Deadtide.com recently conducted an interview with NAPALM DEATH frontman Mark "Barney" Greenway. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Deadtide.com: Considering there's been a lot of band reunions in the past couple of months, what with CARCASS, AT THE GATES, a little less recently IMMORTAL. How do you feel as a band that's not had a breakup?
Barney: Bands go away and they come back, and you're always gonna get that sort of the "mistake factor," because obviously they've not been around, so people are eager. And it's been bands with a pedigree. The thing with AT THE GATES is somehow kids picked up on that. I don't quite know how it happened, but it did.
Deadtide.com: It blossomed here.
Barney: Yeah, it did! It's quite interesting: back in the day when NAPALM DEATH took AT THE GATES out on tour with them, back in '92, no one was talking about AT THE GATES. Everyone was just like, "Oh, it's just another band." Although, y'know, undeniably "Slaughter of the Soul" was a great album. It's just that no one recognized that.
Deadtide.com: Do you guys have a new CD in the works or anything?
Barney: It's really funny actually. We've been laughing about that actually the past couple of days, because we just happened to mention to someone that we had sort of the very bare bones of riffs and stuff like that. And it was like Chinese whispers; the next thing we know is the record company is talking about bringing magazines down for playbacks, and we're like, "Hang on a minute. We haven't even got half a song yet." But that's fine, it just shows that Century Media is genuinely interested, as they have been all along since we've been with them.
Deadtide.com: What do you feel has changed in the political fields in the past year and a half since "Smear Campaign" came out?
Barney: Probably not very much, actually. In terms of the great things that are needed to make transformations for the people at the bottom of the pile, y'know, still nothing's really happened. Something radical has really gotta help people there are victims of...if you want to use the U.S. as an example, lack of a health care system. Now everyone's talking about...but it's something I've been talking about for years.
Deadtide.com: It takes someone like Michael Moore and the movie business to get that out there, I guess.
Barney: People rag on Michael Moore, but if it wasn't for Michael Moore, there wouldn't be half as much awareness as there has been, so I've got nothing bad to say about that guy, really. And Ralph Nader as well, people that really have a lot of integrity, and sadly, get left behind at points. I find that really sad. But there you go who knows what's going to happen, speaking in context with the U.S., but it affects the rest of the world, undoubtedly. There's a lot of things I don't like about England, about the way the government's heading, the so-called socialist party. There's more and more surveillance, all the time. They're talking about a DNA database, nationally. I don't want anyone to have my DNA. That's my right as a human being I should be able to say, "No, no, you can't have my DNA. That's my very makeup. You take a lot of things from me, but you can't take the very thing that is the makeup of me as a human being that was born on this earth."
Deadtide.com: Would it be fair for me to assume that you'd be a fan of Richard Dawkins?
Barney: Yeah, I like Richard! Unfortunately, there's a lot of pitfalls that go with being Richard Dawkins. He's kinda become the celebrity figurehead of the movement, and that wasn't necessarily the intention some couple years ago, even though he was still a big author. He didn't really crack into the ultra-mainstream until a couple years ago, so he's kinda become a celebrity. Which is, in a sense, if you think about it, if you're look at it from aspects of free thought and how that rolls, then to have a figurehead and a movement behind it, it kinda goes against what it is. So that could be interpreted as somewhat unfortunate, but in the same breath, when Richard Dawkins speaks, coinciding with Michael Moore, he tends to get things out there out into the public attention that wouldn't necessarily be there. Atheists and secularists and humanists have always had a tough time, especially here. They have a really tough time trying to get the word out, and when Richard Dawkins speaks, or someone of that ilk, it tends to get out there. So that's the upside.
Read the entire interview at www.deadtide.com.