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Grilling with Gore: An Exclusive Interview with Cleveland’s Mutilation Barbecue

ANTIHERO: MUTILATION BARBECUE has transitioned from the remnants of Subtype Zero into its formidable entity within the death metal scene. How has the band’s origin influenced its current musical direction, and what elements from your previous experience have you carried into this new chapter?

DYLAN: I especially am a thrash lover. No matter what I do, the roots show in the riffs. The old-school influence opens the door for more catchy and violent high-energy riffs to make it to record.

MUTILATION BARBECUEANTIHERO: Your debut album presents a visceral blend of horror and savagery through its title and track names. Can you discuss the conceptual foundation behind ‘Amalgamations of Gore’ and how it reflects the band’s thematic and musical ambitions?

HARRISON: We just wanted a brutal record. With track names like, ”Carcass Compost” and “Skin Display” it’s pretty easy to assume what you’re getting yourself into. At the end of the day, we like to have fun with music and enact that through our live show.

ANTIHERO: You’ve cited influences from genre progenitors like Dying Fetus and Skinless to contemporary peers like Sanguisugabogg. How do these influences manifest in your music, and in what ways do you strive to carve out your unique sound within these established frameworks?

DYLAN: Our individual backgrounds as musicians provides us with more colors to paint our death metal soundscape. To me, our ability to improvise parts and sneak funky bass lines and jazz chords into the brutality is what allows us to stand out.

ANTIHERO: The album features a range of dynamics from blast beats to mid-paced stomps. Can you elaborate on your songwriting and arrangement process? How do you balance brutality with musicality to create something both aggressive and engaging?

HARRISON: For all of the songs on the album we did what felt right. Whether that be riding out a groove or going into say a faster section. A lot of ”Amalgamations Of Gore” wasn’t us questioning ourselves musically it was all based on feeling and pure energy.

ANTIHERO: Following several lineup changes, including a shift in your guitar and bass lineup, how have these changes influenced the band’s dynamic and sound on ‘Amalgamations of Gore’?

DYLAN: “Amalgamations” was recorded with the original lineup, so I played bass on this record. However, now being a one-guitarist band has allowed more freedom in our live shows to play off of each other—there’s no need for two guitarists to be playing the same riff if there isn’t a second guitarist.

ANTIHERO: Recording ‘Amalgamations of Gore’ yourselves before handing it over for mixing and mastering presents a deeply personal approach. Can you share insights into the challenges and advantages of this DIY recording process?

DYLAN: Trying to manage recording & producing the album on top of having your own parts to record was a handful. And while it wasn’t easy to remove myself from the project like I’d be able to working on someone else’s music, it allowed us to have a final say in how all of our parts sounded. We spent less money, so we had more time to pour into making sure everything was tight and feeling good.

ANTIHERO: Working with Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios brought a seasoned ear to your raw energy. How did Killingsworth’s mixing and mastering approach contribute to the album’s final sound?

DYLAN: To be perfectly honest, I had envisioned the record sounding different than the result we were given. Once it was out of our hands, it was really out of our hands. I would’ve liked to hear a punchier, more present bass guitar and a clearer mix, but the drum-heavy cranked mix is starting to grow on me.

ANTIHERO: Colter Masson’s cover art captures the chilling visual essence of your music. How did this collaboration come about, and what directions or ideas did you provide to ensure the artwork reflected the album’s themes?

HARRISON: We found Colter Masson through his work with “Nuclear Remains”. Scott (Maggot Stomp)  sent me his profile and I was immediately hooked. His unique style of surrealism caught my attention and I knew he would be perfect for the LP. The only direction we gave Colt was to try to incorporate a few songs that would be reflected through the art. Ultimately, he did just that. From skin being displayed to the tribe, to aliens eating guts, Colt summed up what ”Amalgamations Of Gore” is about.


ANTIHERO: Tracks like ‘Hive Mind Homicide’ and ‘Xenomorphic Organ Rearrangement’ suggest intricate Storytelling or conceptual depth. Can you discuss the thematic narratives or inspirations behind your lyrics?

CHRIS: So there isn’t a straight theme when it came to the album as a whole besides a compilation of fucked up ways to die. But in a sense “Amalgamations Of Gore” is a marathon of old goofy slasher films turned into music. Each track is filled with gory but yet goofy lyrics. Like Hive Mind Homicide is about a swarm of bees that murder an entire city, while Xenomorphic is about aliens dissecting you while you’re still alive.

ANTIHERO: With a reputation for explosive live shows, how do you translate the complex arrangements and intense energy of ‘Amalgamations of Gore’ to the stage? Are there any tracks you feel are particularly impactful in a live setting?

DYLAN: There isn’t a ton of translating that needs to happen between the studio and live. Now as a one-guitar band, I’m using a harmony pedal and some other tricks to fill out some parts. The riffs are complex but we’re performing them all as written. The raw intensity of that brings the heat up on stage without a doubt. “Autoanthrophopagy” is probably the hardest-hitting track live. It breaks down harder than any other song.

ANTIHERO: Since the release of your eponymous EP in 2021, how has the reception from fans and critics shaped your approach to ‘Amalgamations of Gore’? Were there specific elements of Feedback that influenced the album’s direction?

HARRISON: Most of the songs were written a little after the EP was out. Tracks like ”Abortion Ambulance” and ”Auto Anthropophagy” had been in the vault for a while. For our next time round, we plan on approaching our songs differently, prescribing more feelings than what’s on the album. No fans/reviews opinions had an impact on making our album.

ANTIHERO: Signing with Maggot Stomp for the release of ‘Amalgamations of Gore’ marks a significant step for MUTILATION BARBECUE. How has this partnership influenced the album’s production, promotion, and distribution?

HARRISON: Scott has helped us reach more people who most likely wouldn’t hear about this band for another 3 years. With getting more press, and sending record stores the album, he has helped us tremendously. Production-wise, Scott took the recordings and sent them off to Will at Dead Air Studios to mix/master.

ANTIHERO: Cleveland’s death metal scene is vibrant, with bands like 200 Stab Wounds paving the way. How do you see MUTILATION BARBECUE fitting into this community, and what contributions do you hope to make to the local and broader death metal scene?

HARRISON: All of us have grown up in this scene and couldn’t be more grateful for it. Every band is equally as important as the next and is a beautiful cycle to witness. For us, we actively all go to as many shows as we can and stay supportive of all heavy music. It’s a family.

ANTIHERO: With tours and festival appearances planned around the album release, what are your goals for these live performances? How do you prepare for the intensity of touring, and what are you most looking forward to?

DYLAN: I can’t wait to be on the road. The goal is to riff as hard as physically possible everywhere we go. Lots of practice and gear prep is a must before getting in the van, as to alleviate some of the chaos that naturally follows. But at the end of it, there’s nothing better than being able to rip sets and hang out with cool people and I look forward to doing exactly that.

ANTIHERO: Following the release of ‘Amalgamations of Gore,’ what are the next steps for MUTILATION BARBECUE? Are there already plans for future recordings, or will the focus be on promoting the current album and touring?

HARRISON: We are equally as excited to tour as we are to start recording again. We have so many ideas that have been flowing and can’t wait for everyone to see the next chapter of this band. We are coming to you.


Scott Martin

Photographer - California - Bay area

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