By Dr. Abner Mality

It was just after midnight and I was having a braunschweiger and tofu sandwich in the morgue. Finally, the ghouls brought in the stiff I was expecting, zipped up tight in a body bag. I checked the tag to make sure…

Name of Deceased: Chris Reifert
Occupation: Singer of death metal band AUTOPSY
Age:  47
Condition: All messed up

I unzipped the body bag. Yeah, it was Chris Reifert, all right. What a mess! Obligingly, the rotted corpse of the celebrated drummer/vocalist of Autopsy sat right up and grinned. Now my interview could begin! For a decayed zombie, Chris is talkative and humorous. We speak of the latest Autopsy atrocity “Skull Grinder” and many other macabre subjects. If he decides to eat me, I hope somebody remembers to play the tape recorder…

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES:  Hail, Chris! It’s been almost 30 years since Autopsy was conceived. What keeps you guys so sick and angry after all these years?
CHRIS REIFERT: Hail yourself! Yep, it's been a good handful of years indeed. I have no idea why we keep doing this stuff....must be fun or something. Haha! 
WC:  Since reforming a few years back, you’ve kept a very steady stream of material coming.  Does it get progressively easier for you guys to write?
CR: It pretty much stays consistent I'd say. We love writing and recording new music, so that's a good motivating factor. If it was too much of a labor to come up with this madness, you'd probably hear a lot less from us. Lucky you, huh? Haha!
WC:  You’ve thought of just about every conceivable way to kill and mutilate people in your lyrics. Do you have “kill sessions” where you toss around new and innovative ways to slaughter people?
CR: No, I'm sure that works for some bands, but we like to come up with different themes, not just infinite ways to kill people. Little stories to curl the hair on your toes is more of where we come from. We don't want to be predictable when it comes to lyrical content. It's good to dig a bit deeper than that for us.
WC: You’ve pretty much marked out the Autopsy style and seem super comfortable with it. When you quit worrying about “progression”, is it like having a huge weight off your back?
CR: I have no idea what that would be like since we never tried to be progressive when it comes to Autopsy. We've always stuck with what we do best. We like the band to be dependable, but not obvious. We're not gonna get experimental on you, but we're not gonna recycle or repeat ourselves either.
WC:  Do any of you guys have any side projects where you can maybe do things that wouldn’t be allowed in Autopsy?
CR: Yeah, I play guitar and do vocals in a punk/HC band called Violation Wound. It's a blast and we have some releases out already. Eric plays guitar in a band called Necrosic, but it's straight ahead death metal. We're keeping pretty busy, I'd say.
WC: Was there anything on “Skull Grinder” that might make it a little different from past Autopsy releases? I notice there was a ton of wild soloing throughout.
CR: Wild soloing is always something you can find on our records. Danny and Eric are no strangers to tearing up the molten lead jams! Otherwise, it's an Autopsy record. What else can I say?
WC: Speaking of solos, Autopsy’s guitar solos always seemed to have a kind of bluesy feel to them as opposed to the real technical stuff you get in most death metal. Would you agree that even death metal has roots in the blues?
CR: Yeah, basically everything rockin' stems from that. Danny and Eric grew up with rock 'n roll since there wasn't metal yet when they were kids. Except for Black Sabbath, that is. They like to play with more feeling than flash for the sake of it. 
WC: You’ve got one of the toughest jobs in music….drummer and lead singer. Has this become second nature or is it something you have to work very hard at?
CR: I've been doing it for almost 30 years, so it's not something I need to think about much at this point. It takes lots of stamina, but as long as we rehearse enough, it's no problem at all.
WC:   You’ve got another great cover from Wes Benscoter. Do you guys give him specific instructions or just let him go wild and see what he comes up with?
CR: This time around we just let him run with it. We gave him zero input whatsoever....what you see on “Skull Grinder” is all his idea. We didn't feel the need to suggest or change a thing!
WC:  I’m from the Chicago area and you’ve had some great shows here. Any specific memories of Chicago gigs?
CR: We've played Reggie's three times now and it's such a fun and all around badass place to play! Everything about playing there is a great memory, from the killer bands that we played with to the awesome people who came to the shows. We know it's gonna be a blast when we play there!
WC:  I know you’ve played with the guys in Cardiac Arrest and to me they seem to be the closest to Autopsy of any band in the States. Anything to say about the Cardiac dudes?
CR: Cool dudes and a killer band! It's always a pleasure to share the stage with 'em....fuck yeah!
WC: Do you think there will ever be a revival of the Abscess band? Or maybe a re-evaluation of their legacy?
CR: No, Abscess has run its course. It was a wild ride to put it mildly and I love everything we ever did. We had lots of great times and made lots of insane music. It was quite an insane experience from beginning to end!
WC:  How would you express the legacy of Autopsy?
CR: We play death metal the way we feel it should be played and that's that!
WC:   Any live plans behind  the “Skull Grinder” release?
CR: We're playing the Netherland Deathfest in February, but that's all we have booked at the moment. We'll see what happens as the year rolls on, but I'll bet something else cool will come up.
WC:  If you could have dinner with any 3 people from history, who would they be?
CR: Popeye, Jughead Jones and Wonder Woman. You never said they needed to be real people, after all. Good choices, eh?
WC:   What was the last release you got just because you wanted to check the band out?
CR: Can't think of any off the top of my head. Normally I do my homework before buying an album, but sometimes I take a chance on a band I've never heard. Hhmmm....
WC:  Whats the last live gig you went to just because you wanted to see the band?
CR: Probably Voivod. And they always kill it live!
WC:   In all the history of Autopsy, is there a “Spinal Tap” moment where things went haywire that you’d like to share with us?
CR: Not really, surprisingly. Shit goes wrong sometimes of course, but it's usually amps breaking down or something like that. Nothing exceptionally comedic or anything like that unfortunately. Haha!(Sorry…can’t believe that with this crew!—Cynical Mality)
WC:  Last words for all the coffin bangers out there?

CR: Yyyyeeeaaaarrgghhhh!!!! That counts, right?