Interviews: Carbon Black

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Thrash Metal/Groove Metal band, Carbon Black from Australia. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

Rob: I've kept a notebook since my days in high school where I write cool words or phrases that interest me. Nowadays I just use my phone, but I've used the notebook and referred to it many times over the years. It's like stepping back in time. I remember Carbon Black came from art class - actually from a packet of drawing charcoals. The darkest shade of all the charcoals was called Carbon Black, and I loved it. It was my favorite, so it went into the book.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Steve: Because I'm a metal fan mostly. I enjoy playing the music I love. If I wasn't playing metal it'd be hard rock or disco.

Jon: I've always loved heavy music, the power, and performance are second to none. As a young man, it connected with me and what I was going through. Having the opportunity to perform with Carbon Black and do all the things we've accomplished is a dream come true.

Rob: Playing heavy music in a band is satisfying, like a team sport to me. Everyone has a role and something unique to contribute. We're all working together and looking forward to the next big win!

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Rob: Well, being brothers, obviously Steve and I have a lifelong connection. I've played with many drummers, but there's an unspoken sync with Steve that just works. It makes being in the rhythm section easier. Steve and Damon were in a band together in the nineties, and Damon and I had worked together too, so we all knew each other well. Jon came into the picture when we needed a frontman at short notice, to avoid cancelling a show. He was amazingly professional, and he just fit right in.

Steve: I've known Rob my whole life! Damon, I met you years ago when we were in a band called Demigod together. Jono I didn't know before I joined Carbon Black but I love being in a band with him. He's a great, versatile singer and a fantastic lyricist.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Steve: Anthrax. Charlie Benante is the best metal drummer ever.

Damon: Pantera, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society, Metallica.

Jon: For me, it changes constantly, and very much depends on the mood I'm in. From Iron Maiden to Gojira, from Slipknot to Alter Bridge, from Creeper to the Struts... I'm a sucker for a great song.

Rob: I listen to a lot of different music. When it comes to heavy bands, I love everything from the classics like Megadeth or COC to more diverse music like Dillinger Escape Plan or Fantomas. Actually, the recent album from Mr. Bungle is absolutely gold.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Damon: Mainly a riff idea gets me inspired to write a song, or just playing gets ideas flowing! The more you play the more ideas start to form.

Steve: Life. Songwriting is converting Energy and emotions into an audible experience.

Rob: One of us starts with an idea, and we all build on it. Sometimes in a demo being emailed back and forth, but most often in the rehearsal room.

Jon: The music that we write tends to give me inspiration for the lyric. Of course, what is happening in the world or in my personal life impacts what I write about, but when I'm working on a demo for one of our songs the way the pattern comes out with certain words tells me what direction to take the lyric for the track.

6. Where was your last gig?

Steve: I can't remember, I'm just focused on the next one!

Jon: The Basement in Canberra - a fantastic metal venue that has supported the local and international scene for years. It (the show) was for MUDU (Metal United Down Under) in which a gig happens in basically every major city and town in Australia on the same night. Developed by Michael Leuders from Black Roos Entertainment, it has turned into an international event. It also happens to be the venue where I first performed with Rob and Damon in the same band!

7. Where would you like to play?

Steve: Anywhere and everywhere! Haven't played Perth, Darwin, or Tasmania yet. Also, an overseas tour would be fantastic. Fingers crossed!

Rob: Japan is high on my list.

Jon: It would be amazing to get on some of the major festival bills in Europe; Hellfest, Wacken, Download, Bloodstock... anything like that would be insane.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Jon: There are so many acts that it would be an honor to play with, I couldn't choose just one. Whenever we get the opportunity to support an international act it's a surreal experience. In saying that, supporting Metallica or Slipknot, someone on that type of level would be a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

Steve: We've played with so many great bands. I've enjoyed watching them all. 

9. Whom not?

Jon: We would play with anyone!

Rob: I think anyone who is working hard to grow their fanbase would be actively looking for opportunities to perform and share the stage with other bands no matter whom, and play their music to new ears.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

Steve: Every time! I find I rush songs a lot with the nervous energy so a metronome to start the songs at a good tempo is one of the best investments I've made.

Damon: Not really stage fright, more adrenaline to get out there and rip it up! My only advice to anyone is don't go out half-arsed - practice makes perfect in every way.

Rob: I only worry or have negative feelings about playing when I feel underprepared, whether it's my own practice, lack of rehearsals, or gear issues, it has a big effect on your headspace going in. Confidence in your bandmates can affect that too - but in Carbon Black, we have no issues like that anymore.

Jon: I've been terrified before shows! One of our very first massive shows we supported Hellyeah at the Metro in Sydney. Looking out from that stage and seeing so many adrenalin was pumping and I was freaking out! Especially since I had just returned from Europe with a horrible cold and we had barely rehearsed due to my being away. Everything worked out great in the end, had a phenomenal time and got to meet Vinnie Paul! I'm not sure how other people would handle that type of excitement blended with fear and adrenalin, unfortunately, I used to medicate with alcohol to boost my confidence, but I wouldn't recommend it! I was very shy and introverted so being a heavy metal frontman was way out of my comfort zone. I would say let the music take you over, believe in what you're doing, and there is no wrong answer on's all a part of the show!

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Steve: All music is an inspiration. As David Lee Roth said, steal from one band and you're just ripping them off, steal from lots of bands and you're 'inspired ' haha.

Jon: Many bands have impacted the way I sing and use my voice. Slipknot, Alter Bridge, Killswitch Engage, Iron Maiden, and anyone with a phenomenal voice or a raging death growl gets my attention.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Steve: To sign their boobs haha. Flattering yet awkward.

Jon: My signature! I never expected people to really care, but it's always a pleasure and lovely to know that people like our music that much.

Damon: Size 18 Carbon Black undies... signed!

13. What do you think of your fans?

Steve: Fans of Carbon Black are the best fans of any band in the whole wide world. Without them, there would be no us. We love them. 

Jon: Anyone who enjoys our music or comes to our shows is such a massive compliment, and I want to thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart.

14. What do you think of our site?

Steve: Breathing the Core is a cool site for metal fans!

Rob: A great place to discover new music!

Jon: It's fantastic! The heavy scene needs as much exposure as it can get, you are essential in keeping this scene alive!

15. Something to add?

Jon: I think I've said too much already...I do like to waffle on...haha

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