|This is an interview Evan Williams & I did with Paul Mazurkiewicz, drummer for
CANNIBAL CORPSE. This interview appeared in the 3rd issue of SATAN'S CANDY BASKET that came
out back in late 1998. Read on & enjoy!!!
CANNIBAL CORPSE HAS BEEN AROUND FOR SO MANY YEARS NOW & I'M SURE YOU'VE
BEEN ASKED THIS QUESTION A LOT, BUT SINCE THIS IS OUR FIRST INTERVIEW WITH YOU
GUYS, COULD YOU GIVE A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BAND?
We started the band back in 1988, actually it was the end of '88, cause the end of this year will be our 10th
anniversary as a band together. We put out one demo in '89 & the next thing we knew we found ourselves signed
to METAL BLADE. We released "EATEN BACK TO LIFE" in '90, "BUTCHERED AT BIRTH" in '91, "TOMB
OF THE MUTILATED" in '92, "HAMMER SMASHED FACE" in '93, "THE BLEEDING" in '94. After the
release of "THE BLEEDING" we had to let Chris Barnes go. Then we got George "Corpsegrinder" on vocals. We
then released "VILE" in '96 "MONOLITH OF DEATH TOUR LIVE"(video) in '97 & now "GALLERY OF
SUICIDE" in '98.
CANNIBAL CORPSE HAS INFLUENCED SO MANY BANDS IN THE DEATH METAL SCENE TODAY,
WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCES CANNIBAL CORPSE?
Well, basically the music we grew up listening to. You know, like all Heavy Metal in general. We listened to a lot
of Metal, the more heavier stuff like JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN & METALLICA.
That's when Metal was progressing into Thrash & then into Death. Plus we were all into horror movies & gore,
that's where the influences with the lyrics comes in.
IS THE NAME CANNIBAL CORPSE JUST FOR THE SHOCK VALUE OR IS THERE ANOTHER
REASON BEHIND THE NAME?
Well, we wanted something to kind of shock, but more of something that would stick. We just kind of put two
words together & they seemed to flow good. It kinda rolls off the tongue well. It's a name you won't forget!
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT ME NOT ASKING ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT CHRIS BARNES?
It would be great if you didn't ask any questions about Chris Barnes! You can if you'd like, but I'd rather not talk
about that. Chris is in our past & we've moved on from that. I'm sure people will always ask about Chris, but we
have George now & a new release so we have moved forward & have progressed.
WE FIGURED YOU'VE ANSWERED ENOUGH QUESTIONS ABOUT CHRIS, SO I THREW THAT IN
AS A JOKE!
Yeah, that's cool as a joke, but if you wanted to you could. I'm glad it was a joke though!
IN ALL THE YEARS THAT CANNIBAL HAS BEEN AROUND YOU PLAYED DRUMS IN THE BAND
THE WHOLE TIME. DO YOU PLAY ANY OTHER INSTRUMENTS & HOW DID YOU GET INTO
DRUMMER? ARE YOU SELF TAUGHT?
Yeah, I basically only play drums & have all this time in the band. I used to play guitar when I was younger, like
I don't know, about 10 or 11. I took lessons & everything. I wasn't sure what I wanted to play yet, then I got
into drums a little later. My uncle always played & my older brother played too. Since he was into bands I was
into, I kind of learned from him. We grew up listening to the same kind of Heavy music. I actually wrote some of
the riffs for some of the older material in the band, which most people don't know. Yes, I am totally self taught in
the drumming aspect, I took formal guitar lessons, but I never took any formal drum lessons. Actually, when I
got on the drums for the 1st time I could actually hold a rhythm. Some people get on the drums & can't even
hold a beat. I knew I could do it, so it was just a matter of practicing & all that stuff. The fact that I was into this
Heavy Metal & it was getting more intense & crazy & there wasn't really much of a formal teaching in this style.
I was making stuff up as I was going along too. I was doing my own thing. If it was right to me that's all that
mattered. I just wanted to do my own thing & that's what I did. So, I basically self-taught myself. I did a lot of
listening & experimenting & there you go.
HAVE YOU BEEN IN ANY OTHER BANDS BEFORE CANNIBAL CORPSE?
There's a band called TYRANT SIN from Buffalo that I was in with Bob Rossay & Chris Barnes was in a band
also. That was kind of the band that we got together out of high school where everyone is friends & we started
playing our instruments together. So we made a few demo tapes & we played in the local Buffalo scene. That
was it. When the band basically broke up, it was a few months later that CANNIBAL CORPSE formed.
THE BAND IS ORIGINALLY FROM THE BUFFALO NEW YORK AREA, WHEN & WHY THE
TRANSITION TO FLORIDA?
It was about 4 years ago & for the most part we wanted a change. We were making a living off the band & we
could live where ever we wanted to live. The fact that the studio is down here in Tampa, The weather was nicer.
Just a bigger city in general with more going on. So, it was cool to get a fresh change & to get away from the
snow. I guess that's the reason behind it!
THIS IS ONLY YOUR 2ND RELEASE WITH GEORGE, HOW HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN FOR THE
LAST ALBUM & HOW DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE FOR THIS ONE?
Well, the response was great! I think a lot of people at first were not knowing what to expect because of the
change. Finally, once the album was released everybody kind of gave that sigh of relief of good they're still
brutal, they're still CANNIBAL CORPSE. Once we finally got on the road & proved to the people that George is
a killer front man & the man fro us & that with him we are only going to be stronger. We did set out to do that &
we did accomplish that. So now that people have gotten the taste of "VILE" & heard the new stuff, they'll see
that it's a lot fuller. It's better for George in that I think he had more time to work on the vocals. As to where
when he was brought on to do "VILE" in the middle of the recording process so I think he sounds a lot better on
this record & I think the people are going to be more accepting of it.
I NOTICED SOME OF THE NEW SONGS HAVE A DARKER MORE MELODIC APPROACH, ARE
THERE ANY BLACK METAL INFLUENCES AT WORK?
I don't think so, I think it was just the fact that we just wanted to do something a little bit different than what
we've done previously. I know myself that I don't listen to hardly any Black Metal. I know Alex doesn't listen to
it either. George is kind of the Primary Black Metal listener. I think a lot of the songs that we have that sound like
Black Metal are Jack's songs. Jack is a bit more into melody & playing the chords. I think we were just trying to
still sound eerie, just eerie in a different way. We wanted to add a different dimension to the band, but not really
consciously trying to sound like another Black Metal band. It's just something a little different for us.
VINCENT LOCKE HAS DONE THE ARTWORK FOR YOUR ALBUMS SINCE THE BEGINNING. HOW
DID YOU GUYS HOOK UP WITH HIM & WILL HE ALWAYS BE CANNIBAL'S COVER ARTIST? IS HE
STILL DOING DEAD WORLD?
We hooked up with him back when we were looking into doing our first album, we needed artwork. We wanted
something visual & pretty sick. We knew that he was doing the comic book DEAD WORLD at the time. We've
seen his covers & we were just really impressed by his artwork. So we tried to get a hold of the guy to see if he
would be interested in our cover. So we called him & he was. It was as easy as that. It turned into this tradition
thing, that we wanted to use his artwork for every album. It turns out that six album s & 8 years later we are still
using his artwork. As long as he is willing to draw the art work that fits this band, we will be happy to remain
with him. I know that DEAD WORLD has been done for awhile, but I do know that he was working on some
penciling or something for D.C. COMICS. I really haven't talked to him in a little while.
WILL THERE ALWAYS BE A CENSORED &
I would probably think so. We had to do it this time again.
The record chains won't carry it & instead of just having
just a plain white or black cover or something. We would
rather have some kind of art work. We will always have
our sick covers censored, keeping it true. We are happy
with the brutal art work. As long as we keep getting
censored we will always make two covers. It would be
nice to just have the one sick cover. We will probably
wind up doing this for awhile.
WHAT ARE THE TOUR PLANS FOR THIS ALBUM
AND WHO WILL YOU BE PLAYING WITH?
We've got a few tours set up now. We're actually leaving
next week to start a tour in Europe for 11 shows. It's a
festival tour. It actually is a pretty good bill, it should be a
good turn out. It's us, OBITUARY, ANGEL CORPSE,MARDUK, IMMORTAL & GOD DETHRONED.
So that should be pretty cool. We've had really good pre sales & it will be a good show. We do a head liner in
May with a band from Czech Republic called KRABATHOR & I'm not sure who else, but that's just a headliner
for a few weeks. Then we have plans to be touring in the states. We're not exactly sure who that will be with. It
does look like one band we will be with in the states is ANGEL CORPSE & a possibility of DARK FUNERAL.
That should be starting in July or August.
OUT OF ALL THE SHOWS YOU'VE PLAYED, DO ANY STAND OUT FOR ANY REASON?
I guess there's going to be a few that stand out here & there. The Metal fests have always been big. They are
always stand outs for us. There was one particular show in Mexico that was an outside amphitheater & it was all
concrete. I remember it was the biggest circle I have ever seen with all these Mexicans going crazy. It was
awesome! That's one of those sights you never forget. We played another big show in Chile in a big arena, there
was about 4000 people there just to see us. We headlined & that was the largest amount of people to see us, that
also was crazy. After so many years of playing a lot of the places mesh together.
DO ANY OF THE BAND MEMBERS LIVE UP TO YOUR NAME?
NO! (laughs) We're all pretty much normal, mellow guys. We are older now & we are basically into the music
more than anything else. It's always been music 1st with us. We wanted to be a band that we would want to go
see, so we just did it. We just went all the way with killer lyrics & sick music. We just made everything intense.
We are just normal people writing & playing brutal music. If we were living up to our lyrics we would be in jail
now or probably dead!
WHEN NOT TOURING, PRACTICING & DOING INTERVIEWS ALL DAY, WHAT DO YOU ENJOY
DOING TO OCCUPY YOUR TIME?
Ice hockey! I play a lot of ice hockey. I guess being from up north, I've been playing my whole life. I love to
play. I do it as much as I can when we are not busy on the road, writing material or in the studio. It's a lot of fun
& it's my hobby.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF YOUR FELLOW LABEL MATES GWAR?
Ummm...I've never thought of that. The image thing is cool. I think the whole show thing is pretty cool. I'm not
really a big fan of their music, but their show is pretty elaborate. I definitely give them credit for that. That's cool
there are other bands out there with intensity & shock value. It's cool!
IF YOU OPEN UP A RANDOM DEATH METAL ZINE YOU WILL SEE MANY BANDS DESCRIBED AS
CANNIBAL CORPSE CLONES. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THESE BANDS & BEING ONE OF
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL DEATH BANDS?
Well that is definitely a good feeling! It's a good thing knowing that there are people out there that are using us
for an influence. If they're going to blatantly play our stuff then that's not a good influence. I think it is good that
people are willing to use us as a guide & inevitably find their own style. It's a good feeling knowing younger
bands are using us for an influence.
WHAT BANDS, UNDERGROUND OR OTHER HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING TO LATELY?
Not to many really. I just find myself listening to a lot of the music I grew up with. A lot of older Metal. As for
the new stuff, I don't really know too much of what's out there. I've been listening a lot to our new record. I
really enjoy it. I like the way everything turned out.
IT SEEMS THE RECENT MAJOR DEATH METAL RELEASES HAVEN'T BEEN RECEIVED AS WELL
AS THE ONES FOUR OR FIVE YEARS AGO. WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ON THAT?
I don't know. I think bands will get more attention on major labels, but look where a lot of the Death Metal bands
ended up, on independent labels. Death Metal is an underground sort of music & the labels aren't going to be able
to give them the credit & the push they need because they are going to be lower on the list. The major labels are
worrying about other bigger bands. I don't think bands associated with major labels are going to be Death Metal.
That's why we've always stayed on independent labels. We have enough creative control through this label & we
can do what we want & we get plenty of distribution. We just don't need to be on a major label. I think Death
Metal needs to be independent & that's where it's at.
SINCE YOUR APPEARANCE IN "ACE VENTURA" WITH JIM CARREY HAS ANY OTHER MOVIE
DEALS OR ANYTHING ELSE COME FROM THAT?
No, not at all. That was just a one time deal. We do still see the residuals from the movie which is good. It's good
seeing a check once in awhile. The movie did so well all over the world that we are still seeing some cash from it.
So that's cool. It was a lot of fun & great exposure. I don't think we would ever turn down another opportunity.
It was great!
HOW DID YOU GET THAT PART?
Actually Jim Carrey is a big Death Metal fan & particularly a fan of CANNIBAL CORPSE. So he actually
requested that we were in the movie. We felt honored! We lived in Buffalo at the time & we flew down to Miami.
We met the director & Jim Carrey. It was awesome & it was a lot of fun!
I HEARD THAT THERE WAS SOME EXTRA FOOTAGE WHERE JIM CARREY GETS ON STAGE &
SINGS WITH THE BAND. WILL THAT FOOTAGE EVER BE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC?
Oh yeah, you know what you got to do is wait till NBC airs it again. What happened was when we were filming
for 2 days a lot of footage was shot, but when we went for the premier there was 45 seconds & we were over.
They took out the funny part & nothing was heard about it until last year. We got a few calls from some friends
who told us they had shown different footage on NBC. Then they played this extra footage again on NBC & I got
it on tape. So I got the whole thing. I really think the movie did so well that it will probably be played once a year
on NBC. That's probably the only way to see the extra footage. It really is pretty funny.
YOU GUYS ARE HITTING PHILLY ON THIS TOUR, RIGHT?
Yeah, I think we are!
GOOD, BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE I'M AT & I'VE NEVER CAUGHT YOU GUYS LIVE BEFORE!
Cool! I don't think we've ever played in Philly or maybe once in 1990 & this time around. I'm almost 99% sure
we have a place we will be playing in Philly!
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'LL DO AFTER CANNIBAL CORPSE HAS BEEN LAID TO REST?
I don't know. I don't think too much into the future a lot. I really don't even know. I don't give too much thought
of the band ending. I would probably stay involved in music. It's hard to speculate. Who knows when the band
will end & if it does who knows what my thoughts & views will be at that point. I'm 30 & in ten years at 40 who
know how I will feel & think. Over the years you change. I definitely think I've changed mentally in the last ten
years, so whose to say how I will change in the next 10 years. That's a tough question to answer. Life is weird
like that. I will be playing hockey until I can't skate anymore. In the hockey realm 30 is old, so there goes my
career in hockey! (laughs)
THANX A LOT FOR YOUR TIME & INSIGHT INTO THE WORLD OF CANNIBAL CORPSE. WOULD
YOU LIKE TO ADD ANY LAST COMMENTS OR ANYTHING ELSE TO CLOSE OUT?
Thanks for the interview & for the support. We hope the fans out there stay with it & keep up the support. With
out them we will be nothing!