Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: June 2010
VOTE FOR CARNIVAL OF SOULS TO OPEN FOR KISS IN HOLMDEL, NEW JERESY
Brian Rademacher: Hey Gene howís everything going?
Gene Hunter: Good.
Brian Rademacher: The band started in 2006 right?
Gene Hunter: Yeah this line-up yes
Brian Rademacher: The CD "Ashes to Ashes" was done in 2006 and I was one of the lucky ones that had a chance to hear the CD and review it. A lot of people are busting my balls asking where they can find it or how they can get it.
Gene Hunter: Basically we got caught into a limb situation with our manger but we will be getting something out there for the fans very soon. We do keep some of the stuff on YouTube and on-line so they can listen to it. But we will put something out after this contest to open for KISS.
Brian Rademacher: Has the line-up changed at all
Gene Hunter: No still the same line-up same guys only my brother Ron Hunter will be playing drums with us for some of the East Coast shows. We had our little hiatus now we want to get back out there and do what we do best. We are pretty excited about doing some shows starting on the East Coast in the summer time into the early fall. We want to do some theater shows so the people can see our full show. The lights our stage show is three dimensional. Itís something to see.
Brian Rademacher: Our site RockEyez supported the bands from the very early stages. Then you had a big lull and some members did side projects. That was a pretty long silence from the band. Were you partially doing anything fans should know about?
Gene Hunter: I was working with a few different bands and writing some songs as well as the other members working on different projects. But CARNIVAL OF SOULS was always my main project and the band was getting antsy to play out which we really enjoy doing. Lee, Rob and Dee were being asked all the time when are we going to see COS live. So we said letís get the CARNIVAL going and get us back out there so here we are. We have played the East to West coast in the past. There is a demand again for COS to play live and people miss the band. A lot of people are behind us with this contest. They want to see us up there with KISS because we are not just a band we are KISS fans too.
Brian Rademacher: Tell me about the contest just in case some people donít know about it.
Gene Hunter: Well KISS is going across the country giving a band in 22 different cities the opportunity to open up for them on the main stage. Friends, family and fans can vote for their favorite band in which ever city the band chooses to try and win the slot. You have to finish in the top 5 and then only one band will be chosen out of the winning top 5 by KISS themselves. I know our votes are to play the PNC bank in Holmdel, New Jersey if we win. We are getting tons of votes right now. Hopefully we get a chance to win this and get out there and show them what COS is all about. Itís where we are at our best. We come alive on stage performing for our fans.
Brian Rademacher: Have you written any new songs?
Gene Hunter: We have a lot of new songs. We have more than three CDís worth of material. We will include some of the new material to the set and we are going to try some of them out with the fans soon. I mean each band member has a favorite song but we rather hear what the fans like the best. Usually the fans know more than we do they all like "We All Fall Down", "Darkest Hour" and "Grey". We like to hear different opinions from different people.
Brian Rademacher: Can you give me some of the working titles for the new material?
Gene Hunter: There was an older song which we didnít finish called "Dirty". Itís a really cool that starts off like a slow ballad and then really kicks in. Thereís a big epic song Iím working on now itís a cross between a modern day METALLICA, MEGADETH, DISTURBED type thing. A lot of instrumental type stuff going on in it. I donít have a title for it yet but itís pretty epic. Probably the most diverse song Iíve ever written, Iím going to try and get that into the set as well. We want to also showcase a little bit more of The Machine. When we recorded the first set of songs, we showed the guitar a lot but not as much as we could have. Several songs were a bit more drums and bass oriented. Itís what the COSstyle is all about but we are going to add much more guitar so The Machine can really show what heís got. He is an awesome guitar player. People are going to be pretty impressed with him. He has some secret weapons in his arsenal that heís going to breakout.
Brian Rademacher: During your hiatus I heard you were out in California working with Vinnie Vincent is that true?
Gene Hunter: I heard that rumor myself but No I wasnít working with Vinnie. I know Vinnie from a long time ago but never got a chance to work together. I would love to jam with that guy because heís an incredible guitarist. It would be a dream to play with him or Ace Frehley.
Brian Rademacher: So there is no major change in the band at all?
Gene Hunter: No major changes,. There will be some new material and I think we are a bit hungry to get out there. We are bored with what we are seeing and nothing really excites us, so we want to get out there and rev it up a little bit.
Brian Rademacher: If you do win this contest and have the chance to open up for KISS in Holmdel, New Jersey do you think they will let you use any of your stage show?
Gene Hunter: It would be great if we could but that would never be allowed. You would only be able to use your basic minimal set up when opening up for a band like KISS. Thatís the way it is no matter what major band you go out on tour with. Unless you are the headlining act you donít get to use anything but your minimal gear and you donít even get a full PA sound. The stage show is a theatrical part of us as a band and something we like to add into the performance. But when it comes down to it we are fine playing with just a wall of amps behind us. We played with TWISTED SISTER, MOTORHEAD, QUEENSRYCHE and others and had no stage show and we went out there and tore it up. We donít need the stage show but like to give a cool performance with it for our fans.
Brian Rademacher: Do you think by opening for KISS it will open doors for COS?
Gene Hunter: Something like this could always change things or make things better and if it doesnít itís still a great opportunity to play with these guys. Itís an honor to be on the same stage as KISS. Plus we are all fans of the band and they have been doing it for such a long time, there arenít many bands out there like them. Bands come and go, I donít think thereís a band that has toured as much as KISS does. Theyíve been nonstop since '73. I feel we are an arena band and belong in big venues with bands like KISS and that is what we strive for. No matter where we play if itís a club or a theater, we perform like we are in an arena. The songs and our energy are always full throttle. A lot of fans across the U.S are voting for COS and would love to see this match up.
Brian Rademacher: Was there any kind of restrictions for the contest?
Gene Hunter: Not that I know of. Any type of band could enter, cover bands and original bands.
Brian Rademacher: Yeah I saw that and I just donít understand that part of the contest. I can go see a cover band any day of the week. I want to hear originals to see if that band has any potential.
Gene Hunter: Yeah I would agree that it would be best to have a band with original material get the opening slot for KISS. I donít think people want to go to the PNC Bank Center to see a cover band thatís playing in a local bar which they can see anytime unless they did originals too. Letís be honest this is KISS you have to be ready to bring it with original material, thatís my personal opinion and a lot of others are saying the same thing. They rather hear originals.
Brian Rademacher: That proves a point, Lee is in a cover band and I think The Machine is in a cover band but they are not in the contest.
Gene Hunter: Everyone has side projects and thereís nothing wrong with it but we are entered in this contest as our original band CARNIVAL OF SOULS. I enjoy seeing a band playing originals. Itís stimulating to hear something new.
Brian Rademacher: Would you guys expect having a new disc out by the end of the year?
Gene Hunter: We are trying to get something out for the fans. Hopefully we can get a deal in the next few months.
Brian Rademacher: I heard you might be doing a benefit concert coming up in Staten Island at The Williamson Theatre, is that true?
Gene Hunter: Yes we were asked to do a benefit show on October 9th. I will have more details soon. We will be playing with a few other bands as well at that show.
Brian Rademacher: Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
Gene Hunter: Basically I would like to thank all the people at RockEyez and the whole staff. You are some great people. You believe in supporting music with all different bands not focusing on one type of style which helps many out. You guys help everybody and I think itís great that you do that. Bands needs as much help as possible to get exposure. I thank you and the band thanks you and just keep up the great work.
Brian Rademacher: Good Luck!
Gene Hunter: Thanks Brian.