Cannibal Corpse’s Paul Mazurkiewicz Says Corpsegrinder Is ‘A Better Vocalist’ Than Chris Barnes
It’s one of the biggest debates in death metal history: who’s the better Cannibal Corpse frontman, Chris Barnes or George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher? While fans may continue to disagree until the end of time, drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz has offered his definitive answer.
In a recent appearance on the Pod Scum podcast, Mazurkiewicz – who co-founded the band in 1988 – discussed Cannibal Corpse’s decision to swap original singer Barnes with Corpsegrinder in 1995.
“It’s crazy to think that we did that,” Mazurkiewicz stated [via Blabbermouth], continuing:
The early era, the “Barnes era,” what I guess everyone calls it, that's the beginning of the band. That's what obviously started us out and how we got going and all. And we were doing fairly well. We're up the ladder here. We're moving. We're a force to be reckoned with now. So to change a singer in the middle of that seems a little crazy, but it had to happen. You look back now, and we all obviously feel we've bettered the band; George is just a better vocalist overall. And we've moved forward.
Obviously, Mazurkiewicz understands why Cannibal Corpse fans are so passionate about which frontman they favor, too. “But both eras, they mean something, of course,” he remarked, adding:
That's the beginning of the band, so you're gonna get those purists that are gonna go, “I love that era more because . . .” Okay — whatever. I've got no problem with that. It is what it is. [Chris] was a part of the band and we did do well; it wasn't like he was nothing or nothing was happening with that time. . . . It was a big thing to deal with, and luckily, we were able to persevere and get through that and to be bigger than ever.
It's always gonna be debated, I guess. . . . [Chris is] a part of the history of Cannibal, and any member that was in the band is. If it wasn't for him, I guess, the five original members, well, then the band would have never maybe existed. So, it was an important era and it can't be overlooked and the significance of the original band and the beginnings of Cannibal Corpse.
He also recognized that it’s “a cool story” because “maybe a lot of [other] bands wouldn’t be able to survive [such a line-up change]."
As also noted by Blabbermouth, Barnes left due to the group’s “more technical direction” (among other reasons) following the release of their fourth – and arguably best – LP: 1994’s The Bleeding. Thus, Corpsegrinder made his studio debut on 1996’s Vile and has been the fiendish yet friendly face of Cannibal Corpse ever since.
What do you think of Mazurkiewicz’s reasoning? Which singer do you prefer, and why? Let us know!
Also, be sure to check out his full Pod Scum chat below.