Interview: Cannibal Corpse’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher Talks Near-Death Experiences and Bloody Fans
As part of our coverage of this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, Revolver caught up with many of this year’s performing bands for our June/July 2014 issue, on newsstands now, to ask about the occupation hazards that go along with touring. Here, writer Jon Wiederhorn interviews Cannibal Corpse about all the mayhem.
They may have some of the most graphically violent lyrics in death metal, but Cannibal Corpse are some of the nicest, mellowest dudes in music. Maybe that’s why they’ve had relatively few incidents of mayhem over their 26-year existence.
Taking care of business as always, the band is currently working on its 13th album, the follow-up to 2012’s Torture, and vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher is also laying the groundwork for a new side project with Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz and ex-The Black Dahlia Murder drummer Shannon Lucas. “Adam mentioned the idea of doing this on the last Mayhem tour, and I thought he was drunk,” Fisher says. “He was drunk, but it turned out he was serious about the band. It’s nothing like Cannibal, which is good,” he adds. “That’s why we have Cannibal.”
REVOLVER What was your worst near-death experience?
GEORGE “CORPSEGRINDER” FISHER We were on the road in late 2008 in the middle of the night driving somewhere in Europe, and there was a car pulled over in the emergency lane. Someone who was trying to help them pulled over right next to them, not in front of them or behind them. We came around a turn and the driver saw the car and slammed on the brakes and the bus screeched to a halt just in time to avoid a total disaster. Alex [Webster, bass] was standing up talking with me. When the bus screeched to a halt, he almost went flying down the hallway. I was up against the wall, so I smashed my head, but I was fine—I have a really hard head. But, man, if we had hit that car who knows what would have happened?
Any other traveling escapades?
We were going through Quebec and we had this bus driver who could not stay awake. He would have to repeatedly pull over all night long to keep from passing out. One time he pulled over on the side of the road into this soft gravel and the bus started tilting. I woke up and I couldn’t get out of my bunk. It was the middle of the summer and there were all these flies and bugs flying around us. Our tour manager yelled, “George, get out of your bunk!” I said, “Why?” And he said, “The bus is gonna flip over and roll down the hill!” We all got out and eventually flagged down some people that were driving by, and they drove us a couple miles down the road to a burger joint. We were able to call a tow truck to get the bus out of the gravel.
What’s the worst act of mayhem you’ve seen on tour?
On the Summer Slaughter tour in Denver, there was a kid who got slashed in the face with something. He had this nasty gash and there was blood pouring down his shirt. But he didn’t want to leave. Our tour manager got me to try to get him to go to the hospital and get stitched up. I said, “Dude, you should see your head. It’s all busted up.” But he wouldn’t go.