In a new interview with Scott Penfold of Loaded Radio, CANNIBAL CORPSE bassist Alex Webster was asked for his reaction to Chris Barnes‘s comment about the state of the death metal scene in which the former CANNIBAL CORPSE vocalist said that he “despise(s) what the genre has become.” Alex said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I don’t really put too much emphasis on any of that stuff. I think people should be able to say whatever they want. And if people have an opinion about music, why should they keep it hidden, I guess. If Chris doesn’t like something, he’s absolutely free to say he doesn’t like it. And then people are free to say they don’t like his opinion. So I don’t really care about that. I think everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, and it’s fine.”
Webster continued: “We all love music so much, especially… I’ve found metal fans, we’re all so passionate about it, we’re just prone to debate and argue. And I think it reflects how much we all care about this music. It’s not just background music to us. If you go into McDonald’s and you can hear a song in the background, then it just seems to me, it’s probably not interesting enough to have dedicated fans; it’s just sort of background music. But metal and other kinds of music that really require your attention and get you engaged… It’s not in the background for us literally or figuratively — it’s something very important to all of us. It’s our hobby in many ways, it’s what we’re into, and, yeah, we’re gonna argue about it sometimes because we care about it. So I think it’s fine.”
Asked if there is a relationship there between CANNIBAL CORPSE and Barnes at all today or if it’s “kind of like ‘you do your thing and we’re doing our thing’,” Alex said: “Pretty much. Yeah, he can do his thing; we do ours. If I see him, it’s always friendly. But I haven’t seen him in a few years. But, yeah, to each their own, and it’s all cool at this point. We don’t really run into each other, though. They (Barnes‘s current band SIX FEET UNDER) haven’t toured in a while. Normally when you see everybody and you reconnect with people is at festivals, mainly the European ones, I should say, ’cause that’s where the majority of the festivals are. And we reconnect with a lot of people there — bands we’ve toured with, friends, crew members that we know, working with other bands. So that’s where I would run into him. And they haven’t been doing that stuff in a little while. So maybe we’ll see him next year or something, though. Who knows?”
Webster was also pressed about whether fans have asked to see CANNIBAL CORPSE and SIX FEET UNDER touring together, especially now that SIX FEET UNDER features another former CANNIBAL member, guitarist Jack Owen. Alex said: “People have asked (about the two bands touring together), but I think, again, SIX FEET just doesn’t really tour that much. And we probably wouldn’t do it. It’s, yeah, like you said, sort of everything’s cool, but it’s sort of like, you do your thing, we’ll do our thing. And it’s fine.”
In January 2022, Barnes — who exited CANNIBAL CORPSE in 1995, one year after the release of the band’s “The Bleeding” album — took to his Twitter to say that he saw a Knotfest“A Death Metal Round Table” hosted by Staypuft Mallow and featuring appearances by current CANNIBAL CORPSE singer George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, Trevor Strnad from THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, Chase Mason from GATECREEPER and Alex Jones from UNDEATH. “I just watched a ‘death metal’ podcast on YouTube that was done about a week ago with the ‘top’ death metal vocalists,” he wrote. “It made me physically ill. I despise what this genre has become.”
After Barnes left CANNIBAL CORPSE to form SIX FEET UNDER, he was replaced in the former band by Fisher.
Six years ago, Barnes spoke about the possibility of SIX FEET UNDER and CANNIBAL CORPSE one day touring together, telling “The Chainsaw Symphony” radio program: “That would be a tough one to put together, my friend. (Laughs) You wouldn’t have any problems from my side of things, but I don’t think other people would be agreeable to that.”
He continued: “I don’t think there’s animosity (between us). I think there’s just protecting other people’s feelings. I think that everyone knows certain things about everything and they’d like to see things a certain way, and that wouldn’t portray things a certain way that they would wanna portray them. So… I’m being very general and trying to be diplomatic about it.”
Barnes also talked about the circumstances behind his departure from CANNIBAL CORPSE. He said: “I just didn’t like being around them, because I was being ridiculed, and I just didn’t feel comfortable being in the same room with people that weren’t very nice to me personally. And I was part of that too, so we had all of our own type of differences, personally, and I don’t think it was gonna be able to be worked out. You know, mutual respect goes a far way when it comes to being in close quarters with people.”
He continued: “I’m sure we’d do things differently (today) — I mean, I know we would. It’s just the way things worked out. And I don’t have any animosity towards those guys at all, and I don’t think they do towards me. It’s just that… It would be too confusing for things (if we were to tour together), I think, from their perspective.”
Barnes added: “I’d do anything. I just like to see a lot of people out there with smiles on their faces; that’s the only thing that’s important to me, man. Like, seriously, if I see a big crowd of people that everyone’s smiling, like, ‘Oh, yeah! This is what we’ve been waiting for,’ I’m ready then, man. If I see a small room of people that are just fired up to go, man, it just gets me going on stage, you know. And that’s all I’m there for — that feeling, that sharing of energy, man. And I’ll go for it any which way to get that any way I can with any person I can get it with. And if it gets to that means to an end, that’s all that’s important, man — that transference. And some people just don’t see it that way, man, and it’s cool.
“I’m not gonna be mean to anybody, and I never wanted to be. I’m my own person, and sometimes I’m put at fault for that, and I think we all are in our own way. And that’s just life; those are the things we deal with as people.”
CANNIBAL CORPSE will release its sixteenth studio album, “Chaos Horrific”, on September 22 via Metal Blade Records.
SIX FEET UNDER‘s latest album, “Nightmares Of The Decomposed”, came out in October 2020 via Metal Blade Records.
Photo credit: Alex Morgan