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Earache’s Digby Pearson Hates Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway

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Barney Greenway
Photo credit: Metal Italia’s Flickriver

Earache Records head honcho Digby Pearson doesn’t update his Ask Earache blog nearly as often as he ought to, but the quality’s still there whenever he does and today’s post is no exception. The reader-submitted question, in so many words: who are the best and worst personalities Digby’s worked with over the years?

Digby lists plenty of nice fellows in the “best” category (Tomas Lindberg, Trey Azagthoth, and Ol Drake among them), has some interesting words to say about Glen Benton, shares a funny story about having to sell the guys in Clutch on the value of working with a producer and talks about how the label’s early-’90s deal with Sony soured many of their relationships. But the most interesting part of the article is, naturally, some of the shit he’s got to say about legendary spats with Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway and The Haunted’s Peter Dolving. On Greenway:

I’ve never had a pleasant time dealing with Napalm Death’s  Mark “Barney” Greenway. We supported him and his band for over a decade, investing eye-wateringly huge sums of money into his career. It’s quite possible he was never even aware of this fact, as his bumbling manager Mark Walmesley dealt with everything for him – including all his financial affairs I suspect- on a daily basis.

The basic problem stems from the fact Barney was not involved with the explosive first 2 albums by Napalm Death so he completely missed out on the feel-good factor which came from a brand new band and label both blasting-off from obscurity. He had no reason for any goodwill towards me or Earache because he walked into an already successful band. Likewise I never actively chose to sign the dude, he was the bands roadie,  he was the Benediction singer, suddenly drafted into the role of singer of a successful band,  and was obligated to sign into an existing contract, not one of his choosing.

Barney did willingly ink deals with Earache twice more in the 90s though. The band’s slow gradual loss of fanbase during their groove-grind phase could have proved fatal, but Earache worked tirelessly behind the scenes to prevent Napalm Death splitting, quiting or becoming a totally spent force- for very little gratitude I might add. Even Barney himself jumped ship from Napalm to join ENT at one point. It was not a happy camp during those latter Earache years. His enmity to Earache is legendary and grudges are held, for the most trivial of reasons, for an inordinate length of time.

Thems are not some friendly words. Read the rest here, including Digby’s beef with Dolving, Mick Harris’ childish temper tantrums and an over-zealous roadie demanding a $2 million advance for Entombed. This is the stuff great blogs are made of!

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