| August 29, 2012 | Comments (745)

I caught up with Pat O’Brien, the lead guitarist from Cannibal Corpse on Saturday afternoon.  For a guy from the most brutal band ever, he was definitely an incredibly nice guy.  Pat took the time to talk to us about their newest album Torture, the secret to his success, the band’s controversy, and a run in with Cher.


Erin: So, first of all, I was very impressed to find out that you guys have been making music for twenty five years.

Pat: Ahh yeah, the band overall.  I’ve been with them for about fifteen.  Still a long time, though!


Erin: That’s pretty incredible… what do you think the secret is to staying together for so long?

Pat: Well, there have been a number of changes in the band, of course.  Carey King actually told me this… and I think it’s a pretty good philosophy… It’s knowing what NOT to say.


Erin: Yeah

Pat: That’s for staying together… but as for what keeps us going… we just really enjoy what we play, you know?  We wanna make the heaviest shit we can possibly play, and this band just works that way, y’know?


Erin: Yeah!  You’ve just released the newest album, “Torture”.  How was that?

Pat: It was exciting, we had a really good first week of sales, we did better than we thought.


Erin: Was there anything you guys did differently in approaching this album?

Pat:  The only thing that was really different was that the writing process was interrupted for me because I had to fill in for Gary Holden on the Slayer tour for about a week or something like that.  So I had to take time off to go and do that.  But other than that, we just pretty much worked the same way.  Everyone just kinda writes their own thing, as far as the music goes, while Alex and me do most of the writing.  We brought in our own riffs, we hashed it out.


Erin: Have you done much touring with this album so far?

Pat: This is probably our… fourth tour? We were touring before we came out, we were over in Europe doin’ that, and then we did the South American tour, maybe this is like our third?  I dunno.  We’ve been gone so long.


Erin: Yeah, I’d say!  So, after almost 25 years, you guys have gotten a lot of touring under your belt.  Where are your favorite places to go?

Pat: Uhhh… I like the States.  It’s convenient, you know?  You got the 24 hour Wal-Mart all over the country you know, it’s easier to get food and all that stuff.


Erin: I guess that’s true.  You guys have a solid discography, and are considered to be the masters of your genre.  There are a lot of bands that look up to you guys for inspiration, and you’ve been incredibly successful in your endeavors.  What inspires you and pushes you to go on and keep doing what you’re doing after you’ve seemingly done it all?

Pat: Well… what else is there to do?  We’ve done it for this long you know, what else is there to be doing?  Why do Motorhead keep doing it?  Same kinda thing…


Erin: So it’s just the pure love of what you are doing.

Pat: Well yeah, but like, back in the day, when you get our age, like back in the 80’s, you know, when you were 30 years old, you were done… but now you see guys in their 50’s or whatever playin’ metal and it’s all good.  Our crowd has grown, our crowd hasn’t outgrown metal, and that’s where it’s a good thing.


Erin: Yeah for sure.  What are your personal highlights of your career so far?

Pat: I would say uhh… playing the Dynamo festival, that was pretty cool.  Getting in Cannibal Corpse…Landing that gig was pretty cool.  Um… filling in for Slayer.  And just a lot of weird things in between.  Like we got invited to a birthday party for Elijah Blue, hangin out with Cher… That was a strange… a strange thing…


Erin: Haha!  Please tell me how that was!

Pat: We did a private birthday party … we got Bloodthirst and did a private birthday party at the Viper Room, they flew us out, and we played the party and the day before, we had a day off, we went to Cher’s mansion.  Yeah.  It was really crazy.


Erin: That sounds WILD. 

Pat: Yeah it really was…


Erin: So, obviously there has been a lot of controversy coming from your music

Pat: Yeah!


Erin: With certain material being banned in certain countries, and so on, so forth.  What do you think about that, and how do you answer to it? 

Pat: I think it’s stupid!  And the reason why I think it’s really stupid is because you could make a movie about all the topics that we sing about and no one complains about a movie.  No one complains about Friday the 13th, Final Destination, or anything that has a lot more gore, or realistic gore.  Look at our album covers – they’re all paintings!  They’re not even real pictures!  No one cares about the movies, but as soon as you write a song about it, it’s like you’re preaching to some kind of animal [indiscernible], like you must REALLY mean what you say if you’re going to put it to music… like it’s all fiction, it’s all entertainment, I dunno.


Erin: Yeah… I guess I’ve always been curious to know how you guys would feel about it, especially since I hear so often about this getting banned or that getting banned. 

Pat: I dunno, I feel like it’s just a political target for some people… Like there’s some lady over in Germany who has made it her life’s mission to shut us down.


Erin: Haha!  That’s ridiculous.  So you guys have been on the go for so long, you’ve been making music pre-internet and post-internet.  How do you feel like that’s changed things?  Like how your music is distributed or your relationship with your fans and such.

Pat: It’s hard to explain really… the computer is a great thing.  The internet and everything, but the thing is now, everyone uses digital cameras, and everyone wants their pictures, and plasters them all over Facebook… it could be a pain in the ass, but now we’re able to reach out to a lot of people, you know, we advertise a lot and stuff, I mean we’re doin’ better than we ever have, so it’s obviously helped us.  I think it’s kinda…. I don’t know…. I kinda miss the old days, the albums… the bands were never overexposed… and I think you risk a little overexposure with all the internet stuff.


Erin: That’s fair.  Any acts you plan on catching today?

Pat: Uhh… I plan on catching as many as I can.  System of a Down we really want to see.  Five Finger Death Punch, I really wanna watch those guys.  Disturbed… are they playing?


Erin: I don’t think so… Deftones?

Pat: Yeah!  That’s it.  I wanna see them.


Erin: Awesome.  Cool.  That’s all the questions I have, do you have any words of wisdom for your fans?

Pat: Words of wisdom?  Stay true to what you believe in.  Stay true to your music if you’re a musician.


Erin: Ok!  Thank you so much for your time!

Pat: Thank you.


Click below to find out more about Cannibal Corpse:

Official Website





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Category: Interviews