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karnivoolThe mighty Karnivool are out and about on their Polymorphism tour, which places them in front of a hometown crowd on Thursday, January 23, at the Red Hill Auditorium. BOB GORDON sits down for a chinwag with Karnivool mastermind, and recent ARIA Award winner, Drew Goddard.

Sometimes, even for hard touring heavy rockin’ bands, there comes a moment to don the gladrags and live it up a little.

And so it was for Karnivool, who, after a year back on the road in support of their acclaimed Asymmetry LP, went to the ARIA Awards for the first time last month. The fact that they picked up an award for ‘Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Release’ was icing on the cake.

“It was never something that was on any of our bucket-lists,” says guitarist, Drew Goddard, “but receiving that award felt pretty good, I must admit. It was my first ARIA experience. Once I got through the somewhat unnatural and awkward red carpet affair, I had a super evening. Ran into a whole bunch of mates, drank heaps of free piss, ate yummy battered prawns, had a yarn with Molly Meldrum and watched my wife in her mum’s amazing dress from the ‘70s own the joint. Plus we picked up a shiny, pointy thing to boot. What’s not to enjoy?

“Whatever you may think of the ARIAs you gotta admit it’s great to have heavy music recognised in this way in this country, any opportunity to remind people that riffing the fuck out and beating your drums like a primate is incredibly fun and cathartic. Everyone’s welcome to join the party, as players or participants. Us ‘heavy metal folk’ are actually pretty friendly ya know! (laughs).”

A few friendly f-bombs peppered Goddard’s acceptance speech on behalf of the band, which may or may not have had it deleted from the broadcast. No that he’d change it for the world…

“No,” Goddard laughs, “apart from missing a few vital ‘thank you’s, like the people that come to our shows and support us and our live crew. Oops!”

Karnivool spent the Aussie spring touring Europe, working on previous strongholds and establishing new markets. The band are a few tours in now on the continent, but Goddard maintains that it’s still early days.

“There are many countries we are still yet to make it to,” he says, “but this is all so exciting and we can’t wait to keep going back and playing festivals and shows to new and familiar faces, not to mention experiencing the vast array of amazing culture that Europe has to offer. You drive for a few hours and you’re in a completely new country with a completely different culture and language. You don’t get to see too much on tour, apart from the few blocks around the venue, but at least you get a taste of each place and know where you want to venture back to in your own time to really discover what’s on offer.

“I really need to learn some more German/French/Spanish/Italian though. I’m trying as best I can, but I’ve forgotten most of what I learnt in primary school and I get tongue-tied all too often and come off looking like a silly Aussie douche bag. ‘Howz it garn!? Parlaay vewl Anglaayyz… bro?’ (laughs).”

2014 is also looking very busy for Karnivool, with additional Australian touring, a bunch of European festival shows and other overseas plans that are still being inked in. Goddard s also keen to make a real dent in record #4, “so we can try, let me repeat try, to get it about before 2047.

In the meantime there’s this month’s national tour with good mates, Dead Letter Circus. What’s not to enjoy indeed?

“They’re good friends of ours,” Goddard enthuses. “We first heard them back when they released their EP around 2007. I remember getting in touch with the guitarist at the time Rob and told him that I’m a sucker for dotted delays and that we should play together sometime. We took them out for a bunch of shows on the East Coast around that time and have been friends ever since. We rarely have a conversation with someone overseas without talking about our ‘Aussie scene’, particularly DLC. So we thought it’s about time we toured together, first in Aus of course but maybe we will play some shows with them OS in the future. Who knows? I think we’re both very different bands but there is an obvious connection between us, musically and personally.

“So playing a bunch of shows together and running amok around the country seems like the obvious thing to do right about now. Along with the amazing sleepmakeswaves, of course. Bloody champs, the lot of ’em.”

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