Mitch Harris is always an interesting man to talk too and on this particular interview he seemed especially tuned in. With a unique view on life, I could listen to him ponder the nature of reality all day!
Interview by Dustin Griffin From December 2014 Vandala Magazine READ MORE ARTICLES
So how have you been Mitch?
Mitch: In transitional phases and been positive. I’m excited for the new Napalm Death record coming out in February. There’s a whole list of stuff coming out, everything is crazy as usual. Life is exciting. It’s hard to keep up with, but it makes life interesting.
So how have you been Mitch?
Mitch: A lot of people think Napalm Death should have ended, it’s been in so many various forms. It is what it is, there’s no limit on how long it can last. Musically speaking it’s come full circle. It’s reflective of what we’ve done, who we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. When that runs out there’s other things that we might do. But at this point there’s a lot of good shit happening. I’m proud to be a part of something that’s lasted longer than I ever thought possible. It’s like a marriage, you don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s always obstacles on the day to day. You know how it is with industry shit. We just do what we do. We’re not phased by the day by day. We work well together and support each other. We’re like brothers. Sometimes we fight and take our frustrations out on each other, but like brothers the next day we have to see each other at breakfast and it’s all good. It’s like a family. It is what it is. See you in February when the new shit comes out! We’ve got a whole bunches of places to play that we haven’t been to yet and we’re just going to take it one step at a time.
So the new stuff already been scheduled for February?
Mitch: I think so! It depends on all the industry shit. We delivered in time for a release early in the new year, hopefully before the US dates. Nothing more fun than playing a whole bunch of new shit that nobody knows!
Tell me about the new stuff , what’s it going to be called?
Mitch: I don’t know if they released the name yet. So I’m not going to say. But I will say the initials are A P E M. You couldn’t figure it out, not for 200 million dollars! It’s about surviving in this time. Musically it’s probably the most extreme thing we’ve done. There’s a lot of nostalgic parts, but also a lot of things we haven’t done. Hopefully it will be interesting. It’s not standard. Each song has a very different feel to it. I don’t know if it has anything in common with Utilitarian in terms of songs, approach, or production. But it’s heavy as f*ck and it’s fast and intense. It’s not one dimensional by any means. There’s a lot of songs, we record 24 songs and that doesn’t fit on an album. Who wants a f*cking seventy minute Napalm Death album? It should be a double album if at all, but it never works out that way. There’s a lot of songs, I don’t know what we’re going to do with them. We try to wrap them into the album so that it flows and the songs complement each other as you go from one to the next. I’m really happy with the guitar sound. There’s lots of crazy vocals. The lyrics as usual talk about current events. We’re aware of where we’re going.
Mitch: There’s a few bits. After I did Menace suddenly I could do something that sounds like Menace on a Napalm record. There’s a few magic moments that did or didn’t work out for different reasons. We tried a few things. Personally I like clean thing but I wouldn’t want to do that too much with Napalm. It’s off the wall though. As long as we’re enjoying it and getting some stimulation and are happy with the arrangement and dynamics. It’s hard to have dynamics, when you’re playing at certain speeds especially. Somehow it works though…
What are your plans with Menace?
Mitch: We’ve been talking about doing shows for a long time. The Napalm schedule has been busy. There’s been so much stuff that it’s impossible to do anything. There’s been a lot of stuff outside the band too. Once things calm down I’d like to do something depending on schedules. It has to happen, it would be a shame if it didn’t, after all that shit. Derek the drummer is so into it, he has a vision of what we can do and make it stand out in a way that tells a story. Nick the guy who played strings is so excited. The people involved really feel it, so hopefully we can get together and do it. Half the people are in other bands though and live in different parts of the world. It doesn’t matter who we are and where we are, we just connect and take it to the next level. I like playing different kinds of music. The response was good and I expected far less, even some backlash.
Do you have any plans to chill out with Napalm to do Menace?
Mitch: Napalm has a lot of stuff going on. Napalm is my priority, I try to make it work with family and all of that shit. Whatever it is we support each other.
The first time I interviewed you, you said Menace was “the best that it could be”
Mitch: At that time and place yes. I feel completely different about it now. I got that off my chest and now I feel like I’m ready the next stage whatever that is. I haven’t had a chance to focus and really move forward in that direction. I can feel it and see it. It started and now it’s kind of a clusterf*ck. Once I start it it’s going to be hard. If we don’t tour the thing will just disappear. It kind of already has in a way. It’s been months, some people have had babies since then! That’s going to change your life and make you forget about that shit. I haven’t heard it in so long, it’s weird.
Can you tell me more about this upcoming US tour? What’s the plan with that?
Mitch: There’s Voivod and Exhumed. I suggested it and they were like “Damn that’s a good idea” There’s some other bands whose names I forgot. But those bands have been working doing their own magic across the scene. I feel bad not knowing the name. It’s going to be crazy to keep up with all this shit. I met some people and everyone’s psyched. Voivod’s set yesterday was awesome. It should be worth seeing.
Any final comments?
Mitch: For anyone who follows what we do. Thank you for taking the time and listening to us. As vague as it is… I’m pretty vague today. Some people hear it and I might as well be talking to thin air. I like to hear what people think, I like to read reviews, be it positive or negative. I like to see what people think and which songs they like and why and how they generate interest. For all those people who bought or downloaded records, I don’t give a shit, as long as the message gets out there, that’s what it’s about. Somehow we’ve reached a lot of people over the years. It’s impossible to see how far it spans or stretches or what happens in the next ten years. We’re part of a generation that broke down a lot of barriers. Things became accepted. After a while that becomes the norm, so we always push boundaries in a different way. It’s weird, we’ll see what happens in the next few years!
Napalm Death will be on tour starting January (Dates HERE)