Let’s be honest, it’s always an exciting time when Karnivool bounce back from a period of inactivity. After a short run of shows at the start of the year culminating in their performance at Unify Gathering, the band is back in full force with the Praxis tour, their first full Australian run in three years. With multiple shows selling out immediately and additional dates thrown in the mix, guitarist Mark Hosking admits that the support is very reaffirming for the band and shows just how passionate their fanbase is.
“It’s definitely nice. I guess when you've been sitting in a studio and not sort of paying much attention to the outside world for four or five or now almost six years, since the last release," Hosking says.
"It’s nice to sort of lift your head up from that and sort of pay attention to the rest of the world. And when the rest of the world is really eager, it's amazing to know. It kind of goes hand in hand with the style of music that we play, I think. We're very lucky, because our fans build up a longer memory in their brains than they do with some other types of music, and we tend to get away with long periods of time a bit more that other bands might”
2019 marks six years since the release of Asymmetry, Karnivool’s third full length album. The creative process for the band is not a quick one and usually involves multiple different iterations of the songs as they evolve. They’ve also been known to road-test new material before taking it back to the studio for reworking and refining, which they did after debuting a number of new cuts on the Reanimation tour in 2016. Hosking explains how important this part of the process is.
“Most of those songs are still in circulation. A few have been put on the back burner, but only so we can completely tear them apart and rebuild them to the ground up again. We love doing that; we did it with Sound Awake and Asymmetry. It's nice to get feedback, you know. We’re very introverted songwriters so we do appreciate what people say and feel about these songs. You can tell the second you play something live, no matter how much you thought it would sound or feel, it’s completely different when you do play it live and you feel the energy of the people listening to it. That impacts the song for us because live is a big important element of what we do. I think all of the songs that we had still exist in some form, but I think people will be quite surprised about the changes that had been made.”
A lot of bands have come and gone since Karnivool began back in 1997. Where so many acts have burnt out from the pressure of constant touring and recording, Karnivool’s longevity can be attested to their ability to lean in and out of band life when necessary as well as taking time to ensure things are done right. Whilst the process for album four has been longer than previous releases, Hosking explains that the band won’t risk releasing something that they don’t believe is ready or the best it could be.
“As much as music is music and we try to keep the business side separate, it is a business decision when you say 'hey look I know we need to release an album now to survive', Hosking elaborates.
"We're not going to if we don't think it's ready and that's a big life choice for all the members of this band so we don't make these decisions lightly and we know people are very impatient for new music but we do have to do it right and it does have to be something that we are proud of at the end of the day. We think we're getting closer, I definitely feel that we’re getting closer anyway.”
Catch Karnivool on tour around Australia over the next few weeks. Head over to karnivool.com.au for all the tour dates and ticketing details.