I was looking for people who came from the same musical background as I did, the early 80's, melodic, aggressive, heavy edged music. We're all fans of heavy metal, that's exactly what I wanted. I don't care how good a player someone is, if they're not into metal, it can't work. Then I began looking for a new drummer. Ironically, I met Richard at a party in Orlando, a while back, before I'd put Death back together. He's a complete maniac on the drums, super familiar with older Death material and a fan for years. You run into lots of people in the music business who say they can play things and some are truthful. Sure enough, when we were auditioning, he came in and blew us all away. It was incredible and I'd given him the most difficult Death material I thought there was! Life's funny, the elements always seem to fall into place, right place, right time."
So with Death reincarnated, thoughts turned to securing a record deal. Enter Nuclear Blast.
"Word got out real fast, labels started to find out and within two weeks, I was contacted by several different labels. I sent tapes out and was contacted by Nuclear Blast. Actually, I'd worked with publicist Maria Abril years ago, when I was on Combat Records. She's a really hard worker and a fan. She got me in touch with head honcho Rhodes Mason, who, right off the bat, I had a great conversation with. Their belief in the band was very obvious. I expressed my outlook and concerns. They totally understood what I was talking about. We both have a strong mindset on what this band is capable of doing and what the future holds for heavy metal. It's about to break wide open again and crush every single disbeliever who jumped on the trends. It's great Nuclear Blast, a lable that's been around a long time now, is growing so rapidly, from a lot of smart signings. It's nice to see a label sign good bands, not just what's popular. More so than ever, they're widening their list of bands, which I'm a big fan of. I'm playing the hell out of the new Primal Fear and Hammerfall are another great band. As a musician, it appeals to me that they know how to market real heavy metal."
Metal, there's a word that frightens many labels, yet Nuclear Blast are at the forefront of re-establishing music as the defining characteristic of the genre, not aacillaries like mage, grotesque cover art or banal lyrics. Schuldiner, a fan from the NWOBHM glory days and the initial onset of thrash, agrees wholeheartedly.
"I'm sick of categories. I stressed to Nuclear Blast that I want Death to be marketed as a metal band. That's my category. I don't need a second or third category. I try to get that through to younger bands, that they don't need to throw themselves into such a distant category. It's all metal. Let someone else make the decision that you're something other than that, or a third department of a metal band. That's unhealthy to me. It's where the whole metal scene got distant from one another. People thought it was 'wimpy' to listen to melodic vocals. Where did that come from? It's not my scholling on metal. I grew up on Slayer, Queensryche, Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Raven, Anvil, Metallica (Rest in Peace), Priest, Venom. It was exciting to experience that one time, but to be there when it's all going to come back around, is equally as exciting, if not more so."
Fans of underground metal know the meaning of the word "perseverance" firsthand, a fiercely loyal breed, and in that regard, Chuck is no different than those who buy his music.
"The title, THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE, can not describe the point of life I'm at any better. I have passion and other things that help me persevere through all the industry bullshit, including rumors. After 14 years in the music industry, I can honestly say that there are plenty of people who want to see me fall flat on my face and will do things to make that happen, not just to me, but to other bands out there. You've got to find an outlet for what those types of people do to you, and for me, this is it. I'm pissed people are always trying to dig a hole in front of me, for me to fall into, and that's where a lot of the aggression for this album, and some of the lyrics, comes from. There's also personal stuff that I don't want to get into, but a lot of people will be able to relate to. Certain things I'll leave up to people out there to judge what it might be about."
The track listing provides a glimpse of someone scorned, but one who uses that productively, as the impetus to achieve, rather than merely complain about the mistreatments and misfortunes. 'Scavenger Of Human Sorrow', 'To Forgive Is To Suffer', 'Spirit Crusher' and 'Bite The Pain' would seem to cast a bleak shadow, but the singer is quick to elaborate.
"All these songs aren't depressing. I'm not drowning in my tears of sorrow, or open wound. They're all heartfelt, believe me, but these songs have a strong backbone to them, not falling victim to the elements. Some might think it's a concept album and in a way, they're all interconnected themes."
Death never sounded so inviting.