Carina Round Talks "The Last Time", Collaborating with Puscifer, Books, and More
Tue, 18 Oct 2011 10:33:33
"There's definitely a freedom to it," declares Carina Round of her brand new single "The Last Time".
The first taste of Round's forthcoming spring 2012 full-length is simultaneously intriguing and irresistible. Available digitally and on vinyl November 8, 2011, the song balances lush instrumental landscapes and the singer's powerful and poignant vocals. "The Last Time" exudes a level of mystique rare in modern music, baring traces of classical elegance and invigorating experimentation. Round paints a vivid lyrical picture without ever giving too much away, and that's why she remains so marvelous. She's the enchantress that the 21st century has been waiting for…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino, Carina Round opens up about the story behind "The Last Time", constructing her new record, working with Puscifer, the upcoming tour, and so much more!
Pre-order the vinyl for "The Last Time" here!
What's the story behind "The Last Time"? It's really a massive track…
It's quite the epic, huh? "The Last Time" wasn't really even planned in that way when I was writing it. The lyrics were inspired by a letter that was sent to me by someone. As you can tell from the lyrics, they're predominantly about the weather, but the underlying theme is a lot more intense. It gave me that eerie, mysterious feeling. Predominantly, the song is just two chords with the instruments moving in and out of it. It has a Nick Cave-y vibe. When "The Last Time" was a done, I was so happy with it. It felt like something I hadn't done before. It really intrigued even me and I'd written it [Laughs].
It treads new territory while preserving the hallmarks of your sound.
I'm glad that you think that! The whole experience of recording this record—including that single—has been really different from anything else. All of the songs on the record are pretty different from each other, but there is still that underlying sound of whatever it is that makes me sound like me. It's exciting for me to make a record where every song doesn't sound the same. At the same time, I want it to be cohesive.
Do you feel like this is a proper introduction into what's to come on the full-length?
In a way, I think it is. I feel like I could've put out any song, and it would've been a decent introduction. In their own way, all of the songs are like a character within themselves, and there's something strange and beautiful going on within all of them. It's a good introduction but don't expect the rest of the record to sound like that.
Where were you coming from on "Girl and Ghost" [Puscifer Remix]?
One of the things that Maynard loves about Puscifer is it's kind of a family project for him. Once you're involved in the Puscifer family tree, it's like a Godfather situation. You're in [Laughs]. He loves the idea of people collaborating with each other. I asked him if it was okay to put this Puscifer remix out as part of the single, and there was no question in his response. He was like, "Of course!" That's part of his mentality in Puscifer. It's about having a creative pool of people working together and creating the best they can. By the way, I thought it was a brilliant remix, which is why I wanted it to be on the single.
What was your lyrical approach?
To me, it seems quite self-explanatory. It was a certain time in my life where every day that I woke up I felt like I was fighting something and I didn't know what it was. The good thing about when you're fighting against something is it really makes you think about what you do want. To me, that song was partly coming into my own of what I wanted to be as an artist and trimming the fat of complaining about what you don't want. Even if it's not tangible and you can't put it into words, it's really following what you want to become. Does that make sense without sounding like a complete fucking hippie? [Laughs] People like Maynard recognize what's good and integrate it. They don't get attached for any other reason. It's an incredible learning experience watching how other people work. Having the privilege of being a fly on the wall in those situations is great.
Was there anything else you immerse yourself in that you hadn't before?
I really got into the engineering and production part myself. I rolled my sleeves up and got in elbow deep with the sessions. For instance, "Girl and a Ghost" started as a pretty different song. It had a complete makeover after it was recorded. The exact same thing happened to a song called "Weird Dream" on the record. I dissected stuff and really got my head into the technical and production side of it, which I really love. I should probably just be a car mechanic or something [Laughs].
Are you reading anything right now?
I'm still reading Just Kids from like five months ago. I'm also reading a book called Saturday by Ian McEwan. I try to read as much as I can on tour because that can get a little tedious. For some reason, documentaries tend to inspire. I like watching movies in the background because I think I hear something and I don't and it can turn into a song. For the most part, I find inspiration accidentally. That's why it takes me so long to make a fucking record [Laughs].
Are you looking forward to the Puscifer tour?
It's going to be quite the month. I'm so stoked! I can't wait. I'm on fire about it. It's a dream. I think it's such a prestigious tour. I love their music. It's a real honor to be sharing the stage with Puscifer in the first place, but to be opening too is just amazing.
What's your favorite Carina Round song?
See our review of Puscifer's Conditions of My Parole here!