The name of Ms. Round’s first career retrospective is Deranged to Divine. It includes songs from the thirty-something L.A. resident’s first four albums: The First Blood Mystery (2001), The Disconnection (2003), Slow Motion Addict (2007) and Tigermending (2012), as well as her 2009 EP, Things You Should Know.
Also included are two hitherto unreleased recordings, the enchanting “Gunshot” and an alternative version of “Want More.” As one of the UK’s most enigmatic artists, Round has over the years collaborated with the likes of Lou Reed, Ryan Adams, Billy Corgan, Dave Stewart and Brian Eno. She also moonlights as a member of Puscifer, the alternative rock act founded by Tool’s Maynard Keenan.
How are you, Carina? What have you been doing recently?
“I’m great. I’m just off the back of a US and a European tour with Puscifer for our latest album, which went really well, and I’m currently preparing to for some shows with Tears for Fears and my UK solo tour in August.”
“It is not only for my existing fan base, but also serves as an introduction to my work as a solo artist to fans of Puscifer. I released the album partly because I knew I was going to be traveling through Europe with Puscifer this summer. The tour had sold out and the response to the album has been very positive.
“It’s garnered a much bigger fanbase and I wanted to release something that would be a cohesive yet eclectic, experimental and very personal introduction to my solo work for people who have never heard it before.”
Where did the title of the album come from? Did you find it easy to whittle it down to 18 songs?
“When choosing the songs I started by simply listening through my entire catalogue and taking note of the songs that to me felt most ‘necessary.’ The songs that had a ‘definitiveness’ that was expressed by a congruence between the melody and the lyric generally were the songs I ended up including.
“There are two songs that, following that logic, should be on the album but in the end refused to flow in the sequence. Those were ‘Pick Up the Phone‘ and ‘Do You,’ which contains the lyric that the title ‘Deranged to Divine’ is taken from.
“These songs to me stand alone as their own complete little narrative universes, so that once they were taken out of the context of their respective albums, it was hard for me to find a place for them amid the other songs. They derailed the already somewhat schizophrenic journey.”
Please could you tell me about the two new tracks, “Gunshot” and the new version of “Want More.”
“There are a couple of songs that are on the record simply because they have never been released before and I really wanted them to be, and so that long-time fans that bought the record would be getting something 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.”
When you look back over the period 2001 to 2015, what are your standout memories of life as a musician and performer?
“My time spent with Lou Reed and a subsequent dinner with him and Wim Wenders in Berlin in 2005. Having the opportunity to cite Brian Eno as a co-writer, working with Shekhar Kapur on the video to ‘Into My Blood’ was beautiful – not necessarily because of the video but he is a unique and richly educated human and was great council.
“Opening for James Brown in Hackney in 2001, working with Maynard Keenan and Mat Mitchell in Puscifer. Collaborating with Billy Corgan on one of my songs and getting to work and become friends with Tears for Fears who made some of the greatest songs ever…
“Really, there are many great moments that I will cherish. I have met some very dear friends and great artists, known and unknown, and I’ve also lost some friends and made some gargantuan mistakes. I’m grateful for it all.”
What are your plans for the rest of 2016 and beyond? What ambitions do you hope to fulfill?
“Luckily, my calendar is quite full for the rest of the year. Deranged to Divine is released on July 29 and I have a solo tour in the UK in August in support of it.
“Then I have various tours with Puscifer and Tears for Fears until the end of the year. Also, I’m planning some strange and unique one-off shows on the West Coast.
Deranged to Divine will be available from July 29.
For more information on Carina Round, visit her official Facebook page.
For more on Puscifer, go here.