Interview - Napalm Death
Sean Michael Coale interviews Mark "Barney" Greenway of Napalm Death

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Sean Michael Coale: How's the tour been going so far?
Barney: "It's been pretty straight ahead for us. We're the second band on the bill, so we only do about 50 minutes. So, even though there has been alot of dates, it's been sort of a speedy passage for us."
SMC: Are you mixing up the set more, as far as older and new material, any covers?
Barney: "We've pretty much been doing the same set every single night, we sort of did it at first mixing it up a lil but we found something that was pretty good. We do two covers, Cryptic Slaughter and Agnostic Front". (Interviewer's note: at this show they did three covers throwing out Dead Kennedy's 'Nazi Punks Fuck Off' as well.)
SMC: How far along are you in the record process?
Barney: "We're done, finished. It's ready to go, it's just going through the process of artwork and mastering."
SMC: I know Jamey Jasta did a track with you, how did that come out and did anyone else do any tracks?
Barney: "Jeff from Carcass did some stuff and Jello Biafra as well. It was a good experience."
SMC: I read that you guys go really quickly thru the writing and recording process, how fast does it all come together?
Barney: "That's the thing though, we do. We don't fuck about, cause when you've been for many years on a budget, you can't afford to messing around. So you go get it done."
SMC: Yeah, how is Century Media treating you guys?
Barney: "Pretty good up to now, a few things need to be ironed out, can't complain. That stuffs always gonna happen, there's gonna be small issues here and there and such. Pretty happy though."
SMC: Last time we talked it was February '02, and the US was planning on going into Iraq, how's your war on the take now?
Barney: "Well it's perfect and completely turned out to be a sham. I'm not suggesting I'm some kind of prophet or whatever, but I kinda predicted this before it all happened. I mean it really made me laugh how they kept reinventing the reasons why they went in there. So they keep inventing their own language and till they reach a point and there's no argument anymore. As you can see Iraq at the moment has killed more Iraqis then American troops, British troops or what have you and it's totally unnecessary. It's such a fucking mess and they keep going out there and saying that it isn't, but it fucking is. I think they kinda went in there thinking they could kinda stomp in and people would sit back and accept it and obviously people haven't. Which is why you see so much brutal stuff. And again what was the real reason we went in there? People keep saying this war is for oil, no no no no. Why not, you can see it. What other reason was there at this point? Saddam Hussein, the only reason he was put there in the first place was because the American government put him there. Go figure."
SMC: How much water does Tony Blair hold in England these days?
Barney: "Well, he's struggling, as you probably gather England was very much against the war, very opposed to it. 90% of people in England were opposed to the war. With that in mind there has been a few other issues that have bothered people, it's really testing him. Coming from a party that was always coming from the left, I guess the Labor Party is the Democratic party of England, although it's moved a lot more to the right now, then traditional labor members. I was a Labor member and we're completely just dissatisfied with the way he's lead the party in that perspective. So, there's been a lot of pressure on him to be succeeded by someone else, maybe someone else in the party who won't be a subservient to Bush. So, I think that's what people are hoping for. Whether that will happen I don't know because Blair is very pleasant, he's got a lot of supporters within the Labor party."
SMC: How do you feel about the whole election that just happened here and about how voters turned out voting saying they wanted to vote for "Security and Moral Values".
Barney: "Probably sadly inevitable really. I wish people would actually realize the implications of voting for Bush, working people especially. What's gonna happen now, I would believe they're gonna lose their health care and it's gonna get even worse at the basic level, more jobs are gonna be lost. See this argument doesn't hold weight with me, it's about people, before moral values or any type of Christian faith. When are people gonna realize it's about people, not the fucking bible, that's my argument anyways and it's kinda scary the Republican party systematically going after same sex situation as regular society and that to me is like 1930 Germany. Sorry, but to think that Bush is a part of Civilized society, you can't accept people for what they are. Then you get chastised for being gay, and people accept it. Bush is always talking about the civilized society, that's not fucking civilized, not here and anywhere inbetween it."
SMC: Since you guys are the leaders of your genre, do you see any bands that are out right now, who you feel have what it takes to match the longevity of your own career?
Barney: "Nasum, I think they're the next or closest kinda band and there are other obscure bands I heard this band called Das Oath, they're like traditional hardcore and with a Killing Joke kinda edge to them and really good productions, but really obscure, very small label at the moment but they're good."
SMC: How do you see the music industry these days?
Barney: "Music industry is always gonna be messed up, I don't think you could bring in a better or worse argument, there's always gonna be fucking someone else or someone over."
SMC: What about the new trends going on with hardcore?
Barney: "Do you mean metalcore? Musically hardcore is the most relevant, musical logic evolved, but I prefer the stuff from the 80's really. The 80's, and I don't really personally feel that it come close as to those times, when you got bands like Discharge and Minor Threat. I really don't see anything that comes close to it, but then again people are gonna chose their path and I'm not gonna criticise them for doing that. I mean something that comes up with a class is always gonna be called a trend, whether it stands the test of time is when it ceases to be a trend."
SMC: Out of that genre itself what band do you see being able to do that?
Barney: "I think a band like Hatebreed is doing pretty good for themselves and I've seen Jamey, he's a good guy. He gets shit on, because obviously he spreads his wings quite a lot and I've read quite a lot of crap about him. But at the end of the day I know him and I know he's a really good person and his heart is in the right place. He struggled thru the years when no one cared and no one was into that type of thing, but now obviously his band is pretty big, certainly a lot bigger then Napalm."
SMC: With him doing a track on the album, do you see a tour in the future?
Barney: "Yeah, I'd do it."
SMC: Are you guys planning on coming back around for Metalfest this year?
Barney: "There is talk of us coming then, but we gotta kinda see how next year is gonna pan out. So maybe."
SMC: How many more years do you see yourselves doing this?
Barney: "Who knows, life is governed by circumstances and situations and certain situations change, so who knows."
Top 4 Albums....(we changed the subject and forget to pick a fifth)
1. Motorhead "Ace of Spades"
2. Discharge "WHY 12inch"
3. Repulsion "Horrified"
4. Siege "Drop Dead"

2004 AbsolutMetal