Six Feet Under
Interview with Chris Barnes
Enslain: Are you pleased with the direction that "Maximum Violence" has gone into?
Barnes: Yeah, I feel it's a good record, I'm into it, so I've heard a lot of good things out there, a lot of bands are into it, and it's selling really well, so that's good.
Enslain: Do you play a part on writing the music?
Barnes: Some of it, like I wrote one song on this album, and just some of the arrangements, I kinda like, lend my opinion on, whether it's taken it's a different story!
Enslain: But you write all the lyrics, right? Your lyrics would suggest some rather morbid and hateful feelings; does this reflect your personality at all?
Barnes: Hmm, I don't know, that's for other people to judge, I don't really like to analyze myself, I just kinda write about exploring my imagination, so... I'm imagining some pretty horrific things, (laughs) so it just makes for good subject matter in songs.
Enslain: What have been the highlights of your career in metal?
Barnes: Probably all the excitement that Butchered at Birth caused, all the people I've met in the past ten years, doing a movie with Jim Carrey.... (Ace Ventura, Pet Detective) When I was in Cannibal Corpse we played the part of the band that was in the club he came into in the first half hour. So that was definitely a highlight.
Enslain: What was the cause of the split with Cannibal?
Barnes: We just weren't getting along at that point in time, musically, they just didn't trust my point of view at that point in time, so it was time to do something different, Six Feet Under was already underway, and our first album was out, we already had done a tour at that point, so I just moved ahead with this.
Enslain: Would you say most of your fans have stuck around through your band change?
Barnes: Oh yeah, for sure, we're selling lots and lots of records, and when we're on tour we see a lot of old Cannibal shirts out there.
Enslain: Any thoughts on the new Cannibal record?
Barnes: Yeah, it was okay, there was a couple of good songs, but I thought it was a little bit long.
Enslain: What bands are you into?
Barnes: I don't know, I listen to all sorts of different music; so, I'm not really listening to too much at this point in time though, kind of taking a break.
Enslain: What do you do other than music?
Barnes: Um, smoke a lot of herb, work on my old Volkswagen... Not at the same time though!
Enslain: When did you first get into playing metal?
Barnes: Well, it started off way back when, probably 1984 or something, me and some friends, the drummer that's in Cannibal Corpse, Paul, and the old guitarist that was in Cannibal Corpse, Bob Rusay, and we started this band after getting into these air band competitions, you know, doing like, as youngsters (laughs,) just kinda doing stuff at school, and like going out at local bars and we'd have these air band competitions, and we just decided like, after winning some of that stuff, and being pretty good at it, we were like, well we gotta pick up instruments, so we all started playing specific instruments, Paul picked up drums because he played some before, wrote a little bit; Bob was playing guitar... so it was like, lets try to play some of these cover songs that we dig so much, and we did, we started playing them pretty badly! But it progressed from there. I split from those guys for a few years, got into another band for a little while in 1986, put out a song on a compilation album called Metal Forces. We were featured on there, we were making a record contract, and all that, that fell through. Then Cannibal Corpse came around, those old guys from the early days, and we formed that, and that was back in '88, got signed in '89 to Metal Blade. Then I started working things out with Allen West in '93 for Six Feet Under demos, and we got signed soon after that, and we put our first album out in '95.
Enslain: Do you have any plans of working on any other projects?
Barnes: I don't know, not at this point, but maybe, (laughs) I'm kinda always thinking things; I might do something, some time in the future, just like a side deal.
Enslain: Anything else coming up?
Barnes: We're working on a home video, some really crazy shit! So we'll put that out probably early this year.
Enslain: Do you think the scene is currently strong for what you play?
Barnes: It seems pretty cool, we have a good time out there when we play our live shows and stuff, it's good! Everyone's into it, you know, it's been good for the past 10 years for me, you know. I think people that kinda stick to their old ideas of what this is, you know, there's truth out there, it'll be around for a while, and they have good fans around, so I'm a bit lucky to have that, it's a good thing.
Enslain: Any last comments?
Barnes: Thanks for the interview, and thanks to all our fans for appreciating our music.-- Lady Enslain