DATE OF INTERVIEW:
16th August 2008
METAL DISCOVERY: I interviewed Anneke Van Giersbergen in June this year, just after the Deathfest actually, and she said people still ask her about the Napalm collaboration - about 2 years ago was it?
MD: Is that something you get asked about still?
SHANE EMBURY: Er…yeah, about 2 years ago.
SE: Yeah, we do. I think it was a kind of collaboration that no-one expected. When we were thinking of the part, we didn’t have a vocalist in mind, but it was logical because Celtic Frost had been a massive influence so we wanted to do an intro kind of in the vein of ‘To Mega Therion’, so a female vocalist was the order of the day and Leif who works with Century Media in Germany suggested Anneke, and we said yeah, yeah. It sounded like a good idea, and she was totally up for it, and it was very easy, and…yeah, cool.
(Shane Embury on what to expect from Napalm's forthcoming new album)
"There’s lots of variations; lots of frantic stuff, but also a lot of very heavy chug-chug Celtic Frost kind of stuff. You know, that’s the best way I can describe it at this point in time."
Shane backstage at Bloodstock, Derbyshire, 16th August 2008
Photograph copyright © 2008 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
MD: That’s the kind of answer she gave as well.
SE: It was just quick and easy. I mean, it wasn’t like, you know, I did some build up work about it, what happened, you know, was there some major meeting, I said well, I’d met her briefly before and….if you meet her, she’s a very easy going person…
MD: …oh yeah, a lovely lady…
SE: …and we’re pretty easy going as well. We said “are you into it?”, and she said “yeah”.
MD: Were you fans of The Gathering?
SE: I like The Gathering, yeah. Me and Mitch have various other projects, and the thing with me and Mitch as well…all of us do actually, but me and Mitch are very big fans of…when we do our thing at night when we‘re on the bus, we just put on some mellow stuff like Cocteau Twins, Björk, and our favourite kind of artists, so Mitch is always, he says - “Ahhh, I’ve gotta find this female vocalist” - there’s plenty of times doing that where we do say we should check out Anneke, but I don‘t know…
MD: She’s quite busy doing Agua de Annique at the moment.
SE: Yeah, I know, sure.
MD: It’s a good album actually - have you heard the album?
SE: I haven’t heard it.
MD: It’s really good, I recommend it.
MD: Your lyrics are renowned for being…actually, I thought I’d be interviewing you and Barney as I guess he writes all the lyrics?
SE: He writes the majority, yeah.
MD: They’re kind of renowned for being very politically oriented - do you hope to change people’s opinions with these, or is it just making a statement about whatever?
SE: I think it’s not trying to change people’s opinions - I mean, I don’t think you try to change them; you just have your own opinions, and if people read them and they find things they’re interested in, it turns their heads then that’s a plus, you know. For me, I mean, I think politics are definitely important for Napalm, but it’s always been the music with Napalm that’s trapped in me, but it goes hand-in-hand. All you can do is, you try and…if people are that way inclined, they will be if they listen to the music, that’s part of it as well.
MD: How’s the recording of the new album going, and what can people expect from Napalm with the new album?
SE: Er…I don’t know what to expect, but it’s a good continuation. We ourselves, we tend to have songs kind of in storage from years ago or whatever - we always write; we always continue writing songs….yeah, but pretty quickly as usual; we spent a couple of months, we had songs in demo format sounding very heavy and very fast. Some of Mitch’s songs are very discordant in some respects, not your typical blast riffs that we were used to using. I’d say it’s a good progression from the last album. Barney’s trying more of the kind of weird, dark, gothy tones, even though it’s not very gothic. The Deep Purples that he tried on the last album - there’s some more of that. There’s lots of variations; lots of frantic stuff, but also a lot of very heavy chug-chug Celtic Frost kind of stuff. You know, that’s the best way I can describe it at this point in time. [laughs]
MD: You did a back to basics tour of the UK last year playing small venues in towns you’ve never been to, or rarely been to - is it important for you to still go back and do the small venues as well as big stages like this?
SE: It is, I mean on the last album we went to a small pub in…it was in Newtown I think, and it was just great. We turned up at this pub and there were 200 kids in there totally into metal, and where they come from I don’t know, and we just thought well, why don’t we just do a bunch of small pubs in England. Even though we’re English…most English bands, they always only do 4 or 5 shows, they never really go everywhere, so we thought well, let’s use the opportunity to play everywhere we possibly can. It was a lot of fun!
MD: I was hoping you’d come to my home city of Lincoln because no-one decent ever comes to Lincoln to play!
SE: Well, we plan to tour like that again. It was good because we do weekend shows, come back home, and then go out again. And they were all 200 or 300 people, but they were easily packed, and it was a lot of fun. Some actually stocked the fridge full of beer and sundries…which is always a bonus! [laughs]
MD: Finally, do you hope to be doing what you’re doing for the next 20 years, or do you not think about the future too much?
SE: I do think about it sometimes, and also you try not to sometimes because of the inevitability. But yeah, I’d like to…when I’m 60, I don’t know, but I try my best, you know what I mean.
Official Napalm Death Website:
Official Napalm Death MySpace:
Shane Embury MySpace:
Century Media Records Website:
NAPALM DEATH DISCOGRAPHY
From Enslavement To Obliteration (1988)
Singles & EPs
The Peel Sessions (1989)
Harmony Corruption (1990)
Thanks to Sarah Lees at Century Media for offering and arranging the interview.
Thanks to Hannah Sylvester for recording the interview.
And a huge cheers to Shane Embury for his time.
Utopia Banished (1992)
Death By Manipulation (1992)
The Peel Sessions (1993)
Live Corruption (1990)
Fear, Emptiness, Despair (1994)
Inside The Torn Apart (1997)
Words From The Exit Wound (1998)
Bootlegged In Japan (1998)
Enemy Of The Music Business (2000)
The Complete Radio One Sessions (2000)
Punishment In Capitals (2002)
Noise For Music's Sake (2003)
Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 (2004)
The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code (2005)
Order Of The Leech (2002)
Smear Campaign (2006)
Mentally Murdered (1989)
Suffer The Children (1990)
Mass Appeal Madness (1991)
The World Keeps Turning (1992)
The Curse (1988)
Greed Killing (1995)
Breed To Breathe (1997)
Nazi Punks Fuck Off (1993)
Leaders Not Followers (1999)
MD: Grey and still rocking!
SE: I’m going grey a bit yeah, and bald for a while as well! [laughs] Nah, but I’ll be here as long as I can.
MD: Thank you so much for your time.