SIX FEET UNDER
TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This phone interview with the vocalist Chris Barnes of Six Feet Under was done by Sam Chronic in September 2003.
The template for today’s death metal was drawn up and designed by none other than vocalist Chris Barnes. In an odd turn of events the frontman split from Cannibal Corpse after working on his then side project Six Feet Under leaving many fans and listeners unsure of the future for Chris and his new band. Nearly a decade later, Six Feet Under is still banging out hardcore, brutal death metal that has equaled if not outdone anything prior to forming this outfit. Now, the latest batch of aggression is brought to you under the name “Bringer of Blood” and somehow or another this band seems to always outdo itself in terms of extremity from the music to the artwork. I was able to catch up with Chris Barnes to get inside the latest workings of the mentor himself.
I wanted to start off by talking about the newest Six Feet Under album "Bringer of Blood". What sort of changes will we hear from the last album?
It's up to the listeners interpretation, I am not good at interpreting changes or anything but I just know that is the next step in the evolution of Six Feet Under.
Did the writing process change at all or do you usually stick to the same formula?
Yeah, we usually stick to the same formula and just take it one song at a time. I usually write to music that is written first and I gain inspiration off of that.
What was the inspiration for the album?
Well, like I said we just take it a song at a time and let the music speak to me and that turns out the ideas that are in my head. It turns out cool sometimes and real cool other times and I am happy with the way this one turned out. As for the title "Bringer of Blood" I think that is the ultimate interpretation for everything.
The album artwork is killer; did Paul Booth do the artwork for this album as well?
No, Paul did not do the artwork for this album. The artwork was done by David Aronson (www.alchemicalwedding.com), he did the whole layout and he also did some work on the video clip for "Amerika the Beautiful".
I just have to ask since you have had artwork done by Paul Booth are you also lucky enough to get tattooed by him?
Oh yeah, we are working on a full body piece.
Cool, I think that I would sell my soul to the devil to get work done by him but I guess you have to know him or be in the right place at the right time to get worked on by him.
Yeah, it can be tough to get tattooed by him.
I see you also produced this album yourself, is that a first or is this something you usually do?
I am really involved in the production of every CD that I have done so I have been learning over the years about it. This is really the first album, I have produced some live stuff that we have done, but this is the first studio album that I have felt comfortable enough to produce and I think I brought my point across very well.
Speaking of live material you also released a DVD called Double Dead not long ago.
Yeah, those have been out for a while now. We have some footage that is a DVD on Bringer of Blood that is a bonus feature and it has footage of us laying down tracks in the studio and there is a documentary on there which is pretty interesting. There is about an hour worth of material on the whole thing.
And that is on the album?
Cool, when are you going on tour and who is going along for the ride?
We are going out on tour starting October 16th thru November 26th and we are going with Skinless, Behemoth and As I Lay Dying.
That should be a killer tour. To take a step backwards, I wanted to talk about the album "Graveyard Classics" just because I thought that was such a genius concept and I am a huge fan of the album.
Cool, thank you.
How long had you been kicking around the idea for making it?
Well, I think that it was probably about 3 years thinking about doing it and doing some cover songs here and there. It was just something very interesting for us to do as well, doing a whole album of cover songs and I think they are very interesting takes on the songs. We like to take chances with what we do and that was to stray away from the normal thing.
Were there some cover songs that did not make it on the album?
Yeah there was a couple that we tried.
Have you thought about throwing a few covers on an album as a bonus track?
Yeah I am not against do something like that.
Not to dwell in the past for too long but you have been a figure in the metal scene for sometime now. Has it been a pleasure to watch the scene evolve into what it is today or are you are unsatisfied with the way things are?
No, I am very pleased with being a major contributor to the beginnings of this style of vocal sounds and aggressive nature of music. I think that it has definitely developed in a positive way, for a while it was going badly and it is still is in some areas but I think a lot of bands are developing very positively.
What would you say your top 5 bands are right now?
Oh wow.... you know I don't really separate stuff like that (laughs). I like pretty much anything but I like a lot of folk music...like old folk music is really cool.
Well now for a little off the wall question. Lets say that Six Feet Under is brought onto the TV show Survivor and you guys are dropped off on a desert island. Who can withstand the test of time and win the money?
(Laughs) It would be a toss up man because we each have our own way of doing things. But it would probably be Steve because he is the most athletic and a lot of those are endurance or athletic type challenges so I think Steve might have the edge!
What is next for Six Feet Under?
It is really just promoting the new Cd and getting out on the road and putting a smile on faces when we come into town. That is pretty much what we have planned just promoting what we have worked really hard to make.
To wrap things up do you have anything you want to say to everyone?
Thanks for all the support and everything and we really appreciate it.
Well good luck with everything, I hope that the album does well for you and a lot people listen to it because it is killer work.
Thanks, and thanks a lot for the interview and the support.
Thanks for Chris Barnes for taking the time for this interview and if you have not already done so, be sure to get down to the store and pick up the latest Six Feet Under album “Bringer of Blood”. Also be sure to visit the Six Feet Under site for more information and tour updates for when the band will be coming to a town near you. Special thanks goes to Michelle Ferraro from Metal Blade for hooking this whole thing up!
Links of interest:
Six Feet Under
Metal Blade Records