The 5 Best Metal Interviews of All Time

It has been a while between articles, I admit. I’ve got a few more tour stories, recent achievements, and some educational blurb on the way. Thought I’d limber up first with a good old list of stuff. Interviews!

1. George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher of Cannibal Corpse

George maintains fairly well during this interview, and talks as sanely as one might expect of a man who sings songs such as ‘I Cum Blood’ with the vocal stylings of a wounded satanic water buffalo. He discusses matters sensibly, talking about touring, his wife….

Then the topic of World of Warcraft comes up, and he goes off his nut.

You see, George is a passionate gamer. I met him in person while he was in the grip of a Grand Theft Auto gaming bender and he talked excitedly about how if he was driving a car in the game and ‘Angel of Death’ came onto the radio, he was compelled to abandon mission and just run down as many pedestrians as he could.  By the evidence of this video however, his passion for GTA has been utterly and completely obviated by his ‘thing’ for World of Warcraft. He rages. He rants. He goes completely off his head, and every time it seems as though he has calmed down enough to continue the interview, his hatred at ‘The Alliance’ resurfaces and he begins compulsively blurting disgust. He has no time for people playing as ‘good guys’. He’s a bad-guy Horde-dude to the core, seven gaming accounts-worth, son. There is so much raw passion evidenced in this interview that if Tony Robbins saw it he’d be like, “Steady on there, George”.

And the most amazing thing about this interview? Apparently he was 100% sober for it.

2. Mayhem

…Unlike these guys.

Mayhem came from that era of black metal where, to quote a friend of mine, “everyone tried to murder each other and unfortunately a few survived”. Their third vocalist killed himself, the first guitarist was stabbed to death by the bassist, the fifth vocalist was kicked out of the band via a flight of stairs, and the most recent vocalist sounds like he is channelling the other guys.

This probably explains why in this interview in ‘Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey’ bandmembers Necrobutcher and Blasphemer drunkenly invite the entire metal metal scene to go fuck itself while sitting in the middle of Wacken Air.  If I survived years of playing in a band like Mayhem, I’d probably feel invincible too.

3. Gaahl of Gorgoroth

Words cannot describe the many ways this interview is awesome but damned if I’m not going to try.

Supremely evil Norwegian singer Gaahl from Gorgoroth was at the height of his black-metal cred when this interview was done. He had done a few stints in jail for torturing guys on a few separate occasions, collecting his last victim’s blood in a cup. He lived in the middle of fog-enshrouded black-metal nowhere in Norway. When the interviewers came to meet him, he made them walk to all sorts of frostbitten and snowbound landmarks despite them not being dressed for the weather. He also showed a penchant for unexpected surprises when he revealed a number of paintings he’d done, which showed a decent level of taste and artistic skill. This wouldn’t be the last time Gaahl sprung an unexpected surprise on everyone.

The highlight of this interview came down to one word. The interviewers were hanging with Gaahl somewhere dark and grim and everyone was drinking goblets of red wine. One of the questions posed was “What is Gorgoroth’s music about?”

To this, Gaahl remained silent for seemingly ages. Finally he replied in a deep voice with one word: “………………..Satan”. Then he took a theatrical sip of his wine and let the long silence set sail for Awkwardville.

It made a lovely change from the earlier death metal bands who would dance around their flirtation with satanism in interviews (Glen Benton excepted, of course). There was none of this “hey, you know, the lyrics are about our personal beliefs, we don’t really discuss this” nonsense. What’s your music about, Gaahl? “SATAN”. BOOM! He wasn’t leaving anyone guessing.

I saw this interview near the start of a Berzerker tour and we thought it was the funniest thing we’d seen. We took to using Gaahl’s response for absolutely everything.

Promoter’s grabbing food guys, what would you like?”
“……………………..Satan”
I’ve turned the snare up in the foldback, need anything else in there?”
“……………………..Satan”

And so on.

The best part of this interview was the epilogue. Gaahl made the Terrorizer front cover and became a world-famous black-metal identity. His band was under investigation for a gig in Poland which featured a row of pigs heads up the front of the stage, and naked mock-crucified models up the back of the stage. He was as trve and kvlt as they come. Black metal as a scene is comprised of a large number of homophobic bigoted little boys, and Gaahl was their figurehead.  I really can’t express what a dodgy scene black metal can be in terms of ideology. It seems like every hate group has found a little nesting space somewhere in there at some point.

In 2008, Gaahl came out of the closet identifying himself as homosexual and revealed he was doing a clothing line for women with his boyfriend.

4. Pete Sandoval of Morbid Angel

David Vincent was traditionally the spokesman for Morbid Angel, and was a convincing and powerful messenger for their music. The other band members benefited from remaining in the background, appearing to be mysterious characters with a sorcerous command of their chosen instruments. When David left the band, guitarist Trey Azagthoth was thrust to the forefront as band’s spokesman and there was an awkward moment when everyone realised that this musical genius vampiric-Steve Vai looking dude was actually a nerdy sounding online gaming geek.

Nobody was prepared for when Pete Sandoval started appearing in interviews though. Trey’s geeky shtick was Captain Awesome Smooth compared to the mess that Pete appeared to be. All it takes in the above video is for Pete to introduce himself and you KNOW that you are in for an entertaining ten minutes. With pornstar Jasmin St Claire handling the interview duties, it was never going to be a normal interview….but jesus. I was expecting mild flirtation and a bit of dick swinging, not this Blues Brothers car-chase finale pileup of a human car-wreck. The returned Dave Vincent does his best to shepherd the dialogue along, but it keeps getting crashed by the crazy force of nature that is Pete. One of my favourite bits is where each band member names his favourite track to play, and Pete….lists almost half their set. After that both interviewer and cameraman successfully endeavor to exclude Pete from the rest of the interview.

Lovely guy and an awesome drummer though.

5. Oderus Ungerus of GWAR

Nothing I say about this can possibly do this justice.

Just. Listen.

**********

A big credit to ‘A Headbangers Journey’ for so much golden footage. An honorable mention must be made for any interview with Deicide’s Glen Benton. For written interviews, I must refer people to every interview done ever by US zine Grimoire.

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One thought on “The 5 Best Metal Interviews of All Time

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