last weekend, Death did, for the first time, two gigs in Greece.
What are your impressions?
It was fantastic, we needed a welcome that was as warm as the
one that our Greek fans gave us, it was awesome. We had heard
these great things about Greece from other bands, but realizing
it yourself, is something great, an unbelievable experience.
you have any problems with the high temperature and the lack of
air conditioning in the clubs of Athens and Salonica?
No, this is a false rumor. I am used to sweat and drying off on
infinite stages playing my ass off, I have performed in places
twice as hot as the Greek ones. Whoever claimed that, especially
in Salonica, that we didn’t finish our set list due to temperature
problems is a liar, I want you to write this.
are considered the father of Death Metal scene. What is your opinion?
This is a complete mistake; I am not the one. People say that
a lot, but it is not true. There were bands that played this stuff
that we later tried, bands that were presented as extreme metal.
I started, considering Death as a metal band, I hadn’t heard
the term “Death Metal”. Later, we were categorized
as this type. Of course, “Seven Churches” by Possessed
came out earlier than “Scream Bloody Gore”. I think
that people forgot that Possessed were extremely brutal with characteristics
such as easily-remembered riffs and classic construction of songs.
That’s what we wanted. I believe that Possessed deserve
a lot more mention than Death do. Personally, I consider myself
to continue the tradition of metal, I like putting it this way,
I am tired of hearing death metal this and death metal that. I
don’t want to get stuck in closed paths, this is apparent
on our new album. Death moves on, hugging its roots, I am trying
to bring melodic elements in extreme music. I grew up listening
to bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Raven,
Judas Priest, Manowar, the most of these bands are melodic, nevertheless,
I always enjoyed the aggression of Slayer, the band that I consider
my main influence: Fast riffs, double bass drum and double lines
on bass, I always liked all these in combination with melody.
Slayer maintain their style, they are the kings of extreme sound,
they are faithful to what they are doing.
you consider “The Sound Of Perseverance” a lot different,
comparing to your older releases?
Not a lot different, it has not been taking away from what our
fans are expecting to hear, in the same way that I have expectations
from other bands. I look at everything from the fan’s point
of view because I am a fan of metal. In spite of playing in a
band, I maintain this point of view, it helps a lot; it has helped
Death stay concentrated. Definitely, there is stuff on this record
that people have not heard yet, like, the instrumental, which
is very varied.
one of all the albums that you have recorded do you consider to
be the best?
That’s a hard question, because every record has a specific
meaning, it represents a specific period of time in my life. Every
record reflects a piece of my life. I can’t answer, I enjoy
every record for what hides behind it. The new album is very special
for me, because it took me more time than “Symbolic”
did and different stuff was happening to me, like getting a new
contract, but everyone is satisfied with the results. I think
it was worth waiting.
you happy with Nuclear Blast?
Absolutely. Our label satisfies me more than all the others in
the past. I had problems with the other labels; Nuclear Blast
treats us wonderfully. In combination with the beautiful relationship
that I have with other guys of the group, this fact makes me optimistic.
talked about the other guys of Death and I wonder where did you
find so good musicians?
Accidentally… I met Richard (drums) at a party, we sat and
drunk a beer, it was the time that I had put Death on, Richard
introduced himself to me, he told me that he loves Death and that
he knows our records by heart. He added that he is a drummer and
exercises by playing “Individual Thought Patterns”
and when I heard it, I thought: “This guy has to be good”.
Some months later, when I started the search for a drummer, I
remembered Richard, we contacted each other, he rehearsed some
material, and here he is! This guy is a killer!
much have you evolved as a musician and as a person after all
Now I am an adult. Some times I go back when I was eighteen and
I think how young and inexperienced I was. When you are eighteen,
you think you are old enough for anything, but you are not, and
that is something you recognize later. I advise people of this
age not to hurry to grow up, this will happen one day and they
won’t realize how time has passed. Now I am more reasonable,
I have much more responsibilities, I learned a lot from the bad
side, making a lot of mistakes and wrong choices, but that’s
how you get better…
me a decision that you have regretted.
Signing a contract at such a young age, being totally unprepared
for what was expected of me.
me the best albums you ever bought.
Definitely, “Destroyer” of Kiss and “Alive I”
are two records that changed my life, “The Number Of The
Beast” by Iron Maiden, “Kill ‘Em All”
by Metallica, “Show No Mercy” by Slayer and “Melissa”
by Mercyful Fate.
do you think makes the difference between Death and the other
I don’t know, a big advantage Death has is my experience
over all these years, experience helps in everything you do, whether
you cut wood or being a musician. Being in the business for so
many years fills up your batteries. I have posted some rules for
things and I don’t tend to change them at all. I am thirty-one
years old and composing music seems to me very normal and natural.
The new record came out very naturally.
what measures did you choose “Zombie Ritual” and “Pull
These are two songs that people love to listen to. We have seven
records as a band and when I sit down to make the set list, I
have in mind that I must promote the new material, plus, I must
not ignore the oldest songs. People will kill us if we didn’t
play these two (laughs).
lot of people were disappointed because you didn’t play
anything from “Spiritual Healing”.
If we did, the set list would grow a lot. I think fourteen or
fifteen songs are enough, we play a hundred minutes, I think that
if we played longer, it would make me pass out, the vocals tire
me a lot. As a fan, I can’t stand to see a two-hour concert,
even if my favorite band performs. When we come back, we will
surely play something. We picked two songs off “Human”
because it’s very popular, many people tell me that’s
it’s our best album. It’s difficult to satisfy everyone,
I understand how someone feels when he doesn’t hear a song
that he was surely expecting, it happens to me as well, when I
go to a concert and do not hear a song that I wanted. “Lack
Of Comprehension” was not played due to plenty of our material
and because I like us playing “Suicide Machine” and
“Together As One” as it is in the record.
haven’t you released a live album until today?
I know it’s very common from many groups; too many live
albums are released… I don’t react for any reason.
Instead of a live album, I’d prefer live videotape where
the listener can watch from his TV set and listen from his headphones
of his stereo; that would be better. Today’s live albums
are not like the old ones, it’s not like “Alive I”,
which is magical. You can’t produce magic. Neither “Peter
Frampton Comes Alive”… 70’s was the best decade
for live recording, now everything is commercial and typical.
the past, Death had a lot of changes in the line up. Why? Why
haven’t you tried to stabilize a line up?
Why doesn’t Dio or Ozzy do it? It’s the same situation,
they have their reasons, and I have mine. That’s life, we
have girlfriends and they are no longer with us, the same thing
happens to the group. When you are in a band, you have a relationship,
that’s why people leave, this does not mean that a human
relationship (friendship) is the same with the one that people
have in a band. If I had the line up from “Leprosy”,
I would never have made albums like “The Sound Of Perseverance”,
because they didn’t want to improve as musicians, which
makes them no longer be with me.
you like the two releases of Massacre, the ones that the line
up was made by ex members of Death?
It’s been ten years since then…Yes; it was basic death
metal, good at its kind.
one was proved to be from your partners all these years, a good
friend or an interesting personality?
I feel very lucky that I have worked with the guys of “Individual
Thought Patterns”. I’ve known Steve DiGiorgio for
like thirteen years, I feel him to be friend, except the fact
that he is an excellent musician, he is very unassuming and when
we go out together we have a wonderful time, and he is funny.
The same thing with Gene Hoglan… you know, I am talking
about people who are professionals, they are concentrated.
are Death’s plans for the future?
To move on…when the tour is over, we will record the Control
Denied album with Tim Aymar of Psycho Scream as a singer. The
material is ready and it waits to be recorded, I hope in March.
Jim Morris will be the producer and it will be out from Nuclear
Blast. Everything on its time, I live day by day.