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Chris Barnes

This interview with Chris Barnes appeared in issue #4

Wasn’t Alan West criticized for coming up with weak riffs?
I don’t listen to what people think, man. I think that he writes all the best Obituary riffs, first off. I listen to the music first. I don’t listen to peoples’ opinions because it just taints your whole vision of things. I just like his sound. and have always been a fan of the songs he writes. He reminds me of one of my favorites that write in the vein of Judas Priest where it’s verse/chorus, verse/chorus. It’s stuff that I had never been able to write to, but this is just really a neat thing to do for me.

Art thou happy with he drums?
Very! Very happy! I think Greg kicks the beats out fuckin’ excellent. Seeing all this come together in the way that it does was very cool for me. Can’t be any better than this, especially because all out attitudes are along the same lines.

Terry was part of the whole “Chuck” conspiracy. James Murphy told me that when he was in Death, Chuck told him the band wasn’t allowed to wear certain t-shirts on stage. In interviews, they weren’t allowed to say that they liked certain bands that Chuck blacklisted. Was Terry just following orders, or was he an eager participant?
I have not even asked him, but from my whole experience, maybe Chuck’s just a very difficult person to fuckin’ work with.

After hanging out with Terry, dost thou not perceive a certain attitude?
Not with Terry. I don’t see how this guy could every have a bad thing to say about anyone, man/ He is the most mellowest.. the most laid-back person. I personally know from hanging out with Chuck, he’s far from being laid-back. He’s always got something to worry about.

When thou were writing lyrics, wert thou trying to stay away from the Cannibal Corpse tendencies?
No. Not really trying to. I know that these songs bring out a different feeling. Just listening to the music first, as I always do, I just kind of react from the vibe I get. Maybe some of the stories I had thought up in the past – they weren’t appropriate for Cannibal Corpse.

What comprises they musical diet?
Lots and lots of Lynard Skynard.

So thou art a hick.
No. I ain’t a hick. I’ve always liked Skynard even when I was a Yankee. I’m a fuckin’ reborn southern boy. I can relate to a lot of fuckin’ rock bands’ lyrics. I just get a personal feeling when I listen to his words. His voice is fuckin’ amazing. I wish I could accomplish as much as he could in that short amount of time, and be remembered like that band is remembered.

Dost thou think that a lot of people who have seen Ace Ventura know who thou art, or do they think that the band is just a group of hired actors?
I think that maybe they might think that, like lot of mainstream older people. It’s happened a few hundred times where I’ve been in a store and someone says, “Oh, you’re in a band?” These people just have no idea that death metal even exists. I might as well throw in the Ace Ventura question. “Do you remember that part? That’s me.” It’s a surprise to people that this is an actual band.

Was it a big goof for thee?
Yeah! It was totally cool. It was nerve-racking because I was traveling with a half ounce of the best pot, down my pants, and a dog came walking up about ten feet next to me in an airport – a fuckin’ police dog! So I almost didn’t make it down there because I was shaking, man. The dog didn’t come up and sniff at me. I would’ve been in fuckin’ jail. I try not to do that anymore.

Dogs sniff groins anyway, so it would not have been unusual.
That’s my ploy, but I don’t think it’ll work. I’m getting a little paranoid in my old age.

If thou ever wert a dinosaur for a children’s’ show named “Barnesy” what color wouldst thou be?
Puke green.