New Napalm Death Interview With Barney Greenway

103Sam Bryson – Thanks so much for being with us today.

Barney Greenway – No problem, whatsoever.
SB Well shit, I guess I’ll start by asking you a few questions about the new album you’ve got coming out “Apex Preditor”
BG Sure
SB I listened to the single on line, I guess it was leaked-
BG Naw it was out there on purpose.
SB Oh, cool. Well do you want to tell us a little about the concept for the album?
BG Yeah, sure. Sometimes coming to arive at an album title can be rather time consumeing, I might ditch a number of ideas before I decide on one. But for this one there was a specific instance. There was a building full of sweatshops that collapsed in Bangladesh, about a year or so ago. It was just a really desperate situation and I….. well first off, the media coverage, when you have an event of that magnitude, where one or two thousand people are dead or severly injured for the rest of their lives, you get to thinking to yourself, when the media coverage fades away after a day or so, whereas normally with a major disaster you get rolling coverage. It just seemed to me that, it just gave the impression that life just felt a little cheaper.
It really bothered me, it spured me, I like to write about that sort of stuff. And of course for the people who worked in the building- well of course there were a lot of big multinational companies with a big interest in the place, and afterwards there was the tv news conference where the sort of all sat around looking forlorn, and offered to put up a fund for the families of the people who were going to have to live with these deaths and horrible injureies. But it just struck me that that was no kind of solution you know, there is a big problem in this world right now which is a byproduct of globalization, and that is slave labor basically, the conditions that people are under. And if you were to transpose those conditions on to any other situation in life and you were found to be culpable, you’d be in prison, but because its these big corporations, and multinationals, its almost like its become acceptable for these conditions to still exist. So I wanted to write a sort of expose that would deal with the whole aspect of slave labor and consumption and disposal and all that.
SB Wow, well thanks for sharing.
BG Yeah yeah, no worries.
SB So you are starting a tour coming up soon with Voivod, Exhumed, Iron Regan, Phobia, and Black Crown Initiate, and then some dates with Dayglow Abortions. Did you guys have a hand in picking the bands you tour with?
BG Well we try to, I mean its not always easy to put together a bill like this. But we kind of know, you know we are in the scene, we are fans. And we kind of know what people who are fans of Napalm want to see. And so we try to build something that is A) good in that respect, and B) also good value, good ticket price, keep everything down, just for everybody to have a good time. Obviously the kids that pay to get into the gigs, but also the bands, we want everyone to feel as they are not looked down upon or treated with deference or whatever. We always try and make it a fun time for everyone.
SB Thats awesome man. We as the fans, we definetly appreciate it. every one I’ve talked to is stoked about this line up, and I’m all the way up in Humboldt county man, we are gonna drive like six hours down to the bay area to catch you guys.
BG Oh thats nice to know man, I appreciate that man, because you never know just how people are going to respond so thats nice to hear.
SB Are you guys excited about the 70,00 tons of Metal cruze?
BG Yeah, its gonna be interesting, we did the barge one a couple years ago and that one was a little more extreme, the music that is. That was fun I was a little cynical at first, like this gonna be lame like really cheasy, but it wasn’t, it was really a lot of fun, cuz you’ll go to a lot of gigs and meet people but you’ve got to get out of there kind of fast, well in this situation of course you’re on a boat there is no where to go. And a lot of the kids that go will double it up as a holiday, and so you get to hang out and sometime you can meet some really wicked cool people. This 70,000 tons will be a bit more heavy Metal oriented than that last one we did, but I’m sure it will be a good crowd all the same.
SB This is just a question I’ve always wondered; do you or the other guys in the band do you have a favorite album or favorite era of the stuff you’ve done?
BG Well I can give you a couple. Utopia Banished was a really fun album for me, and that was the second album that I personally appeared on. Enemy of the Music Business just because that was such a pivotal point for us, going from the more experimental and dark stuff back the crazy full on stuff it was a bit of a transitional point for us. Those two, and I guess you would expect me to say, and I will, the new album because its a couple of step over, but it still maintains that intensity. Yeah, its turned out really good in my view, and everyone I talk to about it seem to really like it a lot.
SB well I’m really excited for the new album
BG I appreciate that man.
SB Ok so here is a question, here in the states recently we’ve had a lot of problems with police officers killing unarmed people and not being held accountable by our justice system, I know the cops in the UK don’t even carry guns, I figured maybe you’d want to weigh in on that.
BG Oh yeah I know all about it mate, I’m not a fan of the police, I make no bones about it, I’ve never liked authority institutions that enforce laws. Lets be honest a lot of laws are based on self interest and not for the good of the people, you know when you really boil things down. So I’ve never been particularly trusting of the police, I know what the police can be capable of. Even though the cops don’t carry guns in england they are still capable of some pretty hainus shit. And the simple fact is, if you shoot an unarmed person you are in the wrong, I’m sorry but there is no justification for that. And I just thought all those cops showing up in that robocop style uniform, whats the point of that? What does that accomplish? If you are trying to gain the trust of people who are still going to be sympathetic to you that is damn sure not the way to do it.
SB Yup. Well…. someone told me I should ask you how you got the name “Barney”
BG Sure, well it not from the dinosaur, its actually from the Flintstones which is even better. It was back in my younger days, when I did enjoy a drink or two we’ll say I would sort of involuntarilly destroy things, not like I would vandalize things, but I would just fall over and try to save myself by hanging onto lets say a radiator, and part of it would just come off in my hand and there would be water pissing everywere. Things like that, and I would just turn things to rubble like Barney Rubble. It was actually- do you know the bad Doom?
SB Doom? Yeah.
BG Yeah the UK band it was their drummer that gave me that name, he christened me that in the first place.
SB Well I’ll be Goddamned,
BG Hehe
SB Thanks for sharing that man.
BG No worries, glad to be of public service, hehe.
SB I could ask you did it ever bother you guys when you got confused as a death metal band?
BG Oh thats actually a good question mate. I wouldn’t say it bothered us because that is not the type of thing to loose sleep over. But I just though it was a little odd, sure we’ve got those influences, no question, and I would never deny that, but Napalm is about so much more. A lot of death metal, though not all, is very sort of regimented, you know and kind of sticks to a certain pace. And Napalm is chaotic, its got that wild unrestrained hardcore feel to it. A lot of the riffs are really quite punk. So there are elements of death metal for sure, but our main thrust really is taking from punk and harcore because it gives us that runaway chaotic edge, and thats what we like, we don’t real regimented robotic metronomic stuff, we like to more or less the sound of falling down the stairs.
SB any plans for the future once you finish this tour cycle?
BG Well the US and Canada is the only one that’s been announced yet, once the new year hits there will be some other stuff annouced europe, and I’ve heard India and Austrailia towoards the early mid part of next year.
SB Cool I know Austrailia has a pretty good grind and death metal scene, do you guy play with a lot of local bands when you go over there?
BG Australia yeah, a friend’s band of mine called Extortion they’re fucking great. I’m actually not sure if they are still around, I’m sure the probably are. But yeah there a lot of freaky grind bands down there, they are quite amuzing and quite interesting cuz they are usually drunk as shit like 90% of the time which make for an interesting watch.
SB You know that I think of it, didn’t one of Shane’s side projects do a split with Blood Duster from Austrailia a few years back?
BG Yeah they did, one of his side projects. Thats a good bit of research there. And what a ludacris band they are, Blood duster, funny guys I think they actually like getting arrested, they take pleasure in it.
SB Wow. What about India, I know they have a little bit of a metal scene over their, do you ever play with any Indian bands?
BG Not yet, but it will be interesting to see how that goes over there, because a lot of the subject matter on the new album that we were talking about earlier, some of it is set in that culture so I’d like to have a look around for myself, and see how things really are, on the serious side, see whats going down.
SB What was the insparation for “Cesspits” the single on the new album?
BG Well I wanted to literally in figurativally talk about people living in holes. Because you can figuratively be in a hole you know that expression, when you are in the shit. Or, I’ve seen people physically living in holes, when I went to Nepal for example, it was fucking desperate, theres people living in holes on the side of the road, in ditches basically. And so I wanted to cover that, because I think most people obviously feel quite sympathetic to those people. I mean obviously they don’t need sympathy, they kind of need to be liberated from their life situation. But all the same people do feel sorry for them, but in another sense, people almost need them there, because where you’ve got that situation, that status quo if you like, you and your position over there, you almost feel a bit better because you know you are probably never going to be like that. So its almost a comfort thing. So its almost a song about psychology that song, in my own little weird interperative way.
SB The subtitle for Apex Preditor is Easy Meat, I’m looking at the album cover right now, where did you guys get the idea for this artwork?
BG Napalm artwork can be quit involved and interconnected, on past albums that is. And on this one we thought “lets go for something different” we didn’t want to repeat ourselves with another drawn sleeve or a collage. We just wanted a single image that we though was strong that people couldn’t help but focus on. So what I was talking about earlier with the workers and exploitation, well thats like a supermarket tray, you know what you might get some kind of cheap, horrible, nasty thing, and thats the last thing you’d want to eat really. The easy meat thats in there is meant to represent those workers, because they are the easy meat in the Apex Preditor. its almost like the ultimate indignity, you might be responsible for the manufacture or cultivation of whats in the package, and you are indeed in the package now. You are a product of your own environment, sort of thing. So thats where that comes from.
SB Well I think thats all the questions I have for you Barney, thanks for talking with me.
BG Sure, any time.
SB And this is for Capital Chaos TV
BG I know it, I know Capital Chaos
SB Big thanks to the Mighty Z
BG Cheers Mate.

Categories: Interviews

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