Growing out of the evolution of
DEATH (the band) comes CONTROL DENIED and in tow is TIM AYMAR. Tim
found himself landing the vocalist when CHUCK SCHULDINER handpicked
him over better known vocalists. Personally I was never a big Death
fan... mostly because cookie monster vocals bored me but thanks
to the awesome voice of Tim I now understand why people sing so
much praise about Chuck. Tims talents alone could have made a name
for himself but leading in an awesome band never hurt anyone! How
did a relative unknown land such a job? Who is this guy? Why him?
What makes him so special? Well shut up and lets find out.
So how did you end up with being
the Vocalist for Control Denied? Did you find Chuck or did he
find you? How did it all happen? How did you feel when selected?
all happened back when the Virtual Insanity EP was fairly new. We
had started getting some positive feedback from the media and some
of the record companies. We were working in a new drummer, because
Steve pussed out, and I had gone to Denmark very briefly for a project
that unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) didn't work out. When
I got back, Jim Dofka had a message for me that Chuck Schuldiner
had heard our material, and he was interested in having me audition
for a new project he wanted to take up. Jim said if he had to lose
me to anyone, he'd be proud to see me singing for Chuck. So Chuck
called and told me his plans creating a different style that would
take Death to the next stage of evolution, which would be a cross
between death metal and euro style power metal. I jumped at the
chance, and went to Chucks for a week to record 3 tunes to see how
well it would gell, and we all were totally satisfied with the results.
It was an awesome feeling to be chosen, especially considering the
others who were considered for this position.
Rumors were that Chuck wanted
Warrel Dane to do the vocals and he turned it down? Was this rumor
true? How does that make you feel to be the next guy in line after
him? Has he ever been an influence on you?
from what I understand, there were 2 other singers considered for
Control Denied; Rob Halford, and Warrel Dane. Chuck had contacted
the Halford camp but I heard Rob had been working pretty intensely
on a new project at that time. I don't think Warrel was ever actually
contacted because Chuck made his decision to put me in the line-up
already. I was happy to hear that I was chosen for the gig period;
the band undoubtedly kicks ass. Halford is one of my greatest idols,
but no offense- I hadn't even heard of Warrel, and he probably never
heard of me. It took awhile to sink in that Chuck was no longer
pursuing either of the other 2 singers. I was told of this after
my audition, and I remember feeling a bit numbed by the shock (or
was that the Jack Daniels?). I've never had the feeling that I was
in line behind anybody though. I don't look at it that way. I simply
passed the audition. I have to admit it felt great. Still does.
What is the word with the new
Control Denied CD is it taking so long cause of Chucks health
or cause Steve's too busy pretending he is Sharlee D'Angelo playing
in all those other bands?? How far along is it?
everything is on hold until Chuck is able to shred again. Richard
and Chuck put together the demos at Morrisound, so the initial sketches
for all the songs are all done since February, and we each have
copies to get familiar with and think about what embellishments
to create. The wait is definitely not because Steve or anyone in
the band is keeping busy. Steve was hired after I had finished my
tracks, and we haven't had the pleasure of hanging out together,
but we've talked online and on the phone. I know Steve feels the
same way I do about the band; it's the most satisfying work we've
ever done to date as musicians.
He's a world class player, so I really don't think he has to pretend
he's anyone. When you're that good, people want you to play for
them. That's the whole idea right? Although we're all involved with
other endeavors, we are waiting patiently at the gate to receive
some good news and finally get out and crush. Before we knew for
sure what was causing Chuck's headaches, we simply planned on waiting
for the CD to be released, and we would all meet up again before
the tour for rehearsals. Chuck said feel free to work on whatever
projects we wished to, especially Psycho Scream, because my Control
Denied bandmates are Psycho Scream fans and vice versa. I'm singing
and working on multiple projects all the time too, and so are Jim
and Brian. Until Chuck's health is normal again, I'm keeping my
sanity by keeping as busy as possible.
Speaking of Chuck's health is
he doing better? Has he actually seen any money from all these
benefits, or are people making money off his suffering?
No, right now Chuck
is in very bad shape. We are praying he get's through it, but
it really is looking like his chances are slim. Throughout this
ordeal, he has gotten better, then worse, then we thought he'd
be totally out of the woods, but the tumor reappeared, he's had
all kinds of problems with his medications, and a few weeks back
he caught double pneumonia and is getting fluid around his heart,
which is dragging him way down. I just hope he survives this struggle.
No one deserves the hell he's going through. Well, at least he
doesn't. It's a comfort to know that our fans care. There has
been such a tremendous show of support for Chuck, it's almost
a miracle. Although it's not surprising to me, because I have
been a head banger from day one; I don't think the rest of the
world would ever guess that the heavy metal fans of the world
are capable of such heroism. Right now, we need them more than
ever. I commend everyone involved, especially Chuck Billy from
Testament who has cancer himself, but donated the proceeds from
his benefit concert to Chuck Schuldiner. That's fucking metal,
dude. Sadly, Chuck Billy is in bad shape again, he had surgery
but they couldn't get the whole tumor, so he really could use
help with his medical bills, and now I hear that James Murphy
has a brain stem tumore and needs surgery. Is anyone else getting
the creepy feeling I'm getting here? What the fuck is going on
with all these particular musicians having cancer simultaneously?
If you don't know what I mean, Look at the anthologies of Death
and Testament. I dare not ask who's next. Little of the proceeds
from the benefit concerts and auctions and donations from the
worldwide metal community have gotten through to Chuck, but the
funds that have are being used to make payments on debts accrued
for Chuck's treatments. His family has had to seel nearly everything
in their name to keep him in treatment and the bills keep coming
relentlessly. They could really use as much help as they can get
right now. Being that he is without insurance, and the medical
industry is disposed toward running the uninsured financially
and literally into the ground, rather than healing them, I'm inclined
to believe that it will take a hell of a lot of money before this
is over. I just hope there is enough to get him and all these
other's well again. It's a travesty that in a country so proud
of it's power and wealth, that people are sick and dying because
they can't afford insurance. Chuck's just a face in the crowd
of millions in this country who could die from lack of health
As far as slime
balls taking advantage of the situation, yes they exist. Some
of the benefit shows were bogus, and others kept most of the profit
for themselves. Another motherfucker is auctioning off illegal,
unauthorized copies of our demos on e-bay, and we know who he
is. He is someone in the industry, whom we sent an autographed
copy to as a professional courtesy, and expreslly told him it
was not to leave his hand, and now he has totally fucking betrayed
us. He should live in fear. This is not just a copyright violation,
it is a boil on the heavy metal music communities ass, and a personal
insult to Chuck and the rest of us. From now on, we have to worry
about sending demos out. If you want to help the musicians in
the industry, first of all please do not buy our music from anyone
except a licensed distributor. Artists are always last on the
list for royalties and they make only a minute fraction of record
sales revenue anyway, so if you want to profit to get to any artist,
buy from a reputable record store and if they don't have the record
in stock they can order it from the record company, that's what
they do. You can buy our CD directly from NBA online, and if you
buy the "Live In Eindhoven" video from the 1997 Dynamo
festival from NBA, some of the proceeds go to Chuck. It's not
like you have to walk a thousand miles to get it; a simple words
search for Nuclear Blast America will get you there.
don't waste your money, trusting that some promoter is going to
send the money to Chuck. They don't. Anyone who wishes to help,
donate directly to Chuck. The addresses are at the Death/Control
Denied website in the Netherlands: www.emptywords.org/support
Our friends there have gone out of there way to do a fantastic
job of keeping the record straight, and helping Chuck's family
cope with all this. If you can't donate, then at least surf by
and thank them.
Note on behalf of the EmptyWords team:
"Thanks very much for you kind words, they mean a lot to
What can we expect from the
new Control Denied CD? Does it have a name yet? Same vibe and
feel as ? The Fragile Art?? Or more gloomy based on all the stuff
Chuck has been going through? How many tracks are there gonna
Death fans are truly aware, Chuck's creations are always exactly
what you are not expecting to hear. The working title is "When
Hate Strikes Down". I feel it picks up where The Fragile Are
Of Existence left off, but it is much more aggressive all the way
around. It was more taylor made than TFAOE because he knew who was
going to be singing it. At least that's how I perceive it to be.
There's plenty of atmosphere and moody sections and wide open spaces
for vocals, but the violent outbursts are so much more like I would
naturally sing them. Chuck did his homework and I give him an A+.
The lyrics as always are symbolic and left to interpretation, although
they are based on situations we can all relate to in our own way.
There is nothing gloomy about Chuck's expression on this record,
it is relentlessly brutal, and genius as ever.
What are some of the issues
that the lyrics tackle??
my opinion it's about the atrocious things that happen on a planet
full of fucking idiots. It's appropriately macabre and cynical,
to which I can truly relate. You'll have to wait until it's done
and form your own impression.
Do you have control over vocal
harmonies or is that all planned ahead of time by Chuck? How do
you guys decide what works and what doesn't? What do you think
is your best vocal performance on "The Fragile Art Of Existence"
comes up with the basic melodic and harmonic structures and sings
it on the demos, then I get to tweak it out a bit and embellish
melodies or arrange harmonies here and there, it gets polished up
a bit, but the initial integrity is preserved. Then we get together
on it and tweak some more and rehearse it with the band. Once I
get behind the studio mic, Jim Morris get his two cents in, and
it shines a bit more. The formula works quite nicely. Each song
is different, and sometimes there's a different approach from one
line to another, so it's hard to say which performance I like best.
If I had to choose one at gunpoint it would be.....fuck it, just
Do you have any influence on
lyrics? Or are they set in stone by the time you get to them?
TFAOE I changed maybe 3 words simply to make the phrases work best
without changing the meaning. The common good is always to produce
a damn good record, it's not about who's lyrics are used or not.
Chuck's no slouch with the lyrics, so let's just say if it ain't
broke, don't fix it. My influence is mainly on the execution and
expression of the words, making the lyrics come to life. With this
record, we'll have to see once we get back in the game, so far only
5 of the tunes I have seen contain lyrics. Chuck took a turn for
the worse right after he sent me the discs, so I don't know if there
are lyrics for all the tunes or not. We haven't had the opportunity
to speak about whether or not I will be writing lyrics, either way
is fine. I write plenty of my own lyrics for Psycho Scream anyway,
so to me it's totally cool if Chuck wants to write all the lyrics
for Control Denied.
Speaking of influences, what
singers, writers, movies, games, and books make up the influences
on you and your vocal style?
McCartney, Tyler, Plant, Daltry, Halford, Dio, Graham Bonnett, Joe
Lynn Turner, Coverdale, Ozzy, Meatloaf, Paul Rogers, Klaus Meine,
Derek St. Holmes, Brad Delp, Jeff Scott Soto, Tony Harnell, Lemmy
Killmeister, Blackie Lawless, Bruce Dickinson, Bon Scot, Brian Johnson,
Writers: Mark Twain,
Lewis Carroll, Dante, Phillip K. Dick.
The Shining, The Exorcist, Friday The 13th, Halloween, Rosemary's
Baby, Seven, Henry 2, Scream, The Thing, They Live, Enemy Mine,
Silence Of The Lambs, Pet Semitary, Natural Born Killers, This
Is Spinal Tap, Monty Python (all), Mel Brookes (all), Falling
Down, Death Wish, Walking Tall, A Clockwork Orange, Calligula,
Deepthroat, Debbie Does Dallas, The Wizard Of Oz, Up In Smoke,
Saturday Night Fever, Grease, The Song Remains The Same, The Kids
Are Alright, Quadraphenia. T-Back.
Pass Out, Bullshit, Bong Zonk, Strip Poker (with girls), Hide
The Weenie (with girls), Trivial Pursuit.
Books: The Holy
Bible, The Inferno, Modern Recording Techniques, The Master Handbook
Of Acoustics, The Craft Of Lyric Writing, The Rock N Roll Singers
Survival Manual, How to Be A No Limit Person.
Will Control Denied ever tour
the US? Did you guys have enough sales here to warrant it? Or
is that why you're not on Nuclear Blast anymore?
I have no way of knowing what the sales figures are. It would be
nice to know, especially if it's doing well, but obviously NBA has
not pushed it as hard as it would take to influence the US market.
Otherwise, we'd be seeing some checks. Then again, we don't wear
grease paint, and there's no scratching on our mixes, and nobody
in the band is gay, or hooked on heroine, or has breast implants,
so the US market will probably not be all that interested. I hope
we'll tour the US though; it would be great, we could open for Britney
Spears or NSync. Seriously, we couldn't tour with Chuck sick, so
it didn't make sense to them I guess, but they made some big boo
boos too, at the beginning. I really don't foresee much prospect
over here either honestly. I'm not knocking the American fans, but
the rest of the world really loves metal a lot too, and they buy
the majority of the records so we'll probably tour there first.
if all goes well we can come back and celebrate with a U.S. Tour
if America will have us.
What else besides the Psycho
Scream and John Bowman were you been involved in before Control
Denied? Tell me a bit about them please.
been in quite a few bands and got pretty close to getting signed
to decent record labels, but someone else in the band always decided
for me to not take the deal, that's what took so long to get noticed.
313 was a metal band in the late 80's, and we had just started writing
some really cool material and getting our shit together, and CBS
records offered a development deal, and my band passed, and then
I got a vocal rock band together, Dr. No who was just starting to
take over the Pittsburgh scene and passed up a management contract
with a guy who worked with Kiss and Prince and all these big mega-artists,
then Triple-X decided they'd rather stay local than pursue the development
offers we got. I kept running full blast into other peoples walls,
and it really had me pissed off for a long time, but I'm over it
now. It seems pretty trivial compared to the other shit I've had
But, thank God
I found Dofka. He's one of the most persistent, hard working fuckers
in the business, also one of the greatest guitarists this side
of hell. He not only works himself hard, but he's kept me going
strong since I started working with him in 94. I took some time
off from Psycho Scream, basically because we had no drummer and
my life took a wrong turn into the corporate world in order to
keep a roof over my head ( that's not totally true, because I
was enjoying the accomplishments too) . I had also been working
my ass off in a recording studio for obvious reasons. That's where
I met Bowman. I sang on his demo as a session vocalist. Then I
was producing his band for him. They stiffed me for a studio bill
that I covered their asses for, at a time I really needed it,
and it led to me losing my apartment. They still haven't even
offered to pay me back.
Psycho Scream we've been able to pick-up where we left off, and
I consider Jim one of the best friends I've ever had in my life.
You know you have a friend when you can be totally honest with
them and vice versa, and you can respect each others differences
and still work together as a team. We've had our growing pains
as bandmates and co-producers, but we've made it though the hardest
part, and I hope we continue to work like we do for a long time.
Jim has hooked me up with engineering gigs, and session work and
a teaching job, and a thousand times more than I could ever ask
for. He really has looked out for me, and he's pushed me to my
full potential as a singer and I appreciate it. Brian Mihalovich
is a great guy too. I love his playing, especially when he plays
his music man, it has great tone, and you can hear his fingers
through the massive distortion. Very metal. Now all we need is
Dave Lombardo (that's who the parts are written for, and why nobody
else has been able to play them) and the band will be able to
tour when the disc is done.
Can you describe Psycho Scream
and compare the similarities and differences between it and Control
bands are unique, and neither are copying anyone elses groove. Psycho
Scream has a more traditional European power metal flavor, but with
a few twists and turns that would suggest it is modern; and Control
Denied is undeniably evolutionary and experimental. Psycho Scream
leans a little more toward the classical side of metal, and Control
Denied when you really take a close look at its innards, has more
jazz orientation, especially considering what Richard and Steve
lend to it; therefore I'd consider it a progressive form of death
metal. The main similarity I guess is my voice.
How is the new Psycho Scream
CD coming? When will it be done and what can I expect? Will it
be easier to find then the last one?
is finishing up his tracks and Jim has a couple solos left, which
should all be complete by the middle of December at the latest.
Then comes the fun part. Mixing probably won't take very long because
we took our time getting the sounds we liked when we tracked. Actually,
we retracked a few times before we were satisfied with it. The toughest
thing to mix will probably be vocals. There's tons of them. There's
another difference between the bands. Psycho Scream is a bit more
vocal oriented. I'd say realistically by the end of January we'll
be shipping it off. We would like to get Virtual Insanity re-released
before them to whet the appetites of new fans, and finally get the
faithful followers a digital version.
How do/did you train your voice?
What breathing exercises do you do? When did you stop trying to
sound like someone and just starting singing like you?
sang in chorus and played the trumpet as a kid from 3rd grade up
until I joined my first band in 10th grade. I sang for that first
band Alladinsane/ Overlord for 4 years and moved to Orlando, and
played with a top 40 band, singing 3 sets every night, and that's
really where I started getting my technique together. It was a matter
of learning not to push too hard to get the tone to work. Then you
can sing loud all night every night. After that band, I was in a
band that only wrote songs and recorded at a home studio, and we
shopped the material around and got an offer, but I got hit by a
truck, then I moved back to Pittsburgh and wrote like 40 ballads
with a friend of mine, then joined Overlord again then 313. Our
producer said I should do exercises to perfect my intonation, which
was good already, but the studio mic is totally unforgiving so I
jumped right on it. I bought a book/tape course called singing for
the stars, by Seth Riggs in Hollywood, who has taught literally
hundreds of stars his vocal technique, which is a bel canto technique
called speech level singing. It worked so well, that people started
asking me for lessons and I had 30 students before I knew it. Another
great course is Vocal Power, by Howard Austin and Elizabeth Howard;
it's great for learning style as well as improvisation. The one
I find best for breathing exercises and vocal enhancement is The
Rock And Roll Singers Survival Manual by Mark Baxter. All of these
courses are great for helping a singer find their true voice and
what works best for you, and breaks you away from mimicking other
singers. I guess I stopped trying to sound like other singers when
I heard my rehearsal recordings from the cover bands didn't sound
much like those singers anyway, I just felt like they did when I
was singing them. I was putting unnecessary strain on my voice and
restricting myself as a result. It's a good tool at first to copy
exactly what a good singer is singing, but once you learn good technique,
eventually it comes time to discover the unique qualities of your
own voice and use them.
How do you keep your sanity?
What helps you continue forward when all looks bleak? What people
or things do you own your sanity too?
a good one. I've had a lot of evil things happen to feel really
bad about, and at times, I have felt like there is no hope, or no
reason to go on, or no reason to let others go on living and hurting
me. I think lot's of people have those feelings from time to time,
but they see no way to shake it off. Metal has been good therapy
for lots of us. Fortunately I've had music to express my feelings
and the support of my friends to pull me out of despair. I know
this will probably piss a lot of death metal fans off, but what
has kept me from crumbling is the promise of hope. I pray to God.
Although I'm not very fond of churches, because of the experiences
I've seen there, I do worship and try to walk in the light. It helps.
Any final comments?
The Faith, It's Working.