Following NAPALM DEATH's performance in Nashville, Tennessee on August 12, vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway spoke with Metal Nexus. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On touring with SLAYER:
Barney: "This whole tour, it's quite trippy... some of these venues, we're looking at them going, 'Uh, really?' We've never really played this sort of thing before, in all the years. It's just different. Most importantly, everybody's been really friendly to us, because you never quite know how you're going to be treated. It's been great. It was nice to be asked, that's for sure. We were kind of shocked that we were asked, but the thing is that we never intended to do anything other than approach it how we would any gig, whether it was a hundred people in some obscure town in the middle of Germany or here. We always treat it the same. We're really just doing our thing, as they say."
On the status of the band's new material:
Barney: "The music's pretty much done. I'm working on the lyrics, but realistically, it's not going to come out until next year. It could be at any point next year."
On whether the album will be conceptual:
Barney: "Every time I come around to an album, I go, 'I'm not going to do another concept album this time. Just stick to small, bite-sized things.' But it never works out that way. It always ends up being some grand concept thing."
On his belief in the importance of album artwork:
Barney: "Bands are not one thing. I think they have to try to be strong in all departments, whether it's playing live, recording albums, artwork. I look at it as an art form. It has to be the best that you can do in all departments. It is important for us. It's got to be right, and we won't let it go until it's right."
On the band's longevity:
Barney: "I never take it for granted, and I'm thankful for doing something that 90 percent of people would like to do, but it does come with its challenges. Mentally, psychologically, being on the road can be very difficult. First and foremost, you're going to need to have a relationship with three, four, five, however many other people that you're going to see every day. It's not easy. You have to be tolerant; you have to give and take. It's not hard to keep the chemistry as a band onstage, for us at least, but sometimes outside of that can be testy. It's the same for NAPALM as anybody else. If it comes to a point where I think or we think that either the live gigs aren't as good as what they were or we think we're running out of ideas for new music, I wouldn't want to carry on. I can't do 50 percent of a band that I've strived [sic] for 100 percent for the 30 years I've been in it now, nearly."
On current events:
Barney: "Everybody's sort of jumping up and down at the moment that the world is really at a critical point. You know what? If that's the case, it's been a critical point for 200 years now. I just think we have very accentuated situations now. We have Trump, for example, who — in my opinion, personally — is a terrible human being. I think that the way he disregards people in general who are lower than him on the social scale, it's really weird sometimes. It's almost like a comedy show. It's absurd. But he's only one piece of several things going on that are not good. The whole environmental situation, for one thing, that kind of steps backwards away from trying to make things better is very, very worrying, because you can see the effects. It almost feels as if it's nearly too late. With what the EPA is trying to do right now, or the guy that's heading the EPA, he's not helpful – for any of us... In Europe, we have some very worrying developments in south and east of Europe. We have almost like Hitler Youth sort of organizations in some of those eastern European countries who are legitimized by the government, who are accepted. It's very, very weird times. You would think that Europe as a continent, collectively, we would have learned from this stuff, given 1930s and 1940s. But it seems to be happening again, so yeah, it is getting worse."
NAPALM DEATH supported SLAYER on the second U.S. leg of the latter band's final world tour. The 20-date trek, which kicked off on July 26 and wrapped up on August 26, featured additional support from LAMB OF GOD, ANTHRAX and TESTAMENT.
NAPALM DEATH released a special 2CD, 2LP and digital-download compilation titled "Coded Smears And More Uncommon Slurs" in March via Century Media Records. This special collection includes a total of 31 songs with a playing time of over 90 minutes, compiling rarities and exclusive earworms spanning 2004-2016.