the young musician Chuck Schuldiner baptized his band with the
name Death 15 years ago, he could not foresee that his band would
become the figurehead of a metal-genre with the same name. Where
most of the other pioneers kicked the bucket or drastic changed
their musical course, Chuck resolute holds on to his principles.
Perservere, is the slogan, as the new title reveals, yet he doesn't
repeat himself. Not on "The Sound Of Perserverance" with which
he closes a period of deadly silence.
"I hardly can wait for the
moment the cd goes in the shops", the 31 years old guitarist
lets us know with an enthousiasm as if it concerns his first album
instead of his 7th. "I'm very satisfied with the record, yet
I'm curious of what the audience will think of it, it's an exciting
time!" The musician somewhere along the way got the name
"Evil-Chuck" and the wildest stories are told about him. He should
be unmanageable and capricious, yet again to me Chuck absolutely
doesn't live up to that image. On the contrary, he is very talkative,
friendly and enthousiastic.
"It has been quiet for
a long time 'round Death" admits the musician, "much
too long, and I'm glad to be back again." The last warlike
deed was "Symbolic" in 1995. That same year the band toured in
Europe but a year later Chuck puts his band temporarily in the
fridge. After 12 years it was about time to have a break. Chuck
started the project "Control Denied" in which besides Chuck (guitar),
Tim Aymar (vocals), Chris Williams (drums), Shannon Hamm (guitar)
and Scott Clendenin (bass) participate. All musicians are from
relative unknown bands from Florida. Tim has his own band "Psycho
Scream", Shannon comes from "Metalstorm" and Scott and Chris from
"Talonzfury". Chuck approached Warrel Dane of Nevermore for the
vocals but he wasn't available at the time. The band recorded
some demo's in 1996 and 1997 but never got to put them on a cd.
What sort of music is Control Denied anyway?
"In many ways it looks
like Death, heavy but technically at the same time. The main difference
are the vocals. I've always seen myself as a guitar player, I
took over the vocals more as a neccesity than as a matter of conviction.
I had the idea for years to do a project where someone else takes
care of the melodic vocals. I invested a lot of time and am still
taping new pieces, however everything is on hold at the moment.
Death seemed more popular than I thought, so I decided to do another
Death cd. After a two years break I also wanted to do that very
much. I don't want the bands to thwart eachother so I decided
to put Control Denied on hold. The coming months I'll be touring
with Death and after that, probably in the beginning of next year,
we'll enter the studio for Control Denied. Likely with the musicians
I worked with before, but nothing's certain on that point yet."
In the new line-up of Death Shannon
Hamm and Scott Clendenin appear again, the drummer is Richard
Christy, also from the musical scene of Florida. He was a former
member of "Acheron" and "Burning Inside". Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus)
was for long the new bass player in view but didn't have enough
time in his schedule for recording an album and go on tour with
Death later on.
"Yet, Death and Control
Denied are complete different bands", underlines Chuck. "I
read in some interviews that Control Denied stuff has been put
on the new Death cd but I absolute have to refute this. Indeed
"The Sound Of Perseverance" is mainly a Death cd, heavy, agressive
and technical of a very high level. The cd was recorded in the
famous Morrissound studios and produced with the help of Jim Morris.
It's not only one of the best Death cd's, it also is one of the
most varied ones. The very heavy stuff gets an interupption halfway
with an acoustic beautiful instrumental build 'round Chucks acoustic
guitar "Voice Of The Soul".
"It's a song which I
sat on for quite a long time", he tells. "I thought it
would be nice to put in a moment of rest in the middle of the
cd. "Voice Of The Soul" shows a very different, more modest, side
of me. It will surprise people, I hope." Surprised will some
be about the Priest-cover "Painkiller". Death recorded a cover
before, "God Of Thunder" from Kiss, but Chuck pulled that song
very much towards himself. In "Painkiller" it appears Chuck can
"sing" (?/:)YK) and even not bad at all.
"Yes, after all those
grunting years it seems I still have vocal cords", Chuck
laughs. "Actually I do not like doing covers but every once
in a while I make an exception. "Painkiller" is one of my favourite
metal cd's and the title-track was on my list for a long time.
Because I recorded some "normal vocal stuff" with Control Denied
it wasn't that hard to leave the grunt at home for one song. Initial
it was ment as a bonus track for the Japanese market. But as Nuclear
Blast, my new record company, heard it they wanted it on all versions
of my new cd. I now see why, it's a great cover." Isn't Chuck
lead into temptation to do more "normal" vocals on his own songs
"I thought about it,
but I said no. Death represents a certain style, which includes
my way of "singing". I think I would restrain myself but above
all the expectations of the die-hard fans, when I would radically
change the sound of Death. For that reason I started Control Denied,
there I'm free in every way."
LOVE FOR METAL
Chuck tells the inspiration to
cover a song of the Brittish legend is a result of his indistructable
passion for metal in general.
"It's the old story but
I'll tell it once more. Metal in America is hard pressed and I
mean reál metal and not the music Korn plays, that has
nothing to do with metal whatsoever, although it's been sold as
the new metal generation. It's just a dirty game of the big recordcompanies
to let trends follow eachother quick so they can make a lot of
money fast, personel have told me. Kill the "old" music and push
something new forward quick for the "kids". They make bands like
Death look "old fashioned" and "passé". Metal for me is
a part of my life, music which I started to love as a 10 years
old, it never blew over. A trend is synonymous to temporary, something
you walk along with for a while without real love involved. Don't
misunderstand me, I have nothing against Korn as a band. They
are undoubtable good in what they do but don't try to sell it
to me as heavy metal from the 90ties !!! Someone like myself with
a 15 year carreer in metal feels offended by it. My new cd for
that matter is a statement: listen this is the heavy metal of
the 90ties !!! " You still think this is the best music to
"Oh, sure, I only had,
like I told you, the need to experiment for a while with a vocalist.
My love for heavy metal is everlasting, I can put everything in
The title of the new cd is about
"It says it all about
the way I look at this cd and Death and myself. Death still exists,
despite all opposition, bussiness set backs, new trends and other
bullshit. And why? Because I persevered!!" What was the biggest
bullshit you ever had to deal with?
"There were some annoying
musicians crossing my path. At some point in time I could get
very angry about all the stories that were told about me, about
how unpredictable I was. However I nowadays can handle those kind
of things much better. Apparently there are people who are bored
that incredible that they have plenty of time to gossip about
others endlessly. I no longer consider it my problem but theirs."
What motivated you despite of everything to continue?
"A sincere passion for
this music and I'm quite a stubborn boy. They can tell me a thousand
times this music is passé, if I think otherwise then that's
it." Can you in the mean time live from this hard work?
"Only just, and that
mainly because of my sober way of living. I have a very small
apartment. I'm not rich, like many young musicians I once put
my signature underneath deals that appeard very disadvatageous
for me. I could have had a lot of money, but it worked out different.
Yet I'm not complaining, it's my own fault first of all. If only
I had a good lawyer that time. I'm satisfied though, I have two
big dogs and I can afford to buy food for them every day. If there's
any money left over I buy a new set of strings, what more is there