Back with another album cover deemed unsuitable for public consumption, it’s nice to see death metal legends Cannibal Corpse still shocking the squeamish and easily offended. Having to replace controversial artwork with something a little more palatable had almost become a tradition at one time but the new record Violence Unimagined(Metal Blade) is the first time the band has actually been deemed worthy of censorship since 2012.
Hold on to your intestines. Buffalo’s finest (via Florida), Cannibal Corpse, are back to shred your organs, peel your skin, and violate your ears in the vilest, sickest ways possible with new album Red Before Black.Continue reading →
Paul Mazurkiewicz of Cannibal Corpse is one of the two sole original members (bassist Alex Webster is the other) who have never missed a day of the band’s 25 plus years existence. Considering they are amongst the top of the death metal genre for creating their controversial gore themed songs and albums, they have won over a legion of fans worldwide, despite countries attempting to ban them and their music.
He shared his thoughts on the band reaching this milestone and looking back to the early days of when they began this band in Buffalo, NY.
“It is very surreal. Obviously we started this band as friends playing music. That’s why you play thrash or get into metal, because it was about the music at that era in the late 80s. We just wanted to play aggressive music. We wanted to be around like guys that wanted to do what we did. We were developing as a band at that point. We were so new and so fresh and so early that everything that happened with Cannibal, so it was never about ‘we’re going to be rich’ or ‘we’re going to be huge.’ It’s about we have to write the next song and play the next gig. That’s what you’re worried about. Of course you’ve got that in the back of your mind. Who doesn’t? Wow wouldn’t it be great to be on stage to be a band like KISS…everyone’s going to have that in the back of their mind. But we never went that route of that’s what has to happen otherwise we won’t be happy. Everything came to us. It was one of those things. We happened to write good music, I guess enough to draw attention. Metal Blade signed us. Fans are liking us. Holy shit -before you know it we’re on our way. It wasn’t because we felt we had to that – we had to make it. Those things came to us. So everything’s surreal. 25 years and here we are, selling what we did, all the things we’ve done, being on a tour like this – what the hell? We’re a bunch of kids started from Buffalo just playing some crazy music and hoping people would enjoy it like we do. To make a living off of it, it’s so surreal. We’re so appreciative and so undeserving in our sense. Not that we’re undeserving, but I look at myself like ‘who am I? I’m no different than you or that fan that’s out there.’ I just so happened to be up there doing it. I think that’s the message I like to tell people is that if we could do it, you can do it. We were just kids doing our thing.”
They began this album cycle at the 2014 Rockstar Mayhem Festival in Devore, CA and held their own again on the side stage against the other bands sharing the stage.
“I think we’re the longest tenured band on the festival and we’ve never stopped,” said drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, about this accomplishment. “It’s always been going, or either writing or recording or out on the road. Our breaks have been minimal throughout the years. There are no breaks. A break is maybe a month and we’re back at it. So we’ve been consistent and constantly going throughout our whole career.”
Paul Mazurkiewicz of Cannibal Corpse
A Skeletal Domain is equally as brutal as the rest of their catalog, but they find new ways to draw from inspiration. While many others plateau creatively after a few releases, Cannibal Corpse has different members to step up and bringing ideas to the table.
“It is kind of strange in that sense because you’d think we’d be more conscious of those things, but we’re not. I think it really comes down to when we have to write we start pulling it out of ourselves. This time around, the creativity was flowing. Pat (O’Brien) wrote five songs on this record, which is crazy. It’s awesome. He hasn’t had more than four on a record. For him to have five he was really going for it. The creativity was flowing. I really think we’ve never had that problem regardless. If somebody was lacking in creativity, like if Pat only wrote two songs on Evisceration (Plague, 2009 album), Alex (Webster) filled in. He was flowing with more songs. I know Alex did state it well in our press release where each one of us could write a Cannibal album. But it’s good when we all collectively get together and you have Rob (Barrett) songs, you have Alex’s, you have Pat’s and you have me involved. It’s that much better then.”
“We work our asses off. We were knit picking. We were going nuts. But it was always there. We were flowing right along with the writing. There was never a lull. Once we got into the flow it started going. We probably could have kept it going. But you have to stop at some point and get on the recording and doing what we’re doing here. I think the fact that we’ve been doing it so long, we’re confident in ourselves. We know we got it in us to do something different and here we go. We believe we did it again.”
So where does the inspiration come from? Considering much of their song and album themes are horror and gore based, they rarely lack inspirational motivation. But somehow songs with the themes they work around has carried them for years.
“I don’t know. Like I said it comes deep within and the creativity,” said Mazurkiewicz. “There’s a lot of people that say how do you come up with different lyrics when we’re all writing on the same thing for the most part. Exactly I sit there and go ‘I don’t know. When I’m writing my lyrics, you know it’s kind of going to be the same but yet different. We’re trying to pull something different. You think it would be harder to do that, but lyrics were flowing for me. I felt good about it. I think it comes from within. When we know we have to do it, we do it. We have it absorbed in us for so long now that it’s just bringing it out of us. The influences have been brought in. We’ve absorbed them for years. Now it’s not just influences any more or inspiration for that matter. For me I look at it as it’s just we have to do it so let’s bring that out that’s inside of us – that creativity. That’s just what happens.”
When it comes to influences and where the ideas come from, Mazurkiewicz insists that each member’s answer would vary as to what helped shape what would become a Cannibal Corpse song.
“That’s something if you asked everybody individually they might give you a different answer. I think certain things might come into play, like if you talk to Alex [Webster, bass] and if you ask him what may be influencing him more recently, he’ll probably tell you a little bit more into the shred guitar playing. He’s really into that power metal that’s really intricate and all that. A song that’s on this record “The Murderer’s Pact” – it’s Cannibal but you’ll hear what I’m talking about, like the way he wrote the opening riffs. Very unlike Cannibal, something we’ve never wrote that way before, and the way he wrote those rhythms. It was more in the sense of a little more inspiration from those bands he’s been liking. He may tell you that.”
“I might tell you my drumming…I just do what I do. I don’t listen to anybody. I’m not going “I need to do that. That drummer’s doing that!’ I do what I do. I do what I feel I need to do. It’s all feel for me. If I’m going to do something different, it’s just out of me wanting to do something a little different, but not out of ‘might not heard that’ or ‘drummers are doing that.’ “
“If you talk to everybody, everyone would have a little different say there. Overall it comes down to ourselves. For Pat, it comes down to what comes out of him, probably not much of an inspiration per say other than what comes out of that guy.”