CANNIBAL CORPSE: Head banging will kill you, throwing grenades at your band, COVID lockdowns
Hey, everyone, welcome to the Riffhard podcast. I'm Eyal Levy. And today we've got a true legend of death metal, Mr.
Rob Barrett from Cannibal Corpse. This man stood making music for over 30 years. He's got over 20 releases under his belt with a bunch of bands such as Malevolent Creation Among others. But you probably know him best for his multiple decade run with the legendary Cannibal Corpse.
He was there from 93 to 97 and then rejoined in oh five and hasn't slowed down since. And now they've got a brutal new chapter coming. Their latest album, Chaos. Horrific. Let's dive in. Rob Barrett, welcome to the Riff Heart podcast.
Hey, all, nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, too. I've been listening to your work for quite a while now, so it's it's an honor to have you on here.
And nice to meet you finally. It's great to be here. Yeah.
I'm just curious from your perspective, being that you've been in the scene for a long time now, been in several bands and, you know, going on almost 20 years now with Cannibal after rejoining. And one thing about Cannibal is that you guys have continually evolved your sound, you know, without losing. What makes you guys unique or, you know, without eliminating what what is Cannibal about Cannibal? You guys have still, like, up the game consistently as opposed to just kind of like set and forget. So what I'm wondering for you as a guitar player, what has changed for you as far as how you have to approach the instrument now versus before? Is it more challenging now? Less challenging? Do you think about it? Like, is it different? Not really, honestly. Like I've always had the same approach about writing music. Like when I get into that writing mode, it's just whatever comes out and I think is good enough to keep and present to the other guys.
Then I will keep that stuff. And there's, you know, it's not really a preconceived thing, you know, just what comes out comes out. There's no preplan banning of legato. I'm going to write a slow song or I'm going to write a fast song. I just start playing guitar and then start shaping riffs.
And then when I think I have stuff that's good enough and I have enough riffs to build the song on, that's where I start, you know, showing it to the other guys in a demo form. Yeah, makes sense. So do you. How do you document these or like, how long does it usually take before you get to that point? Is it like you're working on riffs over the period of like a year or is it like a day thing like today I came up with like all these risks that are like worthy of a song but show it to the guys.
Like, is there a general timeline or no rules? Well, generally, like when we are touring a lot, we're not in writing mode, so we're just like focused on, okay, let's just rehearse the set that we're going to play and do all the shows that we have coming up. And I mean, if if one of us is inspired to start working on new material, of course that happens in between tours and whatnot, but for the most part, at least for me and I think for the other guys as well, we wait until we know that we're going to have a long break. Like usually after a tour cycle. And that's when we get into, you know, we're out of touring mode and then now we're getting in the writing mode and then that's where I'll just start, you know, just getting in my room and start playing guitar, come up with some parts and kind of work out fine, tune them until I think that they're acceptable enough to use in a song. Then when I get that good handful of riffs, like I said, then that it'll be enough to start working on putting a song together with Paul in the practice room and then I'd say, like, given it a time frame, you know, on average, if I'm like, okay, I got to get started on writing a new song, it'll usually take me about a week, you know, like I'll get in the room and I'll play guitar for a couple hours trying to come up with like a riff that's acceptable. If I need to change it a little, I'll change it a little and then, you know, get back in there several hours later.
I'll just go a couple hours at a time, unless I'm really on a roll and I feel like I have something that's worth continuing work on. And sometimes it flows. Sometimes you know when to give it a break. But for the most part, I could have a lot of riffs for a song within a week, sometimes two, three days. That depends on how quickly it comes out.
Really? Yeah. Makes sense. That's I'm was curious really with in regards to how you guys do it, just because you've been so consistent. Just album after album after album.
Like you guys are an incredibly consistent band as far as putting out material goes. So that's why I was curious about the writing process. If it's like a if it's a definite like this now we're going to write and then it happens. Yeah, it is like I think we are pretty well disciplined in that, you know, area of being product of like, you know, coming out with new product consistently over all these years. Like I think maybe the longest that it took for a new record to come out would be two and a half years, maybe three the most.
And like that consistency is what keeps us at the level that we're at, I believe, because I've seen a lot of bands that had so much momentum and putting out such great product and then like you don't hear from them for a while, at least with new material because they may be a little too preoccupied with just, we want to get on the road, we want to push the record, and then you kind of lose perspective of, well, we need like new material now. Like this record is kind of getting old already, so you need to know when to back off on the touring and and know when to get some new stuff in the works. Yeah, it's I think also with the way that people take in music now, like being quicker about releases is just part of part of the deal because momentum gets lost very, very quickly.
I think in this day and age. Yeah, it's, it's so crazy not to. I didn't mean to cut you off. It it is. It's crazy. Like during this pandemic, for example, when we did violence and imagined like we had to decide like, do we want to release it before we can tour for this record? And it was a tough decision because like if we released it with without being able to tour immediately because nobody was booking shows because of the pandemic, we couldn't tour for a while. And that leads into the next part of this story, you know, so violence on Imagine we had to decide like, do we want to drop the record? And then the record is almost a year old by the time we start touring.
So we would technically be touring for a record that's not new anymore. Yeah, if, if that makes any sense. But like, so that came in to play a lot with when we decided to revisit the record. And then after that, knowing that we couldn't get on the road for a while, even after the record was released, we just decided, Well, let's just start writing another record. You know, if we can't get out on the road to promote this album, then let's just write another one and have that in the pipeline for, you know, And now it's coming out in September.
Yeah, that's I think that that's good thinking because I actually think that even though you couldn't tour back then, the fans really appreciate the bands that released stuff during that time. I think it was I don't know how it did in terms of sales or anything, but I know that in terms of just vibe among metalheads, people were very appreciative of bands that released records in that time period, and I think that they paid attention to it a lot more than usual, too. In retrospect, do you think it was a good move or a bad move to have released then? Oh yeah, it was definitely the right moves.
Like cause, you know, when that decision was coming up, the idea was presented like, well, hey, if we need to sit here and wait for, you know, venues to be able to have shows again, let's just drop this record. I believe we dropped it in March and then we just got right back into writing mode because we didn't really slip out of it yet. Like, we didn't we didn't even have a chance to get into touring mode because we couldn't. So it was kind of like, okay, well yeah, we could just do what we just did again right now because we're going to be stuck at home. Yeah, and it was, it was a very productive move on our end for sure, because if we would have just sat and waited and not written and recorded another record, then we'd be doing that right now and then we wouldn't be going on tour when this record comes out because we'd still be working on coming up with it.
But it's already in the bag because we didn't waste that time at home. Yeah, and you were able to hit the ground running basically once the world open back up. Yeah. And I think it was also a pleasant surprise to the fans, especially because we didn't mention anything about working on a new record.
We just did it, recorded it, didn't tell anyone, you know, just the label and our management and we knew about it. And I think we kept it pretty tight lipped all the way up until the announcement. Yeah, I remember being surprised by it and being like, This is cool. This is very, very cool. And and it was a sick record, so that helps too. That's definitely a plus.
Thank you. So do you find that it takes a while to get back into writing mode? Because it seems like this time around, not having had to take that break to go tour and not having to basically restart the creative engine. Like if you're already in that mode, I'm wondering.
Well, two parts. First of all, did you find that easier? And second of all, how long after you've taken a break from writing, does it take you to get back to where stuff is coming out that you're like, stoked on? Well, like, for me, it was definitely a much smoother process because we were still in that mode. Like I was saying, like we weren't able to tour, so we never got a jump into tour mode after we recorded that record Violence Unimagined. So for me it was like, okay, well let's just continue on what we were doing, because usually when we're writing, it's, you know, the three of us, Alex, Eric and me writing the riffs, the music.
And then, you know, like all of us write the lyrics, depending on who writes the music and whatever the case may be. But when it comes down to the riff writing, I think that for the most part, like we could just keep on writing if we didn't have a deadline, if we're in that mode and like some of the ideas that I didn't have time to work on for violence unimagined, I was like, okay, well, let me just keep digging in on these couple of other ideas that I had, because usually when it comes down to maybe the last month or two before we actually go into the studio. For me, that's kind of like the cut off time, but stuff like coming up with new songs because I don't really like the idea of jumping in to a recording session with a song that we haven't rehearsed. Yeah, yeah, totally. You got to have a yeah, it might come out like, not quite what I wanted it to be, and I'd rather just put it on the backburner until I have time to fine tune it.
And that was the case. Like I did have several, you know, riff ideas that I just didn't want to cram into the songs that I already had for the record. So you know, when that cutoff time comes in my mind, it's like within a month or two before we go into the record. And so I just took those ideas and then just wrote three more songs for Chaos. Horrific, The the cut off idea. I want to talk about that a little bit because you're the first person to have ever brought it up.
But I actually think it's really important. It's been a real important part of my life. Making records, too, is like knowing when when you have to stop writing and just refine what you've already got.
Because if you don't make that decision, you know, you could just keep on adding and adding and adding and end up with songs that are just not fully cooked or that have too many ideas in them, or there's just this like lack of consistent quality across the board. Like at some point you got to be like, okay, this is what the record is going to be. Let's take these ten or whatever number and and just work them till they're as good as they can possibly be. And that time has to be spent. And I think that that's really, really wise. I think that sometimes people will panic and think that like if they have an idea and that time period that doesn't make the record, then it's gone forever. But that's not the case.
You can just save it for the next round, especially if it's a situation like this where the next round is immediate. You know, that riff is not that riff that didn't make it to the current record isn't going to be languishing in the darkness for too long. Like you might be able to work on it, like literally immediately for the next one. Yeah. And that's where, you know, that's the situation that was presented to us through the pandemic was, okay, now we're just going to continue with what we were doing. That's what the way that I look at violence unimagined to chaos.
Horrific is it's kind of a continuation of violence unimagined because we didn't do a bunch of touring. You know, we didn't go through the usual like two year touring cycle like we usually do for a record. And we were kind of just still in that mode. And it was to me, it was a lot easier than actually like doing a bunch of touring.
And then we'll take like a month off of like whenever we're done with the tour cycle, like I won't even look at a guitar for a couple weeks. Yeah. And then start listening to music. The ones fire me to, you know, start writing music again and then go from there.
But like, yeah, I'd say like a good example of what you were saying about that cut of time is like, you know, you could watch somebody, you know, make a painting and if they think that they only have till the end of the week to finish it, then it's probably not going to be as good. So, I mean, if you know that you have time to make it the best painting that you could make, then why not take that time? Because a lot of music you know, bands that I like a lot, a lot of they're not a lot of their stuff, but some of it, when I listen to it, I think, Oh man, that, you know, that that could have been a little better. Like it sounded like they tried to rush this. Like it's like, man, I have heard.
I know what you're talking about. Like, sometimes I'd never start connecting it until recently. But like, I remember hearing stuff on record sometimes where it's like, that ended weird. Not weird as in, like, art weird as.
And something's weird about the way that song ended. Like, it wasn't thought through or like, this section doesn't make sense here or like, this sounds like a demo riff. And then I started to develop a theory that some of these parts people just ran out of ideas or just ran out of time and didn't like fully fleshed the ideas out because there will be these weird parts that are not as good as everything else. Yeah, they're like not up to the standard of what that band is capable of. Yeah, to me, it almost sounds like they just settled. So then they could have the song on the record.
Yeah. And that could be like those two things that you brought up. It could be a combination of both. Or just one, you know, like, well, we got this deadline and we have to have so many minutes worth of music contractually to have this record be accepted as a full length. And that's why you get a lot of bands that have a shitload of intros. Yeah, it's because they know I have a lot of material.
Yeah, it's the real life aspect, man. There's a there's a parallel in the mixing world where, you know, I've seen this happen a bunch. Where do you take a mixer? Like any mixer in metal, that's like, awesome. And, you know, whoever comes to mind, like everybody listening. If I say, think of your three favorite mixers, like everyone's going to have in their mind who they are. And I guarantee you that if you go on YouTube and you read the comments on I don't do that.
But like because it's it's I just say as a social experiment, if you go and read the comments on their releases, they're always be one that came out. That just doesn't sound that great compared to what you're used to. And so a lot of comments will be like is so and so, like forgetting how to mix or like, are they like losing it or whatever. And then the reality of the situation usually and I know this because I am friends with a lot of these guys and like I know about these situations, lots of the times, the fact that it sounds as good as it does is a miracle. And in reality, like they were given something that's so like was such a disaster that the real life was just they had to spend all their time getting it from, you know, it came in as an F, they got it to a C plus.
That's a massive, massive improvement as opposed to the records that come in as a B plus and then they mix it into an A-plus. That's a much shorter distance. But like the audience doesn't hear what condition the songs arrive to the mixer and all they hear is the results.
So they're used to this mixer putting out A-plus level stuff and out comes a C plus. They'll think it's the mixers fault when reality, the reality of the situation is very, very different. I think it's the same with records like you hear something that's maybe not as good as the rest of the record or whatever, and it's like, well, what happened to the band? Start sucking? Probably not. Cause like the rest of the record Sick, we've seen them live. You know them, you know, they don't suck. So what happened in real life is they ran out of time or they have a contract or, you know, there's any number of things, but like, it's usually not.
They just started sucking. It's usually not that. Yeah, well, I think the risk of just mixing as opposed to, you know, seeing an entire record through from day one is the that that's the risk of just being a mixer like Scott Burns is my favorite quote. You can't polish or turd.
Yeah you know like if you're handed something that is not good, it's going to be on you to make it sound good. And sometimes it's it's beyond repair, you know what I mean? Yeah, beyond. Yeah. There's just a level you can't get it to, I guess if you're producing. Yeah. So that is the risk of just mixing. I mean, if the whole plan is already set, like, okay, he's going to mix, you're going to engineer, you know, like if there is like a chain of command where everybody's communicating and, and the mixer knows that everything is going to be tracked properly the way that he would want it to be, then that'll work. But I mean, if he just gets handed something that he has no import in, then that's it's a risk.
It certainly certainly is a risk. So speaking of mixers and producers, what's it like for you? I'm sure that like you've been asked a million times, what's it like having Eric in the band? But I'm actually curious, what's it like for you as a musician having the producer in the band, like the producer and mixer in the band? Like, not like what's it like having Eric in the band as a guitar player? More like just what's it like having the dude that actually records and mixes the stuff B in the band? Like, does that change your approach to the studio or approach to band members? Or like, how does that factor in band? I mean, I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised with my answer, you know, like he's my friend before anything, you know, like when I met him, he was a ripping corpse and I was in monstrosity or malevolent I don't even remember or I think I was in Monstrosity doing shows with them. This was back in 1990, and that's when I met him.
He was a rapid corpse. We did some festival together and, you know, we ended up just being killer friends along, you know, over time. When he joined Morbid, we did a tour with Cannibal in Europe, and we just ended up being really good friends and like, you know, his position in the band as the producer. Like, I don't even really think about it. Like when we're playing and the band, he's just my friend that is playing guitar in the band with us.
Yeah, like it doesn't affect anything. And the way that I'm looking at it, you know? I mean, of course it's the ultimate like super power to have the producer in the band because, yeah, seriously understands what we're going for. Like, I mean, that's, that's the main reason why we started working with them for the Kill record because we knew him for so long. He's a death metal guitarist. He's a metal vocalist, and he knows what we're going for sonically. So right there there was just a where and when.
And then like having him in the band, that's just like, Well, he already knows what we're going for and having him in the band. He's just even investing more than he was before. Not that he wasn't investing 100% into making our records as good as he possibly could, but him being in the band as well, you know, it's another level that's even more investment for him, you know? So it's just like amazing.
He's not just any guitarist to like, he's fucking sick guitarist, like he's top of the crap right there. Yeah. So it's, it's like not yeah, it's not just some dude who has a studio, like he's a fucking Oh, you know what he's talking about a fucking bad motherfucker. Yeah. Like there was no audition or anything, you know, It was just like, well, we could get Eric. He wants to join them.
There's no auditioning people or anything. Yeah, Yeah. You know what's cool to me about? About that whole thing is and this is kind of like something I mentioned earlier about something I admire about you guys is, you know, how you've managed to stay yourselves and do your thing, not compromise that while still constantly adapting to the times and evolving where appropriate. And I think one of the modern ways that a lot of younger bands make music is they record themselves.
That's like that's a very modern thing. That's like, you know, because budgets for smaller bands have gotten a lot smaller. And also it's so much easier to record yourself at home and then you've got stuff like my, my other company erm we're showing people how to mix metal and like it's just, it's a lot easier to do it yourself, do it from home and have the band be the producer and the mixer.
And I think that being able to do that at the highest level is like, like you said, it's the ultimate superpower. And I think it's interesting to me that that's the direction you guys went because you see a lot of veteran bands not doing not making smart moves like that. You see a lot of veteran bands still behaving like it is 20 years ago or 30 years ago and approaching the studio the same way they would have in the nineties or something. Whereas I see you guys like doing things the modern way and continually upping the bar by like bringing in modern production, getting the producer who is a band member, like these are some very wise moves, I think, and I admire that about you guys and I think it's a, it's a really cool thing. And the records with Eric and the band and producing, they the other stuff he's done sounds great too, but they sound really, really killer like it's very, very integrated if that if that makes sense.
Yeah. I mean, getting to your point about it, it's definitely an advantage because think about like, you know, a producer that is not in the band might have his own vision of how he wants the band to sound, and they may not particularly want to sound that way, you know, like it may be a situation where there is a little push and pull going on when it comes to the mix and how certain tones are sounding like I've met producers that like you could tell they wanted their way and they will try to get you to bend towards, you know, in their direction. And we're just not that band like we know how we want to sound and Eric knows how we want to sound.
So there's not all that shit is just we don't even have to deal with it. We get in there and we get shit done like quick because we're on the same page. Cause horrific was like by far the smoothest recording session I've probably ever had because we communicated about right, here's what we're going to use AMP was, we're going to use our new guitars. And we went in there knowing exactly what we were going to use.
So that just took so much like wasted time, you know, out of the whole situation. Like usually we would try out all these different heads and different cabinets and all this Tony Hunt, you know? Yeah. Like we just narrowed it down, you know, because we had already done, what, four or five records together and, you know, he, he's like, Yeah, I've been looking through my notes and we pretty much are using the same cabinet every time around at this point.
And it's kind of like a football team, you know, like going in before you know, the game someday. Like, alright, here's what we're going to do. Here's the game plan. So when we get in there, we know exactly what we're going to do and we're not going to stick around and waste any time. So like so much efficiency of like using the time, like in the optimal way is like we got that down with Eric. Like he, it's almost like a militant schedule.
That's great. I mean, at least, see, that's how my brain operates. So I like that a lot. I remember making records back in the day, like either assisting people in the studio or, you know, as a band member and just remember like turning like 2000s and stuff and late nineties and just thinking about like there's so much stuff that happens that makes no sense in terms of how much time is spent.
I'll give you a couple of for instances like, for instance, if you know you're going to replace the kick drum, like, you know you're going to, why are you spending five days getting an acoustic kick drum sound if you're not going to use it like that? And then also like guitar with guitar tone, if you know you're going to re amp like you have already, you decided in advance you're going to revamp like you're not even going to consider using the tracking tone. Then why did we just spend a week trying out amps If you're just going to revamp it anyways, if you're going for the album tone for tracking, then okay, then that makes a little bit more sense. But if you already know you're going to re amp like, you literally have decided that nothing from this tone is going to get used. You're going to get the tone later than why did we just spend a week auditioning amps? They're all kinds of shit like that. And the people used to waste time with back in the day.
And yeah, just you just brought up the point that I just made. Like we used to run through all these heads cabinets and crazy sometimes, like you learn the best lessons by your own actions, you know? So yes, I mean, that's how I learned, like, you know, because there were situations where we were running behind one time and it was getting really, really close. And, you know, that could become stressful and I was just thinking, all right, next time around, like, what could we do to, you know, economize, like to to spend as little time as we have to on these trivial things that we don't really need to spend time on.
And that was a choice of cab, that choice of heads, you know, and stuff like that. So we really narrowed it down to, you know, like two or three heads, two or three cabinets, you know, we could get that done in a day, you know, just pick one of the three and then we're ready to go. Yeah You know, it's I think it's important to know where to leave the room for creativity and make but to also, like you said, like take a long, hard look at where you can be more efficient and make those decisions, too, because of, you know, like the looking through Eric's notes, you guys use this cab with 90% of the time, like that's what you go with. Then it's probably what you're going to go with. So why try out seven different cabs if, like, you know, yeah, there's like a 90% chance you're going to go with this one.
And not just just choose, make a choice. And that's probably some of the best advice for younger bands is like economy of time, because then you're not stressing out at the end. Like if you're getting near the home stretch and you still haven't even gotten to begin mixing yet, like people start panicking under the pressure and that could make for a bad product at the end. Like if you just if you're doing so well during the race and then like you just run out of gas at the end, then you're not going to win. Yeah, Yeah, totally.
It's I think it's important with like the pacing yourself aspect of it. I think it's, it's like important if you look at any aspect of this, it's really, really important. Like if you want to break it down to like guitar playing, you know, building up speed or something. Guitar players, we both know that were reckless about it and weren't just like measured about it, end up with lots of injuries, like bands who, you know, you take go on tour and like go crazy in the first two weeks or three weeks, weeks, four and five, six or whatever they are hating life, putting on subpar performances. It's like it's very much like you can apply that wisdom to most aspects of having a music career, but the pace yourself try to be as efficient as possible and don't use up all your energy on trivial things and then shortchange yourself for all the other things you have to do.
So true. I mean, that that applies to almost everything involved with this, you know, like on the performance and, you know, like you do need to pace yourself of you're just like putting it all out there and then you're just like almost passing out. It's you got to be careful, especially are really hot venues. Like there have been shows that where I have felt like I almost was going to pass out just because it's so hot in there and, you know, just like simple stuff, like your parents would tell you, like, you know, stay hydrated, you know, eat well, that's really important.
Stuff like that sounds funny to younger kids, but it's just it'll it'll help you last as long as a band like us says. Well, there's there's a thing that, like in your twenties, like, you don't have to really think about that stuff so much, right? Because, like, you just don't. It's not till you're passed 30 that like, gradually starts to take a toll and then definitely past 40. It like really you have to really make an effort and. We know what happens when you don't like, you just fall apart.
But still, I think that even in your twenties, like young bands, they can still burn themselves out. They can still get hurt. Like I think if you're in it for the long haul, you got to take a long haul type mentality and try to establish habits that will keep you from, you know, hurting yourself so bad that you're going to have to stop, for instance, or wrecks your health so bad that you're not going to be able to continue or like any of these things, they might not it might not matter this right now, like on this tour when you're 25 or something like.
But if you factor doing this for years and years and years, over decades, this is what you want to keep doing. You have to take that into consideration a lot. And I know that the bands I know who have pulled it off, like the musicians and bands I know who have pulled it off, who are still around, like they all at some point got their shit together when it comes to to that stuff. Like because otherwise they they don't, they don't, they either they don't stay alive or they just can't physically do it anymore.
It's like there's no like it's not pretty basically. Yeah, I agree. You have to be aware of, you know, your abilities and they it's like the same as an athlete. You know, you don't see any championship athletes like still doing it in their fifties at the level that they did in their twenties.
So you really have to, you know, be smart about trying to maintain that level as long as you can. I think that metal already is bad for you. Like when it comes to like physically speaking, like metal is, is just not smart to play because like, that's just bad. It's just going to wreck. You're like for your neck, for your arms, your wrists, like your body stopped headbang. And like probably four or five years ago, probably just like I felt like I had done it enough, like to the point where I just grandfathered myself in and I was like, Hey, Tony, I owe me an ad bang, You know, like, I think if your riffs are good enough, you don't need to prove yourself like, you know, physically and like, visibly like that.
And aside from that, like, all the other guys are headbanging like, crazy around me. So I just felt like I didn't I didn't need to do it anymore. And I play better live because I'm not halfway focused on, you know, Oh, I need to headbang at this speed during this part. And it's like you're driving a stick shift, you know, like you got to change gears with riffs and like, now I'm just focused on the guitar and not having to do something else along with it.
Headbanging well is actually hard to do. It's when like when playing a show in order to not have it look stupid and actually be in time properly and no fuck up, you're playing like it's actually not not an easy thing to do. But did you and did you hurt yourself or did you feel like you were getting close to hurting yourself? I didn't hurt myself.
I mean, there was definitely times where I'd be like, Jesus, you know, pull something in my neck or like my back killing me. Something seemed out of socket for a little minute or two. Yeah, but, I mean, it wasn't to the point where, like, the chiropractor was saying, Oh, looks like you got in a car accident. But I've heard some people actually have that said to them, Oh, yeah, totally. And, and that's something that, you know, you might end up not being able to walk eventually. I mean, it didn't scare me and not wanting to do it anymore.
I just kind of like what you just brought up about. Like sometimes if you don't headbang, like at the right pace or something, it just doesn't look right, you know? And I think I felt like I was getting to that point, like, you know, I'd see videos and I'd be like, Wow, I'm starting to look like Dom doing that. So I just stopped doing it. Fair enough. Yeah.
Like, I feel like it's one of those things where it's either got to be like, dead the fuck on or just don't do it. Like there's no in-between. Yeah, I think I did pretty well then, you know, at least up to my thirties.
You know, as soon as I hit my forties though, I was just kind of like, damn. And I was almost like not dreading it, but just like, Fuck, here we go. I got to fucking headbang again.
I still love playing guitar. Yeah, but like, the headbanging became like something that I didn't really want to do anymore. I don't blame you, man. I remember my. I mean, when you. When you got a core grinder next to you doing those crazy head spins.
Nobody's looking at me anyway. You know, his neck is insane. I'd rather be heard not see, but.
Yeah, I understand. Like, I totally get it. And like, I remember my first festival tour, so, like, in 2007 and I was in my twenties and there were a bunch of bands that of all ages, like, you know, from Younger than US all the way into their sixties.
And I remember all the dudes who were like ten years older than us and 20 years older, like the deuce that were like 36 to like 46, 50 ish. All of them, every single one of them had neck and back problems. I just remember like just logging that in my head, like This is the future. This is what I have to look forward to. And but like the thing I did notice too, was that the that are still around to this day, like Behemoth, for instance, they were on that tour, like I remember they already had good habits back then.
And it translates like you look at it. If I think back to 20 years ago or when I was 17 years ago or whenever that was, and I look forward to like who's still around, who's kicking ass, what were they like back then. It's interesting to me that, that like a band like Behemoth back then already were like stretching. They're already smart about exercise. They were like, they were like, handling their shit and it yeah, yeah. It's, it's, it's interesting to be able to, like, look back through the years and see, like, the progression of things and see that basically this advice to like, pace yourself isn't, isn't based on bullshit.
Like, like I know the people who have have come out the other side are still going and are doing pretty okay. Yeah I mean that's a great example. Like Behemoth was definitely an example of like a professional group of guys that have long term goals and they know, they know how to get it and they know what's detrimental and what's, you know, positive thing for where they're trying to get. That's whether, you know, one of the top bands right now. They're very disciplined. Of course, they like that fun.
And, you know, they'll party a little bit, but they they wake up in the morning and they jog and they lift weights and they stretch and oh, yeah, they're going to the gym even on days off, like I remember we did a tour with them and we had a day off and like I was I was walking by the gym at the hotel and there's another goal running on the treadmill. Yeah, of course, during the day on that tour there, trailer became the weight room. So like, I'd go to there, I'd go to their trailer every every other day and lift weights with them. And it was that just became like the gym for the for the tour and yeah man it's it's just it's not a surprise when you see people behaving like that and then you see that things have gone well because it's not it's not just about, oh, he runs or it's not just about any one of those things. It's like a big picture, positive energy. Interesting.
That's a positive energy coming from all those guys. Like, you know, how some brands, they just they tend to lean towards like having problems with other brands for no reason like that. They're like the opposite of that. Like they will go and like, you know, want to be friends with people. Like they might not even like their music, but they're just outgoing and friendly. That is very, very right.
And I actually do remember that through the years about how cool they were. And it makes me think back to seeing the the Pantera home videos in the nineties and, you know, the ones that Dime would shoot. And I was paying attention. So as a teenager, I was just watching this stuff as a fan. But I remember paying attention to how cool they were to the other bands like and yeah, and like, totally different style of bands.
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Just friends with everyone. Yeah.
Like I remember Alice in Chains was in one of those. Like it was like the members of Skid Row were coming by. Like, I mean, I haven't seen so long, but I'm, I remember he was really cool with the Foo Fighters. Ryu Yeah, yeah, that's right. I just remember thinking, like, that's that, like such a great lesson for how bands should behave with each other. Yeah. Be nice. Be nice.
Do you find that like the bands that lean towards having problems also have problems internally? That's kind of what I've noticed. I don't. I mean, there are certain situations where I think the band is just very overconfident in themselves and like they just kind of put the blinders up and have this tunnel vision and everybody else is subpar. Like it's almost overconfident to me.
But then again, there's other bands that I think they behave like that because they're insecure and they want to be like the top dog or whatever, however you want to call it. So one thing I've always heard about you guys, and any time I've met anyone in your band or from your crew or whatever, like I've never heard like a bad thing ever said about any of you as people like, ever. Like, I've only ever heard about how cool you guys are and how chill you guys are. Like all that stuff and that was the experience I had when I, I assisted on the drum recording on one of your records and like it, it was everything I've heard and everything I've encountered was like really good vibes. And what I'm wondering is, is that a decision or is that just good luck that you guys are like, that is like, did you guys ever make a decision we're going to be a band that's cool to people? Or is it just you guys just happened to be chill people and it worked out well? Yeah, that's not any pre made thing, you know, we're just who we are.
People fortunate. We happen to like us the way that we are. I mean, I don't feel like I'm a role model and not that I have to, like, act a certain way or any of that shit, but I mean, for the most part we're just trying to play music that we love to play and we're lucky enough to have fans that love what we're doing. And you know what? What's what are we going to get out of being mean? Exactly. Yeah. I mean, it's a pretty it's a pretty great thing to be able to do extreme metal as a career.
Like, if you think about it, it's really pretty awesome to have been able to like, I look at you guys and like, just think about how awesome it is to have been able to take something that over-the-top and extreme and build something, you know, build something that last decades and has done as well as it as it has, it's like it's unheard of, really. It's crazy. It's awesome. Yeah.
I think we all inspire each other as individuals, and I think that's why we're still going with enough enthusiasm to keep things fresh, at least in our opinion. Like that's why we keep doing this. And like, if we didn't like it, then we would. I don't think we would keep doing it. No, I can't imagine It's too much work. It's not worth it if you're not liking it, I think.
Yeah, and it's just good to get inspiration from the band members that you're in a band with because like, that's mostly where I get my inspiration from is within the band. Like I'll listen to, you know, stuff when I'm in a certain mood that I want to get inspired by shit. But for the most part it's like I want to write good stuff that my bandmates are going to like. That's my inspiration to write good stuff.
Yeah, that's that's actually a really interesting take that I haven't really heard people say before, because usually people are talking about getting inspiration from all kinds of different places, but like actually the people that you spend the most time with are going to be the people that influence you the most like. And this is true like in any aspect of your life, you know, if all your friends are junkies. News flash, you might be one to like. If you hang around people who work out all the time, all your friends do that. You're probably going to also do that.
And I think that if you're surrounded musically with people that are very, very inspiring, these are the people that like you work with. So you're like the most in contact with them and they are also inspiring. That's the best possible situation to actually be surrounded by people that are that are inspiring because they're going to influence you whether you like it or not. So it's it's really, really great to have it be an actual, positive, inspiring influence. Yeah, It's so crucial to be aware of like your surrounding yourself around because I mean, I've learned lessons over the years of, you know, how to choose your friends wisely kind of situations.
And you just learning from mistakes and being around bad people is just bad. Shit's going to happen eventually or the opposite. Like you surround yourself with really good people who are really inspiring and like do awesome shit and like inspire you to be a better version of yourself. Like, that's that's great.
Yeah. Then there's no excuses. No, definitely not. Well, Rob, looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you very much for taking the time to hang out with me.
It's been a pleasure talking to you. Good to finally meet you.