Cannibal Corpse’s Paul Mazurkiewicz: The Gun Shy Interview

Paul Mazurkiewicz

As you well know, this week, the one and only Cannibal Corpse — a band you must like if you call yourself “metal” — will be hitting the road with the likes of Between The Buried and Me, Goatwhore, Exhumed, The Faceless, Periphery, and more on this year’s Summer Slaughter trek.

Paul Mazurkiewicz — Cannibal Corpse’s insanely-cool drummer — was very much looking forward to this summer’s road trip when we spoke to him last week, ahead of the first date. He’s just glad the band won’t be playing Prague anytime soon.

Of course, like most metal heads, Paul has been thinking about Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe’s detention in Prague, calling the whole mess “a crazy situation.”

But will Randy’s ordeal impact Cannibal’s future touring plans to Europe?

“It probably will,” Paul tells Gun Shy Assassin. “We were just there when this all went down; we were in Slovakia which is literally next door, playing countries that are very similar. We have been to Czech Republic and Prague plenty of times, and it’s a great place to play. We have never had a problem.”

Before Blythe’s arrest, “We would have never thought about not going there, but now, it’s a tough call.”

Paul wondered how this one incident might impact bands down the line, in other countries.

“It is unbelievable, and I think it might give us pause when that might come up in the future. It’s just a crazy thing, especially after what happened with Dime. So now what? — someone goes on stage, which he probably shouldn’t be up there to begin with, and something unfortunate happens to that fan, what happens? It’s an unfortunate thing that happened, and that somebody had to lose their life over this…it’s just a crazy thing to think about. I mean, this could happen in any country — it just so happens it’s in Prague at this point. This will make you always think now when you play; if a guy gets on stage and hits me in the head, if I retaliate, might I go to jail? It’s crazy.”

Paul says he’s interested to see how the matter will play out, but that if Randy’s convicted, “it will change the entire game,” and perhaps force bands to reconsider such expansive tours.

For now, though, Cannibal have a new album to promote — called Torture — which is why they’re doing Summer Slaughter. And yes — after all these years doing death metal, it’s still fun for Paul to get out there on stage.

“As soon as you get on the road, you are pumped,” says Mazurkiewicz. “You spend all day waiting around, bored out of your mind, and as soon as you hit the stage, it’s done — that’s why you are there. The fans are having a great time, you’re having a great time. We are excited.”

After Summer Slaughter, Cannibal Corpse will take September off before heading to Australia and Japan for some more touring.

“Then there’s something going on at the end of the year, but it’s not confirmed, so I can’t really talk about it,” Mazurkiewicz says.

Interested to know what moves him, we had to ask Paul what albums he’s heard this year that restored his faith in music. Believe it or not, beyond the new Nile and Dying Fetus records, he hasn’t heard much new stuff.

“I don’t know what’s going on in metal these days,” he admits. “I don’t listen to a lot of modern bands. I listen to a lot of old stuff. I am finding new bands from the 70s I didn’t know of, so they’re new to me.”

What of the bands that have cited Cannibal as a major influence? Are there ever any times when Paul’s embarrassed after a band cites the Corpse as inspiration?

“If anything, you’re more shocked,” says Paul. “It’s like, ‘OK, let me listen to that band,’ and you do and it’s, ‘Wow — they sound nothing like us whatsoever.’ I am flattered by that, and its a compliment no matter whether the band is good or not. If we can move someone to be a musician or want to play this kind of music, it’s a cool thing. But I have never been embarrassed by that ever, and I don’t think I would be.”

Even if someone totally unexpected, like Justin Bieber, cited Cannibal as a prime influence, Paul would embrace it.

“That would be kind of cool even though people would freak out,” he says, laughing. “If someone’s influenced, they’re influenced. How can I be mad at that?”

Of course, no Gun Shy Interview would be complete without a few glory hole questions. Believe it or not, Paul had never heard the term.

“I am not privy to this terminology,” he tells us, to which we respond that glory holes are cock-sized openings, fashioned into bathroom stalls to facilitate anonymous fellatio.

“I have never seen anything like that, and you hear about these stories, you know,” Paul starts. “We may have been to seedy places with gloryholes, but we have not encountered that. I will be checking all the flying J’s for you.”

Awesome. Now we’ve got Paul committed to Glory Holes Across America. Rejoice!

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