Napalm Death - 09/04/2007

No Mercy 2007 is the peacefully setting, where we get the chance to interview the grindcore master Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway from Napalm Death himself. After waiting anxiously for half an hour we're taken down to the dressing room, where we disturb Barney while he was talking to a girl. Clearly not expecting us, he apologies to the girl but says that he really has to do the interview. So we settle down on the little chairs and have a little chat.


You were touring in support of Smear Campaign. How was the response of the audience?

Yeah, the response has been great. And remember, since the release of the album, we've been on three tours already. So people are getting used to the new CD. And we're trying to fit in as much new stuff as we can.


Are there any favourite tracks you like to play from Smear Campaign?

Well we always start with the intro and then hit the audience with 'Sink Fast Let Go'. And we usually play ‘Fatalist’ and 'In Deference'. But no 'In Deference' tonight as we're a bit limited in time.



How is the tour with all the other bands?

Yeah, it's great. We got quite diverse and different bands. And, you know, Napalm Death is something in itself. And perhaps there are some bands on the tour who are more metal than we are. But they're all great people. Everyone is nice, and they got great personalities. And you know, that's the basis of touring. That you get along with people and have a laugh about it.


Napalm Death released an album almost every year for the last 4 to 5 years. Can we expect a new album in 2007?

Well, no. I can reveal that. We're going to take a bit more time. We're always on a creative roll because we're a 365 days band. We all have some little things to keep ourselves busy. But there's always a demand for Napalm Death. We have the possibility to tour 365 days a year if we would like. People want us in places most people never even heard of. So we're creative as we're always busy with the music. But because we've been releasing almost every year, it's losing a bit of the mystique of a Napalm Death album. And in my humble opinion, Smear Campaign is the best album we've done. But now people tend to go: Yeah, It's a new Napalm album, it's going to be good, but...

And so we want to give people a bit more time to digest the album, digest Smear Campaign. So people get a hang of it for a while. Explore the album. And then we can release a new one. It's not like we need that time to come up with stuff. We don't analyze everything we write for 12 months or so. It's there when it's there. It's just to give people some time to absorb.


You have a very outspoken opinion about social problems, and you also write about those problems in the lyrics. How important is it for you that people pay attention to the lyrics?

Of course, it's very important that people listen to the lyrics. You know, I'm just a human being, expressing my humanitarian thoughts. A lot of people write lyrics that take you to an elevating point, but it's very simple for me. However, I'm not trying to tell people what to be, what to think, or pretend I'm the thought-police. It's just that they have to open up their mind. Of course, my opinions are integrated into the text, but not that give people a brain-drain, just let people look around. You know, there's a lot of general apathy in the human race. And although one band, one human can't really make a difference, it's still something. You know, we're a voice in the scene that has some conservative of fascist elements in some dark corners, so there is a need for us to say the things we say. Make people aware of it. And on the other side, there's a lot about religion. Now I know that there are bands who are for instance writing about a single thing about religion, or even a specific religion. But I'm attacking the whole of religion. It's irrelevant and it's controlling. Religion let's you think that you can't be happy with yourself. You have to justify anything you do to a third party, fearing for the afterlife. It can't be proven. I know that I'm stating obvious things. But if you look at how many people still believe, it's an enormous group of people. But I mean, we evolved. We have the means to walk, to think, to talk. People should take a step back and see: I'm human. I am myself, and live according to that, not some make-up belief. 


Napalm Death has its 27th birthday this year. That's quite some time for a band. Can we expect that you will be around for the next 5-10 years?

You know, when I joined the band, back in the days, I wasn't really thinking about this. I thought: sure, I'll join. Probably will take a year or 2 or 3. But we end up with 27 already. And there's still a lot of us left. So yeah, another 10 years is certainly realistic.



Earache just released Scum again due to it's 20-year anniversary. How do you think about that?

Well, I was there. Not as a band member of course, but as a fan. And I was quite close to the band so I remember those days. But you know, Earache keep re-releasing stuff. But I've had enough quarrels with them already. So I let it rest. The DVD seems to be interesting as it has a lengthy interview with Mick (Harris, ex-drummer). I don't know what Mick said on it. (Laughs a bit) Although, I know how Mick is, so it might be that he took a shot at some of us on the DVD. 


On the internet, there is a video from 1995, where you are performing Damage Inc. Together with the guys from Dream Theatre:

Hahaha, yes, that was pretty funny. They've been long time friends of mine. And they said to me: We're doing these tributes with all kinds of different guests. Don't you want to do a song with us, as you're the other side of the coin? And I was like: Well, anything for a laugh. So I did it. But I said that I'd do it in my normal vocal style, or it wouldn't happen. And it was great. Everybody was having a good laugh.



Well, that wraps it up. Anything you like to add.

Yeah, thanks for support. I know it sounds a bit cliché. But there have been some rough times in the scene. Where people would stop coming to gigs of us and other bands. But we always persevered and it's important for the people to know that we're happy with them and they're still supporting us. That's great to hear.


[Intermezzo: Dean Jones (from Extreme Noise Terror) walks in

Sorry to disturb you guys, but Barney, do you have any whiskey on your rider? I got such a sore fucking throat

Barney: No, sorry mate. We don't have any. Perhaps the guys from Moonspell got something. I'm sure they'll give you a nip if they got it. But we don't do spirit anymore on tour

Dean: Oh ok, I thought that Shane was still doing

Barney: No not anymore

Dean: Ok, I'll go ask Moonspell. Thanks Barney.]


It sounds like they're talking to you as their grandpa.

(Laughs) Yeah, but you know, age is never important for me. For some it might be, but not for me.  And with Napalm, we defy age. When you look at us on stage, you wouldn't guess that we're almost 40. And every gig is, for me, to go for it for the full 100%. If I wouldn't be able to put up 100% I wouldn't do it. Really not. After all the history of Napalm Death, why would you try to do something half-assed? It would be pointless.


That's it. Thanks for the interview and good luck with the show!



Current Members

Mark "Barney" Greenway - Vocals
Mitch Harris - Guitar / Vocals
Shane Embury - Bass
Danny Herrera - Drums


Former members

Nicholas Bullen - Vocals, Bass (1982-1987)
P-nut - Bass (1985?)
RoboRobo - Bass, Guitar (1983?)
Finbar Quinn - Bass (1984?)
Daryl 'Sid' Fideski - Guitar
Miles 'The Rat' Ratledge - Drums (1982-1985)
Justin Broadrick - Guitar (1985-1987) (Godflesh)
Mick Harris - Drums (1985-1991) (Scorn)
James (Jim) Whitley - Bass (1986-1987)
Lee Dorrian - Vocals (1987-1989) (Cathedral)
Bill Steer - Guitar (1987-1989) (Carcass).
Frank Healey - Guitar (1987)
Phil Vane - Vocals (1996-1997)
Jesse Pintado - Guitar (1989-2004) (Terrorizer)



Scum (1987)
From Enslavement To Obliteration (1988)
The Peel Sessions (1989)
Suffer The Children (1990)
Harmony Corruption (1990)
Utopia Banished (1992)
Fear, Emptiness, Despair (1994)
Diatribes (1996)
Inside The Torn Apart (1997)
Words From The Exit Wound (1998)
Leaders Not Followers (1999) 
The Complete Radio One Sessions (2000)
Enemy Of The Music Business (2001)
Order Of The Leech (2002)
Noise For Music's Sake (2CD, 2003)
Punishment In Capitals (CD en DVD, 2004)
Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 (2004)
The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code (2005)
Smear Campaign (2006)


Live Corruption (live, 1992)
Bootlegged In Japan (live, 1998)