”Six Feet Under” Interview by Chetan (aka) Wunny
Good evening, Chris. How’re you doing?
I’m great, man. Getting things ready for Torment’s release. How are you?
I’m great, thanks!speaking of SFU’s new album ‘Torment’, Six Feet Under’s 12th studio album is set to release on February, 24th. What can you tell us about the writing process, inspiration behind this album and your thoughts on the record?
Oh, that’s a lot of stuff at once there, man. Yeah, yeah (laughs). Well, I’m very proud of it, myself and Jeff Hughell; we wrote the entire album together. It’s a standout album altogether.
Inspiration wise, i don’t know where to start, man. I mean, Jeff has his own, you know; he taps into his own kinda source. He gets his inspiration from writing misc, Jeff is a great musician, and he laid out a lot for this album. I just follow the music, and write vocals from that, man. It’s what inspires me, the song and the music I’m writing at the time.
Six Feet Under’s 11th studio album ‘Crypt of the Devil’ which came out in 2015 was very well received by fans and critics alike. What does ‘Torment’ take from the album and how does ‘Torment’ differ or improve on CoTD?
I don’t ever think about that stuff, man. You know? When i sit down to write an album i write it as if it’s the first one I’ve ever done, man. I don’t look back at other songs or albums. It’s something I’ve always done, taking it one song at a time and working on it like it’s the first of it’s kind.
You’ve always had session drummers work on studio albums, but this time around, Jeff Hughell and Marco Pitruzzella seem to have taken control of a lot of aspects in the making of this record. How’d that come about?
Yeah, they did take a bit of control.
As far as session players go, it’s the same as I’ve always done it. I mean, I’ve worked with different musicians on different albums, some longer than others. I mean, yeah, Marco came in and interpreted the drum parts, that Jeff wrote on the album, after Jeff and Myself wrote the album. Yeah, Jeff presented me with some real good songs, Just like Phil Hall presented me with real good songs for Crypt of the Devil, like Rob Arnold presented songs for Undead. Ben, Rob, Steve and everyone for Unborn. You know, it’s no different, it’s how you guys look at it. You guys have your reality, looking from the outside, and I’m just writing with people, man. It doesn’t matter where they’re coming from, it’s the songs that are important, you know? That’s what makes it interesting for me, to be inspired by all sorts of great writers with different perspectives and interpretations of things. That’s how things move forward and things are created. It’s easy to stand still and rely on the clutch of your past but I’ve always been the kind of guy to try new things.
This is the first Six Feet Under studio album Marco Pitruzzella has worked on, am i right?
Yeah, yeah I’ve worked with Marco for on tour for almost 4 years now. This is the first one Marco’s worked on in the studio.
How do you feel the drum parts turned out on ‘Torment’? Does it in any way differ from the previous albums? This being Marco’s first SFU studio album and all.
I think it turned out great man, it’s different. I mean, in a way it was different, but not too different, like unborn and undead. On Crypt of the Devil, Josh laid out all the Drum parts that phil laid out. It’s pretty much the same as Undead, and Unborn. Marco played all the drum parts Jeff laid out. He’s got his own flare to it, and that’s pretty much how the drum parts got done. We’re all happy how it turned out.
I noticed that you’re back with Chris “Zeuss” Harris for ‘Torment’. He was the one that worked on the all the mixing and mastering on ‘Unborn’, what made you go back to Zeuss for this record?
Well, we worked with him on Unborn, and i loved the production quality and things he came up with for that. He’s like one of these guys in the studio man, who’s very interested in the writer’s perspective on how everything should sound. He’s a guy who’s always wanted to accommodate that. There are a lot of guys who are mixing engineers or producers who have this assembly line way of thinking and doing things cause it’s all about them. They mix it in a way so that, they get what they want out of a track; and those are the kind of guys i stay away from; the egomaniac type of engineers. I’ve worked with guys like that, man. It never ever goes well.
You’re a veteran in the death metal scene. It all started with Cannibal Corpse, for you. What’s your take on the death metal scene today and the bands that are climbing up the ladder?
Uh there’s a lot of good bands, yeah. A lot of good bands out today. There are bands that take up death metal, but don’t sound anything like death metal. There are bands that put work into it, and there are bands that embrace the whole short cut way of doing things, trying to get quick gratification which doesn’t work. But yeah, there are a lot of good bands, for sure.
There are a ton of issues plaguing the music industry and the metal scene in particular. What, in your opinion is holding back the in industry today?
Um, the fans not being responsible and purchasing music, but that’s been going on for what, 15 years or so now? There’s been a slow trickle down effect to that. Uh 15 years and we’ve all been warning people about this, people are seeing it now. Bands are unable to tour, magazines are going out of business, record labels are going out of business, merchandise companies are going out of business, promoters are going out of business, bus companies are going out of business, distribution companies, like, you name it. The industry is failing because fans have embraces the idea of entitlement, and stealing music. The record labels haven’t ever been smart enough to adjusting the industry to safeguard it. So it’s been a kind of symbiotic relationship in the destruction of the industry. Now it’s on it’s last leg. The fans basically, a group of fans i would say or the core fans who still buy music, luckily we still have good few of them in our circle who’ve stayed true, those guys are the ones keeping us alive. Then there’s the other group of people who’ve resorted to other means of acquiring music which has in turn caused the industry to fail. The only way i look at it is, the fans from 1991, that i remember? The ones looking on to the stage would like to time travel to the future, to 2017 and beat the shit out of every internet fake fuckin’ poser fan out there and every motherfucker on their phones at shows. All their hard work and money that went into building this fuckin’ style of music, the underground? Now is being taken for granted by a certain group of fans and they don’t deserve to be reaping the benefits of these bands, who’ve put their lives into their music for the fans that truly appreciate their music. Those lessons should be looked at and learnt, before this form of music dies, before this industry dies.
You worked with the guys from Cannibis Corpse on SFU’s last record ‘Crypt of the Devil’, how was it working with Phil Hall, Josh Hall and everyone?
yeah man, Phil, Josh and those guys are great. Is now playing guitar in our band on tour, and yeah, they’re just great guys man. Laid back, they know their stuff and what they’re doing and it was cool working with them. Good times.
12 studio albums, that’s quite a lot of time spent in the studios and touring. Which one album cycle that stands out the most to you? One that has impacted you the most.
Uh wow, man. There’s been a lot of albums (laughs), all sorts of great tours that we’ve had. I mean…jeez (laughs) I think, we had a few awesome tours for, Maximum violence, so that was great; we got tour with bands like, Manowar (laughs). We’re just lucky to have been touring for a long time, you know. I’ve been touring since the cannibal corpse days and we got to play with bands that i love. Vital Remians, Sleep and others. Over the years we’ve been able to take bands on tour, their first tour and help them build their fanbase. Like, Behemoth, Amon Amarth and all sorts of bands, you know? I’ve enjoyed being on tour for so long, and seeing a smile on someone’s face when they’re touring with us or on a fan’s face they’re in the front row listening to our music. So, it’s all been great.
What tours do you guys have planned for 2017? Any confirmed dates?
Well, we’re working on it right now. We’re throwing out feelers out there and looking at two different legs. One late spring/early summer and the other one sometime early fall. For the U.S.
A few festival dates in Europe during summertime as well. The annual Christmas tour, Germany towards the end of the year. No dates confirmed as of yet.
Before we wrap things up here, anything you’d like to say to the readers?
You wow, you know what. Hey, thank you guys for listening to Six Feet Under over the years and for your continued support. I hope you all enjoy our new album too.
Chetan (aka Wunny) / MHF