Paul Southwell of Australia’s Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist Pat O’Brien of Florida death metallers CANNIBAL CORPSE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Loud: On this album [“A Skeletal Domain”] you’ve written about five tracks, which is a fair chunk. Did you co-write with Alex [Webster; bass] at all?
Pat: It is my own doing. Alex is usually the main writer and how I contribute depends on the album. For “Evisceration Plague”, I was going through some stuff with moving and could only do two songs. I might have contributed more on “Torture”, but I wrote five songs on “A Skeletal Domain”. Alex had some stuff with other projects so he was in and out a lot during the time that we were writing so there was more time for me to be there with Paul to work on things. The opportunity was there and I had the riffs, so I did not stop writing.
Did [producer] Mark Lewis therefore have a lot of impact on the sounds on the latest album? How did he compare to working with producer Erik Rutan [HATE ETERNAL]?
Pat: They are both great at what they do. They both do things in their own way so are a bit different. We decided to go with Mark to simply change it up a bit. We don’t want to keep making the same album and keep on going through the same routine all the time. We know how Erik works which is great but we wanted to try Mark‘s methods. We’re happy with the end result. You want to make the album sound as vicious as possible but at the same time, you want to make it so that people can hear what is going on. You want to get the clarity in there. For a guitar sound, the more distortion the better because I love those sounds but you have to make it to where people can hear what you’re doing.
Loud: METALLICA were certainly heavy [when they came out in the early ’80s]. Do you think that CANNIBAL CORPSE will ever be considered less extreme as boundaries continue to get pushed in music?
Pat: I can put on an old BLACK SABBATH album and it still sounds heavy. [METALLICA‘s] “Ride The Lightning” still sounds crushing to me too. I guess with CANNIBAL CORPSE, it just depends as times will change and what is cool right now won’t be in five or ten years, but then, for some reason, it seems to come back around, just like clothing. Bands are wearing skin-tight jeans now when ten years ago they were all wearing baggy fucking jeans and you couldn’t even find a normal pair of jeans. All that nu-metal, LIMP BIZKIT shit is now out so it is hard to say. I think there are people out there that already think that we’re not heavy anymore. I imagine it, everyone has their own taste.
Loud: Given your guitars, how big an influence was Chuck Schuldiner from DEATH?
Pat: Myself and Chuck were about the same age so I wouldn’t say he was a huge influence on me. He was more of a big influence on George [Fisher; singer], vocal wise. Touring with him, I used to talk to him and hang out with him. He was a good guy and I think that listening to those DEATH albums there is some great shit. I guess listening to something awesome is going to influence you one way or the other. I don’t think there was anything musical I’d really stolen off Chuck, but he definitely had a place though.
Read the entire interview at Loud magazine.