We continue our Six Feet Under week with Matt's interview with frontman Chris Barnes.
Matt Hensch: What can you tell me about Commandment?
Chris Barnes: It's a good album man. I think we put together another strong Six Feet Under album in our discography.
MH: So what can you tell me about the writing and recording process?
CB: We had a really good time writing this one and it was a good writing atmosphere. It was awesome; we definitely put together some good songs.
MH: Is there any kind of experimentation on this album compared to previous Six Feet Under material?
CB: We usually work within our formula and don't tread outside of it too much. We know what works well for us; we've been doing this for some time and tend to focus on tempos and rhythms and stuff like that. We try to write good songs.
MH: Is there going to be a video shoot at all for any of the new songs?
CB: Yea, we should be doing one. We don't really have anything set right now, but we're actually looking at different directors. So in the next month or so we should have something together.
MH: So after hearing and recording the new album, are you satisfied with the outcome?
CB: Yea, I like it. I think it fits well within our catalog. I think it's a good Six Feet Under album.
MH: Six Feet Under has been around for over a decade and you guys have basically had the same line-up. Allen West is the only member that has departed the band, so what do you think is the key to success with the members staying with the band over that period of time?
CB: We just enjoy each others company. We work well together as a band, you know? If somethings not broke, don't fix it. We got along really well and we've known each other for a long time and we're good friends and enjoy working together.
MH: Have you been in contact with Allen West since he departed from Six Feet Under?
CB: Nope. I haven't spoken to him once really.
MH: What caused him to leave the band?
CB: He was just really a weak link, so we moved on and put things in a different direction musically.
MH: Do you think Six Feet Under has gotten stronger after his departure?
CB: Oh yea, for sure.
MH: Has the song writing process been going easier since then?
CB: Nope. I don't think it's been easier, but different.
MH: Do you think the overall outcome is a lot better though?
CB: Not better---just different.
MH: What do you think is the hardest job that comes with being Six Feet Under's vocalist?
CB: I really don't find anything hard about it. I enjoy doing it and it is fun.
MH: So there isn't any stress during touring or getting stuck writing lyrics or something?
CB: No, not really. I really don't find anything difficult about being the singer and the jobs involved with it. I love what I do.
MH: You've been known for writing dark lyrics about horror and gore in the metal world. So what are some of the inspirations for these lyrics?
CB: My imagination. I write stories I find interesting.
MH: Are you going to continue your duties in Torture Killer?
CB: Yes. We should be getting into the studio towards the end of this year.
MH: So I assume you guys had a great time writing and recording Swarm (Torture Killer album released in 2006) together?
CB: Well, they recorded their parts in Finland and I did mine in Miami. They wrote all the music in Finland and I wrote my lyrics here in Florida. It was a good experience being a band, and we had a good time putting it together.
MH: How did you join Torture Killer?
CB: I was following their career for a couple years and I read they needed a new singer. I was always interested in how they got started and picking one of my song titles for the name of their band. That was kind of intriguing and I asked them if they needed some help because they just lost their singer and they were totally into it; so we just got together like that.
MH: Is it cool knowing you joined a band of guys that love your music?
CB: Yea, it's refreshing. Their perspective of writing music and their style and it's very appealing to me.
MH: Since you left Cannibal Corpse, you've went your own way and done your own thing. Have you been in contact at all with your former band mates?
CB: Yea, we meet up every now and then. We've met up a few times here and there. We'll sit down and talk and have a couple drinks, and just shoot the s*** about the old days and what not.
MH: So there's no bad blood between you guys?
CB: Nope, I don't have any problems with them
MH: You've been pretty involved with marijuana. Do you still do a lot of that?
CB: Yea. I'm very outspoken about the legalization of cannabis and try to speak out on the legalization whenever I get the chance. I do hope one day that it is legalized and I'm doing my part to help to vote for legalization.
MH: So are you guys excited to tour for your new album?
CB: Yep, it should be fun man. We're getting ready to some dates together in the next few months and hopefully get out on the road.
MH: When touring, what are your favorite places?
CB: Just getting up on stage is what I look forward to. It doesn't matter where we are as long as people are having a good time at the show.
MH: Does Six Feet Under plan to record another Graveyard Classics album?
CB: Possibly. We don't have anything set for that yet, but I'm sure we'll do another installment of that.
MH: Do guys find a lot of influence from AC/DC and Exodus or other bands you've covered before?
CB: Not really. They're just bands we enjoy listening to.
MH: What has been the biggest achievement you've made as a musician?
CB: Probably everything I've done. I don't over-analyze my career or thing; I just take it day by day and do as much as I can.