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INTERVIEW: Cleveland rock band Mr. Carnivore

Can you talk to us more about your song “Knees”?

Knees is our first official release. It is a song that Mike wrote in LA and brought back to Cleveland to put final vocals and touch ups on with Mr. Carnivore as a group. There were something like 28 different versions of recording the song. We ended up agreeing on one of Mike’s original versions being the one the liked the best after all was said and done.

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

Knees is inspired by a real relationship that took place over a couple of years.  Knees is about being in a tough relationship.  You love each other, but you hurt each other.  You try to make it work but you come up short.  It ends with “when the rain washes off the pain of your love” – The love is there, or was there, but it was always with pain.  Kind of a tortured love song disguised in pretty wrapping paper.

Any plans to release a video for the track?

We have talked about it, but not 100% sure either way yet. We received so much positive feedback about our first video for the unofficial version of Hot Air Balloon, that it is tempting to try to do it again.

How was the recording and writing process?

Musically, Mike wrote it in Los Angeles and finished the lyrics in Cleveland. Most of the track was recorded in one day – drums, guitars and keyboards.  Producing was a fine line balance of being a big chorus, but being inviting.  Wanting to bring a listener into the story rather than shouting it at them.

It can get frustrating and confusing when you have 28 versions of the same song, but it really feels like you have done your due diligence as an artist when you finally land on the version that truly captures the message you intended to portray.

What role does Cleveland play in your writing?

We were all born and raised in Cleveland so it absolutely shows through our individual personalities. I think some common “Clevelander” traits come through in our writing as well. We are making a strong focus on being blunt and kind of hard nosed with our lyrics instead of cryptic and shadowed. None of us are afraid to work hard and put in the hours to get the sounds and results we want.

How has The Avett Brothers and Beck influenced your music?

As one of the primary song writers (Pat) I can say that the Avett Brothers lyrics and simplicity really had a strong effect on me and my song writing. They showed me that you don’t have to write extremely complicated and intricate songs in order create something that moves people. I have definitely adapted their story telling, sermon styled lyrics and melody. Beck in my eyes feels like he is cheating somehow. He can do any style of music and do it well. I think we strive to be as versatile as Beck.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s that coming along? 

Knees is the first song we are releasing from a larger collection of songs that we plan to put out. The process of putting together this group of songs has been an interesting process for us. Pat and Mike both have considerable back logs of songs that we were able to draw from. We started with roughly 50 or 60 songs. After several rounds of narrowing down our selections, we were we started working on 10 songs. Most of the tracking on these 10 songs has been completed. So we are trying to move quickly to complete as many as we can as soon as possible. We aren’t sure that all of these songs will make the cut, but our plan is to take them as far as we can take them and see how they feel when we get there.

Any tentative release date or title in mind? 

We  are aiming to release sometime late spring, early summer.

Any plans to hit the road? 

We are in the process of contacting as many college radio stations in the country as we can. Hopefully we will be mounting a college radio tour as our music starts to get airplay.

What else is happening next in Mr. Carnivore´s world? 

We have been holding off on playing any major shows until we put out our full release. Once we complete the full release, we will be planning a huge party to release the record. After that we will start writing for the next release and playing as many well place shows as we can. We really enjoy playing live and have been chomping at the bit to get in front of people.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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