George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher Talks Serpentine Dominion, Cannibal Corpse Album Timeline + More
George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, vocalist for Cannibal Corpse, was the recent guest on Full Metal Jackie's radio show. The rocker is currently promoting another project, Serpentine Dominion, which features Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz and former Black Dahlia Murder drummer Shannon Lucas. Fisher speaks in depth about how the project formed and the creation of their music and also shares a bit on the timeline for Cannibal Corpse's plans for new music. Check out the chat below.
How ya doin, George?
Great. How's it going?
First, let's talk about this new band Serpentine Dominion, a band that features Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam D, ex-The Black Dahlia drummer Shannon Lucas and yourself. The debut album is coming out at the end of October. It goes back to you, Adam and Shannon all being on the same tour several years ago. Why such a long timeline to finally release an album?
That's a very good question that I would think none of us have the answer, too. Adam approached me. It was kind of weird. We were just hanging out, just drinking, whatever. Shooting the s--t. And he just says, 'Hey, man, I wrote some songs. Would you sing on it?' I was like, 'Yeah. Hell yeah, man. It'll be awesome.' 'Really?' 'Of course. Why not?,' you know. That was that. He asked me a few more times. I remember the next time he was like, 'Yeah, man. I wasn't kidding the other night.' 'Cause we were partying and people say that stuff all the time. 'We should do a band,' you know. I don't if he thought I was totally serious about it. So, he asked me a few more times, and I was like, 'Of course, dude.' And then he had already talked to Shannon about it after he had talked to me. And we were touring; they were touring.
Then, there had been a couple of albums since then. So, it was taking us a while to kind of get together. I know he had done the drums a few months before I went up to his place to record any vocals. So, it was just a long process because all of us were busy doing... Obviously, with me and him being touring all the time. Even when we're off, it's kind of hard to find time. People ask me about this, if we're going to do some show or tours. And I say, 'Let's just get it out first and see. I'd really like to do that.' But, at the same time, Cannibal just finished our tour cycle for our last record, so it's really now time to be off and just relax. Of course, Killswitch is in full tour mode now. So, just all the busy schedules really got in the way. And, what I said earlier about the shows.
Why is Serpentine Dominion being billed as an ensemble rather than a band?
Well, it's really hard for us to be like a band where we're constantly putting out records. It was 2009, Mayhem 2009, when Adam asked me, and then Shannon, we talked together, decided we're going to do this band. So, think about how long ago that was. Think about our schedules. It's not like [the way] Cannibal Corpse is a band, we're a touring band; it's what we do. Look, it's a band obviously. We wrote the songs, we're doing a record. I guess that constitutes us being a band. But, it's not like a full time band. Who knows if it's a part time band? It's all up in the air right now. We just want to get the album out.
The reaction's been good. First song. We just want to get the album out, then we'll see. It's hard to really, with the commitments we already have with our main bands, it's hard to predict what's going to happen in the future as far as, you know, what we're going to do touring-wise. It's just really hard with our schedules. I mean, the bands, they're our jobs. I don't get up when I'm home, when we're done with all this touring, I'm not getting up in the morning going to work. Cannibal Corpse is my job. I don't know. I've seen people say supergroup, all that. It is a band. We don't want to just put the record out and never do anything it. It's just too early to tell with everybody's schedules and what not.
Adam D wrote the music. Jesse Leach, also from Killswitch Engage, wrote the lyrics. What makes the way they write a good fit for your voice?
This will be weird for some people, I originally was going to write lyrics and, I don’t know, I just haven't done it for so long. I’m just too rusty with it. We were touring and just a lot of things got in the way. I just, you know, I just been talking to Adam, he’s like, hey, I can just ask Jesse, man, you know, and I know Jesse is really talented and really good at writing and what not. So he said, what are some themes were we looking at. We gave him some themes and what not; he came up with awesome stuff. I think he originally thought that he wasn't going to be, it wasn't going to be known that he was you know, ghostwriting. He was going to be a ghostwriter, basically.
But no way, I want people to know he wrote because he's great. He's an awesome guy, he's a really talented singer and he's really good with lyrics. And really it's crazy because Jesse wrote the lyrics and then Adam got them and he was arranging them, but when I went on to do the vocals, me and him worked on them a lot. There are some things where he and I had ideas. Let's try this, let's try that, you know. It's great working with him, he’s totally flexible with all that stuff, you don't have to hear any mumbo jumbo. I mean, obviously he's got his opinion and I got mine but we work together to make the best patterns and things. Of course, he did most of that anyway. But, the things I wanted to change or whatever, I didn't have to argue and fight with him, you know what I mean? That's the best thing in the world, because obviously, that was the first time I worked with Adam, recording. And in any matter, actually, besides playing Mayhem fest, but I mean, stuff he wrote when he first sent me the demos, you know, I remember too that he sent me some stuff. And it was a lot of stuff and he's like I don't know about this and I was like dude, just put it in there, put whatever you write in there and it perfectly works.
Could you tell us what's different about your mindset and technique when you're recording vocals for something other than Cannibal Corpse?
It's kinda the same, though. I mean on this record, I'm singing like I do with Cannibal, there's probably some higher stuff. Maybe a little bit more than I do or have done with Cannibal the last few records. It's pretty much the same thing, you know. The most different thing I guess for the lack of a better term, the thing that is most different is probably just working with someone else. You know, Cannibal, we worked with a bunch of different guys, all awesome, recording wise.
I approach it the same way, pretty much, you know. I will say this, when I first went into first few songs from Serpentine Dominion, I hadn't really sang in a while. We, Cannibal had been off and we were about set to record you know Skeletal Domain and I hadn’t done that much so we went up there and first of all, my voice was feeling pretty rough. Then it seemed alright so I went home, you know, I did some other recording, I recorded a record with damn Voodoo Gods. You know I recorded my vocals with Andy LaRocque from King Diamond for that band. I went to Sweden and did that. And I actually did a second one after our last European tour that's going to be out some time after the Serpentine Dominion, I believe, but anyway and then I went back to finish up with Adam and my voice was 10 times different.
You could totally tell it was more vibrant, was way more powerful, I had been into the swing of things. You know it's easier to record when my voice is warmed up but after taking a lot of time off you know from not singing that well for a few months. And yeah, I could totally tell a total difference, it was more laid back on the original track that we had so we had to redo them all. It was only like three songs we done or four but yeah, me and Adam are listening to it like dude, these are night and day. Anyone would be able to tell a difference, you know, I can't see anyone even people who don't do this for a living would be able to tell a difference like almost one was like a demo and the other was like, okay, here's the professional version. So the mindset, it's the same, I mean, just different styles of writing, too, of course.
Rob, who's been writing a few songs with Cannibal lately, and the way he writes lyrics and raises the vocals are different than Alex or Paul. Obviously with Adam is different because the music on this is different. It's all music to me. I sing how I sing and I think I probably try to do a little more higher stuff on this to maybe set it a little apart from Cannibal. I'm not doing any clean singing. There's not too much to differentiate from this and Cannibal. Maybe, like I said, just the higher screaming stuff. There is actual singing on this record, though. Adam does it.
Have you talked about playing some shows and making more albums, or will Serpentine Dominion just be a one off project?
Now that the record is [coming] out, we've thrown around - I'm fairly certain Adam wants to. I want to, I know that Brian Slagel at Metal Blade - I'm certain that he would want us to play some shows. I don't want to just put this out and never do anything with it. Of course I'd like to do another record, just because working with Adam alone is a blast. It's awesome. We did it this time, and hopefully we can all come together and maybe write some lyrics and what not. Just me, him and Shannon would work together on it.
That's for the future. We gotta get this album out first and see what's going on, but there are no actual plans. There are no dates or anything like that in motion. But, the thought is there to do some shows to possibly tour, if that's feasible. It's too early to tell. Like I said, Cannibal - I just got home last Monday from Summer Slaughter. We're gonna take some time off and then we're gonna start writing sometime in the next few months, I guess. I don’t know what those guys are thinking as far as that but I would think they wouldn't wait too long. So we're gonna be recording sometime next year, I believe, if all goes well. So, somewhere in between that time, I'd assume, we'll see.
There's a lot of logistics we'd have to get into with a guitar player and a bass player. There are some things to work out. I don’t think the plan is to just put out the record and then ok here we go. At the very least, we'll do another one for sure. I would like to. I don’t want to speak for Adam or Shannon but I'm pretty certain they'd be into it. We're just excited to get this one out first. We'll see what happens, see how it goes, see how people react to it. Like I said, the reaction has been great on the first songs.
George, what can you tell us about a timeline with what's going on with Cannibal Corpse? What can we expect going into the end of the year into early 2017?
Those guys are going to be in writing mode, probably. Obviously, around Christmas time I'm sure everybody will take off, Christmas into New Year's and do their thing. I'm assuming those guys will probably sit at home and write and then start getting together and jamming the songs, showing each other the riffs and what not. The tentative plan right now is to record sometime next year, but there's no exact time for that. I don't have any details on that, there are no real songs written yet but I'm sure those guys have their ideas. Everyone's got their recording equipment at home. It's much easier to do things like that now than it used to be.
So, yeah, sometime next year I would say there could be a new Cannibal record, but that was the general idea that we had. We'd try to get one out by next year. Who knows, though. The future is fuzzy [laughs]. Nobody knows. We're taking our time off now, we just finished up Summer Slaughter. Great tour, great bands, great friends, great fans. Everybody who came out, thank you. Yeah, we're just gonna enjoy our time off for a while, I'll be home with the kids and the wife, spend our time with our families, relax for a while. I think we deserve it and earned it. Some time next year we'll probably do it all again, I guess. [laughs]
Thanks to George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher for the interview. Serpentine Dominion's self-titled album is expected Oct. 28 and can be pre-ordered via Amazon and iTunes. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show at this location.
Cannibal Corpse Albums Ranked
See Cannibal Corpse in 10 Bands That Were Banned in Countries