CANNIBAL CORPSE Drummer On 'Torture': 'These Are The Best Songs We've Ever Written'

March 16, 2012

On March 15, Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assault conducted an interview with drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz of Florida death metallers CANNIBAL CORPSE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Assault: I feel that the music on [the new CANNIBAL CORPSE album, "Torture"] is what people would have expected from you, but there are some songs that are slightly different from what you did on previous albums. Would you say that you've made progress since the last album, musically?

Paul: I would think so. We're always trying to make progress. I do believe that these songs are the best songs we've ever written, the most diverse songs, with a lot of individuality to all of them. The fact that we've had Rob [Barrett, guitar] and Pat [O'Brien, guitar] write a little bit more on this record helped, I think. We're always trying to step up our game. We're CANNIBAL CORPSE, we're going to do what we do, we're brutal death metal, but at the same time we do want to feel that we're moving forward, especially in the songwriting department. I think we've got some really catchy, heavy songs on this record, and it's something we've always strived to do, to keep bettering ourselves in every way possible.

Metal Assault: I also feel that your drums are sounding stronger than ever. Firstly, do you agree with that, and secondly, why do think that's the case?

Paul: Yeah, I do agree with that, and I really think I've stepped it up a lot on this album. I've worked harder than I ever have. Not that I didn't work hard before, but for some reason I just went through a lot of changes personally with the drumming, changing up some little things, working on some things I felt I needed to improve upon, like changing sticks, setting up a little higher, using different pedals, and that kind of thing. The big key with that is, we incorporated the click track while writing the last album, "Evisceration Plague", but this time around I felt a lot more comfortable working with the click track. I think it has really opened me up to be able to play a little bit more freely and to be able to do things around the click that I wasn't able to do with "Evisceration Plague", being that it was so new at the time. So I think all those factors really came into play, and like I said, I just stepped it up and tried to do my best. I'm glad that people are noticing that the drumming is a little bit stronger on this record, and like you said, arguably the best I've ever played, or one of my best performances.

Metal Assault: CANNIBAL CORPSE has such a huge reputation when it comes to the violent lyrical themes, songtitles and everything. Do you feel any kind of pressure of living up to that reputation while writing lyrics?

Paul: Well, we just do what we do. That's all we've always done for everything, writing music and writing lyrics. We feel that it's inside us, but, of course, we want to do something different than the last time around. I think as long as we come up with some good subject matter and we have some good titles, the stories will come. That's the key, and that's the way I write my lyrics. Most of the guys in the band come up with the title first, and then the subject matter follows because of the title and the concept that we came up with. That was important, just coming up with those, and we just took it from there. So I don't think there was any added pressure of needing to do anything specific or feeling like we have to outdo ourselves. Obviously there are going to be a lot of parallels with the lyrics and stories we've written on past albums, because we're horrific death metal. We try to write horror stories, some of them might be a little similar in nature because of writing about zombies, killing and all this kind of stuff, but we keep it fresh in our minds and as long as we do those little subtle different things that I was talking about earlier, we'll be okay. And we have done okay on this one.

Metal Assault: Normally, when do you start writing the lyrics? Does it come as the final step for a new album?

Paul: For me, it's always the final step. I think for all of us, it's the final step. We think about music first, and that's always been the case. We obviously want to write the song and that's the most important thing, because if you don't have the song, you won't have anything to put the lyrics over. So that's the way we've always worked. We might have a song title in mind, but until after the song is done musically, that's when we typically start working on those patterns and fitting the lyrics into the song. So they come at the end, and that's probably the way we'll always work.

Read the entire interview from Metal Assault.

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