Great News Of Control Denied and the completion of "When Machine
And Man Collide".
December 13th we will once again take at least a few moments of our day
to remember the "Father Of Death Metal", Chuck Schuldiner. Those
who know Chuck's music from Death and Control Denied have faithfully and
patiently awaited the announcement of the completion of Chuck's dying
wish which is to get the final Control Denied record out to you , and
along with my other band-mates, I am extremely happy to be here to fulfill
the promise I made a decade ago.
When I first talked to Chuck about auditioning for a new band he was working
on, an extension of his former band Death which he called Control Denied.
We first talked over the telephone, and he was not at all like what I
had expected him to be. My band-mate, co-writer and dear friend Jimmy
Dofka from Psycho Scream had turned me on to Death a few months before,
and the picture I had in my mind of Chuck, judging only by how precise
and beautifully violent that music is, was of a brutal tyrant. I mean
after-all, just listen to Gene Hoglan's drumming and the command of Chuck's
blood soaked screaming, and you'll know what I mean. Well, I was delightfully
wrong. The voice on the phone was just a guy like me, an easy going, slow
talking hippie with a burning passion for metal. We both understood the
seriousness of the business at hand, but neither of made it seem anything
but exiting and fun, and that was awesome. That's just what professionals
We talked about our tastes in music and inspirations and our idols. We
were definitely on the same page. He said he wanted me to audition because
from what he'd heard already from Psycho Scream, my voice had all the
qualities he had been looking for since he began his journey into metal.
There's a bit of everyone we both liked in there, a bit of Dio, Halford,
Tyler, Gillan, Bonnet, all the best screamers in the biz. With that in
mind, we set a date and I flew down to meet him and do the audition. I
thought maybe there was a chance he was blowing a bit of smoke up my ass,
because that's just what some people do. But no, as it turns out, he was
one of the few people in this biz that didn't.
I arrived at Orlando International and just grabbed my stuff at the luggage
return, when Chuck, Scott, Chris and Shannon came running and screaming
through the hallway like pack of wild dogs yelling "Tim Scream, Tim
Scream", my new nickname which later, at the house I found inscribed
on a half gallon bottle of Jim Beam. They mugged me of my luggage, lifted
me up and threw me in the air like a rag doll. I knew this was gonna be
a hell of a week already. Surprisingly, we jumped into the car and they
had the Psycho Scream tape in the player, and they were singing along
like they'd known it forever. We got to the house and there it was...
the ominous bottle with the letters J and B scratched out and the rest
of the letters sharpied in to spell out Tim Scream. We got to work right
away... on the booze, and then we listened to a bunch of stuff from Chuck's
Once we got rolling in the studio, the work went smooth as buttermilk.
We knocked out 3 songs in 2 1/2 days rather than the 5 we expected, so
Chuck mixed down the tunes and when he was finished he called me into
the kitchen. He poured us each a shot of Tim Scream, handed me one and
said "we're all very happy about this, and if you want the job, I
won't even call Halford back." I could not believe what I had just
heard. He not only wanted a voice like one of my all time greatest idols,
he had planned on auditioning him after me. But that's how he said it.
That's just what bosses do.
The police showed up at our first practice as a band. Chuck was polite,
but firm in his conviction when he said "you might think you know
who you came here to hassle, but you don't know I'm probably the only
person on this street who's house is paid for and my taxes are paid as
well, I've been all over the world with my band and that's how I bought
this place and not how these people who called you tell their children
who say shit to my nephew at school and send him home crying. I just paid
like 10 grand to sound proof my home so these people would not hear us,
and now you're telling me it's too loud? What is the law? I'll abide it".
He wanted to know because that's just what good neighbors do.
So at the end of the week it was time to say goodbye and I waited for
the call from Chuck to find out the progress on his soliciting the demos.
I waited, and worked my engineering job at Soundscape, and my management
job at a home improvement company sales office. Several family members
had passed away, including my mom and I was layed off from work, and Chuck
did find a record deal with Nuclear Blast America, but it was for Death.
I wasn't sure why he didn't contact me, but finally I got an email from
Liz at NB and she told me Chuck lost my number and needed to talk with
me about Control Denied. Then a friend brought over a copy of The Sound
Of Perseverance and showed me the liner notes. Chuck had written to me
through the liner notes that he lost my number. This is immortalized.
Then when I went to pick up the phone to call him, it rang, I answered
and it was him. It wasn't the first time it happened; it happened before
and several times after this. It happens with other friends too. That's
just what spiritual connections do.
I met up with the whole Death line-up when they finally hit Pittsburgh,
and hung out with them for the rest of the night. This was my first time
meeting Richard Christy, our drummer. Chris had already decided to move
on, and that was ok because we all knew how much he loved Control Denied,
but he just couldn't hang around waiting and he joined up with another
project. Richard, I had already heard with his previous band Burning Inside,
because they are on the same compilation CD as Psycho Scream, so technically
we were already on the same record together, although in separate bands.
Well, Richard and I couldn't have hit it off any better. We're both practical
jokers. Richard devised a plan to mess with the tour manager. He took
a candy circus peanut, stuffed it into the neck of a Heineken bottle and
popped the lid back on, and handed it to me. He said, put this in the
cooler and when I tell you, grab it and give it to this guy. So the tour
manager jumps on the bus and says "somebody get me a beer" and
I handed him the Heiney. He popped off the top and tried to take a swig.
Upon further inspection, he noticed something odd and that was my cue.
"oh my god, there's a fucking mouse in it, holy shit, it's a fucking
mouse". He just about vomited when we let him in on the joke. I showed
them down the street to THE "O" to get some greasy but good
greasy pizza and we joked and talked some more and later, Richard said
to me "you got a lot of balls fucking with the tour manager the first
time we've met" I waited for the punch line..."so you're gonna
fit right in with this bunch". Yep, I already knew it.
So I went back home again, and a month or so later , I packed my bags
for Orlando. This time, it was to demo some new tunes since a few of the
one's on the Control Denied tapes had been 'Deathized' and recorded on
TSOP. We demoed and wrote and re-demoed and re-wrote and we rehearsed
with the band and.. barbequed. AAAAAAh yeah, carnivores, all of us. We
love carnage, and Chuck was our master chef. Being a former chef by trade,
I was impressed. He loved coffee and bagels too, so it became our morning
ritual. Gourmet coffee, bagels and cream cheese, Jerry Springer and Southern
Rock. To get fired up before we hit the studio, we had our breakfast watching
Jerry Springer to laugh at the stupidity, and we ordered up Molley Hatchet
from the local radio station. When Hatchet came on, we'd crank it up and
sing along at the top of our lungs like complete idiots. It was such a
blast, so... not what you'd expect from such a prominent figure in the
music business, yet that's why it all worked. How could anyone in the
world have an ego tantrum or a pissing contest after behaving in such
a manner. Impossible.
Wait, I haven't even mentioned catfish sandwiches or Bethanne yet. This
story gets better. I met Chuck's sister at the country club she worked
at. I had mentioned that I loved catfish, so they highly recommended the
catfish sandwich. OH MY God! Good catfish, but I mean Bethanne. It took
maybe 5 minutes to realize how awesome a gal she is. Not only is she a
sight for sore eyes, she's sharp as a whip, funny as hell, a practical
joker as well, and did I mention whip? Later on I saw another side of
Bethanne I admire even more. DO NOT TRY TO HURT HER. I swear to that thing
people swear to, if you try to hurt Bethanne, we're all gonna step aside
and let her loose on you. I mean I'd rather go toe to toe with Chuck Norris
than piss her off. But seriously, when it comes down to it, she's the
best sister in the world. OK, back to the barbequing.
So, it was Valentine's Day. Chuck and I are 2 bachelors spending the day
together because we're 2 weeks into rehearsals and still wrapping up the
demos. Chuck bought chickens and steaks and I bought prawns and lobster
tails and we're preparing a feast for ourselves and the rest of the cast
of carnivores who were en route. Just as they rolled in for dinner and
practice, Chuck brought me the phone. "It's your dad", he said.
I almost swallowed my tongue. "huh?" my dad only calls me when
bad things happen like when someone dies. "you have to come home"
, my dad said, "little Danny died". My youngest brother was
Chuck's age, this could NOT be real. The guys heard what just happened
and they huddled around me and kept me from falling apart; that's just
what brothers do. Chuck yelled "what bag do you want to take?"
Oh fuck, this IS real. "Don't worry, Bethanne and Mom are gonna book
you a flight and I'll get you to the airport right away". It seemed
like maybe 3 seconds but it must have been an hour or so, that she had
the flight booked. That's just what a sisters do. Chuck got me to the
airport, and explained the story of his brother Frank, and why he named
his band DEATH in order to turn such a horrible, negative feeling into
something positive. "take your time, as long as you need, and when
you get back, I want you to put everything you're feeling right now into
this record, for yourself, for your brother and for mine, and from now
on we have each other, we are brothers in pain, and it's our obligation
to the fans to give them what we honestly feel". I did, because that's
just what singers do.
Mid-way through recording, Chuck started having a problem with severe
headaches and neck pain. Well, he'd been a guitarist for half his life
and a headbanger at that, and he'd just come home a month before from
a long ass tour and had been spending more time than I would want to screaming
at the record company about how they planned on launching this band. So,
I recommended he see a chiropractor to adjust his neck and get the blood
flowing and that should have taken care of the headaches too. Well, it
would have, if the problem hadn't been a malignant brain-stem tumor that
took his life 2 years later. That's just what cancers do. I know survivors,
but I'm sure their survival were inevitable and were not recovery or a
cure from any sort of treatment. These are people who had so much money
that the doctors tried to kill them slower in order to get all their money,
and the 'treatments' weren't strong enough to kill them, so their cancers
probably went away on their own. That is also just what cancers do. And
don't try to tell me otherwise, because I'm sure you don't know how to
fucking cure cancer.
So here comes the fun part. Before Chuck passed away, shortly after his
first surgery he was well enough to write and track his parts, Richard's
drums, Shannon's solo's and a vocal template for me to go by for each
of the songs. He called me shortly after he'd worked on getting the band
off of Nuclear Blast because they did not execute several key factors
of the contract such as advertizing, and small things like FORGETTING
TO PUT A FUCKING BARCODE ON THE FIRST 10,000 UNITS??? I doubt that it
was a mistake. They were ripping Chuck off from the get go. I've explained
all this in great detail time and time again on http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/
so stop by sometime, search my name or Control Denied and you'll find
plenty from back then. There was a war of words between myself, the new
label Hammerheart, who was not financially stable enough to back any promises
they had made, and Chuck tried to get that bogus deal settled, and get
off that suicide rig, but he died first. leaving his grieving family to
contend with the legal battle for 9 grueling years. The company was finally
forced to admit the deal was fraudulent, but they took the Schuldiners
through hell first. That's just what record companies do. A lot of them
anyway, but I think we've finally found a home that Chuck would be very
proud of at Relapse.
Enter Eric Greif. He is formerly Chuck's attorney, and considered a brother
just like we brothers in the band, and like all brother's sometimes it
meant arguments and fighting, and sometimes it meant making up and being
best friends again. That's just what brother do, too. Well, Eric has been
around the block, so to speak as far as representing musicians, and he
has made great progress on behalf of Control Denied, Death and the Schuldiner
legacy. He's now the President of Perseverance Holdings LTD and Mutilation
Music (BMI) which means basically that he is on-board in Chuck's stead,
to make sure his intellectual property is managed and his wishes are carried
out. He's really kicking some ass since he's come on board. Both Death
and Control Denied are now signed with Relapse, one of metal's most respected
record companies. There are reissues of several Death records and is working
to get most of Death's records reassigned to Relapse. The Control Denied
CD "The Fragile Art Of Existence" is re-released as a 3 CD set,
and a 2 CD set, both with loads of special tracks and pictures and notes
from the band. it just get's better and better every time I talk with
him. That is just what good attorneys do!
Eric gave me a call yesterday to let me know the time has come. Did you
hear that? No you probably can't believe I just said it. THE TIME HAS
COME!!! Our producer, Jim Morris at Morrisound in Tampa, Florida who have
brought to life notable albums by Death, Control Denied, Trans-Siberian
Orchestra, Savatage, Iced Earth, Seven Mary Three, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide,
Morbid Angel, Demons and Wizards, End-Time Illusion, and Obituary, just
to name a fraction of the killer artists on their roster, has contacted
Eric Greif, informing the members of Control Denied that he is ready to
begin laying out the planning and scheduling to complete Chuck Schuldiner's
legacy "When Machine And Man Collide". You heard it right, and
you heard it straight from the horses (hey wait a minute) mouth. This
record will see the light of day and be in your hands sometime in 2011
and Jim will make certain it's every bit as awesome as Chuck ever wanted
and then some!!! That's what the Morrises do.
Go Now, And Carry This Message To The Metal Masses And Keep The Metal
That's What Metal Crusaders Do.
And We Love You For It!!!