Al Kikuras: The new album is
amazing, I just wanted to tell you that starting off.
Chuck Schuldiner: Thank you! You got it?
A: Yeah. I got it about a month ago.
A: I don't have the lyrics, unfortunately.
C: Unfortunately, they couldn't put the lyrics in at that point,
which I was a little disappointed in, but as long as people
have the music.
A: Yeah, it's absolutely phenomenal.
C: Cool, thank you very much!
A: Let's just get started. Is it true that the album has a completely
different line-up than the demo of the new material?
C: Well, the only difference in the demo is that Steve was on
the demo that we had for the songs that we sent out. Other than
that the drummer, guitar player, Shannon, Richard. Scott wasn't
in at that point, who I had performed with in Control Denied.
Basically, as soon as me and Steve knew that our schedules weren't
going to work, between ours and Sadus and a bunch of stuff he
had going on out there, I called Scott up, like I said who plays
bass in Control Denied, and said, "Look. The position is
open. Before I look elsewhere, it's yours if you want it."
Scott was like, "Hell, yeah." So, he jumped right
in and basically kicked ass, and every things been going killer
ever since. It worked out really cool. Like I said, I've worked
with Scott before. That was like the ultimate situation, totally.
Unfortunately, Steve's schedule is just... he's a busy guy,
and unfortunately it didn't work. We still keep in contact,
and he's still a great friend.
A: That's great. It seems you always manage to find musicians
that are absolutely top notch, especially in the metal genre.
What is the process you go through when you are auditioning
people? I guess you are extremely selective. That much is apparent.
C: Yeah, uh, I tell you, I have been very blessed with just
letting metal take it's course. Not to sound cliche, but let
life take its own course. I hook up with these guys in Florida,
basically through other people. You know, people knowing these
people and knowing other people. Just, I am very selective,
definitely, and luckily I didn't have to go through a bunch
of line-ups, or a bunch of auditions I should say, for Control
Denied or Death. It worked out great, that's why I brought Scott,
Shannon, and Richard also, who is going to be part of Control
Denied into Death.
A: All three?
C: Yeah, because basically these are killer, killer people to
work with. Top notch musicians as well as people that are all
from Florida. Instead of flying in people from 5000 miles away
like I've done in the past. It feels really good to have that
home base lineup going. It makes such a difference. For this
record we got to rehearse normally, every week. We get to hang
out. We get to go out and drink beers and raise hell just like
everyone else does. It feels killer, its like a really, really
A: You have stated in the past that you felt good about the
line-ups on the albums... Symbolic and stuff like that, but
it didn't work out. Do you feel the same way about this group?
C: Yeah, but even more so, because those line-ups were very...
it's very hard to keep bands like Individual Thought Patterns
or that mode going when everyone basically lived outside of
Florida. It's just very difficult to keep that going, it's very
expensive. It's very difficult to rehearse. We'd go months without
rehearsing, which is insane. It's very hard to maintain that,
to keep the machine oiled, the musicians being the machine.
With this it's just been killer. I've been jamming with Scott
and Shannon for over two years now, like I said, in the Control
Denied era into the Death. Richard has only been in the Death
line-up, but I also recruited him as well for the Control Denied
album which we are going to record after we are done touring
for Death. So basically, it's been killer. I've been very lucky.
I believe, like I said, in life taking its course, and meeting
the right people in the right time. That's basically how this
line-up came together. I didn't put out ads. I didn't even want
to go that route.
A: Well, word of mouth probably spreads like wildfire when you
are looking for members.
C: Yeah, exactly. As soon as Richard heard I was looking for
a drummer, he was the first drummer and the last one I auditioned.
He came in, crushed, and I was like that's it, its done. It
was actually that easy. It's all been good. I'm so psyched.
I think the record speaks for itself. I think that people were
surprised that I didn't get big named people. Big names have
nothing to do with being talented.
A: That much is obvious.
C: Yeah, you know. So, for me it didn't matter. I didn't think
twice about it. About looking for people that were from Florida
that were never on records. I could have cared less, really.
What matters to me are that people are good as people and good
as musicians. If you get those two combinations, then you are
A: Yeah, one of my concerns was filling Gene Hoglan's shoes,
because he is phenomenal, but the first tune, "Scavenger
Of Human Sorrow," with just the beginning... my worries
were gone. Just the way you started it off.
C: Yeah, I specifically knew when we got that song done, I knew.
I told everyone, "This is going to be the first track."
I knew that spoke an immense amount of conviction. If there
were any doubts, they would be resolved within a few seconds
if not, a minute or two. By the time you are in the chorus of
that one there is no doubt, as far as I'm concerned. That's
what I felt anyway. I knew basically that if I was feeling that,
the fans would hear it too.
A: Absolutely. Is Control Denied going to be on Nuclear Blast
as well, do you know?
C: Ahh, yes. That is what we are talking about right now. We
are finally getting to that. Death has been such a full time
thing. As soon as I got that together. I haven't had a chance
to talk to them about anything else, but now I'm starting do
discuss that, which they are extremely interested in. I'm really
psyched about that, that's gonna crush as well. Control Denied,
the best way to describe that is: taking off exactly where Death
is, what Death is about musically. Extreme metal, extreme as
far as extremely melodic, extremely aggressive. The biggest
difference is the vocals and the name change. I recruited a
killer singer, Ken Amar from America; a great singer in the
lines of a Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford type of vocals. That's
the fifth element that is missing from Death. That's why I formed
Control Denied, because in Death people expect a certain vocal
style, so they are going to get that, but at the same time for
the past three records, at least, I have wanted and kept hearing
the other melody that is in my head and that is with the vocals.
Like I said, I didn't want to do that with Death, because it
wouldn't be Death. That's basically the big line that I cross
over for Control Denied, was bringing that fifth element in.
It's gonna crush, that's a promise.
A: I believe it. You did it somewhat on "Painkiller"
as well, with your vocals there.
C: Yeah, you see, I got to get away with it on that one. For
one thing I think it shocked a lot of people, but basically
that's what I prefer singing. To sing melodic you can express
yourself in so many different ways, it's endless. It's like
an instrument at that point; like a guitar. That's where a lot
of the melodies come in for Death, through the guitar work,
because it kinda makes up for a lot of the vocals that I am
not hearing. A lot of the melodies in Death are actually vocal
lines that I am hearing. So, the guitar has been a very important
link into the melodic direction that the music has been takin
for years and years. But, yeah, "Painkiller" I got
away with it. It wasn't a Death song so I got to bust it out
and have a great time.
A: Were you like singing in the shower when you realized you
could hit those notes; like walking around the house singing
C: (laughs) Well, basically for Control Denied, when I was presenting
the material to Tim and stuff, I would demo stuff off for him,
so I got a lot of practice singing with Control Denied. Yeah,
basically all my life I grew up listening to traditional metal.
Just like anyone else, being in the car singing along. I've
always had that side, but I could never put it into Death and
get away with it. So this is like my chance to say, "Okay,
here it is." And it's great. I had a blast doing it!
A: Is Control Denied going to be your new direction now, or
are you still going to continue with Death as well?
C: Death will always be a part of my musical heritage and future
as well, but for me Control Denied is the best of both worlds.
I get the musical approach of Death, because musically I am
extremely thrilled with where Death has moved to throughout
the years. I am totally satisfied with that, but Control Denied
is that whole other realm of just... man for years now it's
been very frustrating because I am hearing something that I
am not able to put down on top of music. So, for me Death will
always naturally be, no pun intended, alive because the music
is always going to continue no matter what band, whether it's
Death or Control Denied. People are always going to hear the
standards that they expect from Death in whatever I'm involved
in, because the way I write is the way I write. It's very difficult
to simplify writing, because if you simplify things for me it's
compromising, and there is no compromising when it comes to
whatever music I'm involved in. It's against my religion, basically.
A: Well, you seem obviously excited about the new Death, but
it seems like Control Denied is almost your passion as far as
the vocals. If Control Denied takes off, and does as well as
Death does or better, do you think you might stick with Control
Denied? It seems like you are expressing something there that
you couldn't express in Death and it's almost frustrating you.
C: Yeah, it's very frustrating. I don't think people expected
this band to last almost 14 years now. The thing is, the music
has really, really evolved massively from the first record,
if you put Scream Bloody Gore on and The Sound of Perseverance
A: Yeah, that's obvious. It seems each album, it almost reminds
me of Voivod in that sense, if you take the Voivod stuff until
they kind of regressed back to simpler times. Each album you
could hear that progression, you could hear that growth, you
could hear the new ideas.
C: Yeah, absolutely, and it's very frustrating to have that
one element holding it back. My whole attitude with music is
to not be held back. That's why it was so frustrating.
A: Provided Control Denied does as well, and you still feel
Death is holding you back will you ever lay Death to rest? No
A: (laughs) It could possibly happen sure. I've got material
written for Death beyond this album, you know, riffs and stuff
on tape. So, who knows. There could definitely be another Death
album somewhere in the future. I definitely never say never.
I have to say that right now, but Control Denied has massive
potential to definitely go beyond what Death is doing. Music
wise, especially because I won't be singing, has enabled me
when I wrote that music to not worry abut having to sing. It
gave me freedom. I wouldn't take anything back as far as my
time away from this whole Death thing, because it improved me
as a guitar player, I feel immensely. Just concentrating on
playing guitar for Control Denied, just working on that material.
The time off was extremely valuable to me.
A: Is there a unifying concept between the songs on the new
C: Uh, well basically, in a way, yeah. You know, reality linking
everything together, every song is about things we can all relate
to, personal things I've gone through that other people I know,
for a fact, go through out there. That's what links it all together.
The pure reality of it all. I think that is what is so real
about this record. It's real, musically and lyrically. There
is no bullshit on this album, there is no trend following. It
is all on the traditional path with respect to real issues and
real music, and I think they go hand in hand. There are a lot
of different emotions put into the music and lyrics on this
album. Everyday emotions: pain, happiness, sadness, challenges,
A: Definitely anger.
C: All that is part of being a person, and dealing with reality.
A: Are you still in touch with any of Death's former members,
aside from Steve as you mentioned earlier?
C: Just basically Steve and Gene. I'll run into Bobby every
once and a while, off of Symbolic, but that's basically it.
Everyone else, I have no idea what's going on.
A: What do you think of Gene's work with Strapping Young Lad?
C: I think it's killer. I was disappointed with the Testament.
I read an article, they told him to hold back, they didn't want
someone going crazy. In my opinion, why have someone as killer
as Gene if you're not going to let him go crazy? That's what
people expect, Gene is killer. I think it was a shame to hear
him held back. They could have gotten any drummer to do that
record, but I think they kinda wanted a name. As a fan of Gene's,
I think what he is doing in Strapping Young Lad is far more
fitting, and I think Devin is a great artist, a great song writer
and singer. I think Gene hooked up with a real cool person.
A: Yeah, I agree. Are you able to make a living from music at
C: Ahhh, barely. I pay my bills, I live a normal lifestyle,
a non-extravagant lifestyle. I have a modest house, a Toyota.
(laughs) I have two dogs, two cats. A normal lifestyle, you
know what I mean. I go out once or twice a week. Nothing outrageous.
A: Are you able to sit home and play all day?
C: Well, other than taking care of business, yeah.
A: That's nice.
C: I usually end up playing at night, other than the day, because
daytime I have to deal with phone calls, and all the...
C: Yeah, (laughs) stuff like that. So, night is my music time.
Other than listening to metal all day long, I take care of business,
like I'm doing now. I wake up, drink coffee, eat a bagel, and
just plunge into the day.
A: At what point in Death's career were you able to quit your
crappy day job, if you had one?
C: Basically umm, around the Human era. I was able to have an
apartment. There is definitely struggling involved, barely making
it at times. Still, it fluctuates. In the music business people
think, "Wow, when you got records out... ." I hear
people saying, "Man, when our record comes out, I'm quitting
(note: The other phone in Al's house rings at this point, really
loud. You hear Al pick it up and slide it across the floor and
out of the room, "RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRing!!!.")
A: Yeah, fat chance.
C: I don't want to laugh in front of them, because I don't want
to crush their dreams, but I just kinda laugh inside and go,
"Oh my god!"
A: You should forewarn them.
(note: At this point, the answering machine kicks in, and in
the background, Big Tittie Car Wash, one of our writers, can
be heard singing "Shalom Alehem," a traditional Jewish
favorite, and yelling at the top of his lungs. You can't hear
them talking all you can hear is Big Tittie singing. It is very
funny and I give Al a lot of credit for keeping it together
and not breaking down laughing in Chuck's face. Well, not really
in his face as they are on the phone, but you know what I mean.
- Piston Rod)
C: They are just in for such a shock. I am open to people, and
I basically do tell people that when you are starting out, prepare
for the ride to hell and back. This is not a fun business. The
only fun is writing and playing music, and being a fan. That's
the fun I get out of it. There are a lot of elements that will
go against you. Elements that you thought aren't there or wouldn't
A: Well, you said you listen to metal 24 hours a day. What's
your all time favorite metal album?
C: My all time favorite metal album? That's a tough one. For
me a very crucial album, not just one being a fan, but also
a guitar player was probably Number Of The Beast - Iron Maiden.
That is absolutely a bible of metal for me. That whole time
period, 1983 - 84, were two absolutely crucial years of metal
for me. As being a fan, and also as being a guitar player starting
out at that point. That's basically where my inspiration lies
is from the early 80's. Definitely some of the most outrageous
crushing records were released. Kill 'Em All, Show No Mercy,
Melissa by Mercyfyl Fate.
A: Yeah, I just saw them the night before last.
C: You saw Melissa?
A: No King Diamond. No! I mean Mercyfyl Fate, that is... I'm
sorry. Still good, still a great band.
C: Yeah, killer stuff man, and for me a lot of people ask what
influences me in today's scene, and nothing, absolutely nothing
influences me. My inspiration and influences are all conceived
from the early 80's. Absolutely, and that's where it will always
A: Are there metal bands today that you enjoy listening to or
C: Oh, yeah. There are bands I enjoy listening to, absolutely.
There is some good stuff going on out there. For one thing,
King Diamond, Mercyfyl Fate, new bands like Primal Fear, Hammerfall,
Nocturnal Rites, the new Bruce Dickinson solo album is killer.
I just picked up a CD by a band called Elegy who I think are
from Finland, they are really killer. Good band. I got the new
Sinner album, that's a really good album. So, there are some
real good records coming out, man. Thank god, because for a
while the scene was lagging for a while in my opinion, for real
A: It was pretty dry there.
C: Yeah, it's picking up now. In America it'll pick up real
soon. This year is going to be a very big year for the reemergence
of true metal. Real metal, not this "Yo motherfucker, jump
up and down" shit. Fuck all that.
A: Back to tight pants, instead of baggy pants.
C: Yeah, exactly. Definitely, I think it would be nice to get
a tight pants endorsement in there. I'm from that school, man,
not this baggy shit.
A: Well, you talk about true metal. I take it you are a Manowar
fan as well?
C: Absolutely. A: Who is your favorite guitarist that they have
C: Well, I... naturally their new guy is really good. He's real
technical and all that. I really enjoy some of the early years.
Battle Hymns is a masterpiece.
A: Yeah. (like a lovesick puppy)
C: Into Glory Ride, killer album.
A: That's the Ross The Boss era.
C: Yeah, you know, Ross The Boss was definitely classic. There
was something magical about that, but at the same time I think
one of the greatest albums that they released also is Triumph
A: Oh yeah, absolutely.
C: Rhino, that drummer, if fucking godly. I freaked out when
I bought that album, because I lost hope for Manowar for a little
while, and I saw that album and I was like, "You know these
song titles sound really good." I was basically going back
to the fan way of buying a record, the titles looked cool, the
album cover looked metal, and I bought it, and I could not fucking
believe what I heard. That record is so heavy, and I really
think unfortunately a lot of people didn't get a chance to really
be exposed to it. And now they got their old drummer back, which
I don't know how that guy is going to pull off the stuff Rhino
A: Yeah, he doesn't. I've seen them live twice since they got
him back, and...
C: Really, did you? (sounding a little jealous)
A: Yeah, absolutely.
C: Where did you see them at, up north?
A: New York City.
C: Wow. (now he is sounding really jealous)
A: I have been listening
to Manowar probably since I was about 8, and the first time
I got to see them was twice in one week. Once in New York and
once in Jersey, and it was a religious experience.
C: Wow. How did he play that Triumph Of Steel stuff? Did they
A: Um, they did "Metal Warriors."
A: But as far the really fast double bass and technical stuff,
he just stayed away from it.
A: He doesn't even... in a song like "Blackwind Fire and
Steel", you know the double bass in that?
A: He just does kick-snare-kick-snare-kick-snare-kick-snare.
C: No way!
C: Man!A: I mean, I'm never gonna badmouth a member of Manowar,
because it's Manowar.
C: Yeah, I know. Same here. Scott [Columbus] played on some of
the greatest albums they did, but on that album they definitely
touched on an element that they were, I thought, missing in a
way. But, that's cool. I'm the same way, if I got to see them
A: You still haven't seen them?
A: Ahh, wow.
C: Never. Nuclear Blast just signed them for Europe.
A: They signed Manowar? (surprised)
C: So, I've got a connection now!
A: That's good!
C: Like, I'd be happy to sit down and have a beer with those guys.
They are fucking awesome man. Definitely.
A: Absolute gods.
C: We are probably two of the very few Manowar fans in America
A: Yeah, there are others. I saw them in New York and they broke
the record for attendance at the club.
C: Really?? Killer!
A: And before the show there was a crowd of like 50 people just
singing their songs.
A: Like just all together as a group. It was phenomenal.
C: That's awesome!
A: So, do you think you might get to tour Europe with Manowar?
C: Oh man, that would crush!
A: I would freak out, I would love to have Manowar bust out a
tour in America.
C: Oh yeah, absolutely. Basically, what I would like to see happen
in America is for a metal festival to tour. You know, being real
metal. Manowar, Death, bring over Primal Fear, Hammerfall, have
Maiden get Bruce back in and tour.
C: I wouldn't mind having Bruce come out, because his new album
A: You're not a fan of Maiden's new vocalist either?
A: Yeah, it seems no one that was an old school Maiden fan likes
them. I'm with ya.
C: I'll tell you what, I'm open minded but, Whoooooo! That guys
hurtin'! There's just no getting around it, but actually just
to get Bruce out on tour for a big festival, US tour, would be
killer, because his new album is killer, man. Very crushing.
A: I better check it out.
C: Yeah, it's coming out September 15th.
A: I hadn't cared for Tattooed Millionaire and the other solo
stuff I'd heard, so...
C: Have you heard Accident Of Birth yet?
A: No, I haven't
C: Oh, whooo, you gotta get it man.
A: Alright. I definitely will.
C: Killer fucking record, very heavy. I mean heavier and better
then anything Maiden has done in a long time. I was not a big
fan of Tattooed Millionaire also, I just basically bought it because
I was a fan.
A: Yeah, same thing.
C: Yeah, it's just in my collection. You gotta get Accident Of
Birth. Balls To Picasso is also a killer record, and the album
is also really killer. If you are a Bruce fan, and a fan of that
A: I am.
C: Then get it. I met him when I was in Europe recently, and I
was completely honored. Being a major fan, I was like, "Whooo",
it was killer man. A really nice guy too. Really, really nice.
Down to earth. So, I was stoked.
A: Okay, we should probably talk about Death some more.
C: Yeah, probably!
A: What Death song do you feel most accurately represents what
the band is about? Your overall concept, both lyrically and musically.
C: Right now, my favorite song off the new record is "The
Flesh And The Power It Holds."
A: Exactly what I was thinking, it's my favorite tune as well.
C: Yeah, I just think that song basically says it all for this
band. It's got every element that this band is a part of. As well
as "Scavenger Of Human Sorrow," also. That's why I put
that song first on the record.
(Al's doorbell rings loudly, twice, completely drowining out what
Chuck was saying. Yep, it's Big Tittie Car Wash, tired of waiting
for Al to call him back.)
A: Sorry about that!
C: That's OK, what was that, a clock?
A: No, it's the doorbell.
A: Oh, okay. Yeah, so definitely, "Flesh" is... if I
was going to pick one song, it would be either "Flesh"
A: That song, "Flesh And The Power," especially makes
me wish I had the lyrics.
C: Yeah, definitely. Pick up the album when it comes out.
A: I'm gonna.
C: It'll have the lyrics for one thing, plus there is a lot of
really good artwork in the record, the cover looks a lot better
on the actual proper version. The promo copies that went out look
really fucking dark, and they shouldn't look like that. Something
in the printing went kinda weird.
A: Yeah, I saw a copy of the cover on the Nuclear Blast web site.
It was a lot lighter.
C: Yeah, it's a lot better, a lot lighter.
A: If you don't look really closely at the promo copy, you don't
see the guys climbing.
C: Yeah, exactly. I was kinda disappointed about that, but luckily
it's just the promo. But yeah, the lyrics are very important man,
because especially "Flesh And The Power." That song,
for me, was very important.
A: Are their any Death songs from your back catalogue that you
will absolutely never play anymore?
A: Oh yeah sure, there is just stuff that will be forever on vinyl
or CD that people can listen to. There is too many to try and
fit into a set list now. Naturally we have to cater to the newer
album. That's just inevitable with any band. This is our seventh
record so. There are still songs that we have to play, I feel.
A & C (at the same time): "Pull The Plug."
C: Crucial. That's our "Living After Midnight" song.
A: Will you ever reconsider reworking the parts? It's a good way
to get away with it if you are unhappy with the way the music
C: Yeah, that's a good question because, you know, we are going
to start busting out "Evil Dead" and "Zombie Ritual"
again, and we've updated it. In a good way.
A: You probably get tired of people screaming it.
C: Yeah, you have to play it! Exactly. If people are screaming
it that much!
A: I remember I saw you on the Symbolic tour, and there was this
one guy who was screaming, (Al goes into a death metal voice)
"Zombie Ritualll!!" the whole time.
C: Yeah, and you have to stay true to those people. I'm a fan.
I know what it's like going to a show wanting to hear that one
killer old song. So, yeah. We're going to bust it out, but it's
also ten years later do naturally we want to update it with respect
to giving it a little edge of today. We put in some killer double
bass and some stuff. Kinda giving it a push.
A: Are you prepared to hear people screaming "Zombie Ritual"
at Control Denied shows?
C: Yeah, of course. Unfortunately they will be "Zombie Denied"
though. (laughs) It's not gonna happen. When we tour for Control
Denied, we will play the whole record of Control Denied, maybe
bust out a couple of fun songs. Cover tunes or something just
for fun. But basically that album is going to be pretty lengthy
so we are going to have enough material to play live. Yeah, but
no Death. It's inevitable.
A: The song "Regurgitated Guts" off the first album,
was it inspired by the movie The Gates Of Hell?
C: Totally. Basically every song on that album was a gore flick.
A: Are you still into horror and gore?
C: Ahh yeah, but there just isn't a lot of good movies coming
out these days. I'm into the more traditional horror movies, like
The Exorcist. Stuff like from that era. Stuff that came out in
the 80's was killer. These days, I've kinda lost hope as far as
bigger scary movies and all that. Everything is Hollywood now.
Too computerized, I like traditional effects.
A: I saw The Gates Of Hell when I was extremely young and I got
the first Death album when I was really young as well and hearing
the lyrics to "Regurgitated Guts", the first line. My
reaction to that scene in The Gates Of Hell was really bad when
I was younger, and When I heard the lyrics I was really young
and it kind of made my stomach queze, because I remember that
scene of the people puking up the guts.
C: I guess we did something good then.
A: Yeah, the music has the effect.
C: There we go.
A: Are you a fan of pornography at all?
C: Ahh, somewhat... sure, you know. I definitely can enjoy good
A: We do interviews with porn stars as well, so we always ask.
C: Really?? So you've got the connections, huh?
A: We worked, we worked. Any favorite movies or stars?
C: Uhh, god. I haven't been able to keep up with a lot of the
newer stars, like Jenna Jameson and all that.
A: Well, we are old school freaks actually.
C: Yeah, well, I'm more from the Ginger Lynn era (that is Ginger
at left). Definitely there are some crushing women from that time
A: You describe them the same way as a metal album: "crushing."
C: Yeah. (laughs) The traditional porn. Yeah, I'm from that era
as well. I've seen a lot more from back then, then of the newer
ones, to tell the truth.
A: You're better off sticking with the ones back then for the
most part, unfortunately.
C: Yeah, there were some crushing stuff going on back then. I
remember that was part of my heritage of being 15, 16. Definitely,
that was a good time period to start watching porn.
A: Early 80's.
C: Yeah, early 80's!
A: It was a golden era. How was the Metalfest this year for you
C: Crushing, one of the best ones we've played as far as the response
and the vibe in the air was fucking crushing man. It was killer.
To play with Mercyful Fate was also... what can I say? They are
one of my favorite bands. So that was like a dream come true.
I've been lucky. The first Metalfest we ever played was with King
Diamond back in the Scream Bloody Gore times...
A: That's going back!
C: Yeah, the Abigail tour. It was killer. So, to be able to play
with Mercyful Fate and the response that we got from people was
killer. I think it really said a lot for the state of metal in
America, that it is in demand. There are people ready for real
metal, and we're out here and we're ready to give it to them.
A: Was the response to the new material as strong as to "Pull
The Plug" and the old stuff?
C: Well, basically we didn't get a chance to play anything new
at the Metalfest because we were limited on time. In Europe we
were playing three songs we were playing "Flesh And The Power
It Holds," "Spirit Crusher," and "Scavenger
Of Human Sorrow," and it was pretty mind blowing for people,
and they were like, "Wow!" They hadn't heard the album
yet so that was the first time. That was big songs to play of
someone who hasn't heard them before. I think people were very
taken back, like in a good way.
A: If you had a choice would you rather have a tiny dick, or huge
C: (laughs) What a question!! Jeez!! Both are tortured concepts.
A: Well, we like to challenge you.
C: That's a nightmare thought. Jesus. Ahh, god. I'd rather have
a well balance of both genitalia. (laughing)
A: (laughing) That's no fun! That's not allowed. You can't weasel
out of that one. That's the hardest question of the interview!
C: Cool, awesome. I'll probably have nightmares about that tonight!
A: I'm gonna give the guy who wrote "Regurgitated Guts"
A: How do you feel the metal scene has grown of changed since
you first started Death? I know you feel that it went through
rough periods, but do you feel the strengths coming out now are
as strong as when you first started?
C: I feel like it's gonna come back in a very vengeful way, with
a vengeance, because people are so fucking pissed off man, right
now. In America I'm talking. In Europe and everywhere else it's
huge. I'm America people are so ready to embrace real metal. They
are sick of this stuff going around being called metal in America.
It's not metal. If corporate America thinks that, then of course
if they think that then they are a bunch of idiots. They are a
bunch of corporate morons running around, not even listening to
metal, going to shows... they don't even know what's going on.
Corporate America is a very powerful, dangerous thing. Luckily,
there are metal-freaks, like you and me, and probably everyone
that's going to read this. People I hang out with, my friends,
we all are ready to see it come back. It's going to be a beautiful
day when it does.
A: Yeah, we'll all sit down and have a beer.
C: Yeah, exactly. We'll all toast to it!
A: Do you have an opinion on black metal?
C: Umm, it's OK. It's not my favorite thing to listen to basically.
For one thing, I don't know who's who because they all look the
A: They look kinda like King Diamond.
C: Yeah. They are all sounding the same There is a lot of copying
going on in that genre. Everyone is an originator, and everyone
can't be an originator. No matter what kind of music, you know.
It's OK for what it is, I have nothing against it. I just can't
keep up with a lot of that stuff. There is so much of it out there.
I hear stuff every once and a while through compilation tapes.
I don't know, I just prefer more melodic stuff. to be honest.
A: It seems the singing one the new album is a lot higher pitched
then in the past releases. Was that a conscious decision?
C: Ahhhh, on Symbolic they got a little higher, a little more
varied. On this album they just kinda went from that vibe to a
little bit more... not really conscious, but that is where my
throat is at right now, my throat basically evolved into whatever
it is right now. That is basically what came out, what happened.
I'm lucky to have a thoat still, so...
A: Yeah, after 14 years!
C: Yeah, I'm happy if something comes out!
A: I played the album for a lot of people and watched their reaction.
And usually it's the drummer, they get taken back, and then go,
"Wow, his vocals are a lot higher."
C: Yeah, it's a fresh album, so people are going to definitely
hear things that are going to hit them as new, or a little different,
and I think once people listen to it, just like with Symbolic,
it will be second nature as far as what they are hearing.
A: It seems the production has an almost... dirtier sound than
Symbolic, or a lot more raw.
C: With Symbolic, we definitely captured the real essence, I thought.
That was our goal, as well as Jim Morris. That is the direction
of producing he comes from, having an album that sounds like real
musicians played on it. We went with that direction as well [with
The Sound...], trying to capture the real sound of drums being
recording in a big, killer drum room. The guitars being recorded
in a big room... I hate that closet production that a lot of bands
are getting... that a lot of producers are GETTING bands, I should
say. I am into things sounding real and we went in and just did
what we do on this album. We worked with Jim Morrison again which
is crushing! We're going to continue working with him throughout
Control Denied as well. Absolutely.
A: I am going to name some guitarists. Just give me the first
word that comes to mind when you hear each name.
C: Uh oh... that's trouble! (laughs) Go for it!
A: Jeff Beck.
C: Killer! Killer traditional important rock player of the 70's.
A: Frank Zappa.
C: Killer! Total freak, and I say that in a good way... he did
his own thing, didn't care about what anyone thought.
A: Absolutely. I think he could have been a metal player in this
day and age...
C: (laughs) Yeah!! There's some crazy stuff going on with them!
A: How about John Cougar Mellencamp?
C: (pauses) Uhhhhh... Yngwie ripoff!! (laughs)
A: (laughing) That wasn't the response I expected, but it was
a good one! Steve Vai?
C: Killer player! Definitely original.
A: Mick Mars.
C: Too technical!! (both laugh) Naaaah, I used to like some old
Motley Crue. The first couple of albums. Mick's traditional. He's
got that traditional rock approach. Not the most technical player,
but perfect for what Crue does.... you know!
A: How about Trey Azagthoth from Morbid Angel?
C: Good guitar player. Really killer... has his own style, his
own approach... I can definitely respect him for what he does.
A: Okay. Just one last question: Do you have any male friends
with girly names that you make fun of?
C: (laughs hard) Not really! That's an interesting question! I've
never been asked that one before... I do have one guy. His name
C: No, I'm kidding... (laughing), no I don't...
A: Trudy would have been a good one!
A: I really appreciate you taking the time for the interview!
C: No problem, man! My pleasure!
A: I am definitely going to see you guys on tour.
C: Definitely! We'll be up there... probably... around the 20th
A: Yeah... you're playing, I think, the Bank...
A: No, no no, wait... Coney Island High! That's it!
C: That's it!
A: I got the date... I'll be there!
C: Killer, man! Keep the metal faith!
A: I will!
A: Good talking to you!
C: Talk to you, man!
A: Bye bye.