The seventh annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival goes down Saturday at San Manuel Amphitheater, featuring Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, and others of the extreme music persuasion. None, however, are as extreme as death metal horrorists Cannibal Corpse, who will also be appearing.
Vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher spoke to us from his home in Tampa, and we learned a few things about the burly frontman, like what he sings (not growls) on the tour bus and his vitriol for those who hate on the Gathering of the Juggalos.
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Cannibal Corpse lyrics read like nightmares. If that’s what you think about in your waking hours, what are your actual nightmares like?
I recently had some nightmares. They really weren’t nightmares because I was kicking ass. [Laughs]
I’m doing a side band with Shannon Lucas, who plays in Battlecross and used to play in The Black Dahlia Murder, and Adam [Dutkiewicz], from Killswitch Engage. I was up at Adam’s recording vocals for the project, and he has woods on the edge of his house...They kept telling me I’m gonna see a bigfoot near the woods, or something. And that night, after we were done with the recording, and everyone went to bed, I had these dreams.
I was in between the deck and the woods, like in no-man’s land, and I could see all these glowing eyes coming, like all these werewolves and bigfoots and just fucked up shit coming at me, and I was like, “Oh, fuck! I’m gonna have to sit here and fight!” And I remember I was fighting them. Then I woke up...I didn’t get eaten or nothing. But I wasn’t running from them. I was standing my ground.
Besides the growling death metal vocals, are you able to sing?
In the shower? Sure! I’m great. You know, it’s weird, I’ll be on our bus, and I like old country music, like the old stuff — Merle Haggard, Hank, Jr. I love Hank 3, currently. I’ll be on our bus singing that stuff, and I don’t know if I’m good or not. Sounds fine to me, but the other guys in the band, sometimes they’ll be like, “Oh, no!”
You’re a big fan of World of Warcraft, and there’s a character in the game named for you, “Gorge the Corpsegrinder.” In the animated series Metalocalypse, a main character, Nathan Explosion, is partly inspired by you, and you do the voice of the Masked Metal Assasin. There seems to be a trend here. What is it about you that makes you such an "animateable" guy?
[Laughs] I guess I have a cartoony appearance. I have this giant neck and long hair. I’m 6’2”, and I’m a big guy. I mean, I guess if you’re going to be named the Corpsegrinder, you shouldn’t be 5’8” and 150 pounds. You should be 6’2”. You should have big arms and look like you’re ready to kill the whole world, especially if you’re singing in a band called Cannibal Corpse, who are constantly singing about zombies and people dying.
Next, action figures! Let’s go! Action figures! Movies! Let’s go! [Death metal voice:] Corpsegrinderrrr!
Below: Corpsegrinder talks about why the band is playing the Gathering of the Juggalos
Cannibal Corpse are going to play the Gathering of the Juggalos, in the middle of the Mayhem tour. That was a surprise to some metalheads. What is your reason?
We needed an off-day show, and they offered the show to us, so it made sense. I’m not one of these guys that apologizes for what we make, or what not. I got bills to pay. I got two kids to feed. I don’t wanna fucking hear anybody bitching about that. They can fuck right off if they don’t understand, and they can kiss my fucking ass. I don’t give a fuck about that.
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What I do know is they’re just mad at the concert. It’s a different kind of festival, and we’re a death metal band. And if we’re not a true death metal band because of that, kiss my ass again! Because you know what? I know what I am. I know who I am, and I know what the rest of the guys in this band are. We’re a fucking death metal band. We’ve always been. And just playing one show does not make or break us. And if people don’t like it, don’t come to the show, and if you’re upset at us, and you’re a fan of the band, well, I guess in some way I’m sorry, and in the other way, I’m not sorry.
We do what we want. It’s just ridiculous. I’m starting to get fucking agitated, when I’m thinking about the people that are hating on it. Then there’s other people who are just like, "Dude. Hey man, it’s a show. Who cares?"