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Metal Special: Cannibal Corpse

Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz talks about the band’s quarter century of death metal and their latest album ‘Torture’

Deepti Unni Jul 17, 2012
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“25 years! It’s a long time. Who would have thought? Certainly not us!” says Cannibal Corpse drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, breaking into a chuckle midway through our interview. “Wow, to play just death metal and to play the music we love for 25 years, it’s unbelievable at times.” That the Buffalo, New York band haven’t lost that sense of wonder after a quarter century of splatter and gore is part of what continues to make Cannibal Corpse one of the most beloved and bankable acts in international metal. The other part being that the band members are some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

Having climbed to the top of the death metal charts on a trail of dismembered bodies and cheerfully repugnant stories, all backed by impeccable, brutal songwriting, the band have consolidated their position. They upped the ante and the body on their latest album Torture that came out this March, which is possibly the most dynamic and mature Cannibal Corpse album yet, song titles like “Encased in Concrete” and “Followed Home, Then Killed” notwithstanding. What set Torture apart from earlier releases was the fact the songwriting duties were split up between Mazurkiewicz, guitarists Rob Barrett and Patrick O’Brien and bassist Alex Webster. In the past, Webster principally handled the songwriting. But the band seems to have benefited from his preoccupation with his technical death metal side project Blotted Science with guitarist Ron Jarzombek, resulting in possibly the most diverse Cannibal Corpse album ever.

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Mazurkiewicz spoke to Rolling Stone India about Torture, being a band that’s for the fans and by the fans and a few surprises they may have planned for their 25th anniversary next year.

Cannibal Corpse has been releasing albums pretty consistently over the last few years.

Pretty much. We’re seeing no longer than three years between releases, especially in the latter years with more touring, but we have been consistent at putting the releases out every few years. We like to stay busy; we like to keep it that way. We get the fans new material as soon as we can.

Did you guys do anything differently this time around?

I think it was just the fact that we had a little bit more diversity in the songwriting. Rob wrote three songs on this record, Pat wrote four and Alex wrote the other five. If you compare it with Evisceration Plague or maybe even Kill, Alex did a lot of the writing over the last few years, so I think having those guys step up, Rob and Pat, arguably writing the best songs they ever wrote for Cannibal Corpse, it just made it such a more diverse record, because everybody’s style, of course, is different. So I think we did really hit the nail on the head with the diversity ”“ we got fast, we got slow, we got mid-paced, we got some really catchy songs with some riffs. So having everybody contribute makes such a huge difference, especially in our band, because we got some great writers.

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 (To read the full interview pick up the ROLLING STONE India August issue.)

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