Carpenter Brut is about to set out on a North American tour, hitting most major markets in the United States and Canada. There are still tickets available to some of the shows so be sure to head over the official Carpenter Brut Facebook page. They’re doing a good job of keeping the information up to date on sold out shows and sharing info about added dates. Echosynthetic will be covering the Atlanta March 15th show at Terminal West with Le Matos and Vampire Step-Dad in support. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that!
We were fortunate enough to have a conversation with Carpenter Brut ahead of the tour kick off. Before I start I’d like to express my thanks. I know he’s a busy man and it was very gracious of him to take the time to answer our questions.
Echosynthetic: When you started Carpenter Brut did you have any idea how well the project would be received?
Carpenter Brut: When I started making my music I had no clue how it would be received. I just got a couple of plugs in, music software and I started to write songs in the spirit of Justice and John Carpenter. The project wasn’t meant to be heard by anyone actually, just to stay on my computer. A friend of mine pushed me to put my tracks online (Soundcloud) and that’s how it all started.
Echosynthetic: How do you think synthwave has evolved as a genre over the past few years?
Carpenter Brut: Well, I really don’t know. When I started making my music I didn’t know that this music had a proper name. For me, it wasn’t « synthwave » or whatever you may call it. I think this music has evolved because people are nostalgic for the 1980s. At that time people were more frivolous and free and there was, in my point of view, more creativity. But trends will fade away, because it will be used by the media, commercials, cinema, and people will get fed up. Grunge is the next step.
Echosynthetic: Are there any artists that you’re currently listening to?
Carpenter Brut: Run The Jewels 3; lots of classic rock bands but mostly I try to not listen to too much music because I do not want to be indirectly influenced in my compositions.
Echosynthetic: How involved are you in the creative process of your music videos?
Carpenter Brut: For the music video of « Anarchy Road » I already had the script in mind. I wanted something inspired by the film “The Road” that I really liked by its atmosphere. In so I told the idea to my friends, the directors Dekka Bros. They liked the idea and that’s how it all started.
For the « Turbo Killer » music video I had no specific scenario. I just told Seth Ickerman I wanted a video inspired by the characters who are in one of CB’s t-shirt design (3 characters with a black cape, redeyes, surrounding a virginal-looking woman). From these elements, they created the scenario of Turbo Killer.
Echosynthetic: What’s the inspiration behind the dark imagery identified with Carpenter Brut?
Carpenter Brut: I come from the Metal scene so I’ve always had a penchant for dark and exuberant designs. I wanted to avoid the cliché « neon style » of the synthwave scene and make it a little bit morbid. That’s why I choose to work with Fortifem for the very beginning of Carpenter Brut. I instantly loved their work and thought it would fit with my music.
Echosynthetic: What is your writing process like? How do the songs form?
Carpenter Brut: There is always a story, a script, which I use as a thread in the composition of my tracks. I think a good song must tell something while being entertaining. But people should remember that song. That’s why I try to write simple structures, not unlike pop codes, keeping some groove so that songs can be entertaining and allow people to dance and have fun.
Echosynthetic: You’re about to embark on a North American tour. What are the differences in live shows outside of Europe?
Carpenter Brut: On our data sheets we asked to benefit from the same conditions we have in Europe, so I guess that technically speaking the concerts will be the same.
Echosynthetic: Your live shows have the feel of a rock show. What sets Carpenter Brut’s live set apart?
Carpenter Brut: I always wanted a show with musicians on the stage, video on a big screen, and choreographed lights. It’s the idea that I always had of my shows. A place where people come to spend some good time to dance, sing along, sweat. A full hour where you’ll think about nothing else but having fun.
Echosynthetic: Your cover of Maniac has been a big hit. Why choose it out of the thousands of 80’s hits?
Carpenter Brut: Because it’s one of my all time favorite 80’s hits. For the record, this song was written originally for the OST of the movie “Maniac”, but it had been refused. Later, Michael Sembello had to change the lyrics to suit the movie «Flashdance ». I’ve always loved the ironic nature of this song.
Echosynthetic: After the tour, what does 2017 hold for Carpenter Brut?
Carpenter Brut: A live album to be released in 2017 and a new album for 2018.
Thanks again to Carpenter Brut for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us. The tour is going to be a blast and I’m looking forward to covering the Atlanta show. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!