David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with NAPALM DEATH guitarist and MENACE mainman Mitch Harris. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
DeadRhetoric.com: In some form or another, you’ve been active in the extreme metal scene for 25 years. Did you think you’d last this long?
Harris: Did anyone think we’d last this long? When I first moved to the U.K., I knew it was a time bomb waiting to explode with certain personalities in the band. Once they left, we took things one step at a time, pursuing a creative vision that developed over decades. We challenged the foundations of where we started, and that kept things interesting for us to make this a lifelong mission. Like any marriage, people progress, and search to find new ways of expressiveness, living together, working together, we’ve somehow managed to step by painful step to continue reaching for the most improbable dream. Hopefully one day, one can reflect and truly believe that the sacrifices made were all for the greater good.
DeadRhetoric.com: Why do you think you’ve been able to have such a long career?
Harris: Maybe it’s because we were content with our own actions and objectives. We pushed the boundaries when necessary, even if it was too advanced for those with limited insight. Compromise and choosing your battles and the most logical way forward also play a massive part in any partnership. When the world seems against you, much can be achieved by teamwork with a long-term vision.
DeadRhetoric.com: Obviously, playing in a death metal/grind band for another 25 years might be hard to pull off. Have you started thinking about life after NAPALM? Maybe do MENACE full time?
Harris: Like anyone at our age, it’s hard to imagine life in 10 or 20 years time. We should have had a pension plan or something. [Laughs] All I ask for is small doses of happiness, something to share, and health for my family and loved ones. These are the obstacles in life, and eventually we always make the right decision. Everything I do is actually full time. I always try to carry more than I should, but it’s how I am. We all have our physical limitations, and as we all age, there are realizations in life about the things that really matter, the things that we took and continue to take for granted. Most eventually make the right choice at the crossroads. It’s gone beyond music, and creativity, since there is a lifelong friendship, commitment and unmistakable bond. This connection should be nourished and nurtured, and day by day, continue to slowly plan our next objectives. There are new doors opening for everyone I’m involved with, and we all support each other in every way that we can to make things work, our own support network. We’ve recorded half of the new NAPALM album already, and there is still a drive, a reason to put ourselves though whatever mental and physical abuse await us in the coming years. There is no point looking at it any other way except having ones priorities straight. Music is a selfish occupation that consumes each person in different ways. It takes a lifetime to achieve any goal, because they are always led by new ambitions. Otherwise, we give up, and miss the point in life. There is always a cut-off point, where people and circumstances push others into new fields. We are still part of a collective vision, so there’s no need for immediate change, only on the productive side. Until it reaches its peak of productivity and limitations, there is no turning back…
Read the entire interview at DeadRhetoric.com.