Old staff-member Josh Thorne interviewed George for the old GD-site, and this is what he had to say for an intro:
It’s a known fact to anyone that I’m associated with that Cannibal Corpse is the band that turned me on to the genre of death metal. The first album I ever owned by them was 1998’s “Gallery of Suicide” and to this day, it still gets constant rotation in my cd player. Recently, this band released their finest recording, “The Wretched Spawn”, and with this release, came the opportunity for an interview with Cannibal Corpse’s lead throat, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. This was definitely an opportunity that I was not about to pass down.
Global Domination: What was the overall musical direction you guys were looking for with this release?
Corpsegrinder: Um, I don’t know! (laughing)
Well, the last record was really heavy but it almost had sort of a fun vibe to it. This one doesn’t. This is just really evil, violent, murderous death metal, man!
Well, you know all the songs are written before we get there and I think on every album we try to make the most brutal album we can make. You’d have to ask Alex and those guys because they write all the songs and stuff. So, I don’t know exactly which vibe they’re going on when they’re writing it but they’ll come in and everyone will check it out and learn the songs. I think another combination is when we put the vocals into it.
I’ve only got the slipcase, so I’m not too clear on all the info regarding the album but what percentage of the lyrics did you write on this one, if any?
Zero! I didn’t write one line! Actually Jack wrote a few songs and Paul and Alex wrote the rest. Everyone keeps asking me why I didn’t write the lyrics. I guess it’s just because I don’t see myself as a lyric writer. I’m the kind of person that will write something one night, look at it and go “Oh, that’s cool” and look at it the next day and go “Man, that sucks!” So, I don’t get too serious about it but the guys do a great job with the lyrics.
You also recorded this record with Neil Kernon again.
Yeah, he’s great to work with. He’s not very pushy with the ideas he has about the writing of the album, and he’s very laid back. So, yeah, Neil’s great.
Another thing about this record is that your vocals are a lot clearer than they have been in the past. It’s like I can understand a lot more of what you’re saying.
Well, I just try to pronounce everything as good as possible but still keep it death metal. I always thought when people tried to clear up their vocals, they sounded less brutal. I wasn’t trying to make sure people understood what I said without a lyric sheet because I don’t care. I mean, I care what the people think. Our fans, they’ve got the lyric sheets and I hope they read along with the lyrics, but I’m definitely not trying to make it easy on anyone. I sing the songs as brutal as possible, but I like to keep everything as clear as I can.
I’m not trying to, you know, make it as understandable as like saying “Hey, how’s it going?” (laughing)
Vince Lock did the artwork on this one again. Do you go in with an idea for the artwork or do you just leave it to him?
We pretty much give him the idea and he goes with it. This time around we actually had a title track that we could give to him and say “Here’s the song and what it’s about. Just go with it” which was a lot easier because on “Bloodthirst” and “Gore Obsessed” there were no title tracks. Usually, we just tell him and he can draw it up. He’s fucking awesome! I don’t even know if he knew what the lyrics were but the cover’s gruesome and that’s all that really matters.
You’re also getting ready to head out on a big tour with Hypocrisy and Decapitated right?
Nah, it’s Hypocrisy, Exhumed, and Vile.
Oh yeah, that’s right. So, are you excited about it?
Oh yeah! I can’t wait to tour with all the bands and see all the people that come to the shows and friends that you’ve met on the road. We’re gonna be shooting a video in a couple of days, then practicing, and heading out for the tour!
You’re shooting a video?
Yeah, for “Decency Defied”.
While we’re on the subject of videos, what do you think about the return of the Headbanger’s Ball?
I’ve been asked a lot about this because now, you know, everyone knows that The Ball is back. When they first started, they were playing a lot of nu-metal. They still play a little bit of it, but now they’re starting to play more real metal. They realized that there’s death metal, doom metal, thrash metal, power metal, black metal, etc. There’s just so many branches of it and now they’re starting to be more diverse with what they play! Like, I know they’ve been playing Dimmu Borgir a lot, The Black Dahlia Murder, and you know, bands like that. It’s definitely good and it’s exposing a lot of people who don’t know about the heavier side of metal to stuff they normally wouldn’t hear anywhere else. Sometimes, I think they play some bands on there that shouldn’t be included on there, but when you can see bands like Nile and Hate Eternal, it’s all worth it. Their host is a lot better this time around too! It’s the guy from Hatebreed! He’s great!
It’s actually someone who knows his metal!
Exactly. I mean, he’s out there, he’s in a band, he’s doing the tours, and he knows what it’s all about! I’ve got nothing against Ricky Rachtman, but he just wasn’t the right host for it. Even now, he’s like “I didn’t pick the bands!” and I know he didn’t pick the bands! That’s not even the reason people thought he was a dope! But you know, Jamey brings a lot of credibility because he’s a part of the scene in a bigger way because he isn’t just hanging around the bands! He’s actually in one and knows what he’s talking about!
Now, will this video be compiled from live footage or will you do a conceptual theme like the video for “Sentenced To Burn”?
I think it’s gonna be more conceptual. I mean, there will be scenes of us playing but that’s it. The video is for the song “Decency Defied” and we’ll probably just go with the lyrics, as far as the concept. Jack wrote the song, so I don’t know what he’s got planned for it but there won’t be any live footage thrown in. I have to lip synch! (laughing)
That’s the hardest thing to do! People are watching you, your music is coming out of the loud speakers and you’re just moving your mouth!
Is it harder considering these are death metal vocals you’re having to lip synch?
If you know how the song goes, it’s not a problem. I just feel kinda weird. They’re playing the song and I’m standing there doing what I normally, but it doesn’t feel the same as if 500 people were there screaming along with me! It’s hard to simulate what I do live. I’d rather play the song live, shoot a bunch of footage and put it together! No lip synching either! Just the actual song being played live, and the actual energy and vibe coming from the crowd! If we had a lot of time, I’m sure we could do something like that. But you know, I’m sure this video will turn out fine.
What cd’s have you been spinning lately?
Lately, I’ve just been lifting weights and listening to Marduk. The new Vile album is great, which is why I’m even more excited to play with those guys again! We actually did a show with them once and they were really good, so it’ll be good to see them again. But yeah, their new album is excellent and the new Monstrosity cd is really good as well. The new Crown album is great too! There’s a lot of good stuff out there! I listen to a lot of stuff from the 80’s too.
What would you say your craziest story from the road?
Nothing that crazy. You know, there were some fights here and there. The craziest thing I could tell you is me screaming at people for throwing shit at me. I think nowadays, people are starting to throw stuff to get something out of me. A couple of times, people have hit me in the foot while I’m singing and I think to myself “These people either have really bad aim, or they’re just trying to get me to say something.” But yeah, that’s really as crazy as it gets. Like, sometimes we’ll have a girl come on the bus who’s showing her tits but that’s basically the extent of it. We’re boring, man! After the show, after hanging out with the fans, I’m in the bus, drinking a beer, and playing some video games!
You like video games?
Oh man! That’s my typical day! Eight hours of solid gaming!
What are some of you favorite games right now?
Well, right now I’m playing “Final Fantasy”, “X:2” and when this next tour rolls around, I’m gonna start working on “Manhunt”.
I have heard so many things about that game.
Oh man! I’ve played a little bit of it already and I’ll tell ya what… it’s good. It’s a good game! Rockstar Games, you know, what can I say? They put out quality games like “Grand Theft Auto 3”, “Vice City”, and now, “Manhunt”.
I actually just got “Grand Theft Auto 3”.
One of the best games ever! That, and Vice City are two of the best games ever! But my all time favorite games are role playing games! Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, etc.
Actually, I don’t have that one yet! There’s just so many damn games! There’s “Vagrant Story”, and Squaresoft just made “Vagrant Story” II so I’m pissed! I just bought “Kingdom Hearts” and it has Disney Characters in it, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Basically, if Squaresoft puts it out, I’m buying it. And of course, I’ve got the “Madden” games, which you can’t go wrong with either.
Yeah, you’ve gotta have a little Football in there.
Shit yeah, I love Football! I’ve got all those “Soulreaper”, “Legacy of Kain” games. I tell ya what, I’ve got one room of my house where I have a 36” tv where I play my video games. I collect all the figures and shit! I’ve got 2 Playstation 2’s, a Playstation 1, Gamecube, Nintendo 64, Gameboy, Sega Genesis, and I’m getting an X-Box soon. That’s my life, man! I love video games! I have so many games I haven’t even been able to play yet! See, once “Final Fantasy” comes out, all other games cease to exist. “Crystal Chronicles” is comin’ out, but I won’t be able to do it on tour. They’re too involved! I need concentration when I play those kinds of games, because if you’re on tour, someone will come in and be like “Hey, you’ve got an interview now” and I’m like “Goddamn! I have to find a save point! Fuck off!”
But yeah, video games are a big deal to me.
Do you think Cannibal Corpse would have made good music for “Manhunt”?
The only reason we wouldn’t is because of the way “Manhunt” is made. You’re creeping around and trying to off all these gangs before they off you! Maybe it would sound good in a boss fight, where you have to meet the fucker head on! Some games and movies are just better off with regular soundtrack! We may be good for another soundtrack but nothing like that. Like, some of these games, and even movies are just better off with an atmospheric soundtrack that just makes your heart pump. Like, the “Silent Hill” games! The “Silent Hill” games are fucked up, you will see some shit in those games! I play those and I’m like “Jesus man, this is something right out of one of our songs, but worse!” (laughing)
Isn’t that kind of like major film companies putting nu-metal in horror movies?
I’m not into nu-metal stuff. I got Freddy vs. Jason on DVD and those Ill Nino guys are doing the song for the movie. I don’t know those guys, they may be cool but they’re not metal, let’s just get that fucken straight. I don’t give a fuck if any of them like that I said it, they’re not fucking metal! It’s just that fucking simple! A couple of heavy riffs does not make you a metal band! And I’m sorry, but Freddy vs. Jason is going on and you have this guy singing “La la la la la” and I’m like “What the fuck does that have to do with Freddy and Jason carving people up?” I just can’t deal with it, man! It kills me when you think about Cannibal Corpse and all the different movies that have been out with bands in it! It’s like when Slipknot did Resident Evil! And you know, when it’s done right, I’m all for it!
If any of those bands could be considered metal, it would be Slipknot but not Ill Nino. These companies want a song people can identify with the movie and sing a long with it, and you can’t sing along with our shit! If you think about the movies and all the bands that have done soundtracks for these movies, and then you think about us and the soundtrack we did music for, which was Ace Ventura! You know? I’m sorry about ripping Ill Nino apart but that song doesn’t do that movie justice. A lot of people have been bitching and crying about the movie saying “The plot was lame” and I just say, you know, shut up! It’s about those two fighting! It’s a horror fan’s dream to see those two go at it! Have you seen the movie?
No, but I’ve heard about the ending.
Well, they kick the shit out of each other and that’s all this is supposed to be about. I did an interview earlier today and this person said “Who won?” and I was like “Nobody won!” It’s perfect, the last parts of the movie when those two go at it are incredible and that’s all it’s about! I wish someone would give a death metal band a chance to write something for a movie like this, even if it was in the end of the movie!
You talked earlier about Ace Ventura and it’s a known fact that Jim Carrey picked Cannibal Corpse. Do you have any other celebrity fans?
We did a show for Elijah Blue a few years back and he picked us to do it. He’s a great guy, and we met a few people at the show. I don’t know if anyone’s a fan, but when we played New York, Bjork was at our show!
Yeah, I walked right past her! There’s been people that have been at our shows, like when we played Elijah’s party it was at the Viper Club. Cameron Diaz was there, Mark McGrath was there, and so was Carmen Electra. Alex was going, “Geez man, do we belong here?” Jim Carrey was into like Napalm Death too and he handpicked us.
What do you say to the people who take your music a little too seriously?
You know what I tell them? Go fuck yourself. Bitch all you want, cry all you want, but go fuck yourself because until we come from somewhere that doesn’t have freedom of speech, you can kiss our asses. But if I wanted to say it nice, I’d say listen you jerkoffs. All you do is sit around and talk about what games and movies and bands that are bad for children, right? Do you talk to the kids? Fuck no, you don’t even give a fuck about their opinion! All you have is your opinion and what you think is bad for other people. Well, what you think is bad isn’t what other people think is bad. That’s why this is America, Jack! Now sit down, shut up, take your Viagra, and go fuck your wife! That’s goddamn mean but I don’t care, that shit pisses me off! Do they ever sit down with the kids and listen to what the kids have to say? No, they don’t! Do they ever talk to the fans of these video games? No, all they do is sit around and talk to a bunch of old fucken farts at some fucken golf club. These fucken right wing assholes who have tons of money and who want America to be this place where they can run around and eat their caviar and have all their fucken money while everyone else suffers. They don’t give a fuck about this country cause if they did they wouldn’t waste their time and other people’s time talking about Cannibal Corpse and 2 Live Crew and how bad we are and how bad we make the fucken world! Let me just wake these old bastards up and tell em that the world was bad before we came along! The world has been bad for a long fucken time! How about you guys spend as much time and effort protecting children who have been molested by some fucking priest instead of trying to stop us? Let’s get a clue here, those priests who molested those children didn’t listen to us and they didn’t listen to 2 Live Crew and they didn’t play Grand Theft Auto! They used the Bible as a cover-up so they could get their penises in some kid’s mouth! Why don’t you people see what’s really going on in this world instead of only coming out of your mansion when you feel like taking a shit in someone else’s bathroom? That’s not what I’d say to em, maybe a few less expletives. Don’t tell me that we’re the root of all evil. It’s just a vote-getting machine! They don’t get votes for it, they don’t care about it!
You know what, that makes more sense than anything I’ve heard on the subject.
You know, I don’t have the widest vocabulary and I’m not a Harvard graduate, as evidence by my F-bomb attack. But what I’m saying, I believe in. Look at it like this. In Grand Theft Auto 3, you can get a bazooka and run past a cop. Unless you shoot it, they won’t come after you! Now tell me, in what fucking part of this country can you run past a cop with a bazooka and not have a fucking gun pointed at your head? The bottom line is that they just don’t want it coming into their neighborhood, which I can’t blame them for, but what about the people who actually do live in the bad neighborhoods? Do you think women in those neighborhoods feel good about having to walk to the store and hope someone doesn’t shoot them after putting their cock in their mouth and ass? Give me a break! That’s kind of mean, but do these people think that this stuff only affects them? That’s why in the end, it means nothing to them but votes! Everything that comes out of their mouth is a pile of shit and they don’t smell it but the rest of us have to!
How many more records do you think Cannibal has left?
I think we could do as many as we want, really. I think that obviously touring is very physical and eventually it will take it’s toll, but that aside, we’ll do it as long as we have to! Obviously, it will get harder and harder if people don’t buy the records and come to the shows! Then, we’ll have to get real jobs. Right now we live solely off the band, which means we can tour and practice as much as we want. It’s the best job in the world! I think we work together with the fans because they know they can count on us. We’ve been doing this for 15 years and I’m sure everyone has an album they like more than others, but they know what to expect from us. We give em death metal. Gruesome album covers, gruesome lyrics, fast, heavy, low growl/high scream vocals, and we’re not selling out. We wouldn’t trade any of our fans for the money. As long as I’m able to go out and bang my head, we’ll do it. If they stick with us, we’ll stick with it.
Any last words for Global Domination?
Thanks for the support! Thanks to anyone who’s stuck with us, who’s just getting into the band, or who’s come to the shows! You know, that’s all I can say. Thank you.