The always punishing Six Feet Under will be releasing “Undead” on May 22nd here in the States via Metal Blade Records. As with every Six Feet Under album, the band takes death metal to a new level, and with the addition of new members, this band has a new fire inside them and it shows with “Undead.”
Last week I got to have a brief conversation with vocalist Chris Barnes about the new record, the new lineup, touring and much more! Check it out below!
“Undead” is easily one of the most anticipated records of the year, but no one seems more excited than you honestly. Fair statement?
That’s a very fair and probably true statement! (laughs) I am totally excited to release it, but then again, when that day happens it’s kind of a weird feeling for me honestly. The time between the record being completed and the record actually being released is cool because it’s still our record ya know. There’s that unknown to it. Once it’s released it’s like okay now everyone can pick it to pieces. We’ve gotten a lot of positive response from the tracks we’ve released so far, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign for it’s release. If we would have gotten a negative response I might have gone on a killing rampage (laughs). Personally, I think this album fucking kills! It’s the best thing that I’ve done since “The Bleeding” man. I know a lot of people may be surprised when I say that but I’m really proud of this album man.
You guys already released “Formaldehyde” and “18 days”, which are both incredible tracks. Did you choose those songs because they were the best representation on what people can expect from the album?
That was such a tough choice man. Up until the other day I was contemplating on what songs to release. Seriously, like the day before it was supposed to be posted (laughs). It’s just such a tough fucking thing to do for a band like ours. It’s almost impossible to anticipate what fans want to hear and I don’t think there’s a bad song on the album, so I finally decided on “Formaldehyde” and “18 days”, and the response has been so awesome. It’s really important to release one of the strongest songs for the fans in the beginning to see what they think, but I honestly think that every song is strong, so I think people will be stoked once they hear it.
Like you said, the response to these two tracks have been incredible! Hearing all the positivity from the fans, does it make you feel better about your song choices?
Yea man definitely! I feel really good about it for sure. Some people even seem to like the songs more than I do, so that’s always a plus. We’ll see though, people like to change their minds quite a bit lately.
Rob joined the band last year, but this will be his first album with the band. Since most people know him from his Chimaira days and this is obviously more different, talk about his guitar playing and what he brought to the table with this album?
I think it’s a pretty obvious answer once you listen to the album. I mean all of the positive comments about the music you’ve read is about the music that he presented me in the first place. He brought me an incredible set of songs that really inspired the hell out of me. His writing ability and guitar playing made my part on this record pretty effortless. I’m only as good as the guys around me in this band and that’s how it’s always been. With this new material, it really pushed me to try and accomplish something that I never have before. As we all know, he is a big death metal fan and he knew what my vocals could do from my previous work. So he took his previous knowledge of what I’ve done and brought these riffs that just blew me away man. That dude is unreal and it really shows on the new record. I think it’s going to take him to a new level in the guitar world as well, and I can’t think of anyone else that deserves that.
You say he made it effortless, so would you say this is the easiest record you’ve ever made?
Yea man, that’s kind of funny to think about, but it’s definitely the easiest album from my point of view I’ve ever made. Between all of the guys in the band, we wrote 26 songs in 14 months and it was just so effortless. I was depressed when it’s stopped man. I didn’t want it to end. That’s life though I guess (laughs). I will tell you that these twelve songs we chose are just incredible. I really think it’s something special.
You will be hitting the road with Dying Fetus and Revocation here in the States, how much of the new stuff can we expect to hear?
We haven’t really talked about it that much because there is so much before that tour, but I imagine that we would play at least two or three songs from it. It just depends on what the reaction is from the fans. I’ll see what people want on the set list by asking on our website, but I definitely want to give the people what they want. I don’t want to do too many new songs and have the people kind of standing there ya know (laughs). We’ll just see what the fans want and go from there. I want our fans to have the best time as possible, so it will ultimately be up to them.
You are also confirmed the Barge To Hell cruise in December which a ton of people are looking forward to. What are you most looking forward to on that trip?
Ha! I know that I will probably be wrecked on that whole trip, so that’s one answer I can give (laughs). It’s just gonna be a party man. I’m just expecting something that I will only experience once in a lifetime ya know. A huge party with a bunch of metal heads on a fucking boat. That whole idea still blows mind honestly. I’m so stoked for that trip!
Now a lot of people talk down about the music scene, mostly because of illegal downloading, but what do you think is one of the most positive things about the scene right now?
The most positive thing that I’ve seen is the insane enthusiasm of the fans right now. I don’t really think people are downloading illegally as much now as they were thanks to iTunes or whatever. I think even if they were stealing the music, they are still enthusiastic about the band and seeing them on tour ya know. I think the scene is insane right now. There’s a lot of pissed off people out there with the government, jobs or whatever, and our form of music is the best outlet for it. Last year when we did Summer Slaughter it was obvious that fans needed that outlet. Plus, a lot of the younger bands out there are just insane man. Some of these young musicians just blow my mind. There are some 18 or 19 year old guys out there playing instruments better than I think is humanly possible. So I think the scene is thriving and I’m excited to see where it goes from here. We will definitely be there to see it go down!
For the last question, in all of your years in the scene is there one lesson that you’ve learned that has helped you the most?
Don’t take anything personally. That’s the best thing you will learn not only in a band but in life in general. There’s always those idiots out there that talk trash or whatever, but just keep doing what you’re doing and what makes you happy. If they want to talk shit, let them. I’ll still go on with a smile on my face (laughs).
Hell yes man, great answer! I’ll leave this last part open for you. Do you have anything left you’d like to say to the fans out there?
Yea, thanks for all of the good years and I hope everyone enjoys the new album. “Undead” is coming to crush your skulls so be ready! See you on the road!