In 1995, death metal icons Cannibal Corpse made a major decision, that being to replace vocalist Chris Barnes with George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher.
During Barnes’ time in the band, he would help to create the first four Cannibal Corpse albums; since joining the band, Corpsegrinder has helped to create 11 Cannibal Corpse albums.
During a recent conversation with Pod Scum, drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz reflected on the band’s decision to replace Barnes.
He also ends up voicing how he feels that Corpsegrinder is the “better vocalist overall.” Here is everything Mazurkiewicz had to say about replacing Barnes, and that of the “Barnes” and “Corpsegrinder” eras of Cannibal Corpse (the following was transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“It’s crazy to think that we did that. And here we are bigger than ever. It’s a tough to pull off. 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. And here we are — Jeez, Barnes has been out of the band how long now? 25 years or so.
“But both eras, they mean something, of course. 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. He 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; there’s gonna be people talking about it. But that’s the history of the band. Whether you like it or not, or whether we like it or not, it doesn’t matter.
“He’s 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.
“It’s cool to be able to talk about it — a cool story that maybe a lot of bands wouldn’t be able to survive. And luckily we have been able to survive and, like I said, do better than we ever thought we would have, I guess, by having George in the band.”
Of the two vocalists, which one is your favorite? Chris Barnes or George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher?