Chuck Schuldiner sure isn't
everybodys sweetheart, but that's not what he wants to be and
he sure doesn't need to be. The latest evidence for it is the
last Death-cd "The Sound Of Perseverance", which got quite rightly
a 9½ from Götz (Kühnemund/YK) in Rock Hards "10mal
this after the die-hard fans one by one were counting on having
to visit their favourite at the graveyard of music-history.
I've been busy lately finishing
the album of my side-project "Control Denied" which I enjoyed
very much. The way how I write that music differs not much from
the way I work for Death. In a musical way you can label the Control
Denied stuff as power metal, mainly because of the vocals. I don't
sing myself so they are far more clear. I needed this short break,
without any label pressures, to catch my breath. I believe it
was the right thing for the new Death-album. Some people probably
thought we were wasted by now or jumped on the "Trend- train",
but unfortunatly I have to disappoint those contemperaries. "The
Sound Of Perseverance" is pure, pretentious metal. Sorry no new
"Korn"-album here, ha ha ha.......
Do you have a deal already
for Control Denied?
Yes, almost, I'm negotiating
with Nuclear Blast at the moment about the release and all looks
well. The audience shouldn't have to wait too long for hearing
It sure won't sound much
straighter than the new Death-output. What makes the band breathtaking
every time is the technical brilliance and the unbelievable progressivity
that except for bands like Atheist and Cynic no other bands, playing
music based on death-metal, ever could take off.
When you write progressive music
you have to take care that the natural balance keeps existing
and not glue one technical difficult part after the other. For
me this way of writing songs is the most natural. When I started
composing the tracks I noticed I was heading to "Individual Thought
Patterns" without leaving out stuff that typified "Symbolic".
The new album is a good mix of the previous three and still we're
making a big step forward.
On which Chuck sidekicks, Shannon Hamm (g), Scott Glendenin (b)
and Richard Christy (dr) haven't contributed little on. Actually
it's astonishing because they are in fact "no names" and probably
will stay that way on this side as well as on the other side of
the big lake.
All my fellow musicians come from Florida, which makes things
a lot easier. Because we live so close it was very relaxed recording
the album with Jim Morris, I don't understand how a band can throw
away so much time recording. We went into the studio, worked our
ass off and finished three weeks later. Eventually it's cheaper
anyway, ha ha ha.......
But still doesn't explain
were the three new guys come from. Does Chuck clone his musicians
himself in a cellar or are they alliens escaped from the men in
Scott, Shannon and Richard
are really as well in a musical as in a human way really great
people. I'm very happy to be able to work with such talented guys.
Shannon and Scott are also involved with Control Denied so it
was obvious to use them for Death, mainly because they were very
interested in the material. I met Richard coincidentely in a mall.
He only lives 20 minutes away. We were standing by the magazines
leaf through Rock magazines, when he came towards me and asked
me if I was with Death. We talked about all kind of stuff what
fans like him and me are interested in. A few months later I met
him again at a party and we drank a beer. He told me he was a
drummer and always practiced all our stuff. I only thought; "Wow,
this guy really must be good", ha ha ha...... When I was looking
for a drummer for Death I immediately thought of Richard. Of course
he had to learn all the difficult songs and he amazed us. He was
the first and the last drummer who played for us.
In October we can form our
own opinion of the qualities of the men, if all goes well they
are going to tour here with Benediction.
The package is great. Especially
Benediction, they are very kind guys, who represent the "old school
metal" fantastic. We all are fans of the 80ties combos and it's
always very magical to spent time with them.
In the meantime
it's not necessary that Chuck & co. are sharing the stage
with other death-metal bands only. Proof for it is the US-Symbolictour
with "One Of Seattles Finest"......
The gigs with Nevermore were
great. I don't believe in catagorising music, I think it's the
worst that ever happend to death-metal. In the 80ties the metal
scene was much more united. Metallica played with Anthrax and
Raven in those days. And even if they had different styles the
fans stood behind each band. Somewhere in time those different
styles split up which was one of the reasons I did tour with Nevermore.
Those guys are really great and like us pure metal. We represent
the same kind of music don't we? It's about time the metal scene
has a common identity again. You can call me old fashioned but
I still have the same goals I used to have at the beginning of
Sounds nice but unfortunately
reality most of the times looks different. The power-metalheads
think death-metal only is noise, while the death-metalheads by
anti-power-metal statements love to revive old memories of the
absurd power/trasher-war at the end of the 80ties.
It would be of great poverty
if only death-metal fans would be interested in our music because
our music goes way beyond the walls of the genre. At our concerts
I see lots of different t-shirts from all kinds of bands, like
King Diamond or Iron Maiden and Slayer and Death. For me that's
the evidence that people still have open minds. Of course we sound
very agressive but have lots of melodies as well, I also know
our name and the way I sing scare off lots of people.
Chuck Schuldiner and Death
belong together like heavy and metal. Are the other musicians
really that indispensable?
Yes they are, Death never
has been a project but always a band. It doesn't matter that one
person has his vision and steers the band in a certain direction.
I don't want to patronize people but I write all the songs and
I'm an all time member of the band. However when anybody tells
me he doesn't hear the other musicians they must have a family
package of cotton wool in their ears, ha ha ha ha......
How would Chuck type himself
when he was asked to?
Chuck is a guy who likes
to hang out with other people, drink a beer go to a titty-bar,
or the beach. His friends and family are very important. I'm having
quite a normal live which is necessary because the music business
is very abnormal. You need the real live to keep the balance.
The business is very hard, when I began recording records I just
was an innocent child. Prepare for the roller coaster of life
when you go into music, I've learned to fasten the seatbelts very