NAPALM DEATH frontman Mark "Barney" Greenway spoke to Heavy New York about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's new album, tentatively due in early 2020. The follow-up to 2015's "Apex Predator - Easy Meat" will feature an appearance by guitarist Mitch Harris, who has been taking a leave of absence from NAPALM DEATH since late 2014 to focus on his family life.
"We've been kind of promising something for quite a while, but unforeseen circumstances kind of got in the way," Greenway said (see video below). "And this one has taken a lot longer. We're all good with that now — we've kind of accepted the fact that it has taken quite a while. And recently, there was also a couple of other small delays — minor things — here and there. But, yeah, we're almost ready to put it out.
"Overall, I'm not particularly pleased with myself that it's taken this long, from my contribution to it," Barney admitted. "But it is what it is."
Asked if NAPALM DEATH likes to experiment musically with every album the band makes, Greenway said: "If you follow the chronology of NAPALM, you'll see that whilst everything is [based] in the tradition full-speed attack, there's other elements in there that are constantly moving onwards, onwards, onwards. And I think we've also got a better handle on doing that.
"There's a lot of stuff on there that's almost noise rock, at least the NAPALM style, which is a big thing for us.
"This is my opinion, but I think the one thing that I don't want NAPALM to be remembered as is just a metal band, 'cause that's something that's put on us a lot," he said. "And I understand why people do it to a point, 'cause it's easy to categorize things. But that's really only part of the story."
Barney recently told Metal Mad TV that the "theme" of the upcoming NAPALM DEATH album is "the other." He explained: "One good example of people being treated as the other is this whole thing about immigrants. Not everybody, but there is a certain percentage of the population that looks at them as something different — like, not human, almost. I wanted to challenge that way of thinking. Not only is it the other immigrants or whatever you want to call people that migrate. There's other things as well — other people who are treated as 'the other.' I would suggest simply, generally, that it's not necessary to treat people differently."
NAPALM DEATH has just teamed up with MUNICIPAL WASTE for a co-headlining U.S. tour. The 17-date trek kicked off in Dallas on October 3 and is visiting New York, Chicago and Denver before ending on October 23 in Los Angeles. Opening the night are New York hardcore legends SICK OF IT ALL and hardcore punk/thrash metal band TAKE OFFENSE.