Tue, 19 May 2009 01:18:31
"My wife just had our little boy about a week ago," says tired CKY drummer Jess Margera. "I was starting to feel outnumbered because I already had two daughters [Laughs]. Now I have someone on my team, and I might win an argument here or there. It's a lot of fun. I bought a pretty big house a couple years ago, and it's starting to shrink big time."
Regardless of whether or not it seems like Jess's residence is shrinking, his band's sound only got bigger on Carver City. In fact, it's bigger, badder and more bombastic than anything the alt metal mavericks have done yet. Centered around a fictional beach-side retreat, Carver City, the record's a dark journey that feels more like a horror movie than a rock album. Jess discussed all of this with ARTISTdirect.com in this exclusive interview.
Would you say Carver City is CKY times 10?
Yeah, totally. It's cool because this time we got to spend as much time as we wanted to on the record because we did it in our own studio as opposed to being stuck in Hawaii, L.A. or wherever the hell else we've recorded in the past. We have engineers and equipment that we know, so we could get exactly what we want.
Conceptually, did you have this Carver City idea before you went into the studio?
We had really rough ideas when we started. I started doing drums for this about two and a half years ago. That's how long it's taken to get everything in place. The first song that we demoed was "The Boardwalk Body." That was three years ago when we demoed that. I asked Deron, "Where'd you come up with that?" He was like, "Dude, that's for real!" He was on a family vacation in Wildwood, New Jersey when he was about 12. Wildwood is a sketchy beach town. His parents let him stay out late. He went to the arcade until about one in the morning. He was walking back to the hotel and he found a dead lady under the boardwalk. That's pretty traumatizing for a 12-year-old. I thought he came up with it out of nowhere, and he was like, "Dude, I really did find a dead woman under the boardwalk when I was 12!"
Did that story generate this Carver City idea?
That definitely started the idea of this being a dark, beach-y record. It's a beach town that's supposed to be this nice, happy family getaway, but in reality it's horrible [Laughs]. It's like that town, Wildwood. It's North Philly, by the beach, but it's pretty sketchy. At the same time, there's a nice pier with all of these rides and shit, and it's kind of misleading.
It's like a classic horror movie.
That's another thing. Our band name spawned from this horror movie that we wanted to direct, but we never got around to. That vibe is definitely in the band though.
This record is your slasher take on The Wall?
[Laughs] Yeah, it's cool because we did 15 songs for it, and we never do that many. I think it is a little bit of everything. There's heavier stuff. There are mellower Spiritualized and My Bloody Valentine-style songs. There's pretty much something for everybody.
Is it the most fully realized CKY record from start to finish?
We definitely took our sound and expanded it as much as we could. It seems like every record before this has been a progression to get to this one. The last record was more stripped down meat-and-potatoes. The riffs were really tech. We tried to make this record as fucking crazy as possible. This time we added everything we wanted and got rid of what didn't sound right.
Were you watching any horror movies while you were making it that inspired that concept?
We did this movie called Return to Sleepaway Camp. We played camp counselors, and we're in it for a split second. It just came out recently, so we've been watching that a lot. It's a total 1980's camp horror movie flick. A lot of our records draw from that type of vibe. I jammed with other musicians and experienced other styles to incorporate that into CKY. We never delve into it saying it should sound like this. I play how I want to play. Deron plays how he wants to play and Chad records how he wants to record, and it just ends up like that. There's not a lot of premeditation to how it should go. It just evolves. It's cool when that happens.
Any chance you might play this from start to finish live?
We're definitely going to need some more musicians. I'm already working on trying to get someone to play keys or Hammond B-3 on the road, so we can add a lot of the stuff that's on the record. There are so many different influences with all of us. We've got a guy that's into metal, a guy that's into punk and a guy that's into rock. It's all over the map. I incorporate my influences. Deron's got a huge metal influence, and we just make it digestible and more rock n' roll.