USA Today's Live Chat With
Cannibal Corpse's Jack Owen
Thursday, March 22 (2003) 6 p.m. ET
It seems as though every year politicians find a new whipping boy (or girl) in the world of entertainment, from Frank Zappa to Blackie Lawless to Eminem. In 1996, then-Republican presidential contender Bob Dole cited the speed metal band Cannibal Corpse as one of catalysts for the overall decay in society's morals (as did Sen. Joe Lieberman a few years later). So what's it like being a pariah? Ask Cannibal Corpse guitarist Jack Owen.
- View the video of Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead from Live Cannibalism.
- Read a review of Cannibal Corpse's Live Cannibalism.
- Read a Biography of Cannibal Corpse's Jack Owen.
- Cannibal Corpse's Web site
Missed the live chat? Read the transcript below:
Oslo, Norway: Where do you feel the death metal scene stands today, in terms of recruiting new fans to the genre?
Jack Owen: You can only tell by the shows that we play. We have old as well as new fans coming in. We have 30 year olds and 12 year olds coming in. So that's always a good sign. As far as the scene today, it's coming back a little bit.
Fort Wayne, Indiana: In a world attmepting to institute morality, do you really care what some ignorant politican thinks about Cannibal Corpse?
Jack Owen: No. Usually any press for us is good press. I saw Bob Dole on the Tonight Show, and he got a standing ovation. If I was there, I'm not sure what I would have done. He tried to tear apart the music scene, but then again, he gave us exposure. It's a case of bad publicity being good for us.
Kiruna/ Sweden!!!!: Which Cannibal Corpse song is your favorite to play live? And which albums do you like and dislike the most?
Jack Owen: Favorite song would have to be "Gallery of Suicide". As far as albums, my least favorite would have to be "Butchered at Birth", my favorite is "Bloodthirst".
Belgium: Any plans on a new album already?
Jack Owen: We have eight songs done musically, and we're going to do a break to record in June. The album should be out around October.
NC, New Bern: How do you like Chris Barns' singing compared to Corpse Grinder's, Do you still talk to Chris and do you like Six Feet Under?
Jack Owen: Chris's singing compared to George's is kind of night and day. I think it's a power thing, since George has had so much power and direction, and Chris was more gutteral in his vocals. Six Feet Under is nothing I would listen to on a regular basis.
Richmond, VA: Would it be posible if eventually Cannibal Corpse would be doing very big touring festivals like OZZFEST for an example?
Jack Owen: We were offered Ozzfest a few years ago, but it was the first slot on the small stage, which meant we wouldn't have gotten much exposure. If we could get on the big stage, we'd probably do it.
Tampa,Fl: I saw you guys in Oct.2000 you guys have a great live sound. could you give me a run down on your set-up(ala effects,pick-ups,amps).Also thanks for taking the time to talk w/me at the show,The bands personality & talent is what makes you guys the best around.
Jack Owen: Cool. Thanks for the compliments. We try to hang out in the crowd because we're fans ourselves.
As far as setups, Pat likes Mesa/Boogie amplifiers, I usually use a Digitech preamp, and Pat uses EMG pickups. I like passive pickups a little better, such as Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio.
Naperville il: how did your band get to be signed? what did you have to do?i am in a band and i was looking for tips.
Jack Owen: The main thing that helped us was sending the label a videotape of our live show. The crowd reaction and our energy helped. You should send in three, maybe five songs.
brunswick, ohio: Does Goerge use any kind of vocal machine on his voice at all?
Jack Owen: Nope. No effects on vocals.
Belgium: How do you see Cannibal Corpse evolve in the future?
Jack Owen: We've just been evolving as songwriters from album to album, getting better musically, while maintaining the brutality we've always had.
Edinburg, Tx: How come the cannibal corpse "eats moscow alive" video was never released?
Jack Owen: There was a problem with the production, because the sound wasn't on a multitrack board, so we couldn't do anything with it. The main problem was the bass and drums.
Syracuse, New York: How do you feel about this whole ordeal? Do you like having people interfere with your music?
Jack Owen: The whole ordeal doesn't get nervewracking for us until we go to a country like Germany, where we can't play certain songs live.
Dublin, Ireland: Have Cannibal Corpse any plans to play Ireland this year, or ever again??? What did you think of us the last time you were here??
Jack Owen: We'd like to come to Ireland every European tour. I'm sure we'll get to Northern Ireland too at some point. We love Ireland.
dublin ,ireland: obviously bob dole wasnt very clever by picking on cannibal corpse because in turn it fueled your popularity,does it bother you that theres a serious lack of intelligence in politics in your country?
Jack Owen: Hahaha!
Sure. I voted, but I don't know why. Whoever I'm going to vote for probably won't win anyway. What can you do as far as politics is concerned? We aren't the norm, the average.
LaCrosse, WI: Jack, You guys are the best metal band out there!!!!!!!!! Why do you think metal music has always been a scapegoat for censorship advocates? From Ozzy to Slayer and now Cannibal Corpse!!!!!!!
Jack Owen: Not sure. As far as the lawsuits, it's just the parents trying to blame somebody for their kids' actions.
Arlington, VA: I really enjoyed Cannibal Corpse's cameo appearance in the Jim Carey movie, "Ace Ventura, Pet Detective." How was the band chosen to perform in the film? Was movie-making enjoyable and did you get to meet Mr. Carrey?
Jack Owen: It just stems for Jim Carrey being a fan, and having the Morgan Creek people call Metal Blade. They asked us to do it, and we jumped right on it. Met Jim Carrey on the set. He really is the freak.
Comment from Jack Owen: I'm not sure he likes us anymore.
Triel France: when will you go back to France?
Jack Owen: I would say around Christmastime for a headlining/festival tour.
Charleston, WV: Proper parenting is where a child should learn to differentiate from right or wrong, not music. Continue to entertain and express yourself. By the way, I am not a metal head.
Jack Owen: I agree.
Montreal, Quebec: Jack, you're conscious that you're band's lyrics are very controversial. How do you deal with all this?
Jack Owen: The lyrics, vocals and music go hand in hand. That's the way we planned it when we planned the concept of the band -- artwork, music, vocals, screaming guitars, abrasive lyrics.
Albany, Georgia: What album do you prefer that new fans purchase first?
Jack Owen: Probably "Bloodthirst". It's a good representation of what we're trying to achieve musically and production-wise.
Albany, Georgia: What do you think of bands such as Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, and Mudvayne?
Jack Owen: I don't listen to Manson or Mudvayne, but I do like Slipknot, just because they're so over the top. In all honesty, though, I haven't seen Mudvayne yet.
Arlington, Virginia: Thank you to USA Today for providing this rare opportunity and thanks to Jack for recognizing it's value to us. What do you think of the high-brow European death metal bands like Opeth?
Jack Owen: Pretty cool. I don't really get into the orchestrating keyboard kind of metal, but more power to them. Those types of bands all have musical merit.
Albany, Georgia: Are you a fan of any black or goth metal, or are you just a death metal type guy?
Jack Owen: I'm more of a guitar related music fan; thrash, speed, guitar rock. Anything with guitars up front. Don't bury it in keyboards!
San Francisco, Ca.: What did you think of the craziness in the Norway metal scene a few years ago, when you had black metal musicians burning churches, committing murders, etc. And how d you feel in general when someone tries to blame music - metal in particular - for a crime?
Jack Owen: As far as the whole Scandinavian black metal thing goes, I think they took the music a little too seriously and got carried away with personal vendettas. It was a matter of who was cooler, and after a while the music didn't matter.
Music is just another scapegoat, like blaming drugs, or blaming a dog for talking to you and telling you to kill people. A typical scapegoat situation.
Comment from Jack Owen: Thanks to all the fans around the world. We'll see you on tour in 2001-2002.