Vocalist George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher of Florida death metal veterans CANNIBAL CORPSE was interviewed on the June 27-29 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below.
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.
Full Metal Jackie: Guitarist Pat O'Brien brought a lot of material to this upcoming album ["A Skeletal Domain"]. How did his creativity shape the overall direction of the new disc? What do you like best about what he wrote?
George: Well, he's been writing songs with us, you know, since he got in the band for [1998's] "Gallery Of Suicide". So, you know, he definitely brings a more technical side, as far as playing goes. He usually writes the crazier songs and the more technical-sounding songs and probably technically hard-to-play songs. Not that the other guys don't bring anything as far as musicianship, but his, I think, are the most challenging. I know, usually, vocal-wise, they definitely are. You know, I mean, he wrote more on this album than the other ones, but I think it's just pretty much along the lines that his songs are usually fast, but when he slows down, it's pretty much heavier than fuck, heavier than anything you're going to hear. So, Pat's always been a great writer. He's written some of the best songs we have, over the years.
Full Metal Jackie: Musically and lyrically, CANNIBAL CORPSE is already dark, but bassist Alex Webster said this new album is even a little more eerie and evil than usual. Do you make a conscious effort to really pursue the ambiance of an album as it comes together, once you recognize what it is?
George: Well, I think it's everybody coming together, because Rob [Barrett, guitar] wrote a few songs and then Pat wrote his songs and Alex [contributed as well], and obviously, they have three different styles of writing, but when you bring them all together, it's probably familiarity, as far as just everyone writing. I think they write on their own, but Alex can write with Pat in mind. I mean, not saying that he particularly does, you know. They write what they wanna write, but… It's just playing together, I think, [that] gets everything to sound more cohesive. I think Alex's and Pat's songs and Rob's all stand on their own, but, in general, I think we have a distinct sound. And I think it's because we have a stable lineup for a good number of years now and whatnot. And, you know, I mean, we've used a few different studios, too. It still seems that we don't come out sounding the same way, but we don't want to stray too far from the formula. I mean, we're a death metal band. We're totally comfortable being a death metal band and we're not gonna be anything else, so we're not trying to test new boundaries. I think everyone is trying to write something that's fresh sounding, but still familiar sounding, you know, that sounds like what we've been doing the past few years.
Full Metal Jackie: It's the first time since 2005 that you're not working with [producer] Erik Rutan; Mark Lewis was behind the board this time. What aspects of Mark's production style and technique made the biggest impact on the new music?
George: Well, I'll say this. When I was recording with Erik, we always recorded my vocals, I would be in a separate booth… It's hard for me to speak about the recording of the music; I wasn't really there for all that, I've been busy doing other stuff and there's no reason for me to be there while they're recording guitars. It would be a waste of time. But as far as vocals go, I recorded in the room with Mark. And then Paul [Mazurkiewicz, drums] wrote lyrics for some songs, and so when we did the songs that he wrote, he was there in the room. And Alex and Rob as well. And usually, I'd just be there with Erik and we were in a booth, and using different-style mics and whatnot. It was more controlled environment, and with Mark, it was a little bit more open; I wasn't in, like I said, again, a booth. That was the biggest thing for me. I'd pretty much much never done that before. At Morrisound [in Tampa], [I recorded my vocals] in a booth, and when we recorded at Sonic Ranch [in El Paso, Texas], I was in a booth. So that's just been the way I'd always done it. That's the biggest thing for me, recording-wise. We were recording in Sanford [Florida], which is outside of Disney. It's about two hours or so away from where we all live here in Tampa, but we had to travel when we were recording with Erik down over in St. Petersburg. And, obviously, El Paso is a little bit away, you know. Those are some differences when we did those albums in those places. But, otherwise, really, it was just, for me, it was just recording in a booth. And then Mark, he does different things, as far as production-wise. I think we might have done more double tracks, double tracking. When we were listening to it, [we'd be, like], "Yeah, [let's] do more highs and lows mixed together." But not a lot of real different stuff. And he's totally cool; he's awesome. [He] farts a lot, though.