Cannibal Corpse – “All We Can Do Is Be Ourselves”

Sunday, 14th September 2014

Dead Rhetoric: Was there ever a time as a band where you thought, “maybe we should do something completely different,” or were you more or less just trying to progress your sound over the years?

Mazurkiewicz: That’s it, more just progressing our sound. If we are doing anything different, it’s going to be done more subtly. We may do a song or something that we haven’t done before but it’s not going to be outside the boundaries of what we are doing. The only thing really different for us would be when we finally wrote a slow song, like “From Skin to Liquid” or “Sentenced to Burn.” For us that’s a slow song with no blasts and just chugging along. With “From Skin to Liquid,” it was totally unlike Cannibal. That was kind of our experimental mode in a sense, going out of our elements. That’s a good going out of the element, because we felt we could write some good slow stuff and it would be another thing to have in the arsenal. This way we had good fast songs and good slow songs, so we got a bit of everything.

Dead Rhetoric: How do you handle having a responsibility of being one of the longest lasting death metal bands? There have been a lot of reunions lately, but you guys have been there since the beginning and have stuck around since.

Mazurkiewicz: Yeah, that’s what we wanted to do. We had a good thing since the beginning and it just keep rolling and rolling and you only live once, so why not just keep it going. We are just doing our thing and us now twenty-five years later, us being an elder band in that sense, hopefully other bands can see what we are doing and maybe we lead by example. If we can do it, anyone can do it. We do our thing, and you only live once, and we are ‘living a dream’ kind of thing. Life’s too short.

Dead Rhetoric: Perhaps this was more of a concern earlier in your career, but how do you handle having so many bands trying to copy what you do and go along with that?

Mazurkiewicz: I think it’s a good form of flattery. If we are a form of inspiration for other bands, then cool. All we can do is be ourselves, and worry about what we do and be the best we can be. But if we can be inspirational and if people want to mimic/be us, so be it. I guess that’s a good thing and you are doing something right. You are moving people in the right way to get them to want to do things and it’s pretty cool. As long as it doesn’t affect us in any manner, and it shouldn’t, it’s a pretty cool thing.

Dead Rhetoric: Going along with responsibility again, do you feel a certain responsibility in terms of making sure that each album reaches the Cannibal Corpse standard?

Mazurkiewicz: We’ve tried that our whole career really. At this point in our careers, every time we go into the studio we want to outdo the last one, and it’s going to be harder to do that. We’re going to keep working and I’m sure there’s ways to get better, but with technology, and more time and more experience, we are going to be able to do that. Back in the day, you had no choice. We had ten days to do Eaten Back to Life. We had no experience, so what do you do? You go in and you record and you play and there are everyone else’s hands to get it together. Productions, equipment, and technology have changed, all that kind of stuff; you did the best you could back then. You listen to some of these productions from that time and everything’s muddy and sloppy and what have you, but for the time, that’s what it was. It’s a different time now, so of course you are going to really try to be the best and get the best sounds you can get; at this point in our career and what you have in terms of technology, you can make some really great sounding records. So we are going to be shooting for our best, always.

Dead Rhetoric: A lot of the other band members have been in various side-projects over the years, but you’ve mostly kind of stuck with Cannibal Corpse. Does the band fulfill everything you would like to accomplish, musically speaking?

Mazurkiewicz: Yeah, it is what I started doing back then and I still love playing this kind of music and the band and all that. For now it is, it’s full-time; when I’m home and have down time, I like to be home and taking it easy, not being completely bombarded and having to work with a band. But I did have a project with Jack Owen back around 2000 to 2002. We played two shows in the Tampa area and that was it. We wrote some songs, we did some home demos and it was more of a rock thing with a bit of a metal edge. Jack and I are really into late ‘60s/early ‘70s rock and roll and it was fun. It’s music that I really enjoy listening to and it was fun to just sit back and kind of groove out and play a different style of music. It would be cool to maybe do something like that again eventually, but it doesn’t really seem like it’s in the cards for now. But you never know. For now Cannibal takes up so much time that it’s difficult to take on more, especially having a family and a daughter. The downtime, being with them is so important, so it would be tough, but you never know what the future will hold.

Dead Rhetoric: As the band has progressed over the years, do you feel Cannibal Corpse is continuing to gather more fans at this point?

Mazurkiewicz: It seems that way. We seem more popular than ever, according to our record sales it seems that way. We are playing these big festivals, like Mayhem, and we have been around twenty-five years. People have heard our name, even if they haven’t heard the music. It’s weird how that kind of goes, we are at this time now where we probably are more popular than ever. It will be interesting to see what we do on this record and see how the numbers look in the first week; to see if we’ve gained more fans or just roll along with what we have done with the last few records, which is fine too. But it does seem that more people are aware of the band than ever before.

Dead Rhetoric: What’s going on with Cannibal Corpse for the rest of the year?

Mazurkiewicz: We are about to leave for Australia and Japan and then the album will be coming out around that time. A quick turn around and we will be in Europe in two months starting October 2. We’ll be there until December 1st and then we’ll have December and January off until the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise at the end of January and we should be doing a US tour February into March, but that’s being worked on right now. So we have a lot going on. But that’s what happens with a new record, we’ve got to get out and support so that’s what we’ll be doing.

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