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Interview conducted February 28 2012
Interview published March 28 2012

Metal Covenant met up with just awokened Cannibal Corpse's drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz during the Full Of Hate tour which pulled together Nexus Inferi, Misery Index, Suicidal Angels, Legion Of The Damned and co-headliners Behemoth, stop in Gothenburgh for a chat about among other things what's the best thing about being in Cannibal Corpse today, and why Scandinavia is great to tour in.

  • Martin: Okay, good to see you Paul.

Paul: Thanks man, good to be here.

  • Martin: You've been around for quite some time, and I guess having had some ups and downs. What is the best thing about being in Cannibal Corpse today?

Paul: I mean, I don't know really. The fact that I can do this, and have been doing it for 20 plus years is great in itself. Playing music that you love, crazy death metal, and that you can make a living out of it, is just remarkable. And it's been that way since we've started really. You really don't go into this kind of scene thinking that you're going to be where we are right now. Luckily, we've had success from the start basically. We were very fortunate from the beginning, being able to tour and getting bigger and coming away with a little money.

  • Martin: You've been touring with Behemoth for the Full Of Hate Tour, playing big venues. How is this different from when you started out?

Paul: Well, basically the early death metal scene was, as you know, not very big. It was more of a small club atmosphere at the gigs where the music was so new to pretty much everybody. You know, if you could pack in 300 to 400 people in a venue, then that was a good show. And that was what we were used to, doing many a show like that in the early days. We're still doing them here and there of course, but now it's, like I said, crazy to think how it all started like some kind of small, underground style of music and it having gotten where it is now, playing bigger venues. It's quite a feat actually.

  • Martin: How did the Full Of Hate tour come about?

Paul: Well, as always it's mostly through management.

  • Martin: Because... well, it really is a great package.

Paul: Yes, it really is. We knew Behemoth were making a comeback, and the powers that be, you know came up with a plan, like"Hey, what do you think touring with Behemoth?". And we're like:"sure!"

  • Martin: Was the tour the first one you did with Behemoth?

Paul: Yeah, we've never done a tour like this with them. Some festival-shows, mostly in the States. And you know, I think it's been a great turnout for the shows. I think if you would talk to any of the bands on the tour, they would say that this tour has been really great.

  • Martin: Any weird stuff happening?

Paul: Haha, not too much. We've been on so many tours so it's not like everything is new to us. We really are toned down in our behaviour. Not that we ever were the wild guys, haha! The only thing that actually happened was that George (Corpsegrinder Fisher, singer.) slipped and fell out of the bus on the second day of the tour and bruised his ribs pretty good, and messed up his elbow. But other than that, it's all been about having a good time with the guys. Nothing really out of the ordinary.

  • Martin: If you compare touring in the U.S to Europe - are there any big differences?

Paul: Not really. Well, in Europe it's a little bit different because of the different cultures. But other than that it really is quite similar to the U.S. We have great shows in America, we have great shows in Europe.

  • Martin: I read that Alex (Webster, bass) especially liked touring Scandinavia. How is it for you?

Well, I don't know if I have a particular favorite country to tour. Everywhere we've played on this tour has been good shows. Here in Scandinavia we've had some really great shows, and it's a little bit different from the rest of Europe, I guess. Every country is different, and it's cool to get to experience that. Scandinavia, though, is a great place to us - Sweden especially. I always tell people too, on another note, that we've toured with so many Swedish bands over the years, and we know a lot of Swedes. And there's not a Swede that I have met that I didn't like. I always tell people that. Everybody's nice people. It's crazy!

  • Martin: One of the things I've been aching to ask you are what bands do you listen to?

Paul: Well, for me personally I love some older stuff. I've kind of reverted back to listening to bands from the late 60s and the early 70s. I've been making a note of finding bands that I didn't know existed, and kind of having that mentality, you know. The big band for me for the last years has been Steppenwolf, the first seven records from that band are incredible to me. But then of course there's always going to be the bands that I grew up with like Slayer, Kreator, Dark Angel and Sacrifice. There are very talented musicians out there, but nothing grabs me as much as that early stuff. The only band that did that for me is, say in the last 10 years, Aeon. "Bleeding The False" is incredible. When we first heard that one, we were like "this is what death metal should sound like". Can't say enough of that album.

  • Martin: Have you heard anything off "Path Of Fire"?

Paul: Yeah! But for some reason "Bleeding The False" blew me away.

  • Martin: Well, getting back to your own stuff - how do you go about writing songs?

Paul: Well, these days it's pretty much an individual thing. We've changed a little bit over the years in the way we write. I mean in the early days when you don't know any better, not that there's anything wrong with that, we wrote stuff together. These days it's a lot more loose. When we were getting together for "The Bleeding" Alex said like, he wanted to write a whole song by himself, and that was different for us back then, but that ended up being how we work today. Of course, nowadays with technology, everybody has a lot moore tools at their disposal to be able to create.

  • Martin: But, once a song is written, is it like - "play exactly like this", or?

Paul: Well, not exactly. Like on the last two records, all the songs that Alex wrote he pretty much wrote the drum parts for me, because he's good enough at programming that when I'm hearing that I'm like, great. And in his songs, I rarely change anything.

  • Martin: Okay, Paul, that's basically it.

Paul: Well, alright. Thanks man!

See also: review of the album Torture

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