Interview : Car Bomb at ArcTanGent 2019

Originally formed on Long Island, New York in 2000, Car Bomb is a band whose style is marked by a highly experimental and extremely aggressive approach to metal. Their unpredictable blend of evolving polyrhythms, shifting tempos, syncopated down-tuned guitars, jazz-influenced drumming, harmonically deconstructive riffing, and dynamic vocals create a sound that is pulverizing and intensely disorienting. They’ve created music that is fluid and ever changing, and have never been afraid of veering off on bold melodic tangents. This unique sound combined with a strong DIY work ethic and a continuously growing fan base has earned them opportunities to tour with larger acts in the genre.  

We caught up with guitarist Greg Kubacki at ArcTanGent Festival to talk a bit about their new album Mordial and life on the road.  

BP: Welcome to ArcTanGent, Is this your first time here?  Are you excited to catch any of the bands playing this year?

CB: Yeah its our first time here, I would love to see Azura but we’re gonna miss them but they’re always great, and Meshuggah obviously, Employed to Serve i haven’t seen yet either since we’re working with Justine at Holy Roar we’re really stoked to see those guys play.

BP : I didn’t realise you were working with Holy Roar how did that come about?

CB :  Yeah so the shipping costs for getting all the merch over here are insane and we do pretty much everything ourselves, mostly DIY, and those costs were too much so we wanted to find someone who could help us out with that, Holy Roar were fans of ours and we were fans of theirs so we’re really happy to be working with them on this new release which comes out on September 27th.

BP : What can fans expect from the new album?

CB: Well its weird cos the first two songs were kinda maybe some the heaviest stuff we’ve written to date, there’s other heavier stuff in there but there’s a lot of stuff that’s more on the space rock type of feel like My Bloody Valentine, that sort of 90’s type thing so there’s a lot of influence of that in there, the first song on the album we’ve been talking about how it’s not just in your face like From the dust… was, it kinda creeps in and the album builds from there so it’s a little different for our fans but hopefully they’ll like it.

The whole albums like 45 minutes long for 11 songs, all the tunes we’ve just tried to cut the fat cos there’s some of the older material where a riff will play for a minute or a minute and a half and its just like “Urggghhh alright”, like you see fans just go like it’s over their head too much and for us we really wanted to do what Gojira do really well which is engage the listener a little more, we’re not trying to commercialise but we’re really trying to hone in on the way the songs flow and keeping people interested and keeping the momentum up and changing things a little bit quicker.

BP: “Scattered Sprite” is the latest single from the album, what was the inspiration for the awesome new music video?

CB: I did it, it’s a program called quartz composer and its like an old unsupported mac program that literally just lets you write code and start making shapes so i just started dicking around with it and thought it would be pretty cool for a video and y’know sprites is a thing so it works.

BP: You just completed a tour with Animals as Leaders any craizy stories from the road?

CB: No just a lot of frat boy shenanigans and a lot of late night drinking on the bus. We did Germany, France and the UK. We’ve been in the UK before at The Roundhouse with Meshuggah and then we did some stuff with Gojira in 2016 and our own headline run last year or two years ago, one of the best shows on that frickin tour was at a place called The Hairy Dog in Derby actually, It was an off day on the Gojira run so we decided to set up a show and fill up a date, it was packed and the show was insane and everybody was just hanging out by the pool tables after the show and it was really cool.

BP: Whats coming up following the release of the album?

CB: Well we’re trying to set up another run round Europe for March 2020 and trying to get something set up for the end of the year in the states but we’re not having any luck at the minute so hopefully that’ll turn out pretty soon, then we’re gonna start work on a new record pretty soon too cos we’ve been working so much on the same material for two years and i’m really anxious, i wanted so much more to do some new shit, so as soon as i get home i’ll start writing new stuff.

BP :Yeah that’s one of the hardest parts getting time to write new stuff, how do you guys manage this? 

CB : Yeah its impossible, so we actually all work freelance or remote jobs, I was actually working this morning at the festival, we all remotely do whatever which is fine for us, we’ve all accepted it where you can’t really do this for money the way we do it, cos we make weird shit and it’s not like the Mcdonalds hamburger, it’s this weird thing.

BP: How do you find the scene different in the states?

CB: Well we haven’t really played much in the states, we’re all based in New York but we just enjoy touring Europe more, in the states you just jump on a bus and go from walmart to walmart to hotel to hotel. Ovver here we have the double decker buses so we can just sleep and wake up in the middle of Paris which is really cool and we just get treated so well in Europe in comparison. We’re really excited about this new record so you’ll be hearing a lot more from us over here hopefully. 

BP: What have you been listening to recently?

CB: I’m a big Aphex Twin Fan so I’ve been listening to a lot of that and Autechre and lots of Warp stuff. As for newer stuff i’m not too up to date as I’ve been busy writing new shit but i gotta get caught up with some stuff that’s been coming out. 

BP: Finally, Are there any bands from your area you’d recommend your fans check out? 

CB: The Netherlands from New York are really rad, also Bangladeafy are worth checking out, their drummers fuckin awesome.

Car Bomb release their new album Mordial this Friday 27th September – You can pre-order it here — https://carbomb.bandcamp.com/