two new songs the new material will be a small step back to what CF used to be aka aggressive as fuck, somewhat less melodic and way less cheezy.
I guess you could call it a sort of  retrograde towards the full on blunt force trauma that signified a good Carnal song in the past.

2) The band went on a temporary hiatus and we thought maybe this was the end for you guys!
The question I want to know is not necessarily what caused the hiatus, but what brought you guys back together?

I thought I was done with singing and felt contempt with playing the bass in my other band "One Hour Hell" with whom I've just recorded an album called "INTERFECTVS." This all changed when Jari called me during my five weeks in schlager-hell in Malmö, Sweden where I was working for the TAIT automation-crew during the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.
   Needless to say, I was just not in my comfort zone and I was glad when he asked if I wanted to re-join CF with him, Petri and Lars. It took me about a week to finally say yes, weighing in all the difficulties of,work, family and being in two bands at the same time
   Over the years a few bands (names with-held) have contacted me asking if I wanted to sing but I've haven't had the time nor the hunger for the adventure so I've thanked 'em for their interest and said no.

3) Tell me a little about your bands background like what brought you guys together?
Were any of you in school together?
Well, Jari and Perti are brothers so I'd guess they've known each other for quite some time =P I haven't known Lawrence for that long, but I'm glad we got the permission to steal him from Teddy and Loch Vostok 'cuz he is a sweet guy and a fantastic drummer.
I was in a band with Lars back in the mid 90's called "slapdash" and we released the album "240.25 Actual reality" on MNW we disbanded and sort of lost touch, later on, I think it was in 2003, I got a call from Lars asking if I wanted to
drink some beer and lay down some tracks with him, Magnus Söderberg, Jari Kuusisto, and Stefan Westerberg ie 80% of Carnal Forge.

   I said "why not?" and we recorded an album under the name "Leech" pretty much just for the fuck of it and it came out great. I guess this was just before CF found themselves without a singer and why they contacted me after Jonas Kjellgrens departure

4) What are you guys listening to lately?
Any 2013 releases you can't put down?
Katatonia's "Dead End Kings" and the re-recording "Dethroned & Uncrowned" is almost impossible to put down. I mean, the music is just unbelievably beautiful and the production so fuckin' perfect, it hurts your ears and soul...
Nine Inch Nails latest "Hesitation marks" has grown for each time I've listened through it and Darkane's "The Sinister Supremacy" is just fucking awesome, mostly due to Lawrence Mackrory's amazing singing which is just off this world

5) What do you guys do outside of music?
Do you have any interesting day jobs or hobbies?

I've been a member of a gun-club for about four years and I compete in all national forms as well as IPSC in which I shot for, and got, the silver badge this spring. I try to practice and compete whenever I get the time, which, unfortunately hasn't been very often lately.
I work about 75% as a stagehand which is fun as hell, been doing so since early April and have since then managed to work at some of the biggest festivals/productions in Sweden (the ESC in Malmö, Hultsfred-, Bråvalla-, and Getaway-festvals)
    Now when the festival season is over I'm working for the Globen arenas in Stockholm as well as crew for artists touring Sweden.
Working as a stagehand is hard but fun and the only real downside is the fact that it gets in the way of my hobby...
...and it does suck being away from home and my missus for prolonged periods of time.

6) Being a band that is named after a Carcass song, what are your thoughts on the new album?
Jens: "Surgical Steel" is still growing, at first I didn't think much of it but every run through I've been like  "I yield, this is a very, very good album!"

7) Being a musician seems to come with its difficulties as far as balancing time, funds etc.
Do you have any advice for up and coming bands?
Only one: DON'T QUIT YOUR DAYJOB! and remember:
”The music business is a cruel and deep money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.
...There’s also a negative side.”~Hunter S. Thompson (R.I.P.)
I've been recording, releasing and touring for some odd 20 years now and I'm still waiting to get paid... or even break even.

8) After you finish this record what are your plans? Tours? Festivals? Music videos?
The two new songs ("Chemical discooperation" and "Bleed for me") are about to get mixed and released,
we're planning to shoot video's for both and use'em as proof of life in order to get bookers to get their wallets out but it's all
small, baby steps, first: more new material and live shows, then, hopefully some tours/festivals, but it's hard to plan with a band who's members all have very tight schedules.

Stay Me(n)tal!
Jens C. Mortensen

Of course you know I wil keep you updated on the progress.