Thinking Out Loud

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Paul Mazurkiewicz: Cannibal Corpse

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

As a drummer you’ve used a click track in your last album Evisceration plague for the first time. Was it a different experience for you?

It was different at first. I was always a drummer who didn’t want to use a click. I was self-taught and it never came across as something I wanted to do. This time around we wanted to be as solid as we could be, and wanted to improve the band in any way possible. And I definitely wanted to improve my playing in any way possible at this point. When that was suggested, I was for it. I said I’d give it a chance. It was definitely difficult in the beginning, adjusting to it. But now I look back and wish I would have done it years ago. It really helped my playing and helped tighten up the screws a little bit more. It made for the tightest recording we could do. That was huge. We’re not going to use a click live, but in time I hope it will get a little bit easier. But what a great help it was.

As a band, have the songwriting duties been spread out among the band members a little more efficiently- especially in the last album?
Everyone is a good songwriter. We know they have the capability to write Cannibal songs. Over the last few years it seems like Alex had a lot of ideas, and a lot of them came together very quickly. On Evisceration Plague Alex wrote seven of the songs and collaborated with Rob on one other one. Pat wrote two, Rob wrote one himself, and I wrote one song. But a couple albums back Pat had four songs. It just depends on the time frame and who’s come up with what at a given moment. Alex wrote most of this new one.

So, it’s Alex who mostly does the lyrics?

Yeah,It’s primarily Alex and I that write the lyrics. On Evisceration Plague Alex wrote all the lyrics to his songs, Rob wrote the lyrics for his song. I wrote the lyrics for the song I wrote, and I’ve always written lyrics for Pat. Every song that Pat has written for Cannibal Corpse I have written lyrics to. Pat’s just not a lyricist, and since Alex does so many lyrics with his songs I have no problem writing the lyrics to Pat’s songs. That’s how it’s been going these days lyrically.

So, as a vocalist –does George never make any changes to them before recording?

It’s pretty much as written. Some things might change here and there. If we get into the studio and something isn’t working syllable wise or isn’t coming across clean enough, they might be changed. If anything is changed, it’s usually pretty subtle.

You worked with producer Erik Rutan again on the last CD. What is it about his style that clicked with you guys?

He did a great job on Kill and we wanted to work with him again and see if we could do even better. The big thing is, he’s one of us. He’s a good friend of ours, and he plays guitar in a death metal band. What more do you need from a producer than a guy who’s in the thick of it like that? It’s key. He’s built his way up to be the producer that he is today. Being from that death metal background is such a big plus and hard to get from other producers.

Is age becoming an obstacle in maintaining the brutality and extremity in your music?
More physically than anything. Just playing it. We’re not getting any younger, and the songs aren’t getting any easier. When it comes to the edge, I believe that we’ve been doing it long enough and we are set in our style of how we write and how we play. When we have to write, everyone gets busy and it starts flowing. It’s something internal at this point. But the older we get the harder it is going to be to maintain stamina and that kind of thing. Knock on wood we’ve been fortunate that everyone’s been relatively healthy. Nobody’s had major issues. Luckily none of that has happened. We’ve got to use our maturity and brain more and use that to your advantage. We have to be physical. It’s what we do and that’s the way we play. But you learn how to use your muscles properly, learn stamina. We’re playing better live than we ever have.

What do you think sets CC apart from other Brutal Death Metal bands?
“We really work to make the songs memorable while simultaneously being brutal, and I think that is something that some other brutal death metal bands might have trouble doing. There may be other bands that are faster or more offensive lyrically, but I think we have a lot of song-writing talent and that trumps just about everything.”

 What was with Jim Carrey specially requesting you guys for Ace Ventura? What was the reaction amongst the members of the band when that offer came up?
We were all quite shocked and happy as well. It still seems quite surreal that he even knew who we were.
Why do so many politicians hate Cannibal Corpse? Have you ever considered just writing songs about various politicians?
We're an easy target, that's why they target us. We don't have the resources to fight back against their bullshit. Anyway, I don't know if we'd want to have songs about politicians...murderers, perverts, maniacs, sure...but politicians, well that's just going a little too far.

Do you guys ever just look at your song titles and start to laugh?
There's a couple that could definitely be seen in a humorous light, although we really don't intend them to be so.

Out of the blues question- If you were a vegetable- what vegetable would you be?
Well ,I got a few tomatoes from the market a while ago- so…I want to be a tomato for now. (laughs)

See, this is what I’m talking about- you’re such a normal guy- But, When I first saw you as a kid in the Hammered Smashed Face Live vid, I thought you’d be…
Yeah, I get what you’re trying to say-but what people don’t get is that our music, like any art-form on this planet is just an artistic thought and means of expression. When we talk about a goblin coming out of a person. We don’t actually mean it, dude. These are just horror stories we build up for our music. It’s like a canvas we paint.


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