For close to two decades, Cannibal Corpse has influenced the music world with their brand of gore-filled death metal. They have converted many metal fans into rabid faithful Corpse nuts. For me, Cannibal Corpse was a gateway into the realm of death metal. The band helped invent the sound of death metal; never straying from a fight, Cannibal Corpse has overcome controversy about their lyrics, album artwork and has been censored just about everywhere. They are currently touring in support of their newest record, Kill, which is one of their best. I was originally planning on interviewing vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, but in a quick change of hand I got to talk to one of the founding members, drummer PM: Mazurkiewicz, before the band stopped in Salt Lake City on Nov. 22. For guys who play music that is about murdering and mutilating people, they have a lot of class and ultimately admit that the subject matter of their work is only art, and should be perceived as such. Just think of it as a horror flick in musical form.

SLUG: With so many songs to choose from when you go on tour, how do you create the set list?
Paul Mazurkiewicz: We have 10 CDs out now, so we want to play songs from all of them. We feel every CD is no more important than the last. We really like Kill a lot and it is doing really well, sales wise. We’re doing five songs off of the record just to promote it, and then we kind of pick and choose. Obviously there are some songs that are just staples for us that we have to play, and we try to mix it up here and there and play songs that we haven’t played in the last couple tours.

SLUG: Do you have a personal favorite that you like to play?
PM: Myself, I like all of them. I really like “Make them Suffer” lately; I think it is a great song off the new CD that flows really well. “Hammer Smashed Face” is a fun song to play because you know so many fans are waiting for that song and when we tell them that we are playing it they go nuts. It is really cool to see the energy that comes from a song like that.

SLUG: So Kill is the first album without guitarist Jack Owen. Why did he leave?
PM: He put out a big statement back when he quit the band basically saying that he didn’t want to do it anymore. It was a moving on kind of thing. It was like, ‘hey, if you are unhappy and you are not into it anymore, well then you ought to move on.’ I think that it’s the only fair thing you can do for both parties. Music is an art and a very creative type of medium. I think that if you are not into it you have to do what you are into. He did that and then we got somebody that wanted to be in the band again, so we got Rob Barrett, which gave us a little bit of continuity because he was on two of our previous CDs.