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Krokodil Guitarist Laurent ‘Lags’ Barnard Talks New Album 'Nachash', Plans for 2015 and More

by Photo of Elizabeth Ramanand

Because beards and riffs are of vital importance.

Krokodil Guitarist Laurent ‘Lags’ Barnard Talks New Album 'Nachash', Plans for 2015 and More

UK metal band Krokodil are made up of current and previous members of Cry for Silence, Hexes, Gallows and SikTh. The band’s Facebook says it best, “We are a band from the UK made up of people who played in other bands.” CHARGED.fm got to speak with guitarist Laurent “Lags” Barnard who spoke all about the band’s latest obliterating effort Nachash. Lags also expressed his thoughts on some bands he would love to tour with as well as his future aspirations for the band moving forward. Check out our interview with Laurent Barnard of Krokodil below:

The album cover is pretty awesome, talk about the idea for this.

Dan Carter painted four images that made up the artwork for the album and we picked the cover out of the four paintings. Dan has a unique style and with all album art I think it serves the record best when it offers no suggestion as to what the musical genre might be. Dan’s work is very dark and often quite surreal which suits Krokodil’s sound. We’re not a conventional metal band and the record cover reflects that.

Nachash, what does this title mean to you personally?

Nachash is a biblical word for serpent. In this context it refers to the snake within man that causes the individual to make itself the centre of the universe. For me it’s important as it also ties in with the reptile theme within our band name. There are lot of mythological themes within the lyrics and the title Nachash suits that.

The entire album is killer but some of my favorite songs of the record include, “Skin of the Earth,” “A Life Lived in Copper, but Painted in Gold,” “Porcelain Bones” and “Sleep Well, Medusa.” What are a couple of your favorite tracks to perform live off of this album and why?

They’re some of my favorite songs to play live too. We normally open with "Sleep Well, Medusa" and it’s so heavy. It means we make a big impact the moment we hit the stage. I love "Shatter" as there is some great guitar and bass interplay, lots of harmonies and interesting musical movements. "Sun Riders" is also fun to play as it gets the whole crowd nodding their heads in unison.

How was the overall recording and creative process for this debut album?

The overall process was much longer than we expected. The first problem we ran into was everyone being so busy with other musical commitments. We started recording the album in early Autumn 2013 and didn’t finish until Summer 2014.

The creative process took place over email with demos being sent around frantically. You’d go into the studio, lay some riffs on a track and hope everyone else would like it. It was difficult at times but we learned a lot from the experience.

Something that was important to us was making sure the instruments sound real. So many metal records today sound so fake. Krokodil isn’t one of those pro tools, cut and paste, processed bands. We wanted to keep the rawness and live feel so everything was amped up and none of the drums were triggered. What you hear is 100% Krokodil!

Check Out Krokodil's Song "Shatter":

What are a couple of bands out there that you would love to tour with and Why?

We’re already toured with two of our favorite bands, Mastodon and Big Business. Other bands I’d like to hit the road with are Kvelertak and Dillinger Escape Plan. We know those guys and tours are much more fun when you’re friends with the band. Kvelertak have three guitar players too so sharing backline would be so easy. I’d definitely tour with Doom Riders as I can’t get enough of Nate’s riffs!

What are your future aspirations and goals for Krokodil?

I think we’re going to play more shows and then work on album number two. I definitely feel we haven’t reached our potential when it comes to studio recordings. If we can focus a lot more on writing then the next record will be twice as good compared to the last. That said, I think our goal is to make the best record we can.

As for the near future, what can we expect from Krokodil for 2015?

This Summer we will be hitting festivals all over Europe. I think this is where you tend to make new fans as the crowds are always so huge and you never know what you might discover at a festival. We’ve been confirmed for Metal Days in Slovenia which we’ve heard amazing things about so we can’t wait to play there.

Just curious, is there any particular meaning behind the band name Krokodil? How did you guys come up with the band name?

Dan Carter picked the name. When people hear Krokodil the first thing everyone thinks of is the drug Desomorphine. We also think of the term Krokodil in relation to reptiles and how our origins are reptilian. I like the idea of the name having different connotations. Whatever you do don’t Google image it!

[Writer's Note: Holy crap we stupidly Google imaged it, we regret it. Definitely listen to Lags. Google image Krokodil at your own risk.]

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