Schuldiner is known to be among the creators of death metal as we know
it. He's been writing excellent influential music for years now, and
has stayed true to what he believes in. "The Sound of Perseverance"
quite certainly validates this statement, as it is just as amazing as
previous releases, while more technical and matured. He IS metal, and
he has given himself to feed our brutal hunger. Now, as he battles a
brain tumor, it is our turn to give something back to him, by keeping
him in our prayers and/or morbid blessings.
How is the scene out there in Florida?
Schuldiner: The scene sucks! (laughs) It's pretty bad, except for Tampa's
got like a decent scene, they've got like a real club. Orlando's not
very good at all; there's no clubs to really play at, very little local
support. All the bands sound like Pantera, and there's not much original
coming up. Very trendy, I should say.
Where in the U.S. do you usually get the best turnouts?
Schuldiner: Los Angeles, New York, you know, those are our very strong
markets. Texas used to be really strong, their scene kinda died down,
you know, it's the same story as Orlando, a lot of clubs, they close
down. There's nowhere for bands to come to, so no one can come to play.
You know, it's like, no clubs, no show. So it sucks.
Are you happy with Nuclear Blast?
Schuldiner: They're kicking ass, they're doing really good, they've
been very supportive, they believe in heavy metal, you know, point number
one, they believe in metal, so that's really, you know, being a label
that believes in what they are signing...
What is Control Denied like?
Schuldiner: Control Denied is basically, it's an extension of what Death
is doing: it's very aggressive, very melodic, very very heavy, except
I am not singing. I have a singer who is more along the lines of, Bruce
Dickinson, Rob Halford type of singer, very aggressive though, very
very heavy, very aggressive, but very melodic. It's an extension to
what Death is, I think any Death fan will be pleased, and I think it's
going to reach a lot more people as well. It has all the same members
of Death... I'm very psyched, it's going to really crush, it's going
to surprise a lot of people.
Do you ever have any trouble deciding which band you should give a certain
Schuldiner: Um, it is kinda hard, 'cause it could go either way, really,
and that's what really has happened, basically there are riffs on Control
Denied that were written for Death like three years ago, that I intended
to be on the new Death album, but just decided to move it to Control
Denied... They are like relatives, you could say, very connected.
How do you feel about your current line-up?
Schuldiner: I feel great! This is a great line-up, that's why I wanted
them to be a part of Control Denied as well, because the musical standards
are high right now, so I got a great line-up, really great guys, great
musicians, we get along great, so it's a good feeling.
Was it usually musical or personal differences that made your other
members move on?
Schuldiner: A mixture of both... you know, it's like anything, being
in a band is like having a girlfriend, you have to get along, you have
to just, you know, have the same focus or else it's not going to work.
You have to have the same goal, and you don't want to be with someone
who has a different goal than what you have. I believe in what I am
doing, strongly, and why people are in bands, because they're just in
a band, not because that's been their dream since they were 9 years
old, 8 years old, whatever it was, when I got into rock and roll, you
know. So it's a relationship, you have to share the same feelings.
I noticed that in the thanks lists of the past few albums you wrote
"Support music, not rumors"... what rumors was this referring
Schuldiner: Anything, for anyone, not just myself, just for anyone,
you know, I hate hearing stuff about other bands and this person, and
that person, and who gives a shit! Who cares? I don't have time to worry
about what other people are like, and I don't think people should worry
what they're supposed to be like. When I buy a record, I buy a record
for the music, I don't buy a record judged upon whether a person's supposed
to be cool, or whether they're supposed to be hard to get along with,
or whatever, it just really doesn't matter to me, and I think that whole
thing is just out of control, the whole gossip thing, the whole internet,
you know, garbage, that whole thing is just garbage to me. People have
so very little to do that they could sit in front of a computer and
gossip about other people, it's like, that's pretty pathetic.
What bands are you currently into?
Schuldiner: I'm into a lot of stuff, I listen to a lot of records still,
I listen to a lot of stuff I grew up on, like Kiss and Iron Maiden,
Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Queensryche, Crimson Glory, Primal Fear, just
all sorts of stuff... King Diamond, just a lot of metal. I like some
hard rock stuff from the 70's as well, like Kiss, and old Van Halen,
and Rush, stuff like that is killer.
How about newer bands?
Schuldiner: We had a great time touring with Hammerfall, they're another
really good band... newer bands, Primal Fear is another good one. There
just isn't a lot of new stuff out there... The new Riot is really good,
and uh... you know, I'm just really picky. I think there is a lot of
stuff out there that is trendy right now, there's a lot of stuff that
is good; you just have to sort through it. It gets expensive going out
and buying records, and hoping you get something good.
Tell me a little about your background.
Schuldiner: Well, I grew up most of my life in Florida, my parents were
both teachers, a very normal, middle-class family, I was very lucky
I've got great parents who are very supportive of my music, you know,
that meant a lot, naturally. I started out young, I formed Death when
I was 16 years old, and they were very very positive, I was lucky. I
grew up listening to rock and roll, just like any other kid at the time,
being into music, and doing things that teenagers were doing. I wanted
to form a band, so I formed a band, and you know, I wanted to record
a demo, so we recorded a demo in my mom's garage, (laughs), that was
back in the day, before bands had CDs out. Now people put demo tapes
on CDs, it's like all hi-tech, like back then you just made a cassette,
and passed it around, it's totally different, it's a very different
scene. It was a great time period of my life; I really look back on
my early band years with a lot of very, very fond memories. I was a
lot more innocent, that's one thing I miss is the innocence, you know,
not being weary of everyone and everything, you know, now you have to
worry more about different situations, being in this business. It can
ruin you, it can really make you a very angry person, but you really
have to know how to just not let it ruin who you are. It's like anything
in life, it's easy to get consumed by something you're in, and you have
to learn how to be normal. I have a very normal lifestyle, you know,
I have two dogs, I have a cat, I have a yard, I have a little car, you
know, I like to do things, I like to go to the beach, I like to barbecue,
rent a flik, hang out, eat popcorn (laughs), you know, it's good to
stay normal, you know, I'm very... I'm probably boring! (chuckles),
I mean really, I don't go out a lot, I don't go to bars very often,
once in a while, I'll go out and have a drink, usually I'll end up staying
home and, you know, watching fliks with the band, and drinking at home,
you know, normal stuff.
Are you still just as excited being in a band and everything?
Schuldiner: Yeah, I am, I'm very, like on the new Death album, I was
never happier. I was in the studio for that record on my birthday, which
was really cool. I was thinking to myself, what better present is there,
than to be recording a record, it's like the ultimate present. I was
really lucky, very grateful to be where I was at, and I'm grateful to
be where I'm at now.
Is there anything you'd like to end this off with?
Schuldiner: Well, you know, just thanks to everyone out there for supporting
the music, you know, and I urge everyone to go out there, and burn their
computers, and protest the whole evil-net thing, and have a nice day!