Temat från förra veckan fortsätter denna vecka i form av en intervju med CANNIBAL CORPSE gjord av Dman 1999, ett par veckor innan släppet av "Bloodthirst" plattan. Och som vanligt så är intervjun oredigerad från dess original och må innehålla diverse stavfel etc.
This is a never before published CANNIBAL CORPSE interview.
It was concucted by Dman with drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz.
This phone-interview took place a couple of weeks before the release of the 1999 album "Bloodthirst".
[Great Fucking Hails to Dman for letting me publish this.]
So how’s life?
It’s pretty good. We are really happy with the new record and we really can’t wait to get on the road so everything is going great.
Yeah I caught your show in Wacken Germany. It was a pretty good turnout despite the rain wasn’t it?
Yeah definitely! We thought it was a very great turn-out. We were there hanging out the day before and you know it was very nice weather and we were hoping well it would be great if it was just like it was that day. And then of course we get there and then it starts raining and we’re thinking it might hamper the show or whatever. But it seemed like it really didn’t and all the people were there watching and it was definitely a lot of fun, it seemed like it was a big success.
You got a chance to meet Chris I guess?
Yeah, we talked to Chris. That was the first time we’ve seen him and talked to him since we kicked him out I guess. So it’s been about four years now. And…yeah, it was an interesting situation.
Any hard feelings or…?
Well not really I mean he came up to us and was being really cool and nice and everything. We talked, me and Alex especially, about a lot of stuff. Mostly what’s been going on in the last few years and bringing up old times of course. But it was definitely a little bit of a bitter break-up when we did kick him out of the band. We were very frustrated and angry, sort of, and mad and there was a lot of things, a lot of bitter things, that happened between us over the years when he was in the band. So I mean there wasn’t any really kind of bitter feelings when we met him, but I don’t think just because we talked to him and have seen him that we’re gonna’ go right back to whatever friends or we’re gonna’ hang out with the guy or anything like that. But it was a good thing, I think it had to be done. It was a positive experience I guess.
I read in a old interview that you were having problems with some German schoolteacher who spread flyers everywhere and tried to cancel your shows in Europe. Where there any problems this time around?
Well, not in Wacken we didn’t hear of any problem like she would have been there or anything. But, yes the last problems stemmed from the last time we were in Europe on the Gallery tour and we actually had to sign some paper saying that we wouldn’t play any songs off of the first three records. And we could have been jailed or fined, I don’t even know what the situation was exactly but it wasn’t something we really wanted to mess with. That’s the only problems we’ve really dealt with. So we’ll find out if there is going to be any more when we come back to do this tour, cause we play a good five-six shows in Germany. So we will see what happens when we do the tour.
Have you ever had any legal problems such as Judas Priest etc.?
Not really. The only thing that has happened I think was a couple of years ago in Portland, Oregon. I think there was a murder or two. Two guys ended up killing some lady and another lady was thought to be dead but she survived or something like that. I think they wore Cannibal Corpse and Deicide shirts. Something with us and Deicide was the big focal point. And everybody got sued that had any to do with the band. Record labels, producers, the studios. They tried to sue as many people that were involved as possible. And it actually came to light. It was on MTV news and stuff like that. I think everything was settled out of court so basically we never had to do anything. We never when to court, we’ve never seen any of the signs or whatever. I guess it became a little bit of a big deal. Really that’s the only thing we’ve kind of had to deal with besides this German woman that is trying to spoil our party. We’ve been pretty lucky I guess.
Vile debuted at number 151 on the American billboard. How did Gallery do?
I know it didn’t debut, it didn’t crack the 200. I know it made heetseeker. It sold well, it’s still selling, and it seems like people actually likes this album better. So it’s kind of weird that Vile did hit it, we were very surprised. We never expected that. It was a good thing and a great feeling and a good accomplishment I guess to be the first death metal band to ever break the 200. We were hoping maybe it would happen with gallery but it didn’t so I guess we’ll see what happens with Bloodthirst. But if it doesn’t we understand, you know, it’s only on the chart only for that week and it has to sell a lot of copies when it gets out. So who knows we’ll see what happens. But if not at least we can say that we did hit the 200:s on one album and we can kind of have that under our belt as a little bit of a credit. It was good!
Your next album, Bloodthirst, is to be released two weeks from now. Are you satisfied with it?
Oh, we’re completely satisfied. We think it’s a great cd, we’re happy with the songs we came up with, and the production using Colin Richardson for the first time was a big plus, and using a new studio really helped our focus and in keeping it fresh and exciting. So yeah we’re really, really happy with the outcome and we can’t wait to get it out there to hear the reactions from all the fans and everything. Cause we’re getting a lot of great response from all the press and all the interviews we’ve been doing. It’s been completely positive. So that’s good.
You’ve been working with Scott Burns for a long time and then on Gallery you switched to Jim Morris. Have you switched producers now again?
Yes! Gallery was a great sounding record, we definitely thought it was the best sounding up to that point in time and Jim did a great job. I think we definitely felt we could get even a better production and we we’re fond of Colin Richardson work in the past. And I know the guitars and Alex of the stringplayers were very in to his guitar sounds and knew he could get that crushing tones that we need. So we really wanted to work with him and we were very fortunate that he gave us the opportunity and we feel that this is the best produced record to date so we’re completely satisfied.
Does it differ in any special way from Gallery?
A little bit. I mean it’s not totally different but I do think the drum sound is the best sound I’ve ever gotten on a record. And I think the guitar sound is definitely a little bit more crushing. It’s not completely different but it’s different in just a little aspects that I think makes it just a little bit better. It was a step up and we’re fortunate and glad that we had the opportunity to work with Colin. And he beeing able to give us the sounds we want.
I’m surprised that you are releasing a new album so fast. I was under the impression you have been touring most of the time since the release of Gallery.
Well we did a lot of touring when Gallery came out, but it seemed like we compacted it all in to a short period of time. So in a way I think it was a little bit too much for us and we got a little bit burnt-out. And once we did a bunch of touring and it was done we almost felt we didn’t want to be on the road for a little bit because as I said we felt a little bit of the burn-out. So pretty much we just started writing material for the new record and we made a little schedule and before we knew it we were going to record in June. So it is pretty quick, kind of like the old days, I know the first three or four records came out like basically once a year. And of course the touring got a little more hectic in between Bleeding up in till Gallery. I can definitely see us doing a little more touring for Bloodthirst. I’m sure we won’t have a record out this quick again. But it’s still never going to be any longer than a year and a half, two years tops, cause I think that’s as long as we want to go without releasing an album. So yeah it is a little quick I think but the fans are happy and we’re happy so lets just keep cranking them out you know.
Here’s a question I’ve been wanting to ask you for quite some time now actually. You have been verbally attacked by former president candidate Bob Dole and a lot more people. So I think a lot of people were really surprised of your appearance in Ace Ventura – Pet Detective. With I think it was Hammersmashed face. How the hell did that happen?
Ha, ha. Yeah that was very bizarre and we were kind of shocked ourselves. Well Jim Carrey is a fan of death metal and I guess he was on a few talkshows just before the film was going to be filmed and he was talking about how he likes Napalm Death and Cannibal Corpse and was really intrigued by the whole thing. So one day we got a call from the record label requesting Cannibal Corpse to do this movie. We were shocked of course and excited to do it. Just the fact that Jim Carrey wanted us to be in the movie was amazing. That’s basically how it came about, it was a lot of fun and a great experience. The movie obviously doing so well helped a little bit, a lot of people had to see Cannibal Corpse and I’m sure a lot of people were exposed to death metal for the first time. Be it only forty-five seconds it’s enough to maybe stir the interest. And we have noticed a few new fans from the movie. A lot of people tell us they saw us in there and it was what got them in to the music. It was a lot of fun and a great thing. It would be nice to do another one ha ha ha…
Here’s a little worn out question I guess but, Tampa was long considered as the capital of death metal.
Now I guess death is on it’s way back so how is the scene down there?
It’s pretty good. I mean there are still a lot of bands of course that live in Tampa. I guess that’s why it was deemed the capital. Also with a lot of bands using Morrisound. It’s ok. Immolation played there just a couple of days ago and it was a pretty decent show. Hateplow just played there a couple of weeks ago and that was good so… I mean there are always shows going on for the most part and the scene is maybe not as strong as it once was but it’s still there and it seems like it’s more on the incline again. We actually haven’t even played in Tampa ourselves in a few years. And I know Morbid Angel, when they played there a few months ago, had a really good show. I think there were about a thousand people. For the bands that have been around and are established like ourselves and Deicide and Morbid, we’re going to have pretty good shows. But even the underground shows with the bands that aren’t maybe as popular
or whatever the shows are still good. So I’d say it’s still thriving.
What do you think of Black Metal?
…I’m personally not really in to it. I think it’s good for us to tour with bands like Dark Funeral and Marduk. Those types of black metal bands that are definitely more brutal than some of the other styles of black metal bands that might just be less brutal. Myself I’m not really in to it so I just don’t listen to it.
What sort of music do you listen to yourself?
I listen to a lot of different stuff now a days. I find myself listening to a lot of stuff I grew up with, a lot of the heavy metal like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. And then just a lot of different stuff that I guess I’ve really never listened to before in my life that I find myself liking for whatever reasons I don’t know like James Brown and stuff like that. I’ve been listening to a lot of different weird things. And for the other guys, everybody listens to a lot of different stuff but I find myself not really listening to as much of the newer heavy stuff than I used to in the past.
But I still love it, I love to play in Cannibal Corpse and I love our music. It’s kind of weird but I guess it’s just the way life goes.
It used to be Chris who wrote most of the lyrics and now it seems like the whole band though mostly Alex has taken over the burden
Well, actually if you take a look at the credit on Bloodthirst now I’ve taken over the burden, because I wrote six songs on Bloodthirst and Alex wrote five. So yes it’s kind of weird. Alex definitely wrote most of the lyrics for Vile and Gallery, and then all of a sudden Bloodthirst comes out and I end up writing six of the songs. So at this point I definitely think Alex and I are primarily the song writers. We’re having fun at it, we like what we’re coming up with and we think we’re doing a good job at it. And everybody else in the band seems to get in to it. So we feel we’re doing a decent job, a really good job.
Was it hard to start writing lyrics?
In the beginning it was a little bit hard, I think I wrote two songs on Vile and I collaborated on a couple. But it took me a little while cause I haven’t sat down and written lyrics or any type of a story in years. I used to dabble in that when I was a little bit younger. When I wrote lyrics for my previous band before Cannibal Corpse. It was definitely a few years before I wrote anything. So yeah in the beginning it was I guess not tough, you just had to get in to the flow of writing again. I noticed when we started writing for gallery we started picking up a little bit and wrote more songs and for Bloodthirst here like I said writing six of the songs they seemed like they were flowing more easily and I got them done a lot quicker. The ideas flowed better so I would just imagine we’re getting more comfortable writing and as we go we’re just going to get a little bit better and a little bit more tuned in to our style of writing. Improving as we go. We are having fun with it which is most important.
How often do you rehearse? The reason I ask is because on Gallery several of the songs are made by just one or two of the members.
Oh yeah, we are always rehearsing, but I guess the writing process has pretty much differed over the years. When we started out in the beginning it was definitely more of a jam session, like all the bands, where one guy had a riff and we would work out of that and before you knew it we had a song. And everybody contributed. Like Alex might have come up with one part and Jack another part, so it was a big collaboration. As time went on, pretty much starting with Bleeding, that’s when Alex just wanted to go off and write his own song. He’d go home, write the riffs and put them to tape, and say "this is what I’ve got" and we would learn them. And that is how the song would come about. I think beeing the first time on Bloodthirst that every song was written basically that way for the most part like you said. Only on musical credit per song. Alex would go home and record on his fourtrack or whatever and come up to the room with the parts and we would all learn them. And then finally fine-tune them as a band. We practice a lot. We try to practice at least four to five times a week and we’ve been doing that for years. The writing process differed a little bit but we’re always practicing.
Vincent Locke has drawn all your covers . Does he draw the pictures after your requests or is it his own little sick fantasies?
Well a lot of it is mixtures. I know in the beginning obviously Chris wanted to take care of everything. He was the so called spokesperson for the band. And he was dealing with a lot of the business aspects. So I know Chris talked to Vince all the way up in till the Bleeding about what was going to be done on the covers. So of course once we got him out of the band there had to be a new designated person to talk to Vince and I was the man. So I’ve been talking to Vince, ever since we kicked out Chris, about doing the artwork. So actually when we had him do Vile we told him the titles of the song and the title of the record and said "Give it your all!" and that’s what he came up with and we were like "yeah it’s awesome". You know real sick and twisted. We really didn’t change much at all on his basic idea for Vile. When we did Gallery actually it was more of our idea than his. We gave him pretty much of a specific idea what we were looking for in both covers. And he pretty much did it and we did a few minor changes. So I think that’s a little bit more of our vision than his. And the on Bloodthirst it’s kind of back to his vision again. We gave him a few basic ideas and he just went off and did the stuff on his own. So a lot of the stuff were his ideas like on the censored version, which I think is probably what you have, with the weird, twisted kind of baby face creature. That was like all his idea. We never even would have thought of that I think. And Vince was really in to it and we definitely trust his liking and his opinions and sick mind I guess. So we really just went with it. So it differs from album to album I guess but a lot of it is a mixture and he definitely has enough of his own ideas that are on our wavelengths. So it works out perfect for us.
Does any other band use Vince that you know of?
No I don’t think he has done anything else for any other band. We got knowned to him because he was doing his own comic book back in the late eighties, early nineties and the artwork was great. So that’s how we ended up wanting to use the guy. But it is kind of weird cause you’d think someone else would want to contact the guy and want to use his art cause we think the guy is amazing. We are really in to the art and we are fortunate to have him had done all the records. And I guess we are fortunate that no other band uses him cause it kind of gives us our own identity. Kind of like the Iron Maiden thing with Derrick Riggs when he was doing all the covers. It’s pretty cool!
Yeah and his style is really unique as well…
Right! It is definitely unique and I think especially for the ones he did for Bloodthirst. They are very different yet very effective and they are pretty much Cannibal Corpse. They are different pieces of artwork than he has done in for us in the past. But as I said we are really in to him and they are still really sick and twisted.
What about sideprojects? I know Alex is doing something with Eric Rutan.
Well he was, actually he is not any more. He was the original bassplayer for Hate Eternal, which I believe just finally has been released. So he wasn’t playing on the album and he isn’t involved in the band anymore. But he did start out as the first bassplayer for Hate Eternal. He hasn’t been doing anything since then and none of us are really doing anything besides Cannibal Corpse. There is just too much going on with us right now. And there is a lot of things to be done. So right now there are no sideprojects going on.
How is everything working out with George? Is he adapting well?
He’s adapting great and I think on this record he sounds the best that he’s been sounding on any of the three. So he is definitely adapting great, we love his style and he’s gotten better over the years. We couldn’t be happier with his performance. It’s just what we’ve been looking for.
Ok, well that is pretty much it! Do you have anything you would like to add?
Well no, just thanks for the interview, thanks to all the Swedish fans for supporting Cannibal Corpse. And we hope to be up there maybe in April or may playing. Thanks for the support!