So, George, how does it feel being in Cannibal Corpse after all of these years?
"I think it has been a lot of fun being a part of this band. It was great coming into this band and being a part of it and just connecting with the music, the band and the fans", begins George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher about his years of singing for the veteran death metal act, since taking over the position from original singer Chris Barnes on 1996's _Vile_. "It has been an experience, to say the least, and _Gore Obsessed_ [reviewed in this issue] continues on with my love of being in this band."
"Recording albums with these guys [the band is rounded out by guitarists Jack Owen and Pat O'Brien, drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz and bassist Alex Webster -- Adrian] is a lot of fun. It doesn't really feel like work, more like just having fun and making metal music. It takes a while to get things rolling, but once we get in the groove, watch out. It is insane."
Yeah, the vocals on _Gore Obsessed_ are some of the most violently charged ones I have heard come out of your mouth. <laughing> How do you prepare for something like that?
"I don't really know. <laughs> I don't really do anything other than just get all excited to go in there and scream my lines. We'll run through the songs once or twice to get the voice going, and then once I am satisfied with that we'll start recording the song, sometimes one line at a time or a chorus here and there. We break it down into sections. There is no real secret to how I sound so intense, really. I just go in there and try to sound as brutal as possible. I just love listening back to my music and saying to myself, "Man, that is sick!" I just go for it, really, and feed off the brutal vibe of the band."
Are there certain songs going into the recording that you tried to be more brutal with?
Fisher answers: "Yeah, I mean when I have a whole batch of songs to work with in the studio, there are certain songs that stand out because of a groove or just have cool riffs. My favourite song on this album would have to be "Grotesque". I think that song has some of the best vocal work I have done with Cannibal Corpse. I like a lot of the songs that we do; especially the songs that have a real "catchy" feel to them. And some people, when they hear the word "catchy" they think sell-out, but what I mean is songs with some cool vocal grooves and heavy riffs that pique one's interest. Songs with a brutal groove."
The success of Cannibal Corpse is quite impressive, especially seeing that they have been around now for more than a decade, playing brutal music and writing about headless corpses, blood and horrific forms of violence. The band has continued to flourish as the years go on, as well as continue to write solid material like the stuff found on _Gore Obsessed_. What does "Corpsegrinder" credit the band's longevity to?
"I think the band's popularity is still pretty strong and I think fans wanted the band to continue when its singers changed, and have been interested with everything we have done since. I mean, it could have all ended with _Vile_, but fans were pleased with what I and the band brought to that album. The fans are the main reason we are still around. They buy our records and come see us play. Cannibal Corpse tours a lot as well, so we always see fans coming out to our shows. I also think we put out records on a consistent basis, like one every year and a half or two years. Then we tour for a year and then go back into record."
"We are not one of these bands that tours around on buses and goes around from show to show", he notes. "We don't sit on the bus all day. We like to, when we can, get off the bus and just hang out with our fans and talk to them. I think fans realize how happy we are that they support us and that we are all just fans of what we do. Having fans is a big deal for us as a band, because it means we are doing the right thing."
"I just get so much out of doing this", exclaims the singer. "The music, the fans and being able to go on tour with so many great bands. I get to see Dark Funeral, Incantation and Pissing Razors for like 36 shows. That fucking rules! We do a lot of festivals with great bands and it is just great to tour with all of these bands we like. It is great to just hang out and just be metal. It feels a lot like when I was younger and going to the shows and just hanging out and waiting for the bands to play, but in our case, we are one of the bands getting set to perform. <laughs> The downside is that when I see these bands play I can't really go crazy, because I need to play a show, but one time I'd love to be able to get drunk and rowdy and just watch them play and not worry about going on next. But I can't, I need to save my energy for the show."
One can't interview Cannibal Corpse and not ask how things have been with the die-hard fans over the years, especially those that are still angry over the loss of Chris Barnes (who now fronts Six Feet Under). Are there still some angry Cannibal Corpse fans out there?
"There are some people who are still really bitter out there over what happened with Chris leaving the band and me joining", he explains. "My point is this. If you really, truly believe we are not a brutal band, and I go on message boards and read what people say about us all the time, then I don't think people are really listening to what we are doing. Cannibal Corpse, while maybe a bit different and matured over the last few years, is still playing fucking death metal. I think a lot of this backlash, especially early on when I joined, was because of this split with Chris. Chris was not the whole band. I just want people to give it a listen and I know there are a lot of people who have given the band a chance with me in the band and really liked it and continue to support us. I just want people to give it a spin and not just shit on it because of the past changes to the band."
He finishes by adding, "Bottom line is this: I believed in myself as a singer and the band believed in me and look where we are now. A few albums later and we are still cranking out brutal death metal. So much for the people who thought it wouldn't work out."