Metal Hangar 18 conducted an interview with guitarist Mitch Harris of British/American grindcore pioneers NAPALM DEATH on September 16, 2011 in Sofia, Bulgaria. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Hangar 18: So, you’re originaly from the U.S. How did it feel when you first arrived in Britain?
Mitch: I was happy, ’cause I came from Las Vegas and there were all these laws for drinking, and pretty much going anywhere, you had to be 21. I had just turned 19 at the time I moved to England and it felt great — total freedom! No troubles with the police. And as I got older, it became like home to me, it really felt right, but the weather, man, just kills me!
Metal Hangar 18: So, are you planning a big tour after the release of your next album?
Mitch: Well, we’re still touring for “Time Waits For No Slave”. We’re going to Russia; we haven’t toured that album there yet. Nine dates in Russia, 22 dates in Canada, and then… I don’t know what we’re doing in November — maybe some South America stuff. But when the album comes out in February we’re gonna start over with this cycle where we go everywhere we can for the next two or three years.
Metal Hangar 18: [My favorite NAPALM DEATH album] is “Harmony Corruption”. It was recorded in Morrisound Studios by Scott Burns, wasn’t it?
Mitch: Yeah, that was cool, a great snapshot of what was happening at the time, but not my favorite, either musically or production-wise.
Metal Hangar 18: You can hear a lot of death metal influences on that album?
Mitch: Yeah, it was just one of the things that was happening while we were doing it. We didn’t say, “Let’s make it more death metal,”; we were just incorporating different styles while doing it — just happened. It happened more on “Mentally Murdered”, really; it’s where it all started. The tuning was different on “Harmony Corruption” — it was higher — so it made it sound different; it changed quite a lot.
Metal Hangar 18: When I listen to other albums, produced in Morrisound Studios, I keep coming back to “Harmony Corruption”. There’s a very distinct resemblence, in a good way, of course. Would you say that the production had anything to do with you “blending in” [with] other bands?
Mitch: No, I mean, “Harmony Corruption” does sound different to all the other NAPALM DEATH releases. We (Mitch Harris, Barney Greenway, Jesse Pintado) had just joined the band and we walked into the studio with confidence knowing they knew how to record extreme music. It wasn’t about trying to sound a certain way or anything. We didn’t have to say much, Scott had a certain system of recording. Jesse had worked with him before on TERRORIZER, and it was just easy-going, he was a great guy and and I enjoyed the whole process. Then when it came out and I heard the final product — yeah, it sounds great in a car, but on a home stereo, not so powerful. So I was thinking, I had a different vision for it, and that vision was the sound on “Mass Appeal Madness”.
Read the entire interview from Metal Hangar 18.
Video footage of NAPALM DEATH‘s September 14, 2011 performance at Wings Club in Bucharest, Romania can be seen below (courtesy of Bloodbath.ro).