Cannibal Corpse - Alex Webster

Interview Date: August 04, 2009

Associated band: Cannibal Corpse


You’re on the Rockstar Mayhem tour right now. How have things been going so far?n

Things have been going really well. This is the biggest tour we’ve ever done. We’re normally doing club tours and that sort of thing where the capacity of the club is like not more than a thousand. To do something like this has been a bit different but really cool. It’s nice to be playing to thousands of people every day. We want to make sure we don’t get too used to it because the reality is that when we go back on tour, it’ll be… you know, what we’re accustomed to. Back to the medium-sized clubs again.

Have there been anything specific to this tour that has made it unique outside of the sheer scale of it?n

There are a bunch of things about it that I really like. For us, one of the big things is that SLAYER is on the tour, and those are guys we’ve been listening to even before we made CANNIBAL CORPSE way back. We’ve been around for like twenty years. It’s cool to see a band that you’ve been listening to for such a long time and are such a big fan of. It’s cool to see them like every night. We’re in a routine with getting done with our show (which usually ends no later than 6:30) then grab dinner then watch SLAYER and the other bands on the main stage. That’s what I really like about it… In a club tour, we’re the last band so after we play, show’s over. Here, we get to do our own show but watch some other bands ever.

Are there any bands you’ve bonded with over this tour you didn’t know before that well?n

Yeah, we got to know the guys in GOD FORBID and ALL THAT REMAINS pretty well. A lot of the bands on our stage, the Hot Topic stage, we already knew them. Got to know the WHITECHAPEL guys. We’re getting to know the guys in KILLSWITCH ENGAGE a bit too. It’s a big tour, and by the end of it, I probably will not have met everyone, but we’ve gotten to be good friends with a lot of the bands. Especially the ones on the two side-stages. Some of the main stage bands just don’t have much contact with everyone.

Have the turnouts been good on the tour even though the economy has been pretty bad?n

You would think that it would take some sort of hit. I have nothing to compare it to because as I said, our normal tours are NOT like this in scale at all. Our normal tours are club tours. For us, half the amount who come here every night would still be bigger than what we are used to. That aside, it’s been a success. That’s the whispering I’ve heard around the tour. It’s a very big success. For example, a place like Detroit, which has been hit hard with the auto companies closing, layoffs and all that, there were still a HUGE amount of people there. I think they said it was 15,000 people. It seems like when economic problems are hitting, people would cut entertainment to save money but…. It doesn’t seem like that’s the case at least yet.

What have you been up to lately as a band, have any tour plans after this?n

A lot more touring…. We finish this tour middle of August. In September we are going to Australia and New Zealand for a couple of weeks. I don’t need to explain why that’s cool. They have a great metal scene and a very beautiful country. In October we are going to do a European tour, and then after that, hopefully we’ll get back to America and do some more stuff over here. We’re going to try and keep busy for the rest of the year.

Are there any states in the US you haven’t played yet?n

After all these years, we still haven’t played Hawaii or Alaska. We would love to play at both of those. I hope we can get to both of those with this album’s touring cycle. Also it would be fun to play in places people don’t go very often. There are still a handful of states we’ve never played before. We’ve never played Mississippi; we’ve never played Montana. Wyoming. There may not be venues there, but I’m not positive. They might not have a big enough scene to merit having a large venue, I really don’t know. We definitely like to play anywhere we can. We just played Idaho for the first time in years, and Ashville, North Carolina. It’s fun to play big cities like New York, but it’s also fun to play places people don’t really go because the fans really appreciate you going out there.

With the nature of a tour like this, you have a smaller set time because of the amount of bands playing. With twenty years of recorded material, how do you figure out your set list every night reasonably?n

It’s really not easy, but we have a headlining set list for this year of like 18 to 20 songs depending on how much time we have on the headlining nights. We just paired it down to like 8 songs for this: 2 new songs and then like a “Greatest Hits” thing. We have to neglect a few studio albums to deal with the time constraint. In a way it’s limiting, but you can also go completely full-throttle for 35 minutes. It will be balls to the wall the whole time. If you play an hour or more, you have to pace yourself. It’s just like endurance with running. There are moments in a headlining set where it’s just not intense. With sets this short, it’s intense the whole time.