Thursday, March 15, 2018

Interview with Mark "Barney" Greenway (Napalm Death)

BB: Hello and welcome to Moldova.
Mark: Hello and thank you.

BB: Napalm death has been together for 37 years now, it’s quite a long time. Looking back how would you describe this journey and what’s the secret of the longevity?
Mark: It’s a microcosm of life itself so there’s been many good, sometimes bad, sometimes average experiences, but it’s been something that 99% of people will never do, so for that we have to be thankful and of course to be able to make music like napalm death with your own ideas is great, it’s not something to be taken easily, it’s a very big thing actually.

BB: As a band, you have an impressive amount of releases over the years. From where do you get the inspiration and what drives you to go on?
Mark: We just seem to have the impetus to carry on. Of course there are days when it’s not such fun for various reasons but generally speaking we always have inspiration and we seem to get results for ourselves that make it worthwhile in terms of creativity, that pushes you forward. In the 90s was difficult for the genre so what we decided that we wanted to just carry on and we did, when not so many people were turning up for concerts, then we decided: let’s just carry on, a lot of bands went but we stayed. 

BB: Regarding the napalm death’s lyrics, the human and animal rights is an important subject to you. Do you think that the perception and the awareness of the society about it has been changed over the past 20 years?
Mark: I think there’s a lot more recognition now. The animals are sentient beings , of course they are, it’s obvious but I think there’s a lot more realization that you wouldn’t behave to human beings the way human beings behave sometimes to animals. So what’s the difference? Ok they can’t communicate in the same way that we can but they certainly have the nervous systems on their ability to feel pain, we know this.

BB: Punk is a big lyrically and musically influence for you. What does punk culture mean to you?
Mark: Well it means being free to express ideas and choosing making your own choices, not being told by somebody else what to do or how to style the band. Independent thought is always our kind of goal. Also then music, punk music, hardcore punk from the mid 80s to late 80s.

BB: I’ve noticed that you do really enjoy the live shows. Despite the long tours and the tiredness you put a lot of energy on the stage. How important are live performances to you?
Mark: My attitude is : you’ve got to make it the best it can be. If you don’t - you’re cheating the people that coming, because people don’t have to come and pay to see a concert though, they can go and do something else, so surely you make it as good as you can.

BB: How the WINTER ASSAULT TOUR is going so far?

Mark: The Winter Assault Tour has been great, Eastern Central Europe it’s been fun, Czech which we’ve done many times, Ukraine, now here in Chisinau, after Romania and then to finish off in Hungary. 

BB: What are the Napalm Death’s plans for the near future?
Mark: We’re still working on next album, next studio album that will come when it comes and then we got just some touring lined up before the end of the year.

BB: Have you ever imagined how would your life have been if you were not a part of napalm death?
Mark: Well I started off as an engineer that’s what I was doing in car industry so probably would have done that until machines took over the jobs.. but there are many things, I’ve always been a person that in life I feel that I want to do several different things, not just one thing so whenever napalm death is over for me or maybe the other guys then I will look to do something else...

BB: Can you recommend to our readers a few of your favourite books?

Mark: I actually read a lot of soviet history, that’s my favorite subject, well that’s what I want to do…I would love to be like a historian soviet, you know, academically. There’s one on North Korea that I’m reading right now, which examines the psychology of North Korea, not necessarily the thing that everybody already thinks that they know but the psychology, what makes people that way, I can’t remember the name of the book I must be honest. I read a "Mitrokhin Archive" which is actually a book of KGB, all the agents that were in the KGB are all listed in this book. There’s a book called "Stasiland" which is about East Germany, which is more light, less technical details but more about the experience of living in East Germany during the soviet era which is pretty interesting. It’s more aimed at casual readers, it’s not a very cold history book but it’s really good read actually.

BB: Do you have any final words for those who will read our intervierw?
Mark: Thanks, it’s nice to be in Moldova, thanks to people supporting us and I realized that this concert happen because several people got together and it’s actually quite humbling to discover that.

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