Cannibal Corpse released their latest studio album, “Torture,” earlier this month to an amazing response. From the press to fans, “Torture” is an album that everyone is talking about right now. I believe it’s the band’s best album to date, and I can’t wait to watch them destroy this year’s Summer Slaughter tour! Last week I got to speak with their legendary drummer, Paul Mazurkiewicz, about the new record, touring, the band’s legacy and more! Check out my latest interview with him below and go out and buy “Torture” now!
We are obviously here to talk about the new Cannibal Corpse release, “Torture,” and the reviews, from both the press and fans, has been incredible. At this point in your career, how much does it mean to still get that great response?
Oh man, it still means to the world to us. For the band to be around for as long as we have been, and arguably putting out our best record, it’s a great feeling man. Just like our whole career, we are just trying to put out the best material we can and to still get a great response from our fans means everything to us.
Cannibal Corpse has released so many classic albums throughout the years, but I agree with you that this is the best record yet. I know why I think it is, but why do you say it’s the best?
I think it’s all about the songwriting with this record. As time goes on you get better and better at writing the best songs, and I think we nailed it on “Torture.” Plus, everyone contributed more on this album. Rob wrote three songs on “Torture” and he’s never had more than one he’s written on his previous releases with us, and I think that was huge for the band. I think he’s come into his own as a Cannibal Corpse writer ya know. Pat also put out his best work the four songs he wrote on this record as well. I think he wrote with a little more feeling this time around and it really worked out great. Plus, throw in his guitar wizardry, and it makes for his best four songs he’s written with Cannibal Corpse. Of course that’s my opinion, but both of those guys hitting their mark really made a difference on the album. I think it all comes down to us getting older and more mature with our songwriting. Plus, we still love what we do and want to get better at what we do, and I think that’s what sets us apart from other bands.
You worked with Erik Rutan once again on “Torture” and I was wondering why did you decided to go back and work with him, instead of any other producers out there?
Well he did great with “Kill” and “Evisceration Plague,” so that was one of the major reasons we decided to work with him again. Plus, he’s a really good friend to the band and has been for several years. We felt that “Evisceration Plague” outdid “Kill” and we figured that we could outdue “Evisceration Plague” and who better to help us do that than Erik. We always just want to get better and with Erik I think we accomplished that once again.
The first video off of “Torture” is for “Encased In Concrete” and out of all of the tracks, why did you choose that song for the first video?
“Encased In Conrete” is one of the songs that Rob wrote for the record and we also feel it’s one of the strongest songs off the album. It’s got the old school feel with some new school influences, but it’s just as aggressive as all of the other Cannibal Corpse songs. Plus, we wanted Rob to finally have a video song. Most of our vides throughout our career have been written by Alex, which were all great, but with Rob writing his best material for this album, we really felt he deserved a shot at having one of his songs for a video. So that’s the main reasoning behind choosing that song, but honestly, it’s one of the best off the record and it was a pretty easy choice for us as the first video. I still listen to that song quite a bit actually (laughs).
On the recent European tour you guys got to play the new tracks “Demented Aggression” and “Scourge of Iron” live for the first time. How did that go??
It’s always a little weird playing the new songs live for the first time. We’ve been playing these songs over and over again in the studio, but live it’s totally different. If you mess it up in the studio, you can do it over. In concert, you’re kind of screwed (laughs). All in all I thought they went over great. Those are two of my favorites off of “Torture” and I think the fans enjoyed listening to them as much as we did playing them. I am looking forward to playing other new tracks live in the future, but those two tracks went over very well in Europe for sure. We aren’t sure what other new tracks will be through into future sets yet, but hopefully we can get around to playing them all because we really love each song on the record.
Cannibal Corpse will be headlining this year’s Summer Slaughter Tour alongside a great lineup of metal bands. This tour is well known for having a crowd of different age groups so how are you tackling your set list for that tour?
It’s definitely going to be different, but we haven’t really thought about it yet. It’s a few tours away, so we will tackle that set once it’s a little closer. Obviously, we will want to promote the new record, but we still have to throw in the classics as well. It’s getting tougher and tougher as we keep putting out records, but it’s part of being in a band ya know. We are headlining that show, but it’s not really a headlining tour with the shorter time slot. With all of those bands, we will probably only get an hour, nothing is confirmed yet, but we will need to make the best of it for the fans. We will still try to hit every record like we always do, because we feel fans love that. It’ll be difficult for sure, but we’ll get it done the best way possible for everyone.
After the Summer Slaughter tour, do you have any headlining tours locked down?
There are things in the works, but nothing is confirmed yet. We are headed to Japan and Australia in October, which will be cool as hell, and after that who knows right now. It will definitely happen, but it’s just a matter of when ya know. My guess would be late this year or early next, but that could change next week(laughs)!
You just mentioned touring in Japan and Australia, which will be incredible shows, and it’s reminder that you guys have a worldwide fanbase unlike most death metal bands in history. Is there something you would love to play that you guys haven’t played yet?
At this point in our career, anywhere you haven’t played yet is always a cool place ya know. We haven’t played in India yet, and we get a ton of mail and great response from there, so if I had to name one place, that’d be it. Supposedly the scene is growing quick over there, so that’d be cool to play for those fans since we haven’t before. Twenty years ago you never would have thought of Cannibal Corpse fans in India and here were are today man and that’s super cool. It’s great not just for the band, but for metal as a whole. It’s definitely a worldwide family of fans and it’s exciting to watch it grow to new countries.
Cannibal Corpse has been one of the biggest metal bands for over twenty years now. You guys have released classic album after classic album, and have had great success a metal band throughout your career. In your opinion, what is the main thing behind your continued success?
I think the main thing is that we stuck to writing and playing the music we love ya know. We gained popularity with fans very early and stuck with the formula of playing the music we love to this very day. I think the fans really appreciate that. Like I said earlier, we really try to go out and write the best songs possible and that’s a big reason behind our success. We aren’t a band trying to prove anything and we never have been. We aren’t about behind the heaviest band or the fastest band, we just play the music we love. The fans always know what to expect from us. They can always count on Cannibal Corpse and I think the love that and we love giving them that feeling and our music. I think it’s really important in the metal scene today with all of these different bands popping up daily ya know. A lot of bands go through the motions, but we continue to write the music we love, try to make it the best possible, and we are still here after twenty-three years. I think that speaks volumes.
I totally agree. Most bands can’t even imagine being around for twenty three years with how the scene is today, but you guys are still playing and writing incredible music and it deserves a ton of respect. Do you ever see yourself NOT playing music? We all know that all things come to an end, but do you see that for Cannibal Corpse anytime soon?
It’s really weird to think about man. We never thought that we would still be around in 2012 when we started out. It still kind of blows my mind honestly. At this point we are going to just take it day by day ya know. Luckily, everyone is fairly healthy and we still enjoy doing this, so we are in a really good place right now. Of course we would love to be around for ten or fifteen more years, but who knows man. If it ended tomorrow, at least we did what we loved, we lived our dream, and we have no regrets. As of now, we will take it day by day and continue bettering ourselves to give the fans the best music possible.
Obviously the fans have been a huge part of Cannibal Corpse being around all of these years, so I will leave it open to you right here. Anything else you’d like to say to the fans out there?
Definitely! As we’ve said many times, if it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t be here today. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We truly believe we have some of the best fans in the world. I hope you enjoy “Torture” and definitely come check us out on the road this year! Cannibal Corpse is getting better and better, so be ready!