September 23 will see the release of SIX FEET UNDER's most ambitious release to date, the ferocious "Bringer Of Blood" (through Metal Blade Records). The disc, rampant with an infectious blend of jackhammer grooves and pure aggressive immensity, fuses the band's attraction to dark fantasy as well as significant social commentary. Vocalist Chris Barnes expresses (through songs like "Amerika The Brutal", "My Hatred" and "Sick In The Head") an outrage in the direction our country is headed, due to manipulation/misinterpretation of the Constitution.
"People are being ostracized in this country for free thought, and putting Freedom Of Speech to the test at a time when it needs to be [like THE DIXIE CHICKS], because there's something really wrong is happening out there, and people need to be made aware of it," Barnes explains. "And there should be another opinion out there other than government-controlled media which is sent through the airwaves and sent to everyone's homes through a little box that they worship like some kind of religion. People shouldn't believe everything you see on that piece of equipment."
Living in Tampa, Florida, Barnes is no stranger to government controversy, having borne witness to the debacle of the last presidential election first-hand. "I think possibly things would be different if [Al Gore] was in the White House, because at the point when Bush 'falsely' won the election, the stomach of the world dropped out. I think everyone outside this country was affected in a different way (you know, the places that don't like us too much — because they knew the guy's father and what he did during his 'reign'). I was here [in Tampa] when the election happened, and I couldn't believe it. This was something that should have stopped the country immediately and remedied it, because it wasn't right and wasn't truthful. It happened in the state that was home to the guy's own brother…how obvious is that??? Is it too bad to say something about that, like it wouldn't happen? Come on, where else would it happen? It didn't happen in California — it happened here where his brother's the governor. It's a shame no one took notice of that and stood up for Al Gore — they all thought he was nuts for continuing to talk about it, but why shouldn't he? This isn't a democracy — the guy who was in office before wanted his son in office to finish some business.”
An outspoken individual and advocate of personal freedom, Barnes is also a longtime supporter of the marijuana reform organization, NORML, another topic he feels VERY strongly about, due to its longstanding prohibition & extreme government handling. "The pharmaceutical companies cannot patent it, because it's a naturally occurring substance — an herb. They can't legalize it for medical purposes, because the pharmaceutical companies have no way of making money off it. Some personal friends of mine are in prison for smoking marijuana it's outrageous! There should be [a branch of Amnesty International devoted to this] — it's a goddamn human rights violation. They're only in there to empower these pigs who are making money of it. They're building more prisons for people with drug offenses more than murderers. Murder isn't increasing that much, but people keep wanting to get high. That's just something people want to do — they want to drink, smoke herb, and do whatever they want to do to escape this world run by fucked-up Republicans. Police don't stake out your local bar on a Friday night and wait for people to leave and catch them for drunk driving — they could catch millions of people every month across the country who are possibly killing people with their cars! That's okay, but people who smoke herb are being put in jail for a long time, and released in a lot worse condition."
Not one to blindly rant, Barnes backs his opinions with a possible solution to the problem. "Reform should begin with overturning all drug charges, release all prisoners who are nonviolently incarcerated. They have to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, as well as all drugs for recreational purposes (with state involvement). If the state wants to run it, the model should be Amsterdam. There's been a permanent prohibition on marijuana and it hasn't turned the world upside down, because anyone smoking herb is basically a mellow person who just wants to be left alone and isn't going to stir up any trouble. People in a bar sometimes fight — people in a coffee shop smoke herb, talk to each other and express themselves. It's a wonderful thing — it invokes feelings and forces you to feel. If you go to a bar, people get violent, get into fights, and get in their cars and kill a little girl walking across the street. People high on weed just want to chill, and that's why there hasn't been an uprising. If alcohol was made illegal, there'd be an uprising, because there'd be a bunch of alcoholic deviants causing trouble. I just can't deal with the whole hypocrisy as to why one thing is legal and more harmful, and the other thing is illegal and many people suffering for it."
SIX FEET UNDER will headline the James Murphy Benefit concert at the Venom Night Club in St. Petersburg, Florida on September 6. All proceeds from the show will be used towards paying the mounting medical bills of former TESTAMENT/DEATH/OBITUARY guitarist James Murphy, who is receiving treatment for a massive brain tumor with which he was diagnosed in August 2001. A monstrous North American tour with DYING FETUS, BEHEMOTH, ALL OUT WAR and CARNAL FORGE will follow in October. Exact cities and dates will be announced soon.