Carpenter Brut: 10 albums that changed my life

Long before Franck Hueso became synthwave pioneer Carpenter Brut, he was a metal-loving kid from Poitiers in France. His musical journey saw him take a detour into other more electronic realms, but bands like Metallica and Meshuggah brought him home. Today he brings the two worlds together, creating electro with the attitude and aesthetic of metal and the ability to suck in the listener.

“That was always my goal with Carpenter Brut,” he says, as he prepares to browse the 10 albums that changed his life. “All of my choices reflect what I want to do with my own project – sometimes I want the violence of a band like Slayer, other times the dreamlike qualities of Tiamat or Paradise Lost.

Take it away, Monsieur Brut…

Metal hammer line cut

Pink Floyd – The Wall (1979)

“I don’t really know how I discovered Pink Floyd, maybe through my dad because he listened to a lot of very 70s rock when I was a kid – Santana, Supertramp and Pink Floyd. I think The wall came first for me, because the first song I really remember was Another brick in the wall (Part 2), which I guess was the hit from the album. When I grew up I watched The wall the movie with friends, which made me want to go back to the album because when you’re young, you’re not really interested in albums – you’re just interested in the songs you like and make mixtapes of them .

“Going back there, I discovered the cover for the first time, this white wall with graffiti on which I thought was really cool. Watching that movie made me go deeper into the album and the stories, because it’s all connected and there’s all these different vibes. For me, it was the first time I released an album and really immersed myself in it, took it upstairs and listened to it on the bed reading the lyrics, looking at the cover , etc It’s a journey that transports you… somewhere! I put this album on whenever I wanted to disappear from the real world – it was a ticket to somewhere else.


Iron Maiden – Killers (1981)

“I’m a huge Iron Maiden fan. When I was young, I tried to redesign Maiden covers and Killers was one of my favorites, with the lighting and Eddie standing over the guy with a bloody ax – it’s one of the most violent covers in Maiden’s entire discography, caught in the act.

Killers wasn’t the first Iron Maiden album I heard – it was actually The seventh son of a seventh son and it was the first heavy metal band that I liked. I loved the albums like seventh son and Somewhere in time, living after death and somehow even Fear of the darka lot of Iron Maiden albums are really cool and really, really great, but for some reason I’ve always found Killers the most interesting. I don’t know if it’s because Iron Maiden is more punk Killers, but they still have that progressive vibe. It’s interesting because it’s wild, but you also have these melodic parts, which makes for a really interesting mix and makes it my favorite Iron Maiden album.


Megadeth – Rust in Peace (1991)

rust in peace has the best Megadeth guitar solos, the best Megadeth drums, the best Megadeth…everything! Everything is perfect on this album. It’s not too long, it’s not too short with nine songs, maybe some of my favorites from them – like Tornado of Souls. I really loved the cover as well, with Bush, Gorbachev and the other guys I don’t really recognize, all world governments. It was very political, but Megadeth as a band was very political when they released that and peace sellsbefore they become more common on Countdown to power off (which is also one of my favorites).

“It was the first with Marty Friedman and I think rust in peace is Megadeth at their most technical. Just watch a song like Lucretius, which piles up the notes in such a short time. And Dave Mustaine’s vocals! I saw them live and couldn’t believe he was playing those parts while singing at the same time. I knew straight away it was for real, not just something they did for a joke – they really could play that fast and that well.


Puppeteer has to be Metallica’s most iconic era. They had these huge tombstones on stage and this huge setup and the influence of Cliff Burton on the band is so clear in their sound. This is Metallica’s last thrash album, so maybe the last real album. It’s kinda hard to say that, but I’d like to know how they would have sounded The black album if Cliff was still alive. This is interesting, because even with …And justice for all, the songs become more progressive, with some of their longer songs. Sometimes you think ‘where are they going with this song?’ and I feel like Cliff would have been the guy to say ‘maybe we shouldn’t play that riff?’ or narrowing things down to make more sense.


Type O Negative – October Rust (1996)

“If I had to choose three bands to bring to a desert island, it would be Pink Floyd, Type O Negative and Meshuggah. I discovered Type O Negative when they were in a French metal magazine. There was an article called “Thrasher Of The Month” and bloody kisses had been chosen. I had never heard of the band before, but seeing this made me want to go buy the CD. I put it on and I was like, ‘What the fuck? It’s not thrash at all! because it starts very slowly with a young woman and this guy with an incredibly deep voice, these slow, slow rhythms. Slow music with organs, ‘thrasher of the month’? What is that ? After a while I accepted that it wasn’t thrash and I started to realize how awesome it was.

“Shortly after, I had October Rust and it really helped me fall in love with Type O Negative and the spirit of what they do. They had these incredibly slow and sad songs, but they loved this weird sense of humor making music that sounded like Black Sabbath and The Beatles. Water (Christmas mourning) is one of my favorite songs. I find it hard to say why when I love something so much, because it’s just perfect. From the cover to the atmosphere, including the joke at the beginning and the message at the end. Everything is perfect.”


Paradise Lost – Draconian Times (1995)

“I’m a huge Paradise Lost fan, for real. Icon, Draconian Times and A second are all excellent albums. If I had to choose between Draconian Times and A second I would struggle. I have chosen Draconian time because it’s the most popular of their albums, but honestly, both are amazing. I really liked Host also, which was more experimental and had all this electronic stuff that was crazy. Fans didn’t like it at all, but in retrospect, it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. You hear this piano intro and you’re immediately in the album, in two seconds. It’s like Pink Floyd in this way, you put on your headphones and you’re sent far, far away. Type O negative was closer to this Killers thing – people are screaming in the streets, more grounded.


Meshuggah – Chaosphere (1998)

“Meshuggah’s Chaosphere is one of the best definitions of what metal is. It’s strong, it’s unbreakable and it’s massive. You can’t escape it – when you’re in a Meshuggah song, just follow along as best you can.

“I discovered them around Destroy Erase Improvethanks to the song future race machine. It’s something that brought me back to thrash – there are still seeds of thrash in there, not like the way the band became later in their career.

“Three years later, they came back with Chaosphere. I heard it and I just thought, ‘What the fuck is going on?’ because it was so strong and so different. They had this vibe and this way of writing riffs that were totally unique, and Chaosphere is a masterclass in this. It’s like a new language – to understand a lot of other bands, you first have to understand the way Meshuggah speaks with their guitars. Once you have that, it’s like a good trip without drugs!


Sepultura – Chaos AD (1993)

“Before you can properly get into the underground and experience things there you first have to hear bands like this that will boost your tastes and Sepultura are great at doing that, even their CD covers look crazy. With Under the remains and Arise, the band had really built something just for him and I think with Roots they have become a little less interesting.

ANNOUNCEMENT of chaos is so amazing though – refuse resist, Territory…the drums on these songs are so inspiring. I tried to play them myself when I was young, but I was never good enough. It’s a great group, but when they became famous, they lost something. Maybe they were less angry, or maybe they were doing more interviews, more tours, more work and less music. So for me, ANNOUNCEMENT of chaos was Sepultura’s last really wild album.


Tiamat – Wildhoney (1994)

“I discovered Tiamat when I was in high school. They’re a Swedish band that did goth metal, doom, maybe even a bit of black metal with their debut album. Again, this is the kind of album you would put on and it just takes you to another place.

“Tiamat is so good because he can play black metal and doom metal, and he can use all these different voices like black metal screams, deep doom voice, or even Depeche Mode style melodic vocals. In music, your voice is your weapon and these guys go from one to the other easily.

‘The song Visionary is a song that I would recommend everyone to listen to. It’s really dreamy and always fun when a band starts playing with black metal vibes, like Ulver in a way. They play this style for a long time, then one day they release something that looks like a completely different band.


Slayer – Live: Decade of Aggression (1991)

“I love the Slayer live album, Decade of Aggression. It’s so strange from a musician’s point of view. The sound sucks – only Kerry King’s guitars can be heard on the right side of the speaker, the drums sound like shit and Tom Araya’s voice is mixed in right at the back, as if the soundman was too drunk . But it’s just a compilation of songs that are furious, wild and so undeniably Killer.

“There are bands that can play fast, bands that can be so heavy, but Slayer was the band that brought it all together in one place and drove it so crazy. They were the scariest band in the world after Reign in blood – they were drawing this vision of hell and the first three albums are probably the most important things in thrash metal even now. that’s why Decade of Aggression is so good – it’s just all of that, in one place!

Carpenter Brut’s new album, Leather Terror, is out

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