Cannibal Corpse (en)

"Because you just love playing this music, that’s why you get into death metal, that’s why you start. You don’t start because you think you are going to be rich and famous."
Check out the chat that SOM had with the drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz when Cannibal Corpse played the first night of the Summer Slaughter tour 2012 in Los Angeles on July 20th 2012.

interview Cannibal CorpseCannibal Corpse is starting the Summer Slaughter tour 2012 tonight. The concert is sold out! What do you expect for this tour?
Oh well…we are hoping that we will have more of the same that we are going to have tonight here in LA. You would expect from the big cities like LA, Chicago and New York to have close to sold out shows and I’m sure those markets will. So, you know, we are just hoping that other markets will be as packed as it is going to be tonight.

It’s a great lineup; it’s a great bill, great bands. We are just hoping for the best. I think it should be good, I think it will be alright. We will find out, I guess as we go.

This tour is a big package with many big names. Are tours like this one easier or more difficult than smaller tours?
If you are going to look at it in the logistics of how many more people, bands and equipment: it’s a little more difficult, it’s a little more tedious. Because, you are looking at places like the House of Blues [Los Angeles], and we played here plenty of times on our own with a 3 or 4 band package. So, now you are throwing another 6 bands or something [like that]. That just makes it a little bit more hectic in a sense. So, [the key for bigger packages] it is just trying to keep everything on time, all the bands starting and stopping when they are supposed to. You really have to make that work or otherwise it could get out of hand. There has to be schedules. It is not like we can play until whenever we want it to end; we are dealing with curfews and stuff like that.

So, it is a little bit more tedious, I guess. But if it works out it is great for the fans if they can make it through the whole day: they can see 10 bands. But, I think that I would and probably the other guys [from Cannibal Corpse] would prefer a smaller tour, you know? Doing something like this [Summer Slaughter] every now and then it’s ok. We wouldn’t want to make this our routine.

You have released an album this year called Torture. How has it been received by the fans and media so far?
It’s been received great. When we were writing and recording those songs we were very excited for what we were putting together. We couldn’t wait for the fans and everybody to hear this record. Then, when it finally came out and all that, we were hearing really great things about the songs and the album [from the fans] and the press as well; arguably talking this is the best album we’ve ever done.

So, it’s been received really well, we can’t complain at all you know? It is a good thing, like I just said, “arguably out best album”. Twelve albums in 24 years of our career and we are “arguably” on top of our game, and I think we are. It is great that everybody else seems to be acknowledging that as well.

Has this album had any different inspirations or writing process when you were recording it?
Not too much different, I mean, we kind of have our methods down now. But, there is always going to be something different in the sense where you are always trying to do better as musicians, you know? You are going to try to make a better sounding record so there are always little subtle things that are done differently. But for the most part it stayed the same, especially for the last (let’s say) 5 albums in: the process of getting the songs together and then rehearsing and being ready to go into the studio, playing down those songs and having the producer, who of course work with us to get the best sounds possible. So, really, it’s not too much different than what we’ve done in the past, it is just the next chapter in the Cannibal Corpse story, that’s what I always like to say… here is the continuation, you know?

The cover of Torture is basically covered up by a “second cover” that can only be taken away after the album is opened. Was that done to avoid censorship issues?
Well, pretty much. We wanted the brutal which of course is the bodies hanging and all that. But when it comes down to the record label they want, of course, the product to get out to the masses. If it is going to be somewhere like Best Buy, they are not going to accept it with the cover like that, you know? So, obviously it was done to yes, get the product at least into every me
interview Cannibal Corpseans possible and to avoid any problems that might occur with getting the CD out to retail stores.

At least it is in there, at least the fans can pull that off and there you go, you got the brutal, more powerful cover so, I think it is ok.

Talking about censorship: do you still have problems at any country around the world?
Not as much. Really, the main problem that we had throughout the years was our censorship problems in Germany which I’m sure you are aware of. We actually had to sign papers; we couldn’t play songs of the first three records… That started back in 1998 or something like that. And I don’t know what happened but a few years ago that was all set and done. We got a word from the German Metal Blade saying “Yeah, we are good to go; you can play all the songs now”. “What happened?” “I don’t know.” “Why this happened to begin with?? That’s ridiculous.”

So, we’ve been good since then. There is always something minor popping through but it is minor… not even worth talking about it. The main thing was this German thing that was more of an annoyance, I guess. At least we are past that, hopefully.

Last year, I heard someone saying during a death metal concert: “Metal makes you want to kill”. What would you say to a metal fan who says something like that?
If they are literal and they are being completely serious, obviously that’s not good.

I can understand what he means if he is using that term a little loosely… you know? Because people might use “kill”, that word, in so many different ways you know? In ways you shouldn’t probably… “That’s killing me”, “I’m ready to kill someone”. Usually you use that without meaning it. I would hope that was [what] he was referring to. The aggression you might feel “Urrrr, I’m ready to kill” [doing a growling sound]… but not really ready to kill.

If he is ready to kill… then he’s got problems and clearly that’s not good because we don’t want that obviously, we don’t condone that, we are entertainment, we are writing fictional horror stories to music. If anybody is going to read into that or take it the wrong way, I really believe they’ve got mental problems. They should seek some help because metal shouldn’t make you want to do that. It can maybe take your aggressions out (want to get into the pit or slam dance) but if it is going to actually make you literally do that [kill], then you better seek some help.

Cannibal Corpse has been playing for over 20 years. You are the death metal band that sold the highest amount of albums in the US. What is the secret of your success? What does these numbers and the loyal fans mean to you?
They mean everything to us, of course. When we started this band 24 years ago there were no expectations, there was no motivation other than playing the music we love and if anything happens because of that, then great, those are the perks you know?

Because you just love playing this music, that’s why you get into death metal, that’s why you start. You don’t start because you think you are going to be rich and famous. You wouldn’t do this, especially because back when we started, what was death metal? Nothing. We were growing with the scene.

So, fans coming up to us, people saying that we inspired them, selling records and all that: they are great… we can be very proud because we never had expected any of this to happen.

I think that the reason for our longevity is that we stay true to what we’ve started and we really love what we do. We are not here looking at this as our job, although it is our career, it is how we make a living. But, we understand how we got here and the views that we had, as I was saying, when we were younger: playing the music we love. So the fact that we are able to do this and keep going, and making a bunch of tours, sell some records and make records, we don’t take that for granted. We feel very lucky and fortunate to be in this position because not everybody can be in this position. And many people strive, thrive and try to get to this position.

We loved what we did, we got lucky to be in the right place at the right time, people show interests and here we go… we are on our way. Why not keep it going and do our hardest to make the music that we love
interview Cannibal Corpse because that’s what we wanted to do since we were young. So, we are living our dream. I think you got to make the most of it. Life is too short. Eventually we will be gone… bands move on, bands are done. That’s just part of life. I think you just have to make the most of your opportunities and we have that.

The fact that we still love what we do…. that’s huge. When the fans hear the new album and say “that’s the best”… if it this is our best, we didn’t slap it together and hoped for the best. We really worked hard to make the best music we can make! So, I think that’s just it: our attitude has been the way it has always been since day one. We love what we do.

In your opinion… if it wasn’t for you guys, if you guys had never existed: would death metal be what it is now?
It’s hard to say. I would hope it would. We were not the only death metal band. It is not like there was no death metal bands before Cannibal Corpse, there were other bands.

It’s hard to say… we’ve been around, we have our “staple” in the death metal history, and we helped the scene grow because I guess we were popular enough to do that. It is a tough question to answer. I guess we will never know (laughs).

Everybody knows how your lyrics are inspired on horror movies. So… are you all actually big horror movie fans?

Oh yeah, we all are. That’s kind of how the band got started in that sense. When we were starting the band there were some horror metal out there (horror thrash or whatever) but we wanted to take it to another level. Of course, at that time we were into the “macabre” subjects of life, reading books, short stories and of course watching all these horror movies. We were all fans of that, growing up and we still are.

When Alex [Webster] came up with the name of the band, it was like “what else can this band be about?” So, it made sense “Cannibal Corpse… it is going to be a horror oriented band. Perfect! We are all into this! We all love these movies. So… why not? It makes sense. We do like this subject!” So, it did work out.

I, myself, haven’t watched [this type of movies] as much in the last few years as somebody like Alex. He might be more on top of what is happening in the newer kind of movies. I like my classics that I grew up with. I don’t seem to watch as many as I once did, I guess.

But, oh yeah, we are totally into it! That’s why it made sense to set Cannibal Corpse to what it was going to be. If we were not into it, it would have been a little tough; we don’t want to force ourselves to do anything....

Any all time favorites?
Humm… like I said, the classics I grew up with. It is weird to call them classics because, you know, we are talking about movies from the early 80’s, like: The Exorcist, the first two Halloween movies, the two first “Friday the 13th” were all great. All those kind of movies from that era…

Going back to CC… you guys have the Summer Slaughter and then an Australian, Japanese and European tour. Is touring going to be the main focus for the next year or so?
Pretty much… I mean, the album came out in March and this is really our first US tour of major markets [for this album]. We only did one [tour] back in March/April for secondary markets. So, yeah, we have a little more touring to do… to where you just said [Japan, Europe and Australia] and that will take us into next year.

The big thing for us will be going to Southeast Asia to do all those shows. I don’t know if they are fully announced on our sites but it looks like we are going to Japan and Australia in October but we are supposed to be doing a few others Pacific Rim countries where we’ve never to, like Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, etc. That will be interesting because we’ve never been to those places. It should be fun.

But, I can see pretty much another full year of touring before we figure out if we are going to take a break, start writing and that kind of stuff.

Any messages to the SOM readers?
Thank you so much for the interview and [we] appreciate the support of the readers for Cannibal Corpse and Death Metal. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here for you guys so, thank you!
Interview done by Deesse_de_la_nuit

4 Commntarios

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EvilTeddiz - 06 Agosto 2012: Very interesting interview, thank you :)
seansorocker - 07 Agosto 2012: shit man,why can't be showed in chinese?lots of chinese CP fans' english are sucks,you know````
DeeDimmu - 23 Agosto 2012: Awesome!
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