The Initial Musical Inspiration for Cannibal Corpse Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz? Kiss and Polka

Polka. It’s the secret, unspoken influence that has laid the groundwork for all of heavy metal. At the Gates’ 6/8 timing with the snare on the 2, 4, and 6? Totally polka. Those slow, trudging “elephant riff” sections of songs? They make you sway in exactly the same fashion that you’d swing a beer stein while listening to, that’s right, polka. And Cannibal Corpse drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz wouldn’t be where he is today without his polka-playing uncle.

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Okay, fine, maybe he would have found his way behind the drum throne either way. And yes, it’s not like Paul enjoyed that fine Bohemian music- unsurprisingly it was heavy metal that inspired him to actually sit down on that throne. But that throne wouldn’t be there in the first place without polka. Let’s remember that the next time you’re at a cultural festival talking shit on the tuba player.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.