WW: How did Buffalo inspire the birth of Cannibal
Corpse? Was there something in the snow?
CG: I don’t know exactly. I got in the band about
15 or 16 years ago. I know that growing up listening to bands
like black Sabbath, Slayer, and Kreator inspired everybody. I
know that’s what inspired me, growing up in Baltimore. Black Sabbath
was probably the first heavy band that I heard, well, the first
metal band that I heard. That was probably ‘78 or ‘79, when I
was 9 years old. When you’re grow up listening to Iron Maiden,
Cccept, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and then Ozzy, and then you
hear things like Slayer and Celtic Frost…that just made me want
to play faster and heavier music. I think that’s pretty much across
the board for most death metal bands, especially old farts like
us. It always needs to be faster and more brutal. I know that
the reason those guys moved to Florida was because they were sick
of the damn snow.
WW: When were you (George “corpsegrinder” Fisher)
first approached and asked to replace Chris Barnes?
CG: Here’s the whole story: they kicked him out.
He didn’t leave on his own. They had some issues in the studio
when they were doing the album Created to Kill, which became Vile…the first album after I came in. They had some issues
with him and weren’t happy with it so Alex got my number and called
me up and said, “Hey, we need a new singer.” I was in the band
Monstrosity at the time. Actually I was in Ocean City, Maryland
staying with my parents, and was about to head back down to Florida
to do the Millennium Monstrosity
record. When Alex called me and asked me to do it I told him to
give me a day or two to think about it, but I knew I knew then
that I was going to do it. I started Monstrosity with Lee Harrison,
Jon Rubin (both of Malevolent Creation) and Mark van Erp, and
I wanted to take just a little bit of time to weigh it all out.
Alex called me and I had heard that there was some tension between
them and Chris but, hey, whatever, what’s done is done and now
it’s been almost 16 years. Yeah, I came down in Oct. or Nov. of
‘95 and the rest is history.
Corri: What reaction does your family have to Cannibal
CG: My family? My family’s crazy so they’re all cool.
My mom sees the album covers and is just like, “mmm, mmm, mmm,”
but she knows that none of us are maniacs. For us, they’re all
based on horror movies, not horror movies that we’ve seen. We
come up with our own ideas, you know? But basically it’s all inspired
by a love of horror movies, and the music is aggressive. Cannibal
Corpse is not really interested in talking about politics or religion.
Everybody has their own views on that in the band. We like zombies
and horror movies and blood and gore so that’s what we want to
write about. My father doesn’t really give a shit. My mother and
my father, they know who I am. They raised me. They understand
what it’s all about. She doesn’t think, “Oh my God, you’re a maniac.”
And they never tried to hinder me in any way when I was growing
up. I could listen to any thing I wanted. I wasn’t going out getting
arrested or getting into trouble. My friends and I were pretty
tame because all we cared about was listening to music and partying
a little bit. We were trying to listen to King Diamond, not punch
people in the fucking head. I wasn’t getting into trouble, so
as far as my mother was concerned, what I was listening to wasn’t
a problem. I never really thought about getting into trouble,
all I wanted to do was to be in a band. Not all of my friends
were totally into it but I was. By the time I was 15 or 16 that’s
all I cared about. That’s all I wanted to do.
Corri: What are some of the bands that you’re currently
CG: well there’s a lot. There’s this band called
Ghost from Sweden. It’s kind of along the lines of Mercyful Fate
without the higher falsetto going on, and some heavy ‘70s stoner
stuff, Hank Williams III. That’s why I was in Austin, you know,
to see the show. This punk band called Off With Their Heads. I’ve
been listening to them a lot. The new Black Dahlia Murder album
is pretty awesome. All the guys in the band listen to pretty much
everything. We’re not just close-minded to death metal. If you
looked at my iPod probably most of it is metal or death metal,
but there’s country in there. I’ve got a Cardigans record, a R.E.M.
record, and a Journey record. There are a lot of different influences
but pretty much every one in the band listens to old ‘70s rock-n-roll
and pretty much any death metal you can think of. We cover the
spectrum although no one really listens to pop music. You might
could consider R.E.M pop but the album I have is pretty old so
I don’t know.
Corri: Do you have any side projects going on right
CG: Alex has a band called Blotted Science with Ron
Jarzombek from Watchtower. Eventually I’ll be doing an album with
Shannon Lucas, the drummer for Black Dahlia Murder and Adam D.
from Killswitch Engage. We’ll do it sometime this year, which
might be hard with Cannibal Corpse’s schedule. If not, we’ll get
it done next year…hopefully by the summer. It’s going to happen
but it’s all tentative, depending on everyone’s schedules. Basically
the Cannibal Corpse album takes priority over everything else.
Then we’re doing Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin. We’re playing the
same day as Slayer, Nov. 6th.
Corri: How do you spend your time when you’re not
touring and causing trouble?
CG: This friend of mine will come over with a bottle
of Beam, I’ll get some beer and we’ll just hang out in the garage
listening to David Allen Coe and Merle Haggard, Hank III, hell,
all the Hanks, and we’ll just sit around and bullshit. I watch
football on Sundays – Go Broncos! – and there’s a pond in my yard
where I go fishing. In fact, when we’re done with this, I might
go out there and catch some bass. We just drink Beam or Jack Daniels
and when we do that, we gotta play “Tennessee Whiskey.” Nothing
crazy. I don’t go out unless there’s a show or something.
WW: You guys have toured all over the world. What
are a couple of places that really stand out?
Cg: South America for sure. When people ask what’s
the craziest place to play, it’s definitely South America. There’s
no close second. It’s insane. There’s so much passion down there
for music. When you go down there and experience it yourself,
there’s just nothing like it. We like playing everywhere but the
passion down in South America is unequaled. There’s something
special about it. We always have individual fans that are wilder
than others, but South America seems to have the most.
Corri: You said in an interview that you “like gruesome,
scary movies and want the lyrics to be like that.” That said, what are
some of your favorite movies?
CG: Horrorwise? It’s definitely The Shining for me. It’s not really gory, but it’s so psychologically
disturbing. The Exorcist is
just downright evil. Then there’s Dead Alive, which
is gore for the sake of gore. We don’t keep up as much as we used
to as far as horror movies go, but the last really fucked up horror
movie I saw was Human Centipede. Our guitar player Pat bought that. It was
just wrong. Paul, our drummer’s favorite movie ever made is Smokey and the Bandit. No doubt about it. And that movie is
really up my alley because my father used to drive a truck for
Mayflower, and my birthday’s in July. So, when my parents asked
me what I wanted for my birthday, I’d always say, “I want to go
out on the road with you guys.” I grew up in that kind of culture,
and that’s probably where I get my love of country music. We were
on the road and stopping a truck stops and that’s all that was
playing in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s, George Jones and Conway
Twitty. Goodfellas is another all-time favorite movie. Every day off,
I watch Conan the Barbarian, not the new
one – I haven’t seen that, but the original with Arnold. We have
as wide a variety of tastes in movies as we do in music.
WW: How does it feel to be the top-selling death
metal band of all time in the U.S. and second world-wide?
Cg: I want to be number 1! We’re not stopping ‘til
we’re number 1! For a death metal band to have had the success
that we’ve had is great. It’s awesome! We’re comfortable with
it. Sometimes we sit back and reflect and say, “Well, we did sell
a bunch of goddamn records!” But we don’t sit around thinking
about it too much because if you spend too much time kissing your
own ass.... It’s about the fans. They’re the reason we’re all
still here. Everyone busts their asses to put all their time into
the studio, and give 100% of their heart and soul, and 150% at
every show we play because we have to give back. The fans give
to us and we have to give back to them. We’ve had a loyal fan
base for a long time and we’re lucky that we still do and I think
it’s probably because they know that we’re not the band that’s
going to sell them down the river to make money. We won’t, and
I will not, and I’m confident to say that it won’t happen with
any of the guys in the band. We’re all different guys and we all
have different ideas when it comes to different things but we
all love death metal, and are death metal. If we didn’t want to
do it anymore we would leave, or I would hope that we would. I
know Jack had a time where he didn’t really want to play this
anymore so he left. And we’re still cool and he’s our friend but
we’re happy that he left when he didn’t want to be there we’re
lucky that we have the fan base that we do. They’re here because
they know that we’re the band that’s not going to turn our backs
on them. Some of the newer stuff may be too technical for them.
Some people may like the older stuff but I don’t think that anyone
can contest the fact that we’re playing death metal. And if anyone
thinks we’re not, then they can fucking die in a fire cause we’re
fucking death metal and we’re always going to be death metal.
We happen to be one of the oldest death metal bands out there
and if some elitists don’t like it because we’re not some new
band that nobody knows about then that’s just too bad. People
have this idea that when a band starts getting bigger that they
start selling out. I know we’ve progressed but we haven’t progressed
outside of death metal, we’ve progressed within it, and we’ve
helped make it better. And there are a lot of other bands out
there that are doing the same thing. Death metal’s not going anywhere
for anybody that wants it to stay.
WW: How has cannibal corpse managed to endure in
spite of a number of line-up changes and numerous side projects
over the years?
Cg: Basically, we’re focused on one thing: Cannibal
Corpse. It never gets halted because of side projects. And we
haven’t had that many lineup changes. Technically, we’ve only
had 3-4 different members. It’s kind of confusing because Rob
came back, but there hasn’t really been that many, considering
how long the band has been around. There’s not that many bands
you can say that about, considering they got together in ’88-’89
and started writing stuff. That’s a pretty long time. Cannibal
Corpse is still the priority. I’ve done a few things outside of
music, like the voices for the Metalocalypse cartoon (the metal masked assassin). And they
made a character of me for the game World of Warcraft
and I play that very avidly, so I have a lot of stuff on the backburner
but the band always comes first.
WW: Speaking of Metalocalypse,
is that over? Is that done?
CG: I think they may be doing some more stuff and
hopefully I’ll be involved. I don’t know; I’m really not at liberty
to say. They’re probably going to be doing more of that. Brendan
and Tommy are awesome. I did some of the voices in St. Petersburg
where we recorded the first two Cannibal Corpse records, but then
I went out to LA to Titmouse studios. And I got to meet Mark Hammill,
Luke Skywalker. That was awesome, he was great. And I got to meet
Brendan and Tommy, all the people that work on the show.
WW: How did they find you?
CG: They love metal! They’re metalheads! We were
doing a tour called “Sounds of the Underground” and our last show
was in LA and Brendan came up to meet me. The show had probably
been out one week. But the owner of our label Metalblade had mentioned
something about this cartoon about metal. I don’t know if it was
because he had seen trailers for it or if he had seen the first
episode, but it wasn’t all that big yet; it had just started.
And Brendan came up to me and said “Hey, you’re George from Cannibal
Corpse, I’d love for you to come out to LA and do some voices
for our show.” And I said, “Fuck yeah, I will!” I didn’t know
if the show was going to be big, small, I didn’t know anything
about it. I came home and saw some episodes and then I was psyched,
I was like “Fuck yeah, man!” One of the first scenes I did voices
for, the other character in the scene was King Diamond. I never
got to meet him but I wish I had, or will one day. But his character
was in the same scene as mine and it was awesome. It was a great
experience. I got to go out there and watch Mark Hammill do his
voices for the scenes with his character. I was really nervous.
I can go into the studio and record and it’s nothing. It means
nothing to me. But doing that was like, “Wow, I hope I can come
up with some good voices.” I’m honored that I could be a part
o it. It’s a metalheads cartoon for metalheads. Those guys just
asked me to do it because they knew who Cannibal Corpse was and
I’m honored and flattered to be a part of it.
WW: How did you guys hook up with Vincent Locke,
the artist who has done some of your most controversial covers?
CG: He’s done pretty much everything and what’s weird
is that we just met him last year! For the first time! He’s [all
of our] album covers and we’re just meeting him, but he’s really
busy and has a ton of shit going on. It just never worked out
until recently. Yeah, he used to do a comic book called Deadworld and I don’t know who in
the band was reading it, but they decided to contact him. He did
such a great job on the first one that we had him do the next
one and the next one after that. We feel like he’s the 6th-7th
member of the band at this point. Lots of times we’ll just give
him the album, the title and a couple of songs, then he’ll just
go for it. Then he’ll come back with a sketch and usually goes
with it. He’ll go back and add more detail, and we may tweak a
few things (make that bigger, make that smaller, make that more
bloody) but it’s usually nothing really crazy. I just think he’s
on the same wavelength as we are.
WW: Recently you guys recorded your 12th
studio album at Sonic Ranch Studios in Texas with producer Erik
Rutan. What was it like working with him? And when can we expect
your next “death metal offering” (http://www.cannibalcorpse.net )?
Cg: We did Bloodthirst, Gore Obsessed and The Wretched Spawn
out in El Paso at the Sonic Ranch Studios with a couple of the
other guys from Metalblade. Then we recorded Kill and Evisceration Plague with Erik Rutan, and decided to go back
to Texas and just take Erik with us and put him in the studio
for the most recent album. Actually, our drummer Paul came over
to my house after he was done with all his drum tracks and everything
has been going great and sounding great.
WW: so you guys all go out there separately, record
your tracks and come back?
CG: Well, I was busy doing some things while they
were recording, and there’s really nothing for me to do out there
while they’re recording anyways so everyone else went out there
at the same time…because they have to be when the drum tracks
are being recorded. So I think when Rob was done and the drums
were set in stone that he came back early because he has a daughter
and a wife and whatnot and there’s no point in him being out there.
But everybody else is still out there. They might be coming home
today, I think, but I’m not sure.
WW: What would you say to concerned moms out there
whose high school kid just discovered CC?
CG: Don’t worry mom, we’re not bad. Really, we’re
not. Our bark is worse than our bite. What’s funny is, I’ve met
a lot of parents. Parents will bring their kids to our shows that
are like 12 years old and I’m always like, “Holy shit! You let
your kids come to our show?” But one of the reasons I think our
fans are behind us is that we’ve always been a fan friendly band.
If one or all of us doesn’t come off the bus it’s because we have
family there, but we’ll always take at least 5 minutes to step
off the bus and say, hey my mom’s on the bus. But we take the
time out to do that. So what I’m getting at is that if some kid
comes to the show and their parents are there and I remember this
one particular incident. This kid was standing there and his parents
were probably 10-15 feet away from me and the kid wanted to come
talk to me but was totally scared. So the mom came up and said,
“Hey, he wants to take a picture with you, is that okay?” And
I said sure. So he took the picture with me, I signed some stuff,
and he wanted to ask some questions but the kid was just scared
out of his mind. So his mom asked the questions and his dad talked
to me and, after a while his mom said, “You know what? After watching
you on stage screaming about how you were going to kill everybody
and their mother…I was just wondering if I should get him out
of here now and burn your records. And then after sitting here
and talking to you, I know where you’re coming from and it’s not
just what the band is talking about.” For me, it’s not just about
the lyrics. We take the lyrics seriously, but we don’t take them
literally. And she understood that she was like, “I don’t care
what you guys write about. My kid is always welcome to come to
your shows. You just seem like good people with your heads screwed
on right and your parents raised you right.” And that was a big
deal to me because I care about all the people that come to our
shows. I have two daughters and when there are young kids there
I look at them like they’re my kids. I’m not like there’s a little
kid over there we got to get the hell out of here. I’m like, no
way, there’s a little kid over here that wants some stuff signed,
and we’re going to sign his stuff. For mothers reading this, just
know that we’re not as bad as some bands out there. We’re just
playing music. Boil it down however you want, we’re just a bunch
of douchebags playing music. We’re lucky to be here and we’re
happy to be here. Don’t take our covers and lyrics seriously and
you’ll be fine. We’re just a bunch of dudes, well, old dudes,
playing death metal.
WW: Parting words of wisdom to your legions of fans?
CG: Stay metal. And don’t ever give up. If you’re
in a band trying to make it, don’t ever give up. Don’t ever let
anybody tell you that your dream won’t come true. If you put the
work, the time and the love into it, and you have a passion for
it…like I know that we do, nobody can stop you. Also, to everyone
that’s going to be at Fun Fun Fun Fest, kick ass! And we’ll see
you guys there!
Cannibal corpse is:
George fisher – vocals
Rob barrett – guitar
Pat O’Brien – guitar
Alex Webster – bass
Paul Mazurkiewicz - drums
Trust me, I’m with you. I had about 20 beers last
“George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher
voices the Metal Masked Assassin. He was
also the inspiration for the character Nathan
Explosion, the lead vocalist for Dethklok. Nathan shares
a similar physical appearance to George, headbangs in a windmill
fashion, and was also born in Florida, although Fisher was born
in Baltimore and moved to Florida later in life. Blizzard Entertainment implemented
a non-player character named
"Gorge the Corpsegrinder" into World of Warcraft: Wrath of the
Lich King after his interest in the game was revealed
in interviews.” - Wikipedia