Cannibal Corpse’s George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher Discusses Upcoming Album, Voodoo Gods + More
Cannibal Corpse‘s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio show. Jackie spoke with Fisher about the writing for the band’s upcoming studio album, as well as his work with the side band Voodoo Gods. Check out Full Metal Jackie’s interview with Cannibal Corpse’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher below.
Full Metal Jackie bringing you two full hours of metal each and every week. On the show with us, George “CorpseGrinder” Fisher. So happy to have you on the show.
Thanks for having me.
Cannibal Corpse, of course a part of the Mayhem Festival this summer. George, Pat O’Brien brought a lot of material to this upcoming album. How did his creativity shape the overall direction of the new disc? What do you like best about what he wrote?
Well he’s been writing songs with us, you know, being since he got in the band on ‘Gallery of Suicide.’ So you know he definitely brings a more technical side as far as playing goes. He usually likes the crazier songs and the more technical sounding songs and probably technically hard to play songs. Not that the other guys don’t bring anything as far as musicianship but his I think are the most challenging. I know usually vocal wise they definitely are.
He’s on more of this album than the other ones but I think it’s just pretty much along the lines that his songs are usually fast but when he slows down, it’s pretty much heavier than f—, heavier than anything you’re going to hear. So, Pat’s always been a great writer. He’s written some of the best songs we have over the years.
Musically and lyrically, Cannibal Corpse are already dark but bassist Alex Webster said this new album is even a little more eerie and evil than usual. Do you make a conscious effort to really pursue the ambiance of an album as it comes together, once you recognize what it is?
Well I think it’s everybody coming together because Rob wrote a few songs and then Pat wrote his songs and Alex did his, and obviously the three of them have different styles of writing but when you bring them all together it’s probably familiarity as far as just everyone writing. I think they write on their own but Alex can write with Pat in mind. I mean, not saying that he particularly does you know. They write what they want to write but it’s just playing … you playing together. And I think it gets everything to sound more cohesive.
I think Alex’s and Pat’s songs are unique on their own but in general I think we have a distinct sound. And I think it’s because we have a stable lineup for a good number of years now and whatnot. And, you know, I mean we’ve used a few different studios, too. It still seems that we don’t come out sounding the same way but we don’t want to stray too far from the formula. I mean … we’re a death metal band. We’re totally comfortable being a death metal band when we’re not gonna be anything else and so we’re not trying to test new boundaries. I think everyone is trying to write something that’s fresh sounding but still familiar sounding you know. It’s something we’ve been doing the past few years.
It’s the first time since 2005 that you’re not working with Erik Rutan. Mark Lewis is behind the board this time. What aspects of Mark’s production style and technique made the biggest impact on the new music?
Well I’ll say this, when I was recording with Eric, we always recorded my vocals. I would be in a separate booth … it’s hard for me to speak about like the recording of the music. I wasn’t really there for all that as I’ve been busy doing other stuff. There’s no reason for me to be there while they’re recording guitars. [Laughs] It would be a waste of time but as far as vocals go, I recorded in the room with Mark. And then Paul wrote lyrics for some songs and so when we did the songs that he wrote, he was there in the room. And Alex and Rob, as well. And usually I’d just be there with Eric and we were in a booth and using the different style mic and whatnot. It was more controlled environment and with Mark.
I didn’t feel as confined even though it was in a corner. [laughs] That’s the biggest thing for me recording-wise. We were recording in Sanford, which is outside of Disney. It’s about two hours or so away from where we all live here in Tampa but we had to travel when we were recording with Eric down over in St. Petersburg. And obviously El Paso is a little bit away you know. Those are some differences when we did those albums in those places, otherwise for me it was just recording in a booth. Mark, he does different things production-wise. I think we might have done more double tracks. We were listening to it, yeah, let’s do more highs and lows mixed together, double track me. But, not a lot of real different stuff. He’s totally cool, he’s awesome. Farts a lot though!
George, you’re part of Voodoo Gods. Their new album is going to be released in July. Why is it so important, especially in this genre, to participate in creative opportunities outside your main band?
I’ve known the drummer Alex for years. It’s his baby. They have a few other albums out and … one year we were on tour and he comes out to a show in Germany asking me to sing on it, I said sure! I was busy, blah, then we got together. It almost didn’t happen. We’ve been doing the Cannibal stuff, then I got two kids at home. I’m actually recording another record with Adam D. from Killswitch Engage. We’re doing a side band that will be coming out hopefully sometime next year. So I was doing that. The Voodoo Gods thing, I had a small window. Then he told me we were going to record the vocals with Andy La Rocque from King Diamond, which was like, wow!
That’s the coolest thing ever, Andy rules unbelievably. The thing is, Alex wrote all of the music as far as I know and all the lyrics and everything. So I wasn’t really involved in anything, I just flew in and he showed me the songs and I sang them. So it wasn’t — the thing with Adam D, I’ve had the music for a while and when we got there I got up there to Massachusetts to record at his house. We had some lyrics that were already written by Jesse from Killswitch Engage, their vocalist. He was arranging things, then I arranged things. There was more work to do with that than in the Voodoo Gods thing. I just came to sing the parts. I’ve known Alex for so long, it was a great time. We’ll see what happens. I’ve got that band, I’m doing this thing with Adam D and obviously Cannibal Corpse is going to be insanely busy. I’m hoping I can do some shows with both of these bands, but [laughs] I don’t know if there’s going to be time to do it.
Keep us posted. Cannibal Corpse of course part of the Mayhem Festival this summer. George, really appreciate you being on the show. Have fun this summer, looking forward to the new record.
Oh, thank you for having me and staying metal!
Thanks to Cannibal Corpse’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher for the interview. You can catch the band playing the Mayhem Festival at these locations. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.