Mark “Barney” Greenway is the vocalist for the legendary grind-core band Napalm Death. The band formed in 1981 and is set to release their 15th studio album in February. We had a chance to talk with Barney about the bands upcoming release and their plans for 2012.
Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming release “Utilitarian”?
Mark “Barney” Greenway: For this album we sort of spread out the recording process as we had so much material. It was quite a process to get everything together. The end result is really a continuation of where our last album left off. I have difficulty analyzing the material and comparing it to the rest of the albums. Our process of writing is very spontaneous and whatever comes out comes out. The real difference with the new album is I did some things differently with the vocals. There are some influences on there I have used before but not in this context. The influences are kind of alternative and not what you normally associate with grind core. I used a real ambient ballad type style and we worked that into the faster stuff. To be honest I wasn’t sure if this would really work. However it seemed to work quite well.
AL: What was it like working with producer Russ Russell?
MG: Russ is great! He is like a member of the band. His general approach to things is that as long as it songs good that’s all he cares about. He doesn’t mind if the recording techniques are unconventional or whatever. He is exactly the same as us in the band. It was nice having already known Russ as we didn’t have to go through that process of getting to know how each other works.
AL: Is there a particular song off the record you really want the fans to hear?
MG: The song “Everyday Pox”. That track is also a personal favorite of mine as it’s really nasty! The track is pretty nuts and it just sounds really horrible and heavy. We of course are nice gentle people though. (Laughs)
AL: What do you think keeps the band fresh and current after being together for 30 years?
MG: We have always tried to go to places where bands have never been before. We have always kind of trail blazed in that way. We were the first band to play independently in the Soviet Union. That was pretty historic at that point. The band also has this chemistry where we never feel like we are just going through the motions. The band has gone through some pretty rough times and, we have weathered storms where other bands just fell to the way side. We have always had the drive to keep moving forward which is something that seems to come natural to us. There might come a time where things change and we might not feel as creative but that’s only natural. We take things month by month and year by year. We don’t want to do anything 50%.
AL: What other upcoming plans do you have scheduled for 2012?
MB: Well the album comes out in February and we have some shows scheduled overseas. The only thing we have scheduled here in the U.S. so far is the Bury Your Dead Festival. We are going to be doing more here in the states but we want to make sure that we get a good package of bands together. The days of going out with one support band I think are pretty much gone. We also want to make sure that the ticket prices are fair as well. It will take a bit of planning but we will get there.