It’s tough when age catches up with bands that have built their rep on playing fast. Most hardcore punk groups from the early days of the scene are lucky to still be around, a few more are lucky to be still playing at 1/3rd the speed of their heyday and much less are lucky to still be relevant. Fortunately for Napalm Death, the group didn’t settle for “hardcore” and are the forefathers of grindcore and still probably as relevant as their heyday in the late 80s and early 90s.
While many of their fellow founders of grindcore’s blazing fast burst of anger trademark sound have bit the dust or rely on quick reunion tours, Napalm still keep trekking on the road like its their last gig and remain fast enough to put most of the kids to shame. While the elitists may tout the resumes (and ignore the cashgrab reunions) of Carcass and Repulsion, Napalm Death will likely outlive them both in catalog and tours. Just recently they headlined a loud and lethal lineup at the Oakland Metro Operahouse with Bay Area locals Exhumed, Attitude Adjustment and Impaled plus crossover favorites Municipal Waste. I caught up with vocalist Barney Greenway to get his 2 cents on Napalm’s longevity, putting together a set list when you’ve got a back catalog that stretches 25 years and the outside the box influences that grindocre bands use for inspirations.