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Metal/Prog Metal Interviews

Six Feet Under

Interviewed by Kat Heitzman

Interview with Chris Barnes from Six Feet Under from 2012


So how does it feel to be on Billboard’s Top 200 list finally?

It’s nice, really nice to get on there. It’s a long time coming.


Are you the only remaining original member?

It was kind of my idea for the band, so it was kind of how I positioned myself when I first came up with the idea to have different members and some stuck around longer than others.


What do the new members, especially your latest guitarist that started in May add to the SFU sound?

Well Jeff Hughell is our bass player and is an incredible talent. He is really the style of bass player I wanted in the band for a long time now.  Just like having Kevin in the band as our drummer, those two elements I feel are really important in death metal. They really are the back bone of death metal along with the vocals. Jeff is just a phenomenal musician. Obviously Kevin Talley is an amazing drummer and brings a lot of sheer power to the band and he motivates us. He’s real positive guy. It’s good to have him with us. Ola (Englund), he’s our new guitarist. He’s a really great musician and we just love having him in the band.  He’s a real nice guy. I feel like in the future these guys are going to be really great song writing partners.


Do you write the music?

No, I don’t. I write the lyrics.


Who writes the music?

Rob Arnold wrote on Undead, our new album.


How did you choose your new members? Did you know them already?

I knew Kevin and then Ola and Jeff I knew through third parties. I knew of them and I knew their playing and stuff. I was looking for some people for a while and their names kept popping up so I kind of gravitated toward them.


When you were in Cannibal Corpse did you expect this side project to take off like it did?

Yeah, it was kind of like I was really towards the end of being in Cannibal Corpse at that time and had a feeling things were going to go a different way. I really put a lot of energy into that first album. I had a good notion that it was going to catch on.


How did you want SFU to be different than Cannibal Corpse?

I just like interesting songs. I wasn’t trying to limit myself to anything or compete with anything. I just wanted to write interesting story lines and lyrics to good music. I didn’t really strive for it to be different in any way, it just kind of was and it took a life of its own at one point.


How do you like playing at small venues like this?

I like it. It’s fun. I don’t find this to be a very small venue. It seems pretty medium sized to me. But, I don’t mind playing in front of three people if that is all that shows up. I have a good time no matter what. It’s challenging for me to make it through an hour set and really push myself to the extremes… vocally, physically, mentally, spiritually.

MSJ: Did you use auto tune when you were producing your new CD?

(chuckles) No. I don’t think it is possible with death metal. I don’t mess around with effects or anything like that. A lot of the effects I use are just natural acoustic effects and mic techniques.

MSJ: The cover of your new CD, Undead, is really cool and intense. Who does the designs for that?

A guy named “Dusty Peterson” did the cover art for Undead. We have worked with him on a few other things.


Do you tell him what you want, and then he kind of runs with it?

Not really… Sometimes I have an idea and it works out. He’ll try it. You know, it was a lot of trial and error. But the final design on this was really all of his idea.


Do you think pot should be legal for medicinal use or for everyone?

It should be legal for everyone, because I am drinking a beer, and that’s legal, and it kills more people than pretty much anything except tobacco. But, for some reason beer is legal and we are able to kill ourselves with it. When something that is not dangerous to our bodies is illegal and kept from us when in all reality it is scientifically proven that we need marijuana, we need cannabis in our daily lives. Just like we need vitamin C. Our whole body, our whole system is built around the cannabinoidal  system. We intake THC and cannabinoids to build our immune system. It is something that our bodies need, and for some reason the government wants to keep it from us. I think it is kind of shady when they want to kill us with poisons and we are allowed to have those things. But, something that is beneficiary to the human race and to the individuals that want to use it medicinally, or use it spiritually, or just use it recreationally like people use alcohol and tobacco, it should be readily available to us. Obviously, it should be regulated in some way. In an area where you can go to get that kind of thing… it shouldn’t just be everywhere. But, yeah, it’s a hypocrisy in our daily lives that people have accepted for over 75 years, that really should end.


Do you exercise your throat and have you ever lost your voice while on tour?

I’ve lost my voice, but it was only due to being sick or dehydrated or over tired.


Is there any kind of throat technique that you use when you sing that saves your throat?

No, I don’t really have any technique like that. It’s just physical training and a lot of time doing it. I just warm up first. I don’t go in cold anymore.


What was the last CD that you purchased?

My own. I did for good luck.


What was the last live show you attended for pleasure?

I went to see Devil Driver in that Metal Alliance tour to see my buddy Des.


Do you have any Spinal Tap moments that you would like to share?

We actually have gotten lost on the way to gigs. Just like Spinal Tap. We were actually under that same stage at one time, and it did seem like we were going to get lost (laughter). But every day is Spinal Tap when we are on tour (more laughter).

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 4 at
You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
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