Autopsy's Chris Reifert

Bay Area death-metal band Autopsy, founded in 1987 and split in 1995, have been reunited full-time since 2010, and their 2011 LP Macabre Eternal landed on plenty of yearend best-of lists. Influential but hardly famous in the 90s, Autopsy are now revered as pillars of “old-school” death metal, alongside the likes of Possessed, Terrorizer, Obituary, and Chicago’s own Master. Among other things, “old-school” metal preserves the raw, ragged energy of humans playing instruments in a room—no songwriting in Cubase, no drum triggers, no quantized blastbeats. And because these bands developed their styles before the “death growl” hardened into a template, their vocals have more personality—Autopsy drummer and singer Chris Reifert sounds simultaneously enraged and agonized, delivering lyrics whose stubborn, gleeful fixation on mayhem and gore seems just as perfectly engineered to trigger a moral panic among the humorless as 50s horror comics did. This winter the band released the compilation All Tomorrow’s Funerals, and the DVD Born Undead is due in June. For this week’s Artist on Artist, Reifert is interviewed by guitarist Scott Carroll of Chicago death-metal stalwarts Cianide, who’ve been active since 1988 but are only now beginning to earn their due as pioneers. This online version of their conversation—more than five times as long as the one in print—touches on the worthlessness of MP3s, the beer-for-remodeling barter economy, why the Devil Wears Prada makes them feel old, and plenty more. Autopsy plays Sat 5/5 at Reggie’s Rock Club with Cianide, Bones, Cardiac Arrest, and Reign Inferno. Tickets are $25; a $60 VIP package includes dinner, a poster, early entry, and a “possible” meet and greet. —Philip Montoro

Q Phonewise I haven’t talked to you since 1993 or some shit.

A That sounds about right. I remember we saw each other in—must have been Milwaukee, probably like ’99 or something like that. Long time ago. How the hell is it going?

Q It’s going all right, you know, just getting older and wiser, right?

A Forget the wiser part. Just getting older and dumber. What’s happening, man?

Q Just opened a beer and talking to you.

A How’s Cianide going, man? You guys are playing with us pretty soon.

Q Fuck yeah. We weren’t gonna play, but you know, the club asked us, and we were like, fuck it, you know? Might as well.

A No good shows on TV, might as well.

Q It’s all reruns of Walking Dead, so . . .

A I dunno, that could be worth it too, though. I don’t think I’m gonna play, now that I think about it.

Q So what have you been doing, man? You been busy?

A Yeah, yeah, pretty much. Busy but not going mental—no more than usual. Trying to pace things a little bit.

Q I guess I got some basic questions I gotta ask you, I suppose.

A Lay it on me, brotha!

Q This is all kind of retarded for me. The Reader‘s like our local arts paper, it’s been around for 50 years it seems like, since I was a kid. So it’s like the big paper, the free local paper—I’m sure you’ve got one out in Frisco that’s the same.

A Yeah, for sure.

Q It’s insane to me that, from what they say, they’re going to put you guys on the cover. It’s the first time I’ll have seen a metal band on the cover of the Reader, put it that way.

A That’s pretty wacky. [Editor’s note: Autopsy was in fact the intended B Side cover subject for the 5/3 issue, but Michaelangelo Matos’s feature on Chicago house music ended up running that week.]

Q Let alone an underground death-metal band from the past.

A Yeah, a good way to scare the faithful readers off.

Q Maybe it’ll be a picture of handsome guys on the cover for a change. The handsomest guys in death metal.

A We are an attractive band—that’s what we’re known for.

Q So basically, I guess, the first question out of the gate is the one that everybody’s—you’ve probably answered a thousand times, but I don’t read anything, so . . .

A That’s cool, reading’s lame. Unless you’re reading the Reader! Then it’s great!

Q Then it’s kick-ass, of course. So, understandably, I think it was Maryland Deathfest [in 2010]—is that what got you guys back together?

A That was the first big thing, yeah.

Q Was it an offer that you couldn’t refuse?

A Yeah, I mean, yes and no. If we didn’t really want to do it—I mean, we said no to everything for 15 or 16 years, so it’s not like we hadn’t had offers before, but the timing was just one of those things. We did a couple new songs in 2008, and people started asking about us again. “Hey, so you’re back doing stuff!” Like, no, not really. And then we did start talking to the folks over at Maryland, and, I dunno, we kinda got excited thinking about it—like, this could be cool, let’s see what happens here. We all agreed amongst ourselves that, fuck it, we’re definitely not getting any younger, so if we’re going to do anything, it’s probably now.

Q It seemed like growing from the underground. I mean, the name Autopsy, I think—the Internet kept the name alive so well for a whole different generation of people who want to see you.

A Yeah, it’s crazy. We didn’t expect anything. We’re just, all right, let’s see. We ended up talking with the Maryland people and figuring, let’s do this. I don’t know—we had to definitely want to do it, because no amount of money could make us want to do it.

Q Yeah, that’s cool.

A But we absolutely got paid well for it and all that stuff, but it had to be fun too.

Q Rightfully so for a fucking change. Jesus Christ.

A Yeah, but man, we just ground ourselves to a halt on that last tour, so we didn’t want to do anything for the longest time. It was brutal. And after we booked Maryland, we kind of got this excitement again, like—

Q That’s what I was going to ask about, that spark that really—holy shit, this feels good, playing with [guitarist] Danny [Coralles] and [guitarist] Eric [Cutler] again.

A Exactly. It was fun when we did the two-song thing in 2008—not meant to be anything but that one thing. That was exciting too, but then we kind of put it down again. Then we ended up working something out with Maryland, then we got other offers—like, OK, while we’re at it! So we go to Germany and Norway and do a couple of things over there, and then, that’s it—we’re really done, no more. And then without even thinking about it, we’re like, well, OK, I seem to have written a handful of songs for Autopsy. What’s going on here? Three years later, we’re still slugging away, you know?

Q So it sounds more like, kick-ass, we’re having fun, let’s do it—and then it’s just, like, this actually does kick ass, why don’t we do it some more.

A Yeah, we’re having fun again, we’re not at each other’s throats or anything. The other thing is when we started book a couple of things—

Q Right, and it seems like people are actually caring, right?

A That’s nice too—that’s more than we can say from the first time around. We were going to keep Abscess going at the same time, and our guitar player Clint [Bower], he said he wanted to quit the band. He’s got stuff going on in his life, and it looked like it would be a good window for him to work on his home life. We totally respected that and tried so hard to talk him into keeping the band going, but he had his mind up—so that really opened the door all the way for Autopsy to keep going, because we were getting along and having fun making music. Like, fuck it, let’s keep doing stuff until we don’t want to anymore.

Q Yeah, ’cause it’s like, well, the three of you guys are back on the same page, and it’s like a full unit again. You’ve got the Abscess bass player [Joe Trevisano], though.

A Yeah, we did, that was weird too.

Q You’ve been with him for years too, though.

A Yeah, since ’98. That worked out pretty good. Like, OK, well, we don’t have to look for a bass player.

Q Because that was always the age-old thing with you guys, the bass player.

A Yeah, the curse. Spinal Tap had the drummer and we had a bass player. Like, “Aw, man.” The curse appears to be lifted. That’s good too, something off the worry list.

Q Fuckin’ A. What else we got here. Of course these questions came together yesterday.

A No, that’s fine, that’s great.

Q I didn’t really have anything down, because they told me a long time ago about doing this and of course I dicked it off, and then all of a sudden it’s like, OK, it’s tomorrow, so I’m at work today and thinking, what the fuck am I going to ask this guy? What kind of shoes he wears? The fuck? If we were sitting in a bar drinking, yeah . . .

A No, it’s cool, whatever.

Q I mean, it’s like, this is for Chicago, this is technically the first time you’re playing Chicago. I know you played on the [1993] tour with Morgue and—who else, was it Vital Remains?

A I think that might have been Aurora.

Q That was Aurora, and I think that doesn’t count to me. I mean, I was at the show—it’s all good. But playing in Chicago for the first time—I mean, this show is gonna be sold out. I think it’s almost sold out now anyway.

A What a lineup, though. I mean, you guys, Bones, us. It’s gonna be nuts.

Cianide’s Scott Caroll

Q Was this [bassist] Jon [“Necromancer” Woodring] from Bones? Did he spearhead everything? He’s the one who did it, right?

A Yeah, he’s the one that got in touch with me and said, “Hey, man”—I mean, I’ve known Jon for a long time. He was in Usurper and all that, and we stayed friends—and then, he just said, dude, I really want to get you guys to Chicago, is that even possible? We talked about it for a bit, and it was possible—and shit, now it’s coming up pretty soon.

Q When I heard about it, I was like, what the fuck is this? Bones and Autopsy? Where’d this come from? So I hear it from the grapevine that it was Jon and I talk to Jon and he was like, “Eh, what the hell, I made it happen.” I was like, kick ass! Yeah, well, John’s cool.

Q Yeah, he’s awesome. He and my dad just remodeled my bathroom.

A Well, there you go. Right on, man!

Q He’s always doing shit—he put up a back wall for me in another bedroom. He’s fucking awesome.

A Yeah, and playing brutal death metal at the same time. What more could you ask for.

Q By the time he leaves, I have no beer in the fridge left.

A Well, that’s a fair deal. That’s a fair deal, man.

Q So that’s cool that he’s involved in this. I mean, he spearheaded this whole thing, total credit goes to Jon and Bones for that.

A Agreed.

Q But it’s your first actual time playing in Chicago. You’re going to have a fucking blast here, man.

A Only 25 years, that’s not too bad.

Q Right, you know, it’s been a while.

A A little bit. Yeah, we’re super stoked, man. I’m just nervous because you said there’s a record store in the venue or connected to the venue—oh great, that’s all I need to do, is spend any money I could possibly make at the thing at the damn record store, which I probably will.

Q They have good fucking food too.

A Nice.

Q It’s a real nice place—it’s actually real close to me, like ten minutes from my house.

A Nice.

Q It’s a nice swerve home, it’s easy.

A We’re stoked, man, it’s gonna be awesome.

Q What about this newfangled double album [All Tomorrow’s Funerals]—it’s out already! It’s out and it’s absolutely newfangled.

Q Is this just for the hell of it, or . . .

A Let’s get back to the “newfangled” part, because I want to expand on that. I wonder what “fangled” means. . . . Yeah, dude, it was actually our idea, something I’ve been pestering—well, what it is, the EPs we did, all the loose bits, like Retribution for the Dead and Fiend for Blood, and a compilation track of “Funereality,” and Horrific Obsession, The Tomb Within, all that stuff. Some of it’s old, some of it’s absolutely not that old but the EPs are out of print already, so it’s kind of our way of preventing that stuff from ending up as bonus tracks later down the line. Because that’s not something we’ve ever really been that into, having our stuff broken up into bits and pieces—”Here’s half this EP as bonus tracks for this!” I’ve been pestering Peaceville [Records] for years, saying, hey man, let’s put all the EPs out on one release—you know, a lot of these you can’t get anymore—and have it all in one chunk. It’s an album length too—you have everything and it’s a full deal.

Q In a way that’s kind of interesting too, just to hear. I mean I haven’t bought one yet—I’ll get one—but to hear all the stuff together and how the band sounds throughout the years.

A Yeah, it’s kind of a little time capsule—it goes back to ’91. I don’t really remember how these things come up sometimes—just drunk in the rehearsal room—so we figured, all right, let’s record a few new songs.

Q How many new songs did you record?

A Well, we did “Mauled to Death,” and that was the last of the oldies we could dust off and give a new treatment to.

Q The vault is dry.

A The vault is clean and absolutely dry, dude. Because that song was only on the first demo, and we didn’t even have Danny in the band yet—we were a three-piece—so we figured, all right, we’ll give that one a nice little treatment with two guitars, and we sort of added some little atmospheric guitar parts that came out really cool. We did three other songs and kind of put a little outro thing together to end the whole thing, but that doesn’t really count—it’s just a little 15-second snippet, you know, to cap it all off. So four songs. It seemed like a good way to tie in everything. Twenty-something years ago, and here it is now, and hopefully it’ll all blend together. And we remastered the old stuff a little, because it never really got mastered, and that just means making it louder and a little more clear but not, like, ruining everything—you know how some bands do, they go and remaster it and it sounds like something completely different.

Q It’s all modern and retarded.

A Yeah, dude, so we absolutely avoided that route 100 percent, and it actually all goes together pretty good.

Q Another record we’re going to add to the old stack.

A Yep, exactly, and it’s on vinyl too. That makes us happy.

Q Are you a vinyl nut?

A I like everything, dude. I like vinyl, I like CDs, anything that holds music on it. The only thing I don’t like is sort of like collecting music on the computer. I gotta have the album cover, I gotta have the lyrics, I gotta have the photos, the thanks list—I still love all that shit.

Q I don’t care what happens, I’m never buying an MP3. It’s never going to happen for me.

A Yeah, dude, I want to zone out and stare at the album cover for 45 minutes. Seriously.

Q Going back just a little bit, a couple years, when Nuclear War Now! put out [the 2010 compilation] Awakened by Gore. I mean, to hear those mastered, for me—was that like the original tapes?

A I think those were out on Necroharmonic [in 2000]. I don’t think I knew where the original tapes were—that was when the band wasn’t around. Nowadays we put more care into things and I actually found the reel-to-reel tapes from ’87 and ’88.

Q When I first put it on, I was almost in shock. What is this? Why is this so clear? I can hear everything. I was like, wow, this is actually from the tape. What’d you think about the over-the-top layout of the record?

A Aw, the guy who runs that label, he does it right, man.

Q Yosuke [Konishi]—I always call him “Yo-Soo-Kee” because I’m a Chicagoan. I can’t talk.

A It’s all good, dude. But he’s a music nut—I mean, he puts out things that he wants in his collection, he’s not trying to turn things over and make a buck. He’s a fiend for like packaging and all that, that’s his thing.

Q I could not believe when I got this thing, it’s like an encyclopedia.

A You could brain someone to death with it. You could literally kill somebody with it if you racked ’em over the head hard enough.

Q It wouldn’t even fit in my shelf, probably. I’d have to keep it somewhere else.

A You’d have to make a special place for it—like, oh my God, I’m so embarrassed.

Q Do you like buying shit like that, stuff that’s really die-hard stuff?

A Aw man, I love crazy packaging stuff, man. Sure. Why not? It’s more to look at. Yeah, I like to look at packaging when I listen to an album, you know, and just look at everything—enter a little world when you listen.

Q I just threw in that Nuclear War Now! thing because I think that’s awesome. I was sitting in my room, staring across the room when I saw it, and I was like, oh, let’s talk about that.

A Yeah, why not, dude? I know we barely saved those master tapes—we had to like bake ’em at the studio because they were so old. They were actually saved from falling apart.

Q How about something from when Autopsy broke up? I know it’s a dead story, but maybe somebody’ll like it. It’s like you were doing Abscess already towards the end, right?

A Mm-hmm.

Q It seems like Autopsy was going in the direction that Abscess was already advanced in.

A A little bit. It was kinda weird, dude, because we did the infamous U.S. tour that broke up the band, and that was terrible.

Q Was that the nail in the coffin? That tour?

A Oh absolutely, man, that tour killed us. It was so poorly run, and no promotion—we had some good gigs and some good times and stuff, but I think the bad outweighed the good and it just made us not want to be around each other. Dude, it was two and a months of—like, after the first week I wanted to go home, and the managers are like, no, you’ve still got nine weeks to go, dude. Anyway, so we got home and it was just painfully clear that we didn’t want to do it anymore. But we still had been working on new material at the same time, and we said, here, let’s do the cool thing and make one more album even though we know we’re breaking up, and we’ll do a farewell show. But we’d already formed Abscess once we decided we were splitting Autopsy up, so we did both for a minute there, and then Autopsy finished doing its thing. And the funny thing about that is Abscess, on the last three or four albums, we started getting more and more—like, sort of what Autopsy did in a way.

Q Right, it seemed like you were going back into that—longer, involved songs, fucking sick rhythms. And it was like, holy fuck, they’re getting right back into it.

A Kind of straying away from the sleazy punk thing. Well, even the punk stuff, we made sure it was heavy.

Q It was like GG Allin, you know.

A It was weird. None of this stuff was intentional, we were just going with the feelings. Yeah, going back into Autopsy, it was an almost natural thing in a super weird way.

Q On the last [Abscess] album, it was—oh fuck, I can’t remember.

A Dawn of Inhumanity was the last one.

Q Was that a split?

A No, that was the last album. Abscess did a lot of stuff and most of it got swept right under the rug, that was the thing. We just belted it out, recording after recording.

Q Did that bother you at all, that Abscess wasn’t getting any sort of recognition, that maybe you thought, what the fuck, we’re playing the same sort of shit almost here?

A Yeah, yeah, of course. We’ve got people nagging us, “Hey, when are you gonna re-form Autopsy?” and we kept saying, “Never.”

Q Right, I remember all that, like, “We’re never gonna do it.” Yeah.

Q Never say never, right?

A Well, I know that now! But yeah, at times it would be kind of a bummer—just like, listening to this album, we worked hard on it and all that. But it never bothered us enough to really lose sleep over it. It was like, well, fuck it, we like it.

Q At the end of the day, it’s just metalheads.

A Yeah, it’s not like we’re making a fortune off the stuff, whatever band it may be. You gotta really love playing this.

Q I hear you, dude. I’ve been playing with bassist Mike [Perun of Cianide] since 1988—we never stopped—but we never actually gained any recognition, really, so it was always easy for us because nobody really cared.

A Aw dude, no, I always loved Cianide—I mean, I wrote to Mike.

Q I asked him yesterday—I’m like, Mike, can you find those fucking letters? And sure enough, he went out to his garage, like, “They’re in my garage,” and he scanned ’em for me and I was reading the letters last night, and it’s like a blast from the past. Fucking hilarious.

A I don’t remember if I got [the 1992 Cianide album] The Dying Truth and then wrote to him, or something like that.

Q Yeah, that’s what the one letter said. I remember from back then—it was like Mike coming over to my house, he was like, “I got a fan letter from Chris Reifert!” I’m like, what? “Look at that, he wrote me a fan letter!” I actually listened to it again when I knew you were gonna call, and I’m like, God, this is still heavy as shit. And [1994’s] A Descent Into Hell too, you know?

Q We just got one of those insane old three-album fold-out deals for [a reissue of] that. We were freaking out—for us to have this really elaborate packaging.

A For what?

Q A Descent Into Hell. Oh really? Nice, dude.

Q They did Dying Truth too, with all the demos and all this bullshit. I’ll bring a couple to the show, I can give ’em to you.

A Oh, OK. That’s good!

Q They gave me a shitload of ’em. We had John [Alexander]—you remember Post Mortem from the 80s, obviously.

A Yeah, yeah.

Q We’d kind of been in contact with him, and he mastered some of the stuff for us, which was crazy luck because we’re huge Post Mortem fanatics.

A Oh, that’s great. It’s worthy for sure.

Q Well, whatever, this is all about you. You’re the star, forget about me.

A Come on now!

Q Oh, I’m just kidding. This is out of left field, kind of more a pick-your-brains kind of deal. Or you might not care at all. When all the big metal bands are gone . . . like Black Sabbath are still going to do something, AC/DC still tours, Iron Maiden still tours, Motorhead still tours, these really big staples of metal that kind of created everything—but they’re all pretty much going away. What’s going to be left of anything? It’s like all the masters are gone. You can go to a Motorhead show and see fucking 15-year-old kids and fucking 50-year-old dudes. It’s like, what’s going to be left?

A I guess probably the next wave, the bands that came out a generation later.

Q Like Metallica? Is that gonna be like Led Zepellin, I guess? They’re so awful.

A Yeah, I wouldn’t want to put them and Led Zeppelin in the same sentence.

Q Well it’s not musically the same, just like popularity-wise.

A I know, it’s crazy. I’m not a Metallica fan. I was, when they were metal.

Q What kind of metal bands are going to fill arenas? I don’t think there’s anybody who can do it. Once the classics are gone, it’s just going to be all midlevel fucking bands going on forever.

A I hadn’t thought about that. I guess we’ve still got Slayer—Slayer I respect, definitely. They’re one of the few. They’ve got albums that aren’t as good as some other ones, but they always sounded like Slayer.

Q And they do play with some intensity still.

A And the last one, I don’t know what you think about it, but World Painted Blood—it’s like, dude, it’s got some pretty fiery shit in there. It’s a pretty damn good album, I think.

Q Mike liked it. He’s always trying to play it for me, and I was just like, “Meh!” I don’t think they can ever touch Reign in Blood or Hell Awaits, but it’s pretty badass, dude, and even if it’s not the best, you hear it and go, that’s Slayer. They’re still playing fast—[drummer Dave] Lombardo’s back and he’s still awesome, you know. Man, it just blows away so many thing now. They’re not afraid to play fast, they still at least attempt to be vicious—but yeah, I don’t know, it’s a pretty good question. I don’t have an answer either.

Q It’s just something I’ve been thinking about a bit. Those original bands, when they’re gone, it’s going to be like, I don’t know, a void’s just going to . . . Or nobody’s going to give a shit, which is more likely the case.

A We’ll see what’s going to happen. Only time’s gonna tell on that one.

Q It’s certainly not going to be the V-neck generation with the haircuts and shit.

A Aw dude.

Q That shit is the music that actually makes me feel old. It makes me feel nauseous.

A Yeah, and not in an enjoyable way, like when I’ve had way too much bourbon—it’s horrible stuff. Way too wimpy for words.

Q Like the Devil Wears Prada.

A Oh, dude, yeah, I do definitely feel like a space alien when I see—there’s a whole massive scene behind all those bands.

Q I have a nephew who’s into every one of these bands, and I’ll put on old stuff, even Autopsy, and he’s like, “Well, that’s not brutal enough.” It’s like, aw, God, I just want to punch myself in the face. Just get away from me.

A I don’t relate to it either.

Q It makes me feel old—the old parent. “You gotta turn that stuff off!” Yeah, I know. It’s just different because that stuff’s so wimpy and the stuff we like is brutal.

Q It’s grindy and it’s fast and then it gets fucking—like they’re in love, and I don’t know, whatever.

A “And my dad wasn’t there for me, and blah blah blah blah blah.”

Q Sure sure. Whatevs! Definitely mystified me on that one, dude, I gotta come clean.

Q This is kind of fun. This I’m actually curious about: There’s bands out there that are practically clones of Autopsy—Mausoleum, I’m sure you’ve heard, or this new band from Sweden, Morbus Chron, just got signed to Century Media. It’s so Autopsy. It’s gotta be somewhat flattering or somewhat weird for you.

A I think, jeez, that’s great, but I also see it as an extension of things that I like, because we had things that shaped our sound—so it’s almost like we’re just passing it on, because we’ve got riffs that are just blatant mix-arounds of Trouble riffs, or like Death or Slayer even, or Candlemass, that we blatantly fed into our sound.

Q You guys never nicked the riff of [Trouble’s] “At the End of My Daze,” did you? When I first heard it, I thought, “These guys, they’ve got balls.” The audacity to take that riff.

A No, not that one in particular—I just look at it like we’re passing it on. I guess we have a sound, but it comes from other bands’ sounds that we looked up to, the metal bands that we looked up to when we were teenagers starting up. We had stuff that we liked.

Q What were the bands? Sabbath, obviously Slayer, stuff like that.

A Yeah, Sabbath, Slayer, Repulsion, although they were called Genocide—we listened to the Genocide demos a lot, and, you know, Master too. Terrorizer, who were basically like a really sped-up version of Master, but whatever—that was before the album, though. The Terrorizer rehearsal demo was the one we really liked. Death and Possessed, all the obvious stuff, but we liked other stuff too that kind of shaped things indirectly—a lot of sort of rock stuff, like Cream and Mahogany Rush and Robin Trower and stuff like that. And weird things like the Residents and Zappa.

Q Which I think on like Mental Funeral really came out, all that weird shit.

A Yeah, we started letting some of the more strange things show through instead of just trying to be purely brutal.

Q Yeah, I hear you. It was a long time ago—but still the same shit you fucking love to this day.

A Yeah, I don’t not like things I used to like. I still like all my Kiss records. I’ve never disowned a band I used to like—I still like the same things, I’ve just added to the list of things I like.

Q I’m the same way, just a total music nut. Mainly metal but also punk and hard rock. Everything I’ve liked from when I was a kid—I still put on Saxon and I’m just, wow.

A Yeah, dude, put on Denim and Leather or Power & the Glory or whatever and it’s still just like, ah, so great. Actually Saxon’s sounding pretty good these days. They’re still the same, they didn’t do anything too different. I love Saxon.

Q What about being a drummer-singer kind of guy. Who would be your favorite drummer-singer?

A I can’t think of a whole lot. There’s like Deceased. Oh man, this is a really short list here, isn’t it?

Q Yeah it is! Yeah, I didn’t definitely have anyone I looked up to when I started doing it—we just couldn’t find anyone else to do it.

Q Like, “Give me the fucking microphone.” Someone’s gotta do it! I’ll give this a whack and see if this works, and if not, then it wasn’t meant to be. But it worked.

Q In Chicago we always had Zoetrope with Barry Stern.

A Oh yeah, OK, there’s a good one.

Q That fucking guy would play with such energy and just wailing singing, and it’s like, what the fuck! Yeah, they were a killer band. I still love Amnesty and the demos too, but dude, it’s just, you can tell—the thing that’s admirable about him is he hit the drums hard. He’s not going with a light touch or anything. He’s wailing.

Q Yeah, he was a fucking master.

A Yeah, I can’t let that one slip by. That’s a good call.

Q Any desire to go back on the road again? Or is it just like, let’s just do these shows where we can just get together and play a big show here and there? Or would you ever had the desire to get in a fucking van and go out for a month and a half?

A No dude, no desire to do that—that would kill us all over again. No, we’re just sticking with doing a couple of really cool things here and there. And that’s exhausting too, dude. This coming Wednesday, we’re going to play Inferno fest in Norway, the next day we play Boltfest, Bolt Thrower’s big show in London, and we come home the day after that. And even though you’re gone for five days, it knocks you on your ass for like a week or two—it’s so brutal, man, just flying around.

Q You ain’t getting any younger.

A It’s never been fun traveling. I love being places, but getting there intact—it’s like, aw dude.

Q We played down in Texas in December, and even that, for us, because we don’t do anything— Dude, any time you’re in an airplane for more than an hour.

Q We’re playing in Portland in June. Next week we’re playing with Blood Feast in Milwaukee, but that’s only like an hour and a half.

A Oh, that’s pretty sick, dude. I didn’t know they were doing anything anymore.

Q Yeah, for some reason we’re getting around. People are actually interested, which is kind of cool for us.