Karnivool

The Band

  • Karnivool

    Karnivool

    Band Bio

    Revolution is a chaotic and unbalanced affair. It challenges the state of things, and for those who revolt against the status quo, it bears both great risk and reward. These truths are as vital in art as they are in any other realm, and it is within these redefining upheavals that Australian hard-rock architects, Karnivool thrive. With their acclaimed 2005 debut, Themata, and 2009’s ground breaking follow-up, Sound Awake, Karnivool established themselves as one of the most vital forces in progressive modern music. Now a major international draw, appearing at festivals such as The Big Day Out, Sonisphere (France), Download (UK), SXSW (US) and Hurricane (Germany), and gaining high praise from international press titans such as Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, Kerrang! and Rocksound, Karnivool have belied expectation again with album number three, the brazen and introspective, Asymmetry. This expansive new work was designed in the band’s Perth studio over two years, before in late 2012, the Karnivool caravan headed across the continent to bunker down with legendary producer, Nick DiDia (Rage Against The Machine, Mastodon) at Byron Bay’s Studios 301.

     

    I think each time Karnivool walk into another record we all want to explore new ground,” explains vocalist, Ian Kenny of the band’s writing process. “We want to open the door to our musical basement, switch the light off and tumble down the stairs into god knows what. Each time we switch the light on again we are a different band.”

     

    We wanted this record to be a natural evolution from Sound Awake,” adds guitarist, Drew Goddard. “It needed to be more honest and raw, sound wise and song wise, exploring unchartered territory for the band while holding true to the things that make Karnivool... Karnivool.

     

    And why not hold on to those idiosyncrasies? Those intangible qualities that can only be found between the light and shade of Karnivool’s music have garnered them a uniquely fervent and dedicated fan-base, moving over a quarter of a million albums along the way.True to their word and reputation, the band again strove to redefine themselves in the construction of this new opus. They would hold onto their shared vision and spirit while turning away from so many of the building blocks that had been integral to their journey thus far. Once more they flattened the safety net, and jumped. The result is Asymmetry, the most compelling and organic Karnivool album to date. From the sprawling anti-pop arrangements to Didia’s apocalyptic mix, it is unlike anything this quintet has given us before, and like all good records, it will ask much of the listener. Asymmetry overwhelms with beauty and brutality; but even those qualities, seemingly at odds with each other, infer balance, when in reality this album’s real power lies in flawed symmetry, in the unique majesty of imperfection.

               

    Asymmetry literally means a lack of symmetry, but the subtleties of it are endless and amazing,” explains guitarist Mark Hosking. “Sometimes, the most beautiful subject seems perfect at first glance, but in time you see the subtleties that bring out asymmetry. Faces and hands are the perfect example; it’s very human, and this can be wonderfully reflected in music.”

     

    As a theme or title, it’s very much a broad brushstroke,” says Goddard of the album’s moniker. “It’s one that we feel encompasses where we are at in a musical sense at this point in time. We are very much into big ideas that are open to interpretation, ideas that can mean different things to different members of the band as well as the listener.”

     

    To me it’s about balance,” adds Kenny. “When two halves are slightly different but one and the same, there is harmony. That's what we as a band want to find in music, and in people. The core of Karnivool is always looking inwards. We turn to each other for the next move and that's where we, as a collective, find a way to create something that we call our own. It's the people in this band that separate us from the status quo; it’s why we’ll continue to push all boundaries until we fall over the edge.”

     

  • Drew Goddard

    Drew Goddard

    Lead Guitarist

    Where were you born & how did you end up in Perth?
    Perth. My family moved around a bunch of country towns in Western Australia, like Goomalling, Southern Cross, Esperance and Kununurra before returning to Perth in 1990.

    What was your first instrument & what inspired you to pick it up?
    Piano. I wasn't inspired at all.. to play it anyway. I was inspired to pick it up however, but then realized the dream of being the strongest man in Australia was doomed to fail. My parents encouraged me to go and have lessons, which I'm grateful for now, but really didn't enjoy it all. It was Nirvana's ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ that gave me the spark I needed to start playing the drums and then the guitar shortly after.

    How did you meet the rest of Karnivool?
    Kenny went to primary school with my older brother, they were good friends, and he used to come over to our house on a regular basis with his Sega Master System, and then a bit later, the MegaDrive and then the Fender Squire and practice amp. I met Jon in my high school years, through the parties and mutual friends. Hoss I met when he was tour managing various bands. Steve we met through the Perth music scene when he played for his previous bands (Beside the Point and Hope Here Gone).

    What bands did you see that made you think "I'll have some of that"?
    Nirvana (only on television), Meshuggah, Tool, Devin Townsend.. and John Farnham, that voice and those microphone stand tricks and seeing all of those chooks throwing their knickers on stage made me think.. I'll have some of that thanks!

    Best ever Karnivool gig?
    Hard to pick one.. Hail, Hail, Hail at the Grosvenor Backroom.. 2001? Gold Coast Big Day Out 2008, Sydney Big Day Out 2010, our first show in India, "Mood Indigo Mumbai" 2011. One of many shows we've played at the Hi-Fi Bar in Melbourne. Or the Tote show in 2005 - our first headline show in Melbourne.

    Favorite Karnivool song to play?
    New Day/Goliath.

  • Ian Kenny

    Ian Kenny

    Lead Singer

    Where were you born & how did you end up in Perth?
    Born in Ireland. Parents migrated to Perth in 1985.

    What was your first instrument & what inspired you to pick it up?
    My voice. Then guitar.. Then harmonica (which I’m shit at).

    How did you meet the rest of Karnivool?
    I met Drew in school then met the others around the Perth scene.

    What bands did you see that made you think "I'll have some of that"?
    Muse, Radiohead, Soundgarden.

    Best ever Karnivool gig?
    We played a festival in Mumbai, India in December 2011. It was the shit!

    Favorite Karnivool song to play?
    New Day.

  • Jon Stockman

    Jon Stockman

    Bassist

    Where were you born & how did you end up in Perth?
    Inverell NSW, moved to WA when I was still pretty young as part of my Dad's geology career, which dotted a path that eventually stayed planted in Perth.

    What was your first instrument & what inspired you to pick it up?
    Started playing piano when I was 7, initially because my mother played piano, but mainly because I was given a piano by a nurse/sister after she stayed at our place in Inverell.

    How did you meet the rest of Karnivool?
    I was friends with Drew during high school, we hung out and met through overlapping social circles.

    What bands did you see that made you think "I'll have some of that"?
    SoundGarden - 1997 Big Day Out
    Prodigy - 1997 and 2002 Big Day Out
    Tomahawk - 2002 Big Day Out
    Queens of the Stone Age - 2002 Big Day Out
    Cog - 2005 New Normal Tour
    Tool - Lateralus Tour
    Radiohead - King Of Limbs Tour

    Best ever Karnivool gig?
    I can't pick a favourite but certainly the following are contenders for the front-runner Come Together 2008, Big Day Out Gold Coast, Thebarton - Sound Awake era and India - Mood Indigo Festival

    Favorite Karnivool song to play?
    Goliath or Deadman

  • Mark Hosking

    Mark Hosking

    Guitarist

    Where were you born & how did you end up in Perth?
    Born in Melbourne, moved to Perth to join this bloody band!

    What was your first instrument & what inspired you to pick it up?
    Vocals, then drums, then guitar, then piano, violin, bass, harmonica, xylophone and some others – my parents owned a music store so that kept me busy

    How did you meet the rest of Karnivool?
    Met the guys through tour managing (which is what else I do at times) then came back and got drunk with them, they asked me to play guitar.. think I said yes?

    What bands did you see that made you think "I'll have some of that"?
    Radiohead, Tool, Queen, Sam Cooke; most bands really!

    Best ever Karnivool gig?
    Melbourne one of the shows there early on.. was a buzz I don't know if we've ever recaptured, we get close sometimes!

    Favorite Karnivool song to play?
    Change

  • Steve Judd

    Steve Judd

    Drummer

    Where were you born & how did you end up in Perth?
    Gisborne, New Zealand. Air New Zealand aircraft.

    What was your first instrument & what inspired you to pick it up?
    The wooden spoons.
    I was watching Live Aid as a kid with my parents and wanting to join in I guess.

    How did you meet the rest of Karnivool?
    Around the traps of the local music scene in Perth.

    What bands did you see that made you think "I'll have some of that"?
    Muse at Metro's City years ago in Perth was a stand out show for me. That set the bar for myself at time as far what a live club show should be.

    Best ever Karnivool gig?
    Not sure. I remember the show at 'Come Together' festival (’06 I think?) being somewhat of a coming of age show for the band. As far as the "best ever" goes, I think we are yet to play it...

    Favorite Karnivool song to play?
    I go through phases with songs so it's always going to be different. At the moment though, I would say 'Change'. There is a lot to that song and I think when we nail it live, it can be a really powerful piece.

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