Rock Sushi-Cannibal Corpse

by Ora ?Tre? Brasel
EU recently got the chance to catch up with Paul Mazurkiewicz, the hard-hitting drummer and one of the founders of the legendary death metal act Cannibal Corpse. His band will be arriving for their second performance in Jacksonville this year when the Decimation of the Nation 2 tour comes rolling into town on November 17th, along with fellow heavy metal acts Hate Eternal, Unearth, Born of Osiris and Hatebreed.
EU Jacksonville: First off I wanted to thank you for choosing to come back so soon to Jacksonville to give us another performance.
Paul Mazurkiewicz: Oh, no problem! It’s always good to be there, that’s for sure!
EU: So has Jacksonville been a consistently good city for you all to play in?
PM: Not really technically. We really don’t hit Jacksonville very often actually. Usually when the tours come up it usually is a Tampa show, an Orlando show or a Miami show. A lot of the time Jacksonville ends up getting left out, so the fact that we are coming back so soon, and that we weren’t there that long ago is kind of a little quick really for us. Which is fine by us. Just Jacksonville has been generally getting missed in the whole tour scheme.
EU: How has the current tour been going for the band so far?
PM: It’s going pretty cool. It’s a good mix of bands, definitely a little bit for everybody kind of thing with Hatebreed headlining and us playing just underneath them. With Hate Eternal, Born of Osiris and Unearth it is just a great bill. Things seem to be going smooth so far, which is certainly a plus.
EU: Which city has been the craziest so far on the tour?
PM: The tour has only been a few so far, so we have only had six shows I believe, but we are playing 41 shows for the whole thing. So unfortunately that is a little premature of a question. I believe the biggest crowd we have had so far was in Detroit, I think we had about 1200 people there, but so far so good.
EU:Your band is pretty legendary within the metal community and has influenced many bands coming up. What bands helped inspire you all to achieve the status you have reached?
PM: Well you know we are products of the 80s, and come this December we will have been around 21 years. We just kind of grew up with the whole thrash movement, and all of that in the 80s so it is cliche really when it comes down to naming bands, but of course early Metallica, Slayer, Creator, Sodom- all the bands we were growing up with and worshipping at that time. These bands molded us into being what we became a few years later.
EU: Is it insane to see the large fan base you have created over the years?
PM: Yeah, it’s a great thing. Here we are 21 years into our existence, and we are arguably doing better than we’ve ever done. We just released a CD that is doing very well with the public in the way of record sales. We just seem to be gaining new fans through the years and we have a lot of young kids coming out which is a great thing. So we are definitely very happy for our success and our longevity.
EU: Do you all ever take a break? It seems like you always either have an album coming out or you are on tour.
PM: Well, we take breaks, but not in the sense of, “Well, we aren’t going to tour, so let’s take a year off.”… I mean we have our breaks when we have been touring, and now you need a rest, which consists of a month or two. I think the most of a break we ever took since getting together and playing as a band was 3 months. That was the longest stretch of an actual break we took. We always get back to it whether it is another tour or writing new material trying to get ready to make a new CD. So we are really trying to constantly be practicing or playing.
EU: What song that you play live generally gets the best crowd response?
PM: Our most popular song would have to be ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ off of Tomb of the Mutilated, which was about our third CD. It’s been a staple for us for years. You go anywhere in the world, and people are chanting for this song. So definitely we save it for towards the end of the set. We always get a great response with that song! Just like I said, it’s probably our most popular song and the one everybody wants to groove and slam and go nuts to. So that would be ‘Hammer Smashed Face,’ for sure!
EU: How does it feel knowing you all have managed to be relevant to the younger audiences of today?
PM: It’s a great thing! We need up and coming fans, because if we just rely on the fans that started with us 21 years ago they would be slowing down considerably. So it’s always good to have a younger crop of new fans getting interested in heavy music, and getting interested in Cannibal Corpse. We see it every time we tour where maybe we play the same place months later and there are new people who can’t wait to see us for the first time. So, yeah, we need to have that. If we didn’t it would be tough to keep going.
EU:Is there any band out there that you would really like to play with that you haven’t gotten to play with already?
PM: No, not really. I mean, we like playing with a lot of bands. I think the big one for us that we finally got over the summer was playing the Mayhem Festival. It was the first time we could actually say we were on a bill with Slayer for a tour. We had played some festivals around the world over the years with them, but never a tour. It was cool to be a part of a tour with them, and to get to see them play every night. That was a dream come true for me, and I know for most of the guys as well. So if you asked me this two years ago I would have been saying, “Slayer, Slayer!” The fact that we did do that, that was amazing!
EU: How much of the Nathan Explosion character from the show Metalocalypse is based on your singer, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher?
PM: Oh, it pretty much all is mainly if you talk to [the creators of the show]. We met them way back when the show first started, and we know they are all big fans of Cannibal and listen to our music and all of that. They even said they basically modeled Nathan after George.