legend says that he started in music early. How did he start
and at what age?
Chuck became interested in music shortly after his 16 year old
brother, Frank, was fatally injured in an accident. It had a
tremendous impact on Chuck and we were searching for a way to
keep his mind occupied. We decided guitar lessons would be good
for him that way, and he went for lessons about 6 months or
so. He then decided he didn't want to go anymore and that was
fine with us, and shortly after that we were driving by a house
sale and he saw what turned out to be an electric guitar and
asked me if I would buy it for him. I did and discovered it
needed amps and we had a good time shopping for those. It became
almost a part of Chuck, he played and practiced constantly,
getting better all the time. He could listen to a song and play
it, it was just amazing to us. Soon he began to write his own,
recording it and eventually sharing it with other people who
shared his love for his kind of music. Chuck's father and I
always listened to current music but also listened to a lot
of Elvis, and Chuck liked him also.
did you realize that Chuck was going to devote his life to the
music and what was your reaction?
I knew early in his teen years that as Chuck progressed in his
music it was natural that he wanted to start his own band, which
we supported 100%. He and his friends and the band spent most
of their time for years in my garage with people from all over
the state coming to listen. It was a wonderful time for Chuck
and he was a man with a mission from then on. He absolutely
lived for his music.
you know at this period the metal field and what was your judgement
I was not aware of the
music put into any particular category, but if I had, it was
still Chuck's choice of music and that was fine with us. I grew
to like much of it myself, listening to Chuck's albums when
he was on tour. We were very proud parents!
back after that Chuck has left us, how do you analyse the music
scene, starting from the support reactions, to the business
behaviors wanting to take advantage of this tragedy?
The support from the media
and the fans were overwhelmingly wonderful for Chuck's family.
It really helped me through the darkest days of my life. As
for the businesses and the unscrupulous people out there who
have profited off this tragedy, there are no words for the outrage
and contempt I have for them. Chuck believed in karma, and hopefully
it will work in this situation. If so, there are a lot of people
all over the world in big trouble. I do have one last thing
to say, if fans and friends did not buy this merchandise, it
would not be the unfortunate success it is.
are the events that have shocked you and which ones really touched
The sales of the merchandise
by people who profess to be fans and friends are what shocked
me the most. The thing that really touched me, and still does,
is how much Chuck was loved by so many different people. And
that they let me know.
was created during Chuck's illness. What was its role and what
is its objective at this time? Does it still exist?
The Chuck Schuldiner Medical
Account was created when so many donations came in from fans
after hearing of the denial of a hospital in New York to do
Chuck's surgery. They wanted to help and they surely did, spiritually
as well as financially. It was erroneously reported in a magazine
that the Schuldiner family solicited donations. We did not,
it was done by the fans because they loved Chuck and wanted
to help, and was much appreciated by Chuck and his family. Yes,
it still exists.
was a perfectionist, working hard and passionately for his music.
How was his way of working?
Chuck was a perfectionist up to the very last note he played
in his studio near the end of his struggle. He could not be
satisfied with less. I know I pleaded with him to please rest
at the end, that the music was good enough, and he said good
enough was not acceptable for him. He preferred to go into his
studio and close the door, no telephones, no interruptions,
and he would stay in the studio for many hours at a time, sometimes
all night and into the next day. Especially when he was writing
for a new album.
Chuck analyse his career and manage to share this with the persons
who were close to him?
Chuck talked frequently
about his career. There were things he would change if he could,
of course, but mostly he was proud of his perseverance through
the years in doing things his way. He stood up for his individuality
and took responsibility for his own music, creating music his
own way. That is a direct quote from Tim Aymar, the singer in
Control Denied and a very good friend of Chuck. I wrote and
told Tim that he indeed knew Chuck very well, I could not say
it better myself.
way, for taking important decisions, was he the only one, or
did he also share this with the persons close to him?
Chuck would talk over decisions
with his friends and family but would make his decisions solely
in the end on what he felt was the right thing for the band,
and that is what he did.
the Control Denied album was out, this effort seemed to be a
self-portrait. Did he speak about this with you and how was
his approach to this album?
When Chuck wrote that first
Control Denied album he did not know about his illness. A lot
of people think he did because of the lyrics, but he did not.
Chuck was always what is called a deep thinker, a ponderer,
and his lyrics came from his feelings about life happenings
and in his own life also, and things he felt was wrong in the
world and man's inhumanity towards man. He was a very concerned
person for the wronged people in this world, and it saddened
the musicians, friends and metal fans, Chuck career is exemplary.
What is your personal view about the Man and the Artist?
I think the man and the
artist merged to make the finest person I have ever known. I
have never met anyone, before or since Chuck was born and in
my life, who cared so much about people, who hurt when others
hurt and who stepped in to right the wrongs he saw when he could,
who loved his family and friends unconditionally and with total
loyalty. In his whole life he never was disrespectful to us,
he was our best friend as well as our son. He was a good and
sensitive person and the world is a poorer place without him
in it. I have boxes of letters from all over the world that
tell me of his kindnesses.
is going to happen with "When Machine and Man Collide",
will it take life someday?
That album will be done as Chuck requested or not at all. That
music was done at the end of Chuck's life with a struggle nobody
else can possibly comprehend. I was there to see that struggle,
I know. The promise Chuck asked and his sister made will be
kept. This music is a piece of Chuck's heart and soul and his
wishes will be honored. This is not about me, the label or the
fans or anybody else. It is about Chuck.
you like to Share with the metal fans, and readers what you
have in your heart and mind, and that you would wish to be published
to let people know.....
It is almost two years since Chuck lost his battle against that
tumor and he would feel honored, I know, that he is remembered
so long by so many. He would be so pleased to know that through
my correspondence with his loyal fans and the visits from his
friends I have been comforted. They write me and share their
thoughts and I answer with mine. Chuck made a comment while
he was ill and reading the many emails that came every day.
He said they all were like an extended family, and so they are.
When Chuck was very ill sometimes the unthinkable thought would
come to me of how desolate a world without Chuck in it would
be. And that is how it is. He is very much missed and loved
each and every day, in many ways.