The notion of extreme have come into our lives long ago and for good, although everyone puts different senses into the word. Some see extreme in roller-blading or other leg-driven means of transportation, others enjoy their share of extreme spending a two-weeks vacation with some African tribe, third would tell you that the true essence of extreme is taking a crap on a doormat of heavyweight prize-fighter and then ringing the doorbell asking for toilet-paper, and for us extreme, certainly, primarily means music. And I mean where else would you go looking for something extreme if not to this small university town in a quite corner of France. Yes, one of the most extravagant duets of the planet named Carnival in Coal was born here in Amiene, somewhere in the far aisles of the local university. We hooked up with the musical brain of the duet Axel, to discuss their latest work - 'Fear/Fear Not' Firstly please give us a lowdown on how you two hooked up with each other and how it all started?

CinC: Well, we met each other 13 years ago at University. We began talking about music and stuff like that, and we found we had a lot of things in common. We began making music together, our first bands were metal-oriented, we loved bands like faith No More, King's X, Soundgarden, Living Colour, voivod, Prong In 1997 we were fed up with all that, and we decided to act as a duet, and to make something really original and completely free. We wanted to blend extreme metal with mellow things, like disco, easy listening and experimental music. Carnival in Coal was born. It's been three albums now for your fragtastic duo, all of them being different form each other musically but at the same time all three being equally sick. Surely a major source of inspiration is needed to write something that brutal and original, and as far as I have understood from your official site those are many. However I'd ask you to name a couple as the most graphic examples. Like "we have wrote this song after that and that happened"

CinC: One thing is sure, our main influences musically are Frank Zappa and Mr Bungle. We try to do something to make people react, to provoke, but also to experiment and try to find our own musical language. Our way to compose is based on pure instinct blended with a bit of reflexion. Other bands that influenced us: Emperor, Earth, Wind and fire, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Zapp, The Bee-Gees, Mr bungle, Notre Dame, Burt Bacharach, Lalo Schiffrin, and thousands others... So far I haven't quite understood whether CinC ever gives live shows, if so what does it look like - and if you still don't - do you deem it practically possible and how would it look like?

CinC: No, we don't do live shows because we don't have time nor money to do it. We should have more musicians, work with them on a show, all the classic stuff, and unfortunately we have to work besides Carnival to earn our lifeso it doesn't allow us to spend much time on rehearsals... Parallels with Mr. Bungle must have already become a pain in the rear for a question, but still - how much has the influence been for you? (In my opinion CinC is still much more listenable than Bungle).

CinC: Mr Bungle - and everything that Mike Patton does - is something we both like, because it's always surprising,I'm more and more bored by traditional things, and even extreme metal has become traditional: every band got the same sound, the same riffs, same voices, same lyricsPersonnaly I don't listen to metal anymore, Arno still does, he has more roots into this. That's why I carry on listening to bands like Mr Bungle, or Frank Zappa, Naked City and weird stuff. I need to be surprised, to be shocked? I hate "passive" music ! What are the plans for the next album, any concept/idea yet?

CinC: We're thinking about it. We'll begin the recording on july this yearthere's no particular concept at the moment, all that I know is that it'll be innovative, violent, and completely dumb ! Why corpse-paint and fake hair? Just for the fun of it or is there a deeper meaning to it?

CinC: It was for the fun at first, then Arno started thinking about this concept of 'Fear/ Fear not"It says that ugliness is not a question of appearance. Someone who looks smart and kind can hide a monstrous mind Where does the lyrical inspiration come from?

CinC: Arno deals with many thingsat the beginning of Carnival he loved to talk about deviant sex, about perversion and surreal sex. Now he talks about more introspective things, his lyrics are more intimateI still don't know what the next album will deal with. He also like to use strange and surreal humour Who are the Kings of Grind and Kings of Disco in our opinion?

CinC: Us !! Seriously, my grind heroes are Carcass, Napalm Death and the first Morbid Angels. They set the basics of this whole thingI really was into Carcass, because they had something humorous and psychedelic. I love many things into disco: Jackson five, Zapp, The Bee Gees, Earth, Wind and Fire, and closer to us, Jamiroquai who is very very talented. Have CinC released any videos and if so what are those about?

CinC: We've done a video with some friends of us, but it has nothing to do with something professional ! Do you Lars Von Trier's last works, his DOGMA period ? Well our video is not far from it. It's been done with a low low low budget !!!! It's about the both of us (with the make up !) invading a normal guy's lifeat the end, he has make up on the face, and he becomes completely nuts !! Our next clip will be more professional ! I swear ! The name of Carnival in Coal in itself suggests parallels to the makeup art employed by many a black metal band - ate there any parallels to the ancient Nordic myth of the "wild hunt" or is that just a pure coincidence?

CinC: I don't really know, for I'm not really involved into the black metal scene. Our name is a reference to the duality of all things, and it's also a good way to resume our music, which is both twisted, violent and dark but also sensual, festive and groovy. If you were to describe your music by examples of all other form of art such as painting, architecture, sculpture, literature etc - what would the description sound like?

CinC: Excellent question ! Painting: I think we would be definitively into surrealism and cubism, it's one of my favorite periods ! Delvaux, Kandinsky, Ernst, Magritte, Picabia, I really dig their work, because it was profound and humourous. Architecture: somewhere between the Bauhaus (Franck Lloyd Wright), the Art NouveauI'm very fond of the art of the beginning of the 20e century.I also like to visit very old castles and churches Sculpture: somewhere between Camille Claudel and Giger !! Literature: Imagine "Alice in Wonderland" written by Burroughs !! That would be the greatest nasty book ever edited !! The French scene have always been a sort of a standout from the rest of the rock world, examples of bands like Les Garcons Bouchers, Pigale, Mano Negra, Misanthrope, and many more are more than graphic. Why is that you think?

CinC: All these bands are not representative of the actual French metal scene. In fact, only Misanthrope does still exist ! Now the scene is much more interesting, with bands like SUP, Gojira, Scarve, Yyrkoon. These bands play a very original metal, with a special touch that makes them unique. I think that the French scene is reaching its maturity, into quality and inspiration. Asking sick questions from the people who are the incarnation of sickness itself seems rather pointless, then again it's our tradition: if the two of you were to write a concept scenario to a porn movie what it would be like?

CinC: first it would be a musical, it would blend gay and straight sexualities, but also strange things involving vegetables, furry animals, very ugly people, and nuns. It would be rather extreme, but also full of good feelings and true love ! Let's imagine that you could change the sound and the music on three records by any artist of past or present - what would the records be and what would you do with them to make them sound the way you like? (You can change just, the sound, voice patterns, rename songs, redo entire songs, change arrangements, etc.)

CinC: Another good question ! It would'nt be a record I like, but maybe I'd completely spoil some records like: putting disco and easy listening tunes into Immortals' albums, bringing some horrible screams and sounds into a Celine Dion's album, that kind of things. In fact, that's what we did with our covers record "French cancan", we did many covers in our own way ! One of the finest restaurants in downtown Paris decides to endorse your band by including a meal called after Carnival in Coal on its menu, but you have to provide the recipe for that

CinC: It would include all human fluids, a teaspoon of shit, a pint of milk, and a crusty cake. It would be called "Dickcheesecake" and it is a song of our next album !! Delicious ! (well provided that you have already seen both movies, but what the hell) Hollywood bosses plan on releasing a super-duper blockbuster Hary Potter vs Spiderman, but they require script key-points for making a plotline, what are your suggestions

CinC: I 've not seen Harry Potter and Spiderman is not out yet, but I really think that both of them should be involved into the scenario of the porn movie you made me write a few minutes ago ! And of course they would finish eating the well-deserved "Dickcheesecake" I prepared the question before ! Your final comment please

CinC: Well, a huge thank you to all our fans in your wide wide country, and to all those who are not fans yet ! Our next album should be out next year, but to help you wait, go to , you'll find many things about us ! Thanks to you Troll ! Hugs ! A big thank you for the interview and for the music and accept my sincerest wishes of luck and even weirder progress for Carnival in Coal!


(June 2002)

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