THE FOUNDER OF the modern
Death Metal scene, Chuck Schuldiner, took the underground by storm
way back in 1987 with the release of the first Death album,
Scream Bloody Gore, and in the 10+ years following, Chuck has
never failed to find new ways to captivate his ever growing worldwide
fans base. Now, with the impending release of the first new Death
album in over three years and the hint of a side project album
of pure Heavy Metal, it seems the golden age of Chuck Schuldiner
is upon us.
REJOICE! DEATH IS NEAR!
Bring us up to date with
what you've been up to for the past three years.
CHUCK: Well basically after the Symbolic tour I
became very disillusioned due to the massive lack of support that
our record label, Roadrunner Records, gave us for that release.
Around that time I made it known in the press that I was very
interested in concentrating my efforts on guitar playing and writing
music and possibly turning over the singing to someone else. So
once my obligations to the Symbolic release were completed
I put the whole Death thing aside and concentrated on writing
music and recruiting band members for Control Denied.
We put together a demo with a singer out of Pittsburgh and sent
it out to a bunch of labels but I felt that the time was not right
yet for this style of music. At the time I was also writing quite
a bit of Death music so when I decided to put the whole
Control Denied thing on hold I pulled a bunch of
those songs out and started playing with them. I decided that
it would be the right thing to do to put a new Death album
out there before plunging headlong into Control Denied
because when we do put Control Denied out there
it will be a full blown release with a world tour. As well the
clamor for a new Death album from the fans was all around
me so it just felt right to record the new material and make it
as crushing as possible before going into a new direction.
SOD: What are the
musical differences between Death and Control Denied?
CHUCK: Well, the vocals for Control Denied are much
more traditional Power Metal style along the lines of Iron
Maiden and Judas Priest but the rest of the lineup
is identical to Death. I suppose there's a bit more of
a majestic style to the guitars on Control Denied and not
so many blast sections, it's really a very different style of
SOD: Tell me what your vision
for the new Death album was.
CHUCK: Basically what I wanted to do with this album was
put forth everything the fans have come to expect from Death
and then surpass those expectations. The title, The Sound Of
Perseverance, describes the whole attitude, how this album
came to be, how we overcame all sorts of obstacles, the album
is pure attitude. The album is very anti-trend, it's bursting
with melodies, bursting with heaviness and aggression, it's everything
that a metal album should be. I put my heart and soul into making
this album as rebellious and anti-trend as possible.
SOD: A lot of fans look
back on the first three Death albums, Scream Bloody
Gore, Leprosy and Spiritual Healing, as the highlights of
your career. How do you react to this?
CHUCK: Having a favorite album by a band is all part of
being a fan, but at the same time I personally look back on Scream
Bloody Gore and think wow, I've improved so much since this
album. I've always had a vision for Death as being the
kind of band that shows constant improvement and change from album
to album. I mean, putting out seven albums in a row that all sound
the same would get pretty boring, don't your think? I always have
to laugh when I hear someone say that we've wimped out or some
nonsense. The new album has hauling ass double bass. Some of the
most crushing riffs. Just totally intense metal music. How can
anyone call that wimpy? You can never please everyone so its best
to just stick to what makes you happy and let the fans come to
SOD: Tell me about your
recent appearance at the Dynamo Festival. That must have been
CHUCK: It was just fucking amazing. Even if I was just
there hanging out and not playing it still would have been one
of the most memorable experiences of my life. The whole vibe behind
having 35,000 people in one place totally united in the worship
of metal is hard to describe. The whole metal movement in Europe
is fucking huge. I savored every moment of the experience, from
seeing the killer hands, to meeting cool people to playing right
before Pantera in front of the biggest crowd I've ever
SOD: Let's talk about some
of the songs on the new album. Did you write all the lyrics again?
CHUCK: Yes I did. Lyrically the songs are all about real
life, they are all based in reality. "Scavenger of Human
Sorrow" is about people who seem to thrive of the troubles
and downfalls of others and how the media seems preoccupied with
the dark side of life and obsessed with making a buck at the expense
of human misery. "A Moment of Clarity" relates how sometimes
you have to go through hard times and storms before you can see
things clearly, it's a very positive song about the opportunties
that can come your way if you just choose to learn from your experiences.
SOD: You seem very mellow
and at ease with yourself and your music. Didn't you used to have
a reputation for being a bit of a dick?
CHUCK: Oh sure, that's something that I've heard over the
grapevine for years. Actually, I'm one of the easiest people in
the world to get along with. In fact I've probably been a little
too easy going and I've let quite a few people step on me and
then they are surprised when I say enough is enough. I give people
the benefit of the doubt and I give people many chances but you
can't let people walk all over you forever.