Interview responses by:
Randy Wilson (Lead Vocals/Guitar)
Chris Lawler (Drums)
Darren Callaghan (Bass/Backup Vocals)
1. How did you get your band name? Randy: I came up with the name when I was switching musical styles. I wanted to create a band with more showmanship, more fan interaction, and I thought of a carnival. And the rest just flowed and became The Carnival of Shadows. And over time the meaning has changed a bit. Chris: Randy made us use it. Hehe. Darren: It was something Randy thought up before I was in the band. He explained it as being a metaphor for life and explained how the music was meant to almost sound like what a "Carnival of Shadows" would sound like. I was instantly intrigued and excited to start playing in the band.
2. How did this band get started? Randy: I started playing my acoustic guitar a lot in 2010, and when my dad passed away tragically in August of that year, it put me in a new place mentally, and I started writing very different music than I had prior to that. I started searching around for people to play with. Chris came into the band first and Darren like a month or 2 after. Chris: I answered an ad on craigslist for a drummer wanted, we got together, and the rest is history. Darren: I was working with Randy on a completely different project (a web news/sketch show) and I overheard him talking about music he needed musicians for. I believe the words that turned my head were "acoustic punk." That's how I hopped on board.
3. What bands are you influenced by? Randy: Streetlight Manifesto, Voltaire, some others I can't remember at the moment. Chris: To name a few....Coheed and Cambria, Fishbone, Protest the Hero. This list could go on for a while so I'll leave it at that. Darren: My inspirations change from week to week. I'll hear a new song and want to write scale walking bass lines that could be heard in a Rancid album, and then there are songs that make me want to write as if my bass belonged in an Andrew Jackson Jihad song and inspired line dancing.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why? Randy: Probably Streetlight Manifesto, they have a lot of energy. I recently got into Old Man Markley also, wouldn't mind touring with them either. Chris: Again, alot of bands I would want to tour with. Darren: Touring with Old Man Markley would be a pretty sick ride. The people in that band are all really down to Earth and amazing musicians. I feel like I could learn a lot and have a great time doing it.
5. Best food to eat on tour? Randy: Depends if it's on a show date or not. I love Mexican food, but not on show days. Minimal gassy foods =D Chris: Cheeseburgers. Darren: Candy. That's really all I need to say to that one.
6. Why should people listen to your band? Randy: Because I'll kil.... err I mean, because we have an original sound and intelligent lyrics that'll make you think. Chris: Our songs are catchy and fun. Darren: You'll be listening to it, vibing, and when it comes to compare it to another band you can't really think of one. That's what our band does - it's a familiar sound and lyrical content but it's also something new and brings it's own merit to the table.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with? Randy: An athlete? Hmm, I wouldn't mind the fame and success Shaun White has been having. Wouldn't want the red mop though! Chris: None. Darren: None.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank? Randy: The usual: God, my parents, family, and everyone who supported us when we were nobodys playing in dive bars. Chris: Satan (am I joking? You might never know mwhahaha). Darren: All our friends and family who came out to our early shows to show support.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be? Randy: Royalties and Intellectual Property rights. So many musicians have been victims of predatory record deals. Chris: We would be a part of it. Darren: The fact that musical talent is rarely rewarded. Nowadays it seems that the only way to move ahead is by knowing someone with an in.
10. Memorable tour experience? Randy: We haven't gone on an extensive tour yet, but memorable show event - it was Chris' birthday and his family and friends came out to the show unannounced, wearing shirts with Chris' picture on it, complete with rainbows. It was pretty hilarious.
11. What does AP.net mean to you? Randy: From what I've experienced, it seems to be a good music community for people who enjoy the punk scene. Calling it AP throws us off though, as we're from the Asbury Park, NJ area, or AP area. Darren: It's where I always went to get information on lesser known bands I happened to hear. I think it's great that they support bands at ALL walks of their careers.
12. What is your favorite song to play? Randy: This changes show to show with my mood that night. "Karma" is always fun, but lately I've been really liking "No More, No More." "Revolution Americana" is always a good time too. We get to shout "F**k this government!" a lot in it. Chris: "Karma" Darren: Definitely "Karma." It gets the crowd pumped and my bass lines lend to some on stage dancing and I get to end by jumping, and that's always fun.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice? Randy: The Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas. No doubt about it. Ireland is pretty cool, too. Chris: My mind.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood? Randy: Anything by Run DMC, some of the old 80s pop stuff, like the A-Ha's "Take On Me," Faith No More.. Chris: Metal and hair bands. Darren: MxPx always sends me down memory lane. The first punk show I went to was MxPx. It was also the first time I ever went to New York and I spent the whole day outside the venue.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why? Randy: Making people crumble to their knees in absolute angst and sorrow. Why? Ever try to get anything accomplished when you were balling your eyes out? No one could stop me. Mwhahaha...and stuff. Chris: To be smooth with women. So I could get women. Darren: I'd like to have an adamantium skeleton, a regenerative healing factor, and six razor sharp claws I could pop out of my knuckles at a moment's notice. I've always thought Wolverine was the coolest superhero - he seemed completely indestructible but not in an overpowered, unfair kind of Clark Kent way.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals? Randy: I generally won't eat or drink anything for at least 4 hours before the show - afraid of burping or hiccups while singing. Chris: Warm up.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you? Randy: That I'm also an actor. Mostly indie horror films. Chris: That I play in a band. Darren: I picked up the bass exclusively for this band. In all my other bands I played guitar, but I was so into this band I started playing bass. Also the bass I play at shows is my girlfriend's. She's probably regretting letting me "borrow" it.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish? Randy: I think that people still fall back on radio time to time, but avoid the trendy stations, because they're full of commercials and BS. I think our band reaches a broad audience and can flourish if people hear us. Most people enjoy our tunes. We have a big demographic. Chris: I don't listen to the radio. Darren: I don't really listen to the radio. Sometimes I hear some cool stuff in other people's cars. I heard Bad Religion on the radio the other week, and I think THAT would be a good station to be on.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time? Randy: In the winter, snowboarding. In the summer, archery and some surfing. Chris: Stuff. Darren: I don't get to much spare time between work and the band, but when I do I like to hit up the local comic shops or the movie theater (I'm a pretty big movie buff) if they don't suck.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have? Randy: I'm a pretty awesome cook. Chris: I dont know, they are hidden.