Enlarge Cannibal Corpse guitarists Erik Rutan (left) and Rob Barrett (right). Photo Credit: Dylan Duncan for MetalSucks

Cannibal Corpse’s Rob Barrett Believes Erik Rutan Is “the Better Guitar Player” in the Band

  • Axl Rosenberg

Cannibal Corpse’s Rob Barrett has engaged in arguably the greatest act of humility possible for a musician: he has asserted that another member of his band plays his instrument better than he does.

Eclectic Arts recently spoke to Barrett about his new co-guitarist in Cannibal Corpse, Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, ex-Morbid Angel). Rutan produced five of the band’s last six albums — including their forthcoming Violence Unimagined — meaning he’s basically been the sixth member of Cannibal Corpse for the past fifteen years anyway. When the group needed someone to replace Pat O’Brien, Rutan was the natural choice. So, unsurprisingly, Barrett says Rutan has been “a great fit,” and that he Cannibal Corpse’s newest member “respect each other”:

“We’ve been friends for so long, and I always thought, like, ‘Wow, man. It would be cool to do a project with Erik some day.’ It was always just in the back of my mind that it would be really cool doing something with him instead of just working with him on recording stuff. And now we’re in a band together. So, yeah, it’s just a great fit.

“…I’m not intimidated by him at all. I respect him as a guitar player, and I think we work well together. I respect his opinion, he respects mine, so I think we’re both benefiting off of playing in a band together, ’cause we respect each other.”

Then Barrett really went the extra mile in praising his new bandmate:

“I will add that he’s definitely the better guitar player — I won’t shy away from saying that — but it is what it is. We both have different things to offer. I’m not the best guitar player, but I think my strong point is songwriting. So that’s where I come in.”

I’ll leave it to the peanut gallery to debate whether or not Barrett’s assessment of his guitar skills vs. Rutan’s is accurate. I just find Barrett’s modesty to be, I dunno, charming. Which may be the first and last time anyone ever describes anything Cannibal Corpse-related with that particular adjective.

You can listen to the entire interview below.

Violence Unimagined, Cannibal Corpse’s fifteenth full-length studio album, will be released on April 16 via Metal Blade. You can check out the first single, “Inhumane Harvest,” at the bottom of this post, and pre-order the album here.

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