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28th March 2012
METAL DISCOVERY: Alex told me last year that he was laying off the writing a bit for the new album to give Pat and Rob some breathing space to compose more music themselves. Would you say that’s led to a bit more diversity on ‘Torture’?
PAUL: Of course. When you listen to it…you have a more even output of the songwriters so how can it not be more diverse? When you look at what Rob’s done in the past for albums, it’s always been just one song and he may have collaborated on a song or two. And then Pat, depending on what album we’re talking about, he might have two songs, or four, or whatever, but the fact he did write a good four songs on this record, and Rob contributing the three songs, it’s like, wow, that’s a lot. That’s more than half the record with those two writers, and Alex contributing his five. So I guess it just all worked out. Alex, I know he definitely held back, what you were saying; he was busy doing Blotted Science as well so he had a lot of things going on at the same time. But he’s always gonna put Cannibal first and he wrote five great songs for the record but it was good that the other guys stepped it up and were able to contribute more because we got a much more diverse record and I think that’s gonna make it a better record.
(Paul Mazurkiewicz on the greater songwriting spread for latest album 'Torture')
"...it was good that the other guys stepped it up and were able to contribute more because we got a much more diverse record and I think that’s gonna make it a better record."
Cannibal Corpse - promo shot
Interview by Mark Holmes
Photograph copyright © 2009 Alex Morgan
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Eaten Back to Life (1990)
Butchered at Birth (1991)
Albums & EPs
Official Cannibal Corpse Facebook:
Thanks to Andy Turner for arranging the interview.
Tomb of the Mutilated (1992)
The Bleeding (1994)
Vile (1996)
Gallery of Suicide (1998)
Bloodthirst (1999)
Hammer Smashed Face (1993)
Live Cannibalism (2000)
GTX21364 7
The Wretched Spawn (2004)
Kill (2006)
Evisceration Plague (2009)
Worm Infested (2003)
Torture (2012)
MD: What did you think of the Blotted Science EP?
PAUL: You know, I actually haven’t heard the last one! It’s weird, I mean, I know it’s great, I know they’re great musicians but, for me personally, and I know Alex wouldn’t mind…it’s just not what I’m into. It’s not my kind of music, you know. So I’ve not actually sat down and listened to it yet.
MD: It’s good watching it synched with the movie clips of insects as it makes a lot more sense.
PAUL: I did hear that’s how they wrote it, like music written to the video or what have you. So it’s kinda interesting. I like the concept; I like the meaning behind it. I’ll have to watch it and have a listen. I should.
MD: Yeah, it’s really good. The opening track on ‘Torture’, ‘Demented Aggression’, for me, has a bit of a Slayer kind of vibe to it in parts. Do you think that’s because Pat filled in for Jeff Hanneman last year for a few shows and that influenced the feel of that song a little?
PAUL: I don’t know. I mean, I don’t think so…it’s possible but it’s weird, like I said, with Pat’s writing for this, the more that he wrote…he just breathed more and seemed to write with more feel. He’ll probably tell you the same thing. When you listen to a song like ‘Demented…’, that riff…he brought that up and it was just a good sounding killer riff. Or something like ‘Followed Home Then Killed’, when he wrote that and showed us it was very unlike Pat to start out a song like that with plodding chords where Pat’s more known for his notes and all that kinda thing. So I think that all four of the songs he wrote were a little bit more feel-oriented which just made the songs breathe a little bit more so and have more of an aggressive sound to them.
I guess you’d have to ask him on that…I don’t know if it had an effect on him or not. I mean, I know overall it did, him playing with Slayer, but if that affected any of his actual songwriting I’m not sure. I think when he went to do that, as a matter of fact, he already had two songs done and then he was gone for the month and we were just working with Alex and his songs or whatever he had and Rob, and then when Pat got back we finished up the two songs that he was working on. I think ‘Demented…’ may have already been ninety per cent complete before he actually went and did the Slayer thing. The last song we actually completed was ‘As Deep As The Knife Will Go’. But it’s a good question and something that he would have to answer.
MD: I’m asking the wrong man!
PAUL: Yeah! [laughs]
MD: You mentioned ‘As Deep As The Knife Will Go’, the snare hits at the start of that, are those supposed to represent a stabbing kind of motion? That’s what I got from it?
PAUL: Erm…yeah…I mean, the song was written without the title in mind at that point so I think it was just the typical Cannibal move, you know, we like doing the cymbal chokes and the cymbal stabs and that’s something we’ll probably never get away from; it sounds cool and it’s part of our style. So this song we wanted to be a little more toned down in that sense so it had a very simplistic start to it just having those stabs. But, yeah, the song lyrically and title-wise wasn’t written or thought of until after the song was done. It was just a little coincidental that it ended up being about a knife and all that kind of thing.
MD: Maybe that’s what inspired the lyrics to that song because of those hits at the start.
PAUL: It kind of goes hand-in-hand so maybe subconsciously I was just thinking about this having to be about some sort of stabbing thing for this song.
MD: So I have to ask – have you randomly encountered any more famous faces like Jesse Jackson on your recent travels around Europe?
PAUL: [laughs] I know, no kidding right! I mean, how crazy was that?! That was surreal…did that even happen?!...you know, now that I think about it. How bizarre! That was it for a while I think. The Jesse Jackson one was probably the last one that we’ve encountered. Let’s see...err…who did we run into…well, we played a Fun Fun Fun fest last year in Austin, Texas. Slayer played that as well and I think that was back in November we did that. It was a pretty cool festival, an outdoor festival, something a little bit different for us, a bunch of different kinds of music. The actor Ryan Gosling was around. He was apparently filming some movie, or some scenes for a movie, because I remember watching…I never knew who this guy was, Ryan Gosling, I know he’s some actor and I know he’s in movies but I don’t know who he is or what movies he’s in! All I remember is I was watching…I got on the stage for Slayer and was watching Lombardo from behind him, and they’re playing a song and all of a sudden I look over to my right and there’s like twenty people walking behind him while they’re playing a song. There’s a guy with a camera, there’s this other guy…and I found out it’s Ryan Gosling and they’re filming behind Dave while he’s playing. Dave finishes the song, he sees everyone behind him and he kind of looks a little shocked! But I remember it was Ryan Gosling who walked right past me while I was standing there. I didn’t really know it was him, like I said, until later when I went, “who was that guy?!” And I’m like, yeah, after some research, “oh, it was Ryan Gosling”.
MD: So you nearly ended up in another Hollywood movie!
PAUL: [laughs] Yeah, you never know! I’m gonna have to go and watch all the movies he’s in!
MD: Yeah, any film he’s in that comes out, go and see it just in case!
PAUL: [laughs]
MD: This is a question I asked Alex a few years ago too – because your music and album covers have been banned and censored over the years in various countries, if you could act as censor for a day, what would you choose to ban in the world?
PAUL: Er….how about war? Ban war. Let’s ban war. You know, can’t everyone just get along.
MD: That’s a very good answer.
PAUL: There we go, war.
MD: Alex said four-on-the-floor dance music!
PAUL: Yeah, ban both of those!
MD: The final thing I wanted to ask – what plans lie ahead for the rest of this year and do you anticipate another three year gap before the next album?
PAUL: Well, we’re about to embark on a US tour next week, you know, a lot of touring for this year and I know the touring plans go well into 2013. So, if that is the case, then really, when you think about it, the album came out 2012, 2012/2013 there’ll be a lot of touring and then when we’re done at some point next year, realistically, if we start writing in 2013 and into 2014, you’re thinking of probably another three year gap between releases. I think that’s just the way it ends up being. We’re doing a lot of work in-between then, it’s not like we’re sitting around not doing anything. So I think that’s just the way it ends up being when there’s a lot of touring to be done and you don’t have a lot of time to create so it ends up being a three year gap. Any longer I think would be too long but I think if we can keep it at that then that’s not so bad so hopefully that’ll be what’s in the works for the future.
MD: So another three year gap and hopefully another twenty eight places higher in the charts! So you’ll be at number ten next time!
PAUL: Well, we’ll see what happens, yeah! You never know, maybe top five will be in our future!
MD: And six years’ time, number one!
PAUL: My god!
MD: Okay, thank you so much for your time.
PAUL: Hey, I appreciate the interview. Nice talking to you and take care.
MD: And good luck for the touring and with ‘Torture’, I hope it keeps on selling loads.
PAUL: Thank you very much, I appreciate that. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and so far, so good. Things are looking great so we can’t complain!
Ryan Gosling movie filmed in Austin, Texas: