George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher is the lead singer for Cannibal Corpse. When you and I were probably eating TRIX watching Saturday morning cartoons back in '91 George and the boys were busy laying down brutal tracks and creating one of America's most famous death metal bands. Eighteen years and eleven albums later the Corpse is still slaying it musically and metaphorically (just go ahead and Google some of their lyrics and you'll see what I mean). Cannibal Corpse is originally from Buffalo, NY, and strangely George sort of resembles a Buffalo—in some weird apocalyptic way, this dude's neck is just as thick as a buffalo's (we believe from all the headbanging). Scary is an understatement when it comes to interviewing this guy. Imagine going on a hike to check out Old Faithful up in Yellowstone, but instead of the occasional docile buffalo grazing some grass, you encounter dozens of bison high on PCP—initially it really seemed that scary. I brought my number two wingman (photog James McLeod is number one) and associate interview technician along for backup: Dylan Metz (my brother and fellow Banks Mag writer). We got our muzzleloader notebooks ready and tried to tackle this beast outside the Knitting Factory after the show.
All right Corpsegrinder, let's start off with the basics: How was the Boise show tonight?
Awesome. Yeah, it was a good crowd. I like Idaho; we haven't been to Boise in awhile so it's about time we came back.
Dude, you are like the headbanging champion, do you have a training regiment to headbang the way you do?
No, I just get up on stage and do it. I don't do anything when I'm home (to practice) and when we come on tour I just do it. I don't do any exercises for it at all.
No Yoga then? With a neck that thick I thought you might stretch out pre-show in the Downward Facing Dog position or something?
Nah, I don't even know what that is.
What's up with your music being banned in Australia due to lyric content?
It took awhile, but it's all done now. Our stuff is allowed there now and we are actually going there in September to tour. We were also there in like 2006 or 2007? It's all good now so no worries.
What are your thoughts about Bob Dole quoting that: "Bands like Cannibal Corpse are undermining the national character of the United States" Remarks?
Yeah, well what did he do? What did he do to improve the United States? F**k him!
Is that all you have to say?
Yeah, f**k him! You know what? You think I give a f**k about him anymore? He was selling drugs to make the penis hard you know? Not that that is a bad thing, but you know what, don't talk at us like your f**king Jesus. F**k him!
What are some of your favorite horror movie influences?
Umm, well one of my favorite horror movies ever is The Shining. It's not just blood and gore you know? The Exorcist is another one. It's not only about the gore but also about the booth scene you know? The Exorcist is just like pure evil, I mean he just looks f**king evil. It is probably one of the most incredible make-up effects that I have ever seen. I also think that all the Dario Argento movies are awesome—like the psychological movies—shit like Suspiria, I mean there is some gore there you know but there is also a lot of scary shit that deals with the mind you know? I like that shit more.
Your lyrics definitely reflect a lot of that material don't they?
Yeah man, it plays a part for sure.
If someone were to give you a million dollars would you write a song about kittens and ice cream?
Nope! (Laughter from everybody standing around.) Nope, we have integrity man. We have our pride and we have a love for death metal, and we would never soil it just for money.
That's awesome, man! Dylan here has a few questions for you to finish off the interview.
DM: It seems like the whole Norwegian Death Metal scene is coming on strong lately, what do you think about bands like Gorgoroth and Immortal? Is it all show? Or all blow?
We toured with a lot of those bands like Immortal, Morduk, Carpathian Forest and Dark Funeral. We know a lot of those guys and they are awesome dudes and I don't have a problem with anything they are doing you know? They are great guys, and they have great music and I love them.
If you could torture any band, excluding Bono or Jack Johnson, who would it be?
Why are you excluding Bono or Jack Johnson?
(Laughter) Because everybody hates those dudes I thought?
Oh, well ... uhhh, I don't know. There is a lot of people that I could f**k up, but you know what—I would never be violent with anybody unless they did something to me. So, I don't know man, Michael Jackson is a child molester sooooo ...
When can we expect the Cannibal Corpse reality show on VH1?
Probably never. (Laughter all around) You know why?
Well because we are boring! We are boring as shit man. People think we sit around and like chew on dog legs and f**kin' mutilate—or have sex with and mutilate dead women—we don't! You know, like Pat (guitarist) goes and shoots at the gun range, Alex (bassist) works out a lot, Paul (drummer) has a farm and takes care of his shit, and I play Warcraft a lot and hang out with my daughters. Rob (guitarist) has things he likes to do—like all these side projects he's doing—so we are f**king boring pretty much. Outside of the band when we're not all out together we just chill. We are not maniacs—it would be a boring reality show I would think.
I was wondering if you guy's ever thought about producing a Cannibal Corpse cookbook? You know, like: "Wanna boil a severed head? WHY just turn to page 12!" Something like that maybe?
Well it'd be cool, but I really don't uhhh (pause ...) like I said we are so boring we don't kill people so we don't know how to cook them—if you don't kill 'em you can't learn how to cook them!
If you had to pick a fight between you and Slayer, who do you think would win?
Us and Slayer? We are actually touring with Slayer this summer, we wouldn't fight them—we love Slayer. We grew up listening to Slayer and that is a big influence on us you know? We wouldn't want to fight them‚—that is a "what if" I don't want to answer. I wouldn't want to be angry with those guys, they are a big part of metal and a big part of what influenced me to be in a band.
So I'm thinking about starting up a death metal band, and I've come up with two names and I was wondering what you thought of them. The first one: "Allah ... Sick Balls" (Stand By Me rip-off)
(awkward pause) That doesn't sound very death metal.
Wait! Or ... or the second one: "Stick A Fork In Bringham Youngs Eye."
(another weird pause) That's the best one.
OK man before you guys take off we had one more thing to ask, it's a piece my brother and I would like to call: "Cannibal Corpse Gives Back." Basically we found this ad for a "Vocalist Wanted" in our paper, Boise Weekly, and it says: "Christian Band seeks vocalist" and we want you to call them up and reply to their ad right now and just be like: "Hey, this is Corpsegrinder from Cannibal Corpse and I saw your ad and was interested" or something similar, would you be into that (starts to dial number on cell phone to hand over to Corpsegrinder).
No (laughter), I'm not going to do that man, I can't, so stop dialing the number. For one I can't even talk right now, my voice is pretty much gone so the dude won't like me right off the bat anyway.
Really? Awww man, that bums me out! We wanted to see how a professional musician responds to these kinds of ads.
Which is fine for sure, I'm in a band (laughter) but I'm in a band THAT I WANT TO BE IN ALREADY! (laughter) I f**king damn sure will NEVER join a Christian band‚—F**K NO! But you can give them this message straight from me: (grabs tape recorder like it's a microphone and growls like Cookie Monster) PRIEST SEED!
(laughter all around)
Thanks man, that was a great interview, your not as scary as we thought and we are not dead so I think it went well.
No problem dudes, I liked that interview—it was definitely different than what I'm used to. Thanks for coming out tonight and supporting Cannibal Corpse.