Nobody can match George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher when it comes to headbanging. Being bested by his bandmate isn't the only reason longtime Cannibal Corpse guitarist Rob Barrett quit headbanging a few years ago, however, having revealed a number of reasons why in a new interview.

From the stage, Corpsegrinder routinely toys with the crowd, declaring, "Try to keep up with me... you will fail," in regards to his unmatched endurance for windmill headbanging. It's truly a spectacle to behold as the man they call "The Neck" does this night after night, tour after tour, year after year, decade after decade, even at 53 years old.

The 54-year-old Barrett doesn't see the need to keep on doing it though, acknowledging on the Riffhard podcast (hosted by Daath's Eyal Levi) that he started to tap out back in his 40s.

"You have to be aware of your abilities," admits Barrett (transcibed by Blabbermouth), "It's the same as an athlete — you don't see any championship athletes still doing it in their 50s at the level that they did at their 20s. So you really have to be smart about trying to maintain that level as long as you can."

Barrett, who was in the legendary death metal group from 1993 to 1997 and returned again in 2005, divulges that he stopped headbanging "four or five years ago" and that he had done it long enough.

READ MORE: Where Did the Term 'Death Metal' Come From?

"I just grandfathered myself in and I was, like, 'Hey, Tony Iommi ain't headbanging.' I think if your riffs are good enough, you don't need to prove yourself physically and visibly like that."

Onstage, he's surrounded by other vigorous headbangers as well, so "I just felt like I didn't need to do it anymore," he says, noting that he's a better guitarist live as a result. "Now I'm just focused on the guitar and not having to do something else along with it."

We'll often hear that musicians had to give up headbanging as the result of injury or prolonged damage to their body, but that's not the case with Barrett.

Visually, the guitarist confesses that it doesn't always look good onstage either.

"Sometimes, if you don't headbang at the right pace or something, it just doesn't look right, and I think I felt like I was getting to that point. I'd see videos and I'd be, like, 'Wow, I'm starting to look dumb doing that.' So I just stopped doing it," adds Barrett, who says he started to feel the fatigue of headbanging as he entered his 40s. "I was almost, like — not dreading it, but just, like, 'Fuck, here we go. I've gotta fucking headbang again.''

He also takes stock of Corpsegrinder's own furious headbanging and how that adds enough of a visual dynamic live. "When you've got Corpsegrinder next to you doing those crazy headspins, nobody's looking at me anyway," he reasons, "I'd rather be heard, not seen."

Cannibal Corpse in 2024

This spring, Cannibal Corpse will hit the road with headliners Amon Amarth and additional support acts Obituary and Frozen Soul. They'll be supporting their latest album, Chaos Horrific.

See all the upcoming dates here.

Best Death Metal Album of Each Year Since 1985

Almost four decades of brutality!

Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita

More From I-Rock 93.5