CARVED get the balance of melodic death and symphonic metal just right; this can also be clearly be heard in their latest album Ares. Rock Out Stand Out’s Lotty Whittingham spoke to vocalist Cristian Guzzon about the band’s sound, the album, mental health and who would be on his dream tour. They are Lotty’s nomination for Total Rock’s Band Of The Month, you can vote for them by clicking here.
Hello Cristian, how are you doing today?
Hello, thank you so much for the opportunity. I am really glad to be here.
For those who haven’t heard Carved before, how would you describe your sound?
Our sound is a really generous mix because all the members of the bands came from different backgrounds of music styles and they all had previous experiences with other bands. Now I think with the latest line up and with our latest album, we found the perfect mix in our sound; especially in the live show dimension and now we are the true Carved with Laura [Ginevra Tonarelli] our new singer and a new artistic director called Alessandro [Golfieri] who arrived to collaborate in the recording session with this album. It’s a perfect balance between melodic, symphonic and death metal.
With our latest album Ares, we tried to tell a story. The concept is post-apocalyptic in the lyrics, all the songs tell a story about different wars. We intended for the album to be post apocalyptic themed but instead, it’s very relevant to what’s going on in the world. Particularly with the war between Russia and Ukraine, two countries we have toured in for the previous album so it’s a situation that’s important for us. This album doesn’t just talk about physical wars, it also talks about those wars in our minds and feelings. Some of the battles are dystopic and sci-fi or fantasy. The Age Of Despair talks about dragons. Sovereign is a song that talks about war in a dystopic way. The song Justice Falls talks about the war in the social situation, particularly when George Floyd was killed, so a war in an ordinary life.
I was going to ask if Justice Falls looked into what happened to George Floyd. Particularly within the lyrics and the voice over at the beginning.
Laura was really shocked with what happened with George Floyd and those few words “I cannot breath”. So Laura told me she wanted to release a song about these words “I cannot breath” and Justice Falls was born in that moment.
So with Ares, was 2022 the intended release date? Lots of bands had to push back their album release dates due to COVID so were a lot of these songs written around the time or after the events that happened?
When we released the album, we were in a really bad situation because all of the war was in the lockdown. So during the first lockdown in March 2020, we were in the first phase of the production of the album and all the band members started to compose and arrange the new songs. When we finished the pre-production, we were the first Italian band to enter the Domination Studio after lockdown. For us, it was a great emotion as the studio is the best one in Italy for the metal genre, all the metal bands use Domination Studios. We had to use face masks all the time, the only time we could take them off was when Laura and I recorded our vocals. It was a bad situation but we felt a great emotion to be there.
When listening to the album, music style wise, I got bands like Dimmu Borgir. Were they one of your influences or am I way off?
For the influences, there are a lot of influences. I love Dark Tranquility personally and In Flames; with the first album, Carved started off with influences from Swedish Death Metal. We evolved our music over the years, we reached and touched on a different genre of metal; so prog, symphonic but we started with the Gothenburg metal bands. Now, a song like Justice Falls is very close to Arch Enemy and Fleshgod Apocalypse. It’s an explosive mix of influences.
When recording the album, what was the most challenging part of the process? I mean recording over 2020 must have been a huge one.
Yes, it was a challenge. We love all the steps in the pre-production, the devils in the detail so every lyric and word is there for a reason. We have a lot of quotes and references, we really love to release an album and enter into Domination Studios to do our best so every challenge is accepted for us. In this moment, the music business is very difficult and that’s the real challenge.
One of the missions at Rock Out Stand Out is we spread mental health awareness, what’s awareness like in your local area?
It’s very important to us as it’s a situation very close to us. For us, it’s a delicate subject and maybe in the future we can release a song about it. We had to delay our show earlier this year due to one of our band members experiencing health problems. Personally, I have a delicate situation in my family so it’s important to us. I think music is a cure and a reason to reach out for the anchor and sail. In a stormy sea, we are good sailors. So when members of a band have a problem; stop, delay the show and resolve the problem. For us, taking care of mental health is very important.
If you have had a bad day, what do you like to do to relax and unwind?
I love the mountains, cold and snow; so I relax by walking. I also relax by reading, watching TV and building Lego. I live in a city by the sea so I either choose to walk by the sea or in the mountains; especially in the winter, I love winter.
I caught you on the International Women Of Rock Tour, it made me think of this question; what bands would you love to tour with?
In Carved, we have been lucky to share the stage with Amon Amarth, Slayer and Gojira. It’s been incredible to share the stage with big names. We had the opportunity to open up Rock The Castle Festival 2019, one of Slayer’s last shows before the called it a day. My dream is to share a stage and tour with Dark Tranquility, Insomnium and Amorphis.
Do you have any messages for Carved fans and Rock Out Stand Out Readers?
We really want to come back to the UK and meet all of after the show because we are a band that love the contact with the crowd. We really hope to see you again and we promise a great show.
Listen to Ares because it’s a great album that we spent a lot of blood and sweat on to release this album. We really love it and I hope you enjoy it.
Thank you so much Cristian for taking time out to speak with Rock Out Stand Out today.