Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster
MG:Hi, its great to chat with you, its unreal to think its been 26 years since you first arrived on the scene and with your 13th album due to hit the streets soon, Do you feel you have mellowed with age?
AW: We’ve probably mellowed a bit as people- that’s going to happen naturally when you get older and settle down with a spouse or family- but musically we’ve tried to keep things as intense as ever. We’re still able to find that aggressive place in our heads when it’s time to write songs.
MG: "A Skeletal Domain" is the thirteenth album , What can we expect from the new release?
AW: It’s a death metal album of course, so there won’t be any huge surprises stylistically.
I think it will still be a very interesting album for our fans to listen to though. It’s consistent with what we’ve done before, but it has a bit of a different production style, and there is a lot of variety from song to song. We tried to add some new sounds without going outside of death metal’s boundaries.
MG: Where and how do you guys continue to get the inspiration for gory lyrics?
AW: First, just to be clear, our lyrics cover a broad range of horror, violence, and dark fantasy. Gore is often part of this, but it’s not a required part- we wouldn’t add graphic violence to a song that didn’t need it. As far as inspiration goes, we try to think of our own stories most of the time when we’re writing our lyrics, so the inspiration is usually more indirect than direct. I think it’s probably an overall combination of things we’re exposed to: horror movies, novels, true crime stories, and violence in the news. So when we’re creating our own stories the things I just mentioned probably play a part, even if we’re not consciously drawing from them- simply being exposed them may have been enough to have an effect somehow.
MG: Back when you first hit the scene you had many protesters against Cannibal Corpse playing their cities an towns. of course they did you a massive favor regarding publicity! Do you still get such a reaction when you roll into the same areas these days?
AW: We had some problems, but I think you’ve probably heard some exaggerated stories, because I can’t remember many times that there were any sort of protesters present at our shows. Maybe once or twice, but it’s hard to remember. What we did have to deal with, and still deal with, is censorship in Germany. For some reason there is a fairly powerful censorship movement there, and they’ve managed to have an effect on which song we can play, which albums we can sell, etc. There have been times when the censorship lightened up a bit, and then other times it returns full-force and we have albums banned, etc. It’s annoying but we do our best to deal with it. And yes, their efforts wound up being free advertising for our band more than anything. Obviously, they’ve failed to stop us.
MG: Having such a huge collection of songs to fall back on it must be a nightmare to choose a set list?
AW: Haha, yes, it can be a challenge. We try to add older, more obscure songs for variety’s sake but there are certain popular songs that have to be in the set no matter what. We also try to have at least one song from each album on our headlining set lists, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to do this. And of course we like to play at least a few songs from whatever album it is that’s we’re touring in support of. The overall flow of the set is probably the most important thing. We like to have a lot of ups and downs- fast songs, mid-paced songs, slow songs….variety keeps the set interesting, and that’s important when you’re playing for 75 to 90 minutes.
MG: Whats the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you?
AW: It’s always hard for me to remember something good for this question.
I’ll probably remember a great story a few days from now, but right now nothing is coming to mind.
MG: Whats the plans for the remainder of the year?
AW: In September we’ll be touring in Australia and Japan, then in October and November we’ll be touring Europe.
MG: Feelings on the current Death Metal scene and any up and coming bands you think we should be looking out for?
AW: There are still plenty of great newer bands out there, a few I’d recommend are Perdition Temple, Corpus Mortale, Hour of Penance, Serocs, and Abraxas. The scene has stayed steady for decades now, with a constant influx of new bands and fans keeping it strong. I don’t see this changing, because the style itself is conducive to growth- death metal attracts musicians that want to push the envelope.
MG: What do you listen to when you want to chill out?
AW: Classical music usually works well. I listen to Bach’s cello suites a lot. I also like some jazz and jazz fusion. I’ll listen to some older albums like Pat Metheny’s “Bright Size Life” when I want to mellow out. There’s a lot of great music out there, I definitely don’t put any limits on what I’ll listen to. If it sounds good then I’m into it.
MG:Three words to describe Cannibal Corpse
AW: DEATH FUCKING METAL.
MG: Finally anything you would like to say to your fans and our readers?
AW: Thanks to everybody for the support, hope to see you somewhere on the road this year!
Interview : Seb Di Gatto