Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway Responds to Harsh Words From Earache Records Founder
Earache Records founder Digby Pearson has gained the respect of many metalheads by signing some of extreme metal’s most legendary bands, such as Carcass, Morbid Angel, At the Gates, Deicide and of course, Napalm Death. Although Napalm Death and Earache Records shared a successful business partnership at one point, Digby recently took some jabs at Napalm vocalist Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway. Reacting to some harsh words thrown at him, we recently got to experience Greenway’s retort during an exclusive interview.
The initial verbal assault began on the ‘Ask Earache‘ blog when a fan asked Digby about the best and worst personalities he had worked with over the years. After singing the praises of Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates, Disfear) and Troy Azagthoth (Morbid Angel) among others, Digby addressed the ‘worst personalities’ side of the question:
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 band’s 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.
On Oct. 28, we had the opportunity to speak with Greenway before Napalm Death’s Connecticut co-headlining show with Municipal Waste. After bringing up the topic of Digby’s harsh words, Greenway offered an in-depth response about Digby, which was less than sterling. Greenway says that he in fact never had a personal manager, that Digby never pumped an unusually large amount of money into Napalm Death and that the Earache Records founder has not come through with contractual obligations in the past.
See Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway’s full response in our exclusive video below and stay tuned for our full interview with the booming Napalm Death vocalist.