Metal Blast: The band is known for political messages in its albums. Is that the case with [the forthcoming NAPALM DEATH album]”Utilitarian”?
Barney: Basically, it’s a philisophical theory that has a hundred different interpretations, so it’s not just one thing. It can mean, on the most basic level, the acheivement of total happiness by any means. Happiness being subjective, it could be anything, you know, but it also could mean that “good” actions makes for “good” consequences. On a wider scope, if everybody does that, then in theory the world becomes a better place, and negative things become minimal. That’s the meaning of it, and what I wanted to do was draw a parallel, and when it comes to myself, I’m not sure whether I’m a utilitarian or not. What I do see, a part of it is that, as a person, I live quite ethically. I make my decisions on how I live based upon if something might have a negative impact, I generally don’t do it, because I don’t want to cause them any kind of pain. Of course, when you sort of live ethically, one of the things that you have to deal with that is a trait for everybody is self-doubt, and I go through periods of self-doubt: “Why am I doing this?” you know, “Why can’t I just go through life doing what people do and just live the way I can and forget everything else?” That’s what I try to do, and try to bring it to a conclusion by saying that whatever the actions you should always persevere, because that sort of ethical living is a lower form of protest. There are some forms of protest that involve going out in the streets and showing your discontent, but you can also protest in your own individual ways, and I think if you lose that kind of low-level protest, then you leave a gap, basically, and you get the very things you were always against that can take more of a hold and create more problems. I guess it’s the analysis and conclusion to try and stick to what you feel needs to be done. With the utilitarian thing, I didn’t want to just do a descriptive of it and say, “Yeah, I’m a utilitarian and this is what…” you know, it’s not doing that. It’s bringing a parallel from it and just using it as a reference point. And the paradox is, of course, that a utilitarian is promoted by very human people, animal-rights people… but sort of the total happiness is used by very ruthless people who want power and possessions, because that is their total happiness, even if it’s at the expense of other people. Right there there’s two very different reference points.