The Carbonas hail from Atlanta, GA, home to some of the most exciting new bands to hit our scene in quite awhile. Along with The Lids (now defunct), Black Lips, and up-and-comers like The Frantic and Beat Beat Beat, The Carbonas are turning Atlanta into the next Seattle. Or Chicago. Or something like that. You know what I mean. After releasing an LP ages ago, they jumped to the front of the hot bands list with release of the jaw-dropping "Frothing at the Mouth" EP over the winter, which had reviewers worldwide spitting hyperbole all over themselves. They are poised to release their second LP any minute on fast food maven Mitch Cardwell's Raw Deluxe label, which I'm sure will be a stunner. TB caught up with them just before the Blackout, where they are rumored to be playing a daytime show with the Baseball Furies. We'll see how that goes. Get their single on Die Slaughterhaus as well, it's a lot better than they seem to think!
TB: When and how did the Carbonas form?
CARBONAS:Sometime around August of 2001 the four of us got together and started playing in BJ's basement...we all barely knew each other and we couldn't play worth a shit.
TB: What other bands are/were you guys in?
C: Dave played drums in the Lids until the band imploded from drama, Greg and BJ were in a pretty cool band called The Rabies Babies which wasn't around very long, and a few other bands not really worth mentioning.
TB: How did the release of the Scene Killer LP come about? Whose label was/is Champagne Velvet?
C: Well, our guitar player at the time, Will, was about to move to Japan to teach english, and he had a friend who could give us a deal on recording...so we went and recorded this terrible terrible record with horrible songs because we figured, "hell since we're getting a deal on recording, fuck it..."
Champagne Velvet came from one of Greg's vintage beer cans that he collects, I think it was a shitty beer from the Sixties or something. Since the record was so terrible, nobody would put it out, so we made up our own label just for the LP release...it should have never come out, it did alot more harm than good. We wasted alot of money on that dud.
TB: It's really not that bad. Why do you think it's so awful?
C: It's terrible. The songs are shitty, we played like shit on it, we had to EQ the fuck out of the final mixes because it was really wimpy sounding, pretty much everything about it is horrible. Anyone who sends us back their copy of this LP will receive a $3 rebate toward a new LP.
TB: How has the line-up changed since then?
C: Quite a bit...The only two original members now are Greg (singer) & Dave (drummer)...when the band started, BJ (Lids) was playing guitar and Jeremy (Busy Signals) was playing bass. BJ soon started expressing his disinterest with the newer songs...he was hellbent on songs with only three chords, and he didn't want to have anything to do with it...or maybe the songs were just getting shittier. So we decided to get someone else to play guitar. Greg's old friend from high school, Will, filled in for a few months until he moved to Japan. After he left, another friend of ours, Clay, took Will's place and has been in the band ever since. A year or so later, Jeremy moved to Chicago and was replaced by our friend Jesse on bass. Then, about six months ago we added a second guitarist, Josh (Beat Beat Beat), and it made a fucking world of difference. So the current lineup is...Greg, Dave, Clay, Jesse, Josh.
TB: You’ve put out a single on Die Slaughterhaus as well. Is there one person that is running DSH, or is it an Atlanta collective of sorts? Is there an actual Die Slaughterhaus house?
C: Yeah, we really don't like that single too much, either. Mark (Lids) is the main dude behind DSH right now. Back a few years ago, the Black Lips lived in this really fucked up, dilapidated shithole house, and they would have shows there almost every weekend...tons of kids from all over Atlanta would come out...it was a fucking blast..we'd hang out on the roof, smash TVs and just do dumb shit...the cops rarely came, the neighbors didn't give a shit, it was perfect.
TB: Where did all these great Atlanta bands come from all of sudden a year or two ago (you, Lids, Black Lips)? Was there always something going on there that we were just unaware of, or had the Forty-Fives just soured us so much we didn’t pay attention?
C: Well, the "scene" in Atlanta is pretty shitty, actually...this is a town of hip morons who think they know shit about art and music. Turns out they don't know shit about anything. There are a lot of bands in Atlanta, but a good 90% of them are fucking garbage. As far as the decent bands go, it is extremely incestuous.
TB: Are the kids in Atlanta into you guys, or are they all listening to that crunk stuff?
C: We've got a small hunk of fans in Atlanta, and lately it's been younger kids which is fucking awesome...but most kids in this town don't have a fucking clue...people have a real hard time thinking for themselves. As far as the crunk rock kids, they mostly reside in the suburbs.
TB: Any other up and coming ATL bands we should be looking for?
C: The Frantic are a really fucking cool band, Greg plays drums for them now...Beat Beat Beat, our guitar player Josh's other band (which includes members of the Frantic as well) is another good band...incest I tell ya...
TB: How influential were the Georgia Satellites on the Carbonas?
C: Dave's girlfriend Valery knew Rick from the GA satellites...he was dating one of her coworkers. Cool motherfucker, he comes out to our shows sometimes. They still play every now and then at redneck bars in the sticks I think. As far as influence, eh...
TB: I’ve heard your set as the Gyro Boys was incredible. How did that idea come about? Was it tough to pull off?(For those unaware, Gyro Boys are the Carbonas playing Zero Boys covers)
C: We've done it twice now, once in Atlanta and once in New Orleans. The original show was done because our bass player was out of town and we had a show booked that we forgot about. So we got together with Josh, who filled in on bass at the time, learned the songs and just played them. Those songs are so fucking fun to play...a few of them are kinda hard, so we just skipped those. We may or may not do it again.
TB: Rumor had it that Rip Off was flirting with releasing a Carbonas LP at one point. True?
C: Definetely flirting, yes. We sent him the new stuff and I think he really dug it, even though it didn't sound remotely like classic ripoff stuff. He said he wanted to release it, but had promised BJ that the Lids record was going to come out first. Not sure what happened, but he lost interest...may of had something to do with the fact that he hated the cover for the record, and we didn't really want to change it.
TB: The cover looks awesome, I don't know why he'd hate it. What became of the ‘Ian Debonair’s Last Stand’ recordings that were floating around a while back?
C: Those eight songs plus four more are what is to be the new LP released on Thee Raw Deluxe.
TB: Is Douche Master your label? Any future releases planned?
C: Douche Master is our singer Greg's and our friend Brian's Label...there are definetely some releases planned for the future.
TB: You guys just played a few Midwest dates? How did that go, and any future, more extensive tours planned?
C: Yeah, we went out with the Frantic for a few dates and had a great time, but of course barely made gas money. That's what happens when you try to book a tour 3 weeks beforehand. It didn't matter, though, we met some really cool people and had fun. We're about to start planning a big west coast tour for the summer, most likely for July/August.
TB: Are you excited to be on Raw Deluxe? Has Mitch made any passes at any of you yet?
C: Yeah, we're excited that someone actually wants to put out our music. Mitch has always been really cool to us. We only got to meet him for a second at the 2004 blackout, but he was a cool motherfucker. No passes yet, but we'll see what happens this summer when we play Oakland and crash at his house.
TB: Have you gotten any more offers to do the LP after the “Frothing…” EP blew everyone’s minds? Have the Europeans been courting?
C: Daniel from Alien Snatch really liked the new songs, but I'm not sure if he wanted to release anything. The EP went like hotcakes over there, though, so I guess they like it.
TB: What was the deal with all the Donnie Darko/bunny-man flyer art?
C: Time to set the record straight. At the time when all those flyers were being made, nobody had ever heard of or seen Donnie Darko ...Jeremy was doing most of the artwork and he got the idea from one of his girlfriend's japanese fashion magazines. It's not even a bunny man, it's a skull with a sash tied around it's head. Donnie Darko is a cool movie, but in no way did it influence any of the artwork that Jeremy did.
TB: Oops. Sorry. Any title for the upcoming record? Release date? How many tracks?
C: It is self titled, because as far as we're concerned, this is the first LP we've ever released. It should be coming out in mid April sometime, and there's 12 songs on it.
TB: A lot of people seem to think you have a hardcore sound. Are you guys a product of Eighties hardcore, or just punk rock in general?
C: We aren't really trying to go for anything in particular, we just consider ourselves a punk band. In the first two and a half years, there was absolutely no "chemistry", but lately it seems as though we've developed at least a little bit. If hardcore still sounded like early Eighties hardcore and not fucking metal, it would be an honor to be called a hardcore band.
TB: Is it just me, or does it seem like it has taken forever to get this next LP out?
C: Well, we were waiting around for Greg Lowery for a few months, but no hard feelings there...I don't think it's really a record that most die hard Rip Off fans would have liked anyway. Mitch had always given us great reviews, and we'd talked to him through e-mail for awhile, so we agreed that a Raw Deluxe release was a really good idea.
TB: Will the South rise again?
C: The south is as ass-backwards as ever, but at least it's warm...fuck the cold, god damn. And there's probably only about one toll booth within a 700 mile radius.
TB: Any plans/recordings after the LP comes out?
C: No more studios for us. It's moronic giving someone who barely knows what you sound like a wad of money just to record on equipment that sounds too slick, then squeezing the stress of playing and mixing and getting all the perfect guitar tones and drum sounds into a few short days...no more of that shit. Dave's got a decent 8-track now so we've got all the time in the world to get it right.
Interview by Rich Kroneiss
First pic by Canderson, the rest by ?
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