J. Bennett of Decibel magazine (web site) recently conducted an interview with SIX FEET UNDER vocalist Chris Barnes. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Decibel: Do you think of death metal differently now than when you did when you were starting out?
Barnes: That's a good question. Um… no, I don't think I do. I've always thought death metal was more of an underground way of life, something that was outside of the box and just on the fringe of society — something that was more or less going against the crowd, really. It wasn't just something to listen to because your friend listened to it, you know? I think a lot of people look at it like that now, and I guess my idea of what it's about hasn't changed, but as I look at it from that perspective in the scene, I don't think that idea holds true anymore. I think people regard it more of a style or something like that. To me, it was more of a way of life, and it still is.
Decibel: Does any part of you miss CANNIBAL CORPSE?
Barnes: Hmm… well, I miss the songs that I wrote lyrically. I miss singing those songs for my fans. I still sing them when I'm rehearsing, you know, myself, so I do that once in a while. But I do miss performing those songs live for my fans that appreciate the way those songs are supposed to be sung.
Decibel: Do you ever check out Internet message boards to see what people are saying about your bands?
Barnes: I'll go onto our own SIX FEET UNDER forum, but that's where I draw the line. I don't go on Blabbermouth anymore. I used to, but I haven't been on there for the last three years. It's pretty much useless to me, because I don't know those people, so I don't know what their motive is. If I don't know someone, I don't know where they're coming from, and I guess I… [Laughs] I guess I don't think their opinion is worth anything to me if I don't know them.
Decibel: What's your version of the story behind the ANAL CUNT song "Chris Barnes Is a Pussy"?
Barnes: Oh, well, you know, for the most part [AC ringleader Seth Putnam] got his ass beat and called the cops on me. The cops came to my tour bus and I gave them a report and I think he's the type of person that is a sore loser. Some people can deal with getting beat up and there's some people who get beat up and wanna write a song about it and try to get people to believe their lies. But there's witnesses to what happened, so it's just kinda humorous that someone like that is still around, trying to say something that's untrue. I know what happened — I was there.
Decibel: Was it you who beat him up, or friends of yours?
Barnes: Well, I knocked him to the ground. He didn't hit me once, but I got one good shot in. He'd been heckling [me] through the whole show, and I approached him and asked him if he had something to say. I thought he was gonna swing at me, so I beat him to the punch and put him to the ground. He got up and kept trying to swing at me, but I had my hand on his forehead and [he] couldn't reach me. [Laughs] It was pretty humorous, actually. That was 12 years ago, and it's funny how stuff like that keeps going in the underground. But there are good sports and there are bad sports, you know, and he's not a gentleman, he's a crybaby. He cried to the police about what happened after he got himself beat up. But karma's a bitch, man. The guy's been through a coma and all sorts of things, so I wish him well.
Decibel's entire interview with Chris Barnes can be found in the magazine's May 2007 issue, out now. More information is available at www.decibelmagazine.com.