Death fan knows that guitarist/vocalist Chuck Schuldiner didn't
start the European tour with Kreator again. Louis Carrisalez, who
initially would go on tour as Bill's drum technician, had to pay
for it as vocalist. Bass player Terry Butler and drummer Bill Andrews
abandoned DEATH just shortly before the tour started. The two are
planning to get things going together with Bill's former band Massacre.
What's the matter with Chuck? How does the future of DEATH look
like? Those questions were personally answered by Chuck. After several
requests I finally got to speak to a very talkative Mr. Schuldiner
on the phone.......
Chuck, tell me, how are you doing? Here in Germany everybody is
very worried about you.
"I'm fine, I've
almost finished making some new songs. Besides, I am trying to clear
my name. I don't think the Death fans know at the moment what is
going on between me and the band. I am still here. I just came back
from Miami where I played some stuff together with the drummer of
Cynic (Sean Reinert/YK). He will help me out on the next album because,
unfortunately, I don't have a band at the moment.
Thank God I still
have some friends in this business standing by me and helping me.
It's been a while since "Spiritual Healing" was released so it's
about time to make a new album. The new CD will be more sensitive
and personal.... yet very hard. At the end of February I will start
So DEATH will
continue to exist?
"Oh, yes!!! DEATH
is the only name I can come up with. I gave birth to that name in
1984 and I have every right to it. As long as I make the songs I
will continue under this name."
Tell us why you
didn't come to Europe.
"A lot went wrong
back then. It seemed the whole world was turning against me. Still,
as the tour was going for three weeks, I tried to come over. However,
Bill and Terry weren't too happy about that. It really hurt me.
After all, DEATH is still my band. I really would have loved to
come to Europe. At that time I wasn't able to and those two knew.
I thought they were my best friends, but I was wrong. At all times
musicians are replaceable, friends are not. I am getting sick and
tired of the whole matter. Besides, it bothers me the way people
look at musicians. When you're in a band you are expected not to
have any personal problems. You have to be perfect, without mistakes.
However there's a life outside the band. I've been through a lot
in the past years and now I hope I've learned from it."
problems did you have?
I had some troubles with some people in the business and some personal
problems as well. I came to a point on which I thought everything
was doomed to fail. As if the devil was in it! I needed distance
to get things in perspective again. The moment however was more
Your fans were
quite irritated you didn't come. After all it wasn't the first time
"As I said; a
few things I see different now and I don't expect my fans to understand
me. Thank goodness I still have some friends that do care about
me and try to understand my situation. I received some nice letters
of people wanting to support me. That helped me! I can expect from
the majority of the fans that they shall hate me for it and they
shall not understand me. Understanding that I am just a human being
like them. People shouldn't try to create an image, a perfect one
because you play in a band. We are not rich, you don't make much
money with this kind of music. Not enough by far to be financially
undependant. Of course I know I have lost a lot of fans, I don't
expect them to understand me and if they hate me for it and destroy
all my albums, let it be. I merely can tell what happened and when
they do understand that's cool, when not, quite rightly as well.
I am not a spoiled
Rock Star. However some people for unexplainable reasons, do think
that way about me. I am a normal, friendly kind a guy. Not a complex
personality and not at all "evil". You can get along great with
me as long as I am not having a million problems....... I think
I am just misunderstood because of everything that happened. Regrettable!!!
I remember the times the death metal scene was a lot smaller and
everybody knew each other. From that time I still have friends left,
real friends, who stand by me at the moment. However, I've lost
some too. I have learned to value friendship a lot more."
Speaking of friendship,
how's the current relationship with your former band mates?
"I have no idea
what the guys think at all. I heard they left some bad words about
me on stage though....."
Terry told me
you're at home mowing the grass.....
and pretty unadult behaviour. I just don't get it why he has to
react this way. I have done a lot for the band, it amazes me how
easily that's been forgotten. They have to start all over again
now. They will learn what it takes to survive in this business.
Anyway, I won't be the one helping them financially, because I have
done that often enough. If
I would have gone to Europe, I would have probably lost it. I was
at the end of my rope. The US tour was very stressful. Because we
don't have a manager, I am always the one being saddled with the
problems. Another reason why people look at me as the bad guy, because
I take care of the comercial side of the band. When somebody takes
advantage of us I am the one to get things back in order again.
Then it's always: "what a windbag!". That's always being pinned
on me. "Chuck this, Chuck that!" However, I am just asking things
normally a manager of the band would do. Like I said, all of a sudden
it just became too much for me."
How long have
you been touring the States?
months, and we came home very stressed and disappointed. Disappointed
because we came across a scene we didn't like at all. I think for
a lot of kids nowadays music isn't the most important anymore. They
just go to a concert to let go of their aggression. Many of them
aren't interested at all in the band and the music. When I go to
a gig it wouldn't even occure to me to destroy the bands equipment,
let alone disturb the show in any way. At some gigs of our US tour
the kids were totally out of control and spitted at us on stage.
As a professional musician I just can't appreciate that, I take
the music seriously."
Do you know already
which musicians will be playing on your next CD?
"Guitar and vox
I will do myself of course. I am going to try to get the bassist
of Sadus (Steve DiGiorgio/YK). Anyway, it will be a very heavy album
with good melodies. A dignified succesor of "Spiritual Healing"
and the Death sound will be recognizeable immediately."
I am glad for
it because I think a lot of Death fans were disappointed by the
December tour. It just was not DEATH on stage!!!
They probably sounded more like some cover band. After all the vocals
are a bands trademark. Still I wish Terry and Bill all the best
with Massacre even though I regret the fact I lost the both as musicians
as well as good friends."