Chris Barnes, vocalist and frontman of Florida’s death metal ruthless potency better known as Six Feet Under, talks about the release of the band’s ninth studio album Undead, set to invade the globe like an inexorable twister on May 21st.
How are you Chris and how is the mood within the band these days?
I am doing great, thank you. We are all very excited as we have a great album coming up: I am surrounded by great musicians and great guys and we are all very happy with the results we have achieved.
Undead your ninth studio album is going to released on May 21st. How did you approach the follow up to your previous Death Rituals (2008)?
To be honest I did not think about any other previous album during the making of Undead, I just got into it as we starting working and felt really in tune with the songwriting and developing the vocals. I was really enjoying the whole process with a clear vision in mind.
How did you come up with the perfect choice of involving Mark Lewis in the production (Devildirver, Deicide) and Jason Suecof (Whitechapel, Job For A Cowboy) in the mixing?
I knew from the start that they were going to do a great job, considering their previous work but also the fact that they are really great guys to work with. They did manage to do exactly what we all wanted to achieve with the album.
The new track 18 Days has recently been premiered, this is one of my favorites of the album. How did you put this awesome death metal bomb all together? It just detonates note by note, Rob Arnold’s (ex Chmaira) and Steve Swanson’s (ex Massacre) guitar parts are impressively crushing.
I am glad you like this song. I give both of them lots of credit, as soon as we started working on each track of Undead, it was all a matter of working well together which happened from the very start.
Blood On My Hands is the first track that caught my attention when I first listened to Undead, the whole reverberating sense of fear pierces through the spine. It’s a great, eerie, powerful song that could easily be part of the soundtrack of a very disturbing horror movie.
(Laugh!) Oh yeah, I agree it’s a very interesting prospective to interpret it, it’s a very lyrically visual song with an eerie atmosphere. I can see your point, yeah.
Near Death Experience is also another one of my favorites, I admire Kevin Tailley’s (Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Chimaira) destructive drum parts, he sounds on fire, I do hope you will play this song live!
(Laughs again). I hope to play the whole album live! The drum part has been left very dry, it’s a very drum driven song, with a reckless theme going on for the whole length.
Your vocals throughout Undead sound amongst the most dominating of the death metal genre, how do you keep it all going so well?
Thank you very much, I appreciate your words! I work really hard and I am only as good as the people around me, if I have the best musicians around me, they just bring the best out of me and as long as I have this connection I always push myself as much as I possibly can, always learning. With this new album I was able to hyper focus on the vocals thanks to the great people I was working with.
When Six Feet Under were announced on the Wacken Open Air 2012 bill (August 02-04 2012, www.wacken.com), it was just great news, how to feel about taking Undead to the next step and share it live with the very demanding festival crowd?
I know that playing at Wacken will just be amazing, exciting and lots of fun! We are aware that all the fans there are kind of expecting to hear our songs from the past 17 years, but as I mentioned I am really looking forward to playing the new songs live.
Any other live plans for the summer?
Yeah we are playing at the Summer Breeze and at the Brutal Assault and towards the end of the year we are doing a full headlining tour in Europe.