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Barney Greenway Napalm Death Interview

01 Oct 2017 // An interview by terry666

We’re talking with Barney Greenway who with Napalm death and the assistance of Valhalla touring is bringing their Campaign for musical destruction tour down to Auckland October the 4th.

How are you going? Are you looking forward to getting back down to New Zealand?

Yeah mate can’t wait both Australia and New Zealand. It’s not something you do all the time and it’s a long way to travel and it’s quite expensive to get down but I’m excited I’m real excited can’t wait actually.

For someone who has never been to a Napalm death show what can one expect?

It’s like getting a vicious beating only sonically not physically. That’s the general sonic vibe but then of course by contrast the lyrics very very pro human being, peaceful, very full of ideas of equality and tolerance. So it’s quite the paradox as music goes. I’ve always believed you should play each gig as if it was your last and for a band like Napalm that has such a savage sound you just got to go for it you can’t mess around.

I have seen you guys play twice before and you exert a huge amount of energy onstage is there any key to you keeping in shape for that?

My body tends to take care of itself anyway because I have a Vegan diet so that always helps. On gig days I don’t partake of any alcohol not that I do much anyway. It’s about going through each day knowing that you have to do the gigs so you do everything to try and keep yourself at 100% for the gig. People don’t have to pay to come and see the gig they could go do something else instead so I think it’s important to give it your absolute best especially when you come down to places like New Zealand it doesn’t happen every 5 minutes so you want to leave an impression you don’t want to a half arsed show and you leave and it’s going to be 2-3 years again before and they think I’m not going to bother going and seeing them again. Every show has got to count.

What are the things that you love and hate about touring?

The most obvious one is getting to see things like for example the beaches of Perth, being able to drive through the New Zealand country side between gigs and seeing that beautiful lush grass that grows on the hills that makes it look like a pool table. Theirs a multitude of different sights and sounds and smells that you can get from being on the road that if your life was to go in another direction you probably wouldn’t see. You would live and die without seeing any of that without experiencing any of that stuff so that has to be first and foremost. Then as much as we have been talking about going out every night and giving it your upmost hopefully people really like it and the feedback is always great, positive words. You just have to remember to keep yourself stimulated and by that I mean keeping your brain ticking over. Everybody does it in different way but I always take books. I always take a bag of books with me. That helps me a lot if I’m not able to say meet up with some friends in certain towns you have to have a plan b if you like to keep your mind active.

This leads into my next question which is your top 3 items you take away on tour with you?

A book is essential. Sweat bands for me. I F*$%ing sweat my balls off every night on stage I need those bands to alleviate the perspiration. My water bottle as well I have my own water bottle with a filter on it because I am trying to not drink bottled water because bottled water is not a nice concept. Firstly environmentally and otherwise, so I just try to drink tap water where it’s doable.

What are your current top 2 got to albums that you are listening to at the moment?

To be honest I can’t really give you anything new because I haven’t really listened to anything new in recent times I have been preoccupied with other things. I’ve been listening to a band from Japan called Systematic death discography which is really rather good I would definitely recommend that band. I been listening to this guy sorry I can’t remember his full name but I got a Scottish folk album which is really interesting.

What would you consider one of your career highlights so far?

I would say one of them would be going down to South Africa with the ANC after Apartheid. I like to think spreading some positive thoughts in a country that was very very deeply wounded by segregation. It was nice to go down there and give our perspective on it and emphasise the importance of people being equal no matter who you are, what your skin colour is what your sexuality or gender is. I really felt quite honoured to do that. It was also quite strange and quite nasty actually because of the tension coming from some of the ultra-conservative Afrikaans. Some people were not into the notion of the country becoming equal so they were….I’m not saying all of them just some of them.  It was tricky.

Could you please give us some words of advice for young musicians?

Number One, I would say is to always be willing to take advice, but if you think something’s not quite right when you have already taken it into consideration don’t do it. So always be open but also live and die by your decisions. Number Two Don’t expect the world on a plate but if your think your being taken advantage of or ripped off don’t be afraid to say so.  Number Three, Just enjoy yourself. I can only speak for myself but I got into music because of the love of A the music and B the ethos you know what Napalm is. Whilst you have to run your band in certain ways I couldn’t do it as getting your band out there I couldn’t do it as a business concern it wouldn’t work for me. Enjoy the organic nature of your art. I think you will get a lot out of it if you bear that in mind.

Interviewer: Terry McIntosh


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