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Macabre Guitarist Corporate Death Discusses New Album "Carnival Of Killers," "Your Window Is Open" Video And Meeting Real Murderers

For as long as metal has existed, it's had a fascination with serial killers. Everyone from Jack The Ripper to Ed Gein to Richard Ramirez have found themselves further immortalised by the harder side of music. While some bands have touched on this subject, there are those which find these people so fascinating with endless material to write about, that most, if not all of their lyrics tell the gruesome details of the world's most wicked people and their deeds. One band who perhaps does this better than all others, would have to be Chicago's own, Macabre.

After an eleven year hiatus, this twisted trio are back with perhaps their most exciting album to date, "Carnival Of Killers." The songs released so far, "Lake Of Fire" and "Your Window Is Open" prove to be as varied as the cavalcade of killers which adorns the colourful front cover and with Nuclear Blast behind them, it seems that this could not only be their most enjoyable album, but their most successful too.

To find out more about the album, I put a series of questions to guitarist/vocalist Corporate Death and discovered why there's so many murderers in the lyrics this time, the visual concepts and meeting John Wayne Gacy among other subjects.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on your new album, "Carnival Of Killers." This is your first full length in eleven years? What was the reason behind such a large gap between albums?

Corporate Death: Thank you, we are happy to have a new release out for our 35th Anniversary as a band. I pretty much write music when I feel like it and that's kind of the way we've always done it. But when I get going I can go pretty fast on writing new songs. I never push myself when I feel like writing music, I do it when I come up with an idea, I write it down or try to figure the music out for it later. I have always kind of done it this way. I have periods when I really want to write songs, if I don't feel like doing it I don't force myself to write.

Oz: What would you say has changed between "Grim Scary Tales" and "Carnival Of Killers"?

Corporate Death: Well I think this new album shows a continuation of expanding upon musical ideas from over the years. Plus, I split up who we sing about. I wrote about some killers on this album that we already sang about in the past, then the other half of the album is about killers that we have never sang about before. I think this album also shows a progression of the Macabre sound. We really tried to do a lot of musical and vocal styles on this album, and I think we achieved that.

Oz: Why did you decide on a carnival theme for the title and artwork?

Corporate Death: I got the idea for the carnival cover from a painting John Wayne Gacy did for me. It is the best Gacy painting in the world, it has him on a pogo stick as a clown with a circus background.

Oz: In support of the album, you've made a music video for "Your Window Is Open". How much creative input did the band have when it came to the video and why did you decide to approach the subject of Richard Ramirez again after twenty five years?

Corporate Death: That's a good question. On this album I did new songs about some of the killers we’ve sang about in the past. I did a whole Dahmer album - a musical about Jeffrey Dahmer, and this is my way around doing a concept album on one guy. I can do different songs about different killers on different albums. There's no rules in writing music. We had Ryan Oliver direct the "Your Window Is Open" video and another one. We let him tell the story, and I love the job he did on both of them.

Oz: Obviously this album has a variety of lyrical subjects. What were you most excited to explore this time?

Corporate Death: The German song about Fritz Harrmann called Warte Warte, it is my 3rd Fritz song. This is a song I had several people tell me about, but I could never find it at any music stores living here in Chicago. It was a hit song in Germany. I wrote the other Fritz songs on prior Macabre albums. I finally found this song on YouTube. I had to do it!

Oz: How badly has the pandemic affected promotion for the album?

Corporate Death: I think coming out with this album late in the year is the best thing for us. Everything was delayed from this virus, giving us more time to promote the album and I love what Nuclear Blast has done to promote Carnival Of Killers thus far. We hope to tour next year sometime if it is safe to again.

Oz: I've read that the band was able to meet with some of the killers you've covered such as John Wayne Gacy. I imagine this was quite difficult to arrange. How were you able to accomplish this and who would you say was the most intimidating?

Corporate Death: I met John Wayne Gacy in death row. I did go to Dahmer’s trial but I didn't get to meet him. I was getting paintings from Gacy through the mail, then I wrote him to see if I could meet him. I was able to go there three times and even take photos with Gacy in prison. I was not intimidated; I would have kicked Gacys ass!!! It was a wild experience to sit in the room with one of these guys. I never condone these guys in my lyrics, they're evil and bad people. I call it creative storytelling; I tell their history in our music. It is the evil side of mankind. It's all factual, it’s real.

Oz: Finally, now that Macabre are back, what do you hope the future holds for the band?

Corporate Death: We hope our old fans and new fans will like our new record Carnival Of Killers. We hoped to play our new tunes touring around the world, we still do, the sooner the better!!!

Our website www.murdermetal.com will have all show info when touring is a reality again, until then you can always get the new album there or a shirt or whatever. We try to keep changing up what we offer and keep things interesting.

Macabre's new record "Carnival of Killers" will be released on 13th November via Nuclear Blast, available for pre-order here: http://nuclearblast.com/macabre-carnival

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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