Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse talks A Skeletal Domain, upcoming tours, and Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.
By Mandy Craig.
Cannibal Corpse, the sovereigns of death metal are set to release their thirteenth album, A Skeletal Domain and unleash their awesome brutality to their fans on tour when they reach our shores in September.
The band is currently performing in full force through North America for the Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and are excited for their fans all over the world to hear the tracks off their new album.
Working with Mark Lewis from Audio Hammer Studios to produce A Skeletal Domain, Cannibal Corpse’s new release will be at it’s heaviest yet, and from the taste of their single Sadistic Embodiment, it will be an album full of gore and carnage that fans will feast on.
Talking to bassist Alex Webster, he reveals an in-depth insight into the new album, the aggressive elements and themes behind some of the tracks; what to look forward to when they tour Australia, and why he believes this new Cannibal Corpse release is dark and menacing.
Q: Alex Webster, A Skeletal Domain is to be Cannibal Corpse’s thirteenth studio album, which you guys will be releasing in September. What is it about this upcoming release that you dig, and believe fans will really appreciate?
AW: As with our other albums, I think it’s got a lot of variety from song to song. Our goal is always to make an album that is exciting to listen to from start to finish, and we feel variety is an excellent means to that end. So, there are songs with various tempos, tonalities, and rhythms, and hopefully they’ll make for an interesting listen from top to bottom.
Q: For the production of the album you worked with Mark Lewis at Audio Hammer Studios, what was that experience like for you and the rest of the band?
AW: We had a great time working with Mark. He gets a really good workflow going, you can get a lot accomplished without getting burnt out; and like our previous producer Erik Rutan, he never lost sight of the main objective: to make the heaviest album possible.
Q: Do you have any groundbreaking/ awesome moments that happened while recording A Skeletal Domain that you’d like to share?
AW: Nothing too groundbreaking really. We did try a few different recording techniques, such as using two DI lines for the bass instead of miking a cabinet (I’m quite happy with the results). Any of the things Mark did a little differently from other producers seemed to have a positive impact on the album.
Q: What can you reveal about this new album, is there a major story theme involved?
AW: There’s no concept for the entire album, as with our other albums each song stands as an individual composition lyrically and musically. That said, I think that the overall vibe of the album is a bit more aggressive. There aren’t any really laid-back songs on the album, it’s all pretty fast.
Q: What tracks off the album are you excited for your fans to hear?
AW: Of the four songs I wrote, I’m most excited for everybody to hear “The Murderer’s Pact”. From the album overall, I’m quite excited to see what people think of the title track and also “Kill Or Become”.
Q: A Skeletal Domain is a wicked name for the album. How did you guys come up with this title, and why?
AW: I believe Paul came up with the title, and it had a really good sound to it. Also, the song “A Skeletal Domain” is one of the strongest songs on the album in our opinion, so it made sense to name the album after it.
Q: How was the writing process for A Skeletal Domain, what can you reveal about the tracks on the album?
AW: It was really quite similar to the writing process for our previous albums. I generally write complete songs at home and then teach them to the guys at the practice room. Pat and Rob collaborate with Paul a bit more at the practice room, gradually working out parts until the song is complete. After the music for a song is finished a title will be chosen, and then lyrics will be written. In Cannibal Corpse George is the only member who doesn’t contribute to the writing process, the rest of us get quite a lot of input. This time Pat wrote the music for five songs, Paul did the lyrics for six songs, I did music and lyrics for four songs, Rob did music and lyrics for two songs and also co wrote the music to one song with Paul. I think having multiple writers helps us achieve the variety I mentioned earlier.
Q: Lyrically speaking what are some of the themes for the tracks?
AW: I’ll talk about my songs, as I don’t really feel comfortable trying to explain Rob or Paul’s lyrics. “The Murderer’s Pact” is about someone who is being coerced into killing, “Bloodstained Cement” is about a savagely brutal street fight; “Headlong Into Carnage” is about a pack of murderers creating mayhem. “Vector of Cruelty” is just a bit more subtle, it’s about how psychopathy might be inherited genetically rather than learned – but don’t worry, there’s still violence in that song too! Paul and Rob’s songs are similarly varied. We feel that as long as a song is about something violent, aggressive, dark, or horrifying it will fit well on our album.
Q: Musically speaking what are you most proud of in the overall sound of A Skeletal Domain?
AW: I think it has a production that is comparable to the best metal productions out there. You could put it next to any album and it will stand up. On a personal level I’m stoked by how great the bass sound is and where it sits in the mix. You can pretty much hear my playing throughout the whole album, and that’s not typical of metal bass. But yeah, overall I couldn’t be happier with the sound. It’s heavy and also clear – just what we wanted.
Q: What can your fans expect of your new album, and how would you say A Skeletal Domain differs from your previous releases?
AW: I think they’ll be happy to see that we’re still playing fast, aggressive death metal the way we always have. The main difference is the production, but there are some minor musical differences too. One that jumps out at me is some of the leads that Pat did on this album. They’re very neoclassical, but still really dark and menacing.
Q: You guys have been touring in the Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, how has that been going?
AW: It’s been excellent! It’s the biggest heavy metal tour in North America, and we’re proud to be a part of it. You have a huge variety on this tour – black metal, thrash metal, death metal, death core, nu metal, djent- there’s something for everybody. It’s great.
Q: You’re also about to start touring in support of your upcoming album, and will be coming to Australia in September. What can you reveal about this tour, and what do you have in store for your fans?
AW: It will be much like our other tours, with the main difference being we’ll be playing songs from the new album. So you can expect a night of full-on death metal, the kind we’re known for. Can’t wait to get down there and play for you guys!
Q: What other plans does Cannibal Corpse have for the future?
AW: After Australia we’ll be playing in Japan, and then we head to Russia, and then the rest of Europe. That will keep us busy for about three months. We’ll take a break in December and then get things rolling again in January on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise. So we’ve got a lot of shows coming up, and we’re very excited about that.
Exclusive Message to Cannibal Corpse Fans
“We’d like to say that we’re very grateful for the support, and that we look forward to seeing you all on tour soon!!!”
Copyright © Music Mayhem with Mandy 2014
Australian Tour Dates!!
Sept 9th – Capitol – Perth, 18+
Sept 10th – Fowler’s Live – Adelaide, All Ages
Sept 11th – The Metro Theatre – Sydney, 18+
Sept 12th – 170 Russell – Melbourne, 18+
Sept 13th – The HiFi – Brisbane, 18+