Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway: How I Learned to Scream
Barney Greenway, Napalm Death's combustible vocal engine since 1989 (save for that one year Napalm and Extreme Noise Terror swapped singers), is one of extreme metal's all-time frontmen. His vocal power is downright frightening and his frantic stage presence exponentially raises the intensity of it all. So, how did he learn how to scream?
That question, and a lot more, were answered in this episode of How I Learned to Scream.
Recollecting his experiences as an extreme metal vocalist for more than three decades, Greenway, seated on a couch in his home as we all wait out this pandemic, Greenway chalked it all up to spontaneity. Typically, vocalists who discharge screams (or gutturals, barks, roars — whatever you want to call them) endure growing pains as they figure out how to do this whole thing without damaging their vocal chords.
Before joining Napalm Death, Greenway was a member of British death metal battalion Benediction, with whom he recorded one album. Even earlier than this, though, is where he got his start, linking up with nearby musicians (who would later play in Cerebral Fix and Bolt Thrower) to form Colostomy.
Practice wasn't on the agenda and Greenway attested that his approach to vocals was absolute spontaneity and to "just go for it" and see what different types of noises could be produced.
Elsewhere in the video, the Napalm Death frontman addresses whether or not enunciation is important to his style, his thoughts on cupping the microphone and recalled one terribly hot gig where he collapsed onstage from heat exhaustion while trying to go for a particular high-range vocal. You'll also learn how non-metal artists such as Swans and Joy Division fall under Greenway's realm of extremity.
Watch the full How I Learned to Scream episode below.
Napalm Death's new album, Throws of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism, is out now. Get your copy here (as Amazon affiliates we earn on qualifying purchases) and follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.
Napalm Death's Barney Greenway: How I Learned to Scream
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