DEATH BY CARROT Answer the call and raise the riffs

Brisbane psych stoners Death by Carrot have been road tripping around Australia for the past few years. Now along with one of the strangest X-Press interviews we can remember, their pilgrimage has brought them to the West Coast for the first time. After already playing regional shows in Denmark and Albany, they have landed in Perth with a show lined up at Indi Bar this Friday, November 22 alongside an equally impressively named bunch: Fuzz Toads, Giant Dwarf and Magic Chicken Fudgetoe. BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with King Carrot to hear tales of breakdowns, crocodile encounters, vikings raised by hobbits, what it takes to be part of the “Carrot Patch” and what we can look forward to on the night.

So you’re in the process of taking the long journey across to Perth, where the bloody hell are you now and what’s been going on today?

We have been rolling around Australia in our Ford Transit “Gina” for the past couple of years, seeking kindred spirits and saying “Hey” to folks. Thanks to the unwavering support of passionate humans we have made it across the Nullarbor and are now sitting in the Denmark Tavern. Black Marsha is up and we are waiting to meet our compadres in local act Evergone. 

And how has the pilgrimage been so far? Any highlights or dramas to speak of?

(Laughs) Not so much drama per se, but we’re certainly no strangers to breaking down. From the clutch shitting itself in Rockhampton, resulting in us playing at a wake, to our storyteller KC getting dressed in Gina’s fluids en route to Mildura, to countless scares and near crocodile experiences…

Most recently we snapped some high tensile bolts, endangering a loving handshake between steed (Gina) and cart (Antonic), Black Marsha’s bearer. On that fateful day the crows of Renmark (in SA) gathered to watch us flail in the Coles parking lot, bound to the bitumen with blackened hands and burning desires of human connection, time fleeting as we toiled. But alas a few grunts, bolts, zip ties, grease and gaffers later, with the Murray River at our backs, we found our way onto the Eyre Highway and across the Nullarbor. 

It’s will be WA’s first taste of the Carrot so there’s plenty you need to fill us in on. Firstly, how did Death by Carrot come to be?

Ah yes, we reflect on this often, the proverbial butterfly flaps its wings, a moment after a very deep slow meditative breath, informed by a fresh lashing for having ignored the great refusal too long, vibrations ripple across the crust. But to truly unpack our origin, join us at the shows! We’ll cast stories in chapters of stardust and emergence, never fully realised yet faithfully persisting to be. 

You’ve described DBC as more of a project than a band, if that’s the case, what’s the objective? Projects are meant to have one of those but plenty of bands don’t!

This is indeed a project with many deeply loved objectives, however with little means to achieve them, we’re taking this journey one baby step at a time. Our first objective is about participation; equal opportunity riffs far and wide throughout Australia. We celebrate the pendulum swing between alternative and mainstream, exercising the places we gather and aiming for alternative culture to thrive in community, collaboration and communication.

And what kind of criteria would a person have to meet to be part of the carrot clan?

The Carrot Patch itself is in a very diverse dimension. We believe every human can contribute. But the Patch is regularly tended to by the ethos of our special ops team which has much more specific prerequisites. We actually put out an ad for that, looking to fill the ranks of the Road Dog Division.

Successful applicants must value poverty, community, collaboration, living well while sustained in Flight Mode and synergy as we operate in stride. They must also be time efficient in putting the Oxygen Mask on, have an all hands on deck attitude, keep all cylinders firing while the “Game is Afoot“, and have a “Minds Eye” towards keeping “The Petri Dish” thriving.

Recommended support material would be reading The Dalai Lama’s Cat and listening to the Philosophize This! Spotify podcast episodes on Nietzsche, particularly Part Two called The Will to Power and The Frankfurt School Part Seven, The Great Refusal.

The mission objective if you choose to accept it is show up, be dope and never forget our motto: “Death By Carrot Loves You”. Any takers? We’re currently looking for a number six.

You’ve got a lot of awesome illustrations making up your posters and merch, what can you tell us about that?

The Carrot Hive mind has many nodes, good luck finding them all! We were very lucky to have found JB from Black Square arts up in Cairns who showed us how to screen print on the road. It really kept us going around the country. Our Wah Master Luna would find herself with Satin in some truly amazing and sometimes dank places knocking up shirts, like out back of the North Gregory Hotel where Waltzing Matilda was born, out back of Blockas avocado farm in the Atherton tablelands, and amongst the dumpsters of a grungy Melbourne bar.

You’ve got a big show at Indi Bar this Friday night with some of our favourite local acts. How is a Death by Carrot show different from other gigs we might be used to?

This is our first collab in Perth. So we’re here to say hello and participate in abounding vibrations. But in essence, building a DBC show starts with the line up, a handpicked collaboration between dope acts that riff from the heart. 

We curate through our Spotify playlist, Death By Carrot Loves You. We spin acts on our journey throughout this majestic island home. We pollinate dope factor and measure against the Sticky Icky Riff index, then rinse and repeat. You will all hear it in the venue if you enter at doors and between acts. 100% genuine Australian riffs.

If you come early, you may even see our resident Viking raised amongst Hobbits, Cosmik, fussing over Black Marsha, our beloved wall of sound. She’s the centrepiece of our tabernacle, guiding us across the Riff-scape. When other bands throw their amps in, she morphs into the Devastator, an appropriate representation of our communal potential to move sound through space and time. Any dope rappers around? Bring them with… Black Marsha loves a good rhyme-smith.

And what’s next after Perth? Are there more shows and adventures planned on the trip home?

Equal opportunity riffs don’t play favourites. We hear whispers of folks who fancy slow low and heavy in Coolgardie, so we’ll show up of course. We feel rumbles from the underground people of Andamooka, so we’ll answer the call, say hello and raise the riffs! 

After that the show goes on! We’re heading onwards to Victoria to participate in Stoner Liberation Vol. IV at Bombay Rock with A Gazillion Angry Mexicans, Stone Djoser, Smoke Witch and Jack Harlon and the Dead Crows. Then we head round the boot to Frankie’s Pizza for a Wednesday Riff session in the Sydney Harbour.

We’re aiming to be laced up and rolling out hot and heavy from February 2020 for the first round of the Infinity Loop. Stay tuned  on our Facebook page  for the play by plays. And if you want to dance with us on the regular… join our fan community, The Riff Mavens.