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“We were completely in love with what we were doing. We found it so fascinating and exciting that we wanted as many people as we could to hear this thing. I can’t remember ever thinking, ‘Fuck if this doesn’t do well then how do we feel about it or what does this mean as a band?’ At the time who gave a fuck because no one knew the band then anyway,” singer Ian Kenny speaks of the moment Themata was released.
It’s been a decade since the album that started it all for Karnivool was released and naturally the band are feeling a bit sentimental and as a result are taking Themata on another tour.
“Week by week – as it’s leading up to the tour – it’s really sinking into the band that it’s been 10 years since we released this record and really had an effect on people. That record lead us on to our second and third record, and now we’re here and looking back what we see behind us is something quite special,” he says.
“Basically the first tour of Themata – which really kicked things off for the record and the band – was a national tour with COG. I’m pretty sure every member of the band remembers every show of that tour and it was a long time ago. Our eyes opened with getting to tour with a band like COG, releasing a record like Themata and to be that band for the first time – it was fucking incredible, it was the sickest time. We really cut our teeth and got the chance to potentially see what our future would look like – it was nuts.”
Albums following Themata have been far and few between, though Ian assures me that it’s of no lazyness on their behalf, simply a means to get things as perfect as the band can.
“I think that’s a big part of it and I think that’s a big part of the albums successes. It’s not a deliberate thing, we don’t plan to take that long. To be honest we don’t enjoy taking that long, we’re like ‘Fuck, how come we can’t get what we want quicker?’ We would love to do that but for many reasons it takes a lot longer to do that,” Ian says.
There is an new album in the works – with no date set – though with an album like Themata that can still sell out shows 10 years later, there really shouldn’t be any rushing when it comes to the creative process.
“We’re writing bits and pieces at the moment and there are songs that are shaping up but we’re no where near a record yet. We try and go in with the freshest and most different approach each time, we’re aware of the core element of what Karnivool is and we try and acknowledge that as best we can each time around but it’s definitely a different process each time,” he says.
With no release date, it’s the perfect chance to look to the past and marvel at what one of Australia’s greatest bands have created.
“Themata was such an important record and now this far into our career we realise it was for so many other people and that’s fucking great. We get to go out and play this thing again in its entirety and go for this again it’s fucking incredible – I’m really looking forward to it,” Ian beams.
When & Where: Corner Hotel, Melbourne – May 12, 13 & 14, Kay Street, Traralgon – May 15 & Wool Exchange, Geelong – May 16
Written by Amanda Sherring, Photo by Kane Hibberd