You were talking about goals reached
by Chuck's music
I think you're referring above all to Death
and to 'The Sound Of Perseverance'
"Clever! It's unbelievable the popularity level that record
reached, above all for a band like Death, that after all do not
play the easiest music in the world. Above all from you in Europe,
in America the matter is different, because you have to fight
the radios with great power, and it's harder to understand Chuck's
vision, his way of putting things in music. Few people like the
kind of things Death do, usually people who call themselves "strange"
(laughs). Then the same ones come after gigs to ask how disks
were recorded, how Chuck could write those crazy melodies. In
short, a cult. With 'Sound' the situation was changing. I can't
tell you if this happened because the scene is finally mature
for this type of things, but surely 'Sound' represented a big
change, for many reasons. One was also the circumstances in which
the disc was written and produced, probably more relaxed than
with former ones
There still exists the myth of
Chuck Schuldiner the terrible, who fires whole line-up's if he's
"It's a myth. Chuck is one of the quietest people in the
world. Unfortunately, when you do this kind of job you meet a
lot of idiots that can't manage themselves. You know the kind,
those who go on stage freaked out, those who get themselves in
trouble, etc. The main purpose of our life has always been to
play, and it's not good when someone fucks all the effort and
the sweat you did only 'cause he can't live up to it. In these
cases I think there's only one thing to be done."
Speaking of the record
I had to ask you "in which way is Control Denied different
from Death", what would you answer?
"Mainly, Death is Chuck's group, his creation. Control
Denied is a band in which Chuck is one of the main musicians -
beyond that the major songwriter. It could seem a small difference,
but if you think about it well is a fundamental change. We're
a group of individuals with a certain personality and - sorry
if I seem immodest - pretty talented
Isn't it difficult to put together
all these "crowned" heads?
"No, if the relationship on the human side is sincere.
I'll tell you a thing that you perhaps know. A lot of famous bands
are made of great musicians, who hate each other. They meet only
if it's necessary, talk bad about others when they're not there
it's a situation that works, I don't deny it, you have reached
the top and sell a lot of records without making many efforts.
When you are like us, to an acceptable level of exposure to the
audience (yet of course you're not in the charts
) then you
must be able to rely on a gear more. Another thing also is the
harmony, the friendship."
About the cd, I think the thing
that will hit the listener the most is Tim's singing
"It gets stuck in your head, doesn't it? Tim is a clever
singer, we were lucky to have him with us. He sounds like a type
of halfway between Chuck's Death singing and classical Heavy Metal,
but is very personal and original. Then Tim is really crazy, the
Ronnie James Dio's crazy heir!"
There was a lot of talking - actually
it was given for sure - that Rob Halford would be your singer.
Why didn't you get him?
"Rob is a very great singer, a genius, but is very busy
with his projects, he could never have been in Control Denied
for 100%. It would have been the difference between a real band
and a bunch of musicians finding each other to play. I believe
after all it went very good this way!"
So, this was not a "one off"
"Absolutely not! Assuming that Chuck's health will be
fine, you'll hear new music soon!"
Does this mean Death will be in
hibernation for a while?
"No, not necessarily. We want the two bands to remain
separated as much as possible. Besides, Control Denied is a project
that is not famous yet, while Death is nowadays."
Another excellent band member is
Steve DiGiorgio, who seems to be doing quality overtime this year
Testament, then Control Denied.
"Steve is a genius! However, I think on the Testament
CD he did a great job, but on the Control Denied CD his skills
are more evident. The problem of the last Testament line-up is
that the CD is great, but the whole idea is a bit artificial
you probably know Dave Lombardo doesn't play with them anymore,
I don't know what it says to put together so
many good musicians to do a great record, and then not to be able
to keep the line-up for concerts."
Nowadays there's a debate going
on in the scene about how less adventurous bands - or "falsely"
adventurous - gain success with the audience, while (as usual)
bands that try to explore new paths obtain nothing. If you remember
well, a few years ago it was not like this. Is Metal becoming
a bit stale musically?
good question. I say headbangers have always
been a bit traditional. See bands like AC/DC, which succeeded
to be legendary with always playing the same thing! But it's true
that one of the strong sides of this genre has always been the
freedom to add new and adventurous elements. I've always been
a fan of classical Metal, and nowadays there are not many metal
bands that add something new. Like Death represented at a certain
point, something really different from what you were used to hear.
I think it's a matter of sincerity or, in other words, to really
do things you can do. Look at the last Queensryche CD. It's good,
but for me the band didn't put in their heart and soul since 'Promised
Land'. Maybe they lost control of trying not to repeat themselves
don't know, I prefer not to judge."
Let's come back to the disc and
lyrics. For someone who doesn't believe in predestinations, what's
their meaning to you?
"I think Chuck always wanted to tell about how people
react under extreme pressures, in extraordinary circumstances.
He never told about demons, dragons or supernatural creatures,
but about situations that everyone has to deal with. I think this
is the secret of the universality of his lyrics, and the reason
why, for some reason, 'Fragile' fits so well with the troubles
Chuck is going through now. Anyway, let me say I keep on thinking
that it was not just a coincidence after all