Wormwood Chronicles webzine recently conducted an interview with with George Fisher and Alex Webster of CANNIBAL CORPSE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Wormwood Chronicles: What are your thoughts on downloading music for free?
Alex Webster: "It's another part of how technology is changing the way things are done. I don't think it really affects a band like us very much, because we don't sell a lot to begin with. Most of our fans will usually get our stuff anyway, because they like the artwork, but it's just something else that you have to contend with. I think in the long run it might make it more difficult for people spending a lot of money to make a record, but on the same token when you have the computer programs like ProTools that make it less expensive to make albums, it might not actually be an issue. Record sales will probably drop if people have the option to get things for free. I mean, everybody downloads things, if they can get them, more copies of albums from their friends, you know? It's just what you do. I did it when I was young, I copied tapes. My friend had an album, I'd make a tape of it, if I didn't have the money. So I don't expect anyone to not do that now, when it's such an easy option — why not do it, you know? At the same time like I was saying though, the cost of making an album has gone down, because of technology. So even if you're selling less records, if it costs you less money to make an album, it can kind of even out, I think. It also might have made the whole scene a little bit bigger. People have the ability to try something out before they buy it. That was something that you didn't have. I used to buy albums based on if the dude in the band was wearing a KREATOR or D.R.I. shirt, then I knew the band would be good. You know what I mean? (Laughs) Nowadays you can go to a web site if you hear about a band, and listen to a free download or whatever, and make a decision on if it's something you want to buy. It hasn't been the negative effect that people think it is. We do better business now, not sales wise, but for tours and stuff. Everything has been better over the last 3-4 years, which is when the whole downloading thing took off. So it hasn't hurt us."
On how the death metal genre has evolved and will continue to do so:
Alex Webster: "Yeah, musically the death metal scene has continued to improve with new bands like DECAPITATED, SPAWN OF POSSESSION, and SEVERED SAVIOR. These bands are fuckin' better then the ones that were coming out when we first started. The music just keeps getting better and better..."
George Fisher: "I think also what happened… The record labels… Do a demo, get signed — that was the way it was, you know? Some bands were prepared for that, some bands could do that and get away with it. SUFFOCATION could, they did a demo, and bingo, they got a record, but that's a band that's really good. Nowadays, sure, there's some bands that maybe could do a couple more demos, a few more live shows, but now playing-wise bands are just so far ahead, that it's almost like they're listening to music for five years before they meet other guys that can play the stuff that they can play."
Alex Webster: "It's much more advanced than it used to be..."
George Fisher: "It's way more advanced. So it's much better..."
Alex Webster: "Yeah, the cool thing about death metal is that it attracts these musicians to it, that are interested in being extreme. Extremely good, and making extremely heavy music, you know what I mean? They all want to be good musicians, and make brutal music, and there's a constant recruiting of all these great young musicians to the scene, and they help keep it strong and fresh."
George Fisher: "They all come together, and you get bands like fuckin' SPAWN OF POSSESSION, who just shred..."
Alex Webster: "Yeah, these kids can blow your mind..."
George Fisher: "It dosen't matter if you can play an instrument or not, when you see them play, there's no way you can't go — 'Holy hell.' I mean, trust me, I know because I don't play anything. I understand drums better, but as far as string instruments go, some things he plays, I might think — that's got to be crazy, but to him, it's not that bad, or there might be other things I think look simpler. We just toured with SPAWN OF POSSESSION, and saw their set every night. There's no way someone can watch them, and not go, 'Holy shit, that's some crazy stuff.'"
Read the entire interview at www.wormwoodchronicles.com.