Meet Carina Round

Carina Round plays Cardiff Globe on August 3. The UK-bred and currently LA-based Round has been putting out records and touring the world now for nearly a decade on her own.

Following a 3 night support slot in Ronnie Scott’s club in Birmingham, Carina went on to support the likes of David Gray, Miles Hunt, Tears for Fears and touring with Annie Lennox. Carina is also a touring member of Puscifer. She is releasing a brand new album which is a collection of some of her greatest hits as well as some new material. Andy Howells recently put questions to the singer/songwriter.

Deranged To Divine is your first collection of recordings spanning 15 years, was it easy to select material for it and know what to leave out?
Overall I made a conscious effort not to worry about being objective. I wanted the retrospective to be my own personal introduction to my work, for someone who has never heard me before. I didn’t want it to be balanced or have all the “favourites” (for want of a better word). More than anything I wanted it to encompass the most eclectic examples of moments in my career where I feel that I’ve had a breakthrough and achieved something with a song or recording that was unexpected to me. Message To Apollo, Back-seat, and Mother’s Pride for instance share nothing in common thematically or mood-wise but the feeling I had while writing and then when they were completed was almost exactly the same: that in spite of whatever ambition or focus I initially had going into the process something inspired happened out of my control, or I consciously made a choice to move into an uncomfortable state and the result was better than anything I could have consciously willed into existence.
Having said all of that there are also a couple of songs on the record simply because they have never been released before and I really wanted them to be. Both for me and so that long time fans that bought the record would be getting something that they don’t already have. This explains the inclusion of Gunshot, which I wrote for the 2004 remake of Alfie and which was not on the soundtrack, and the alternate version of Want More which I made in an attempt to replace the more linear, pop version that ultimately ended up on Slow Motion Addict.

Was there a temptation to go back and either revisit or remix a track or have you left everything as it was recorded at the time?
Not really. I wanted to honor whatever place i was in during the making of the record. I think when listening to this collection the journey is tangible and I didn’t want to alter that. When choosing the songs I listened through my entire catalogue and was reminded of the extreme places I have been during those times and processes I have had. I don’t see the point of remodelling a song for something like this. For a live show though, yes.

Sometimes having a collection of recordings dictates a career change or style change for the future – is that something we can expect from you?
If I’m honest, I think that subconsciously i have felt this collection as somewhat of a marker for me somehow. I’m not sure how yet. Or why. My life has changed in many ways over the last few years and I’m happy to have this era as a metaphysical bookmark. In terms of my art, though, I can’t fabricate a style change like that. It is what it is albeit in search of constant metamorphosis.

Evidently this is a collection of your material but if you wanted to direct somebody to your music which track would you use as your calling card and why?
If an alien came to earth and asked to hear Carina Round, which is highly likely, I would play them You Will Be Loved. If it didn’t enchant them it might at least make them go away and never come back.

Your track For Everything A Reason featured in American Horror Story : Murder House, how did it that come about?
I was in the middle of processing a heavy breakup, confused about a lot of things, in the process of moving back home. I was tricked by a close friend into meeting with a producer at his studio in LA and we wrote this song. Unbeknownst to me at the time he was to be my future husband, so the lyric “for every ending a new beginning” held a lot more truth than I understood at the time.

You are also a member of the band Puscifer how do you balance been a solo artist and a band member and is there any ongoing projects with the band?
My place in Puscifer stemmed from my solo career. Mat saw me play and asked me if I wanted to join, so with that in mind they are very supportive of my solo endeavours. I opened for Puscifer on the Conditions Of My Parole tour and outside of that scheduling has worked out just fine so far…
I see Mat every day at the moment. He is helping me with the set-up for my upcoming live solo shows. Its all ongoing. People making stuff all the time.

What can you remember from your first visit to Wales?
When I was a child in Wolverhampton vacations were scant, and when they did happen they were in Aberystwyth, so my first experience was probably as a toddler walking around confused armed with a bucket and spade freezing my ass off.
Later I would visit Wales a lot with a Welsh Boyfriend. Actually, once I rode on the back of a motorcycle from Wolverhampton to a remote B&B at night in the freezing pouring rain. Not ideal. It’s some of the most breathtaking landscape I have ever seen.

You’ll be visiting Cardiff shortly what can fans expect from your set if they’ve never seen you perform live before?
Well, I will be travelling on a plane with my entire live set-up so its been a battle and a quiz to work out a way to keep it compact yet interesting. Also, I’m not travelling with any crew so everything is run from one control centre, meaning me. On stage. I didn’t want to just show up with an acoustic guitar… I’ve been doing that since I was 17. Its very easy for me and I lose interest, so my friend Alisa Akay, a visual artist from Portland and I have worked out a way to provide visuals for the show. I will be playing solo so there will be the element of troubadour but I wanted to create more of an experience. So, the show will start with the 50 minute performance art piece ‘Watch Carina have a panic attack and be rushed to hospital’ followed by 20 minutes of drunk audience members playing snippets of songs they barely remember on an unplugged electric guitar. Sound good? Just don’t put your drinks anywhere near or even look at the projector, thanks.

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