How would say Symbolic is different
from Individual Thought Patterns?
has a lot of depth to it, a lot of weird twists and turns. Symbolic
isn't far off in that respect, although it concentrates on grooves
more. The rhythms don't all fly past you at breakneck speed, definitely.
Another thing, the production is far superior. A little more solid,
Would you say the guitar sound
is the same as on the past few albums?
Chuck: I would say it's much more clear, more audible and
in your face. I use the same amp, but our new producer Jim Morris
really helped bring out my guitar sound for what it is, what you
hear is what's coming out of my amp. I wanted to achieve a guitar
sound that is more "real". Not as distorted, but still
Did you set out to make a fast
album, or more mid-tempo, or more melodic, or did it all just
fall into place?
Chuck: It just came out that way. I think it's important to
have a balance between all the elements that you just mentioned.
It's definitely a natural thing, nothing is ever forced.
So within the chemistry of Death,
there's never a "game plan", just free-flow?
The albums Human and Individual
Thought Patterns deal with a lot of psychological type themes,
is Symbolic the same in the lyrical sense?
Chuck: Definitely. Very realistic, you know, just pure reality.
To me reality and life in general are very intense, and challenging.
The new lyrics reflect life in it's true form.
I notice that the lengths of
the songs are a bit longer this time around, how did the idea
to make longer songs come about?
Chuck: That was semi-planned. Like with the last song "Perennial
Quest" I knew it was going to be long, like a journey. I
didn't want the songs to be like 'they're here and gone'. The
title track as well, you know I couldn't see that one being a
three minute song.
Would you agree, but not to
get too into labels or whatever, that Death is more of a progressive
metal band than say a death metal band now?
Chuck: (pauses) I personally I like to call Death a "multi
metal band"...I have a lot of inspiration in those confines.
I was inspired a lot by the original death metal bands, like Venom
and Slayer and Mercyful Fate... but also in the more melodic 80's
metal like Maiden and Priest... those are all still influences
you can hear in my playing, even though some aspects have changed
Albums like Leprosy and Spiritual
Healing broke a lot of ground in the underground scene. Do you
think the new one will do the same?
Chuck: I hope so. I hope Symbolic is symbolic of what's to
come, you know, as far as advancing and breaking new ground, just
making people turn around and go 'whoa!' and make them think.
Although it has its fast moments,
Symbolic isn't really as fast as some of the past albums. Do you
think there will ever be a Death album in the future that's primarily
focused on speedcore riffs?
Chuck: Never anything that's all-out fast, no. To me that
would be doing the same thing over again, you know? I think speed
can be very effective when it's done in sections, not just a whole
record of it... one of the problems with the scene is that everybody's
haulin' ass, you know? Speed has definitely been taken care of,
by a lot of different bands. We'll still keep it, but we'll try
new things along the way.
How is the Florida scene right
Chuck: It's going through changes, especially the death metal
scene in general. The labels stopped signing a lot of the heavier
stuff (Tampa bands). In Orlando there's actually a good variety
of metal bands, like death, grind, melodic, alternative, thrash...
in life it's important to have variety, I've believed that since
Are you familiar with some of
the new European death metal bands? Many of them are using a lot
more melody and different riffing and vocal styles. Some people
say the death metal scene is dying, but if you look around there's
actually plenty of variety.
Chuck: Right. I haven't heard many of those bands (from Europe)
but I know what you're saying. Carcass is a good band from over
there that mixes in a lot of melody, and roots. The last album
by them is fucking killer!
That would make a cool show.
Chuck: Oh yeah, we'd definitely like to tour with Carcass
again! Another band I'd like to go out with is Grip Inc., Dave
Lomardo's new band.
Would you ever tour with a band
Chuck: Oh yeah, definitely. Those are hard tours to get on,
though, because everybody else wants to tour with them! I'd love
to tour with someone else who have something else to offer.
I notice on the new album, your
vocals are easier to understand. How do you approach that, while
still sounding somewhat guttural, and how does your singing differ
from other death metal bands?
Chuck: For one thing, they cup the microphone with their mouth
and hands, and that's creating heaviness out of distortion, which
is cheating. I really try to project what you hear naturally.
With this album, I tried a lot harder to get a clean mix. I don't
use any effects whatsoever, just my stomach and lungs.
Do you think O.J. did it?
Chuck: Judge not-without judgment. I can't say, until the
final evidence comes through.
What's your favorite beer?
Chuck: Moosehead, Killian's Red, Heineken, mainly those three.
Do you eat at Taco Bell?
Chuck: (makes a mock-vomit noise) Man, I protest that place.
The last time I ate there I felt like shit! (laughs) Taco Hell!
(laughs)Well take it easy, man.
I hope everything goes well for the band.
Chuck: Great, thanks a lot! When we come by on tour, stop
up and drink a brew with us!