segunda-feira, 13 de dezembro de 2010

Exclusive interview: Uncirculated feature with DEATH visionary Chuck Schuldiner

Chuck Schuldiner (1995) by Mark Morton

(By) Mark Morton gave us a great gift: an interview with Chuck in 1995. More details below:

Nine years ago today, the world lost one of its greatest metal music visionaries in Chuck Schuldiner. Beyond a technically-proficient and forward-thinking musician, Schuldiner was a metal fan. At Death concerts, when not on stage, he could easily be found mingling and laughing with fans, chatting about what bands and albums get him motivated.

It was on such an evening in 1995 that I had an opportunity to spend a little bit of time with Chuck. At Sea Seas music hall in Moosic, PA along the Metal To The Masses tour trail in support of the then brand new album SYMBOLIC, I interviewed Chuck for the short-lived fanzine MORBID VOICE. Aside from the 500 people or so who received an issue of the DIY ‘zine when it was published 15 years ago, the interview fell into obscurity…until today.

Read on, as we turn the clock back to 1995 and commemorate the life of Mr. Chuck Schuldiner with some entertaining words from the man himself. As a bit of extra setting, the conversation took place on a pool patio behind the venue, following the band’s set. Enjoy, and, as he always used to say, “Let the metal flow!”

When you created Death, did you have any idea that you would become responsible for opening America’s ears to a new extreme musical genre?

Chuck: Well, absolutely not! I don’t know if…it’s definitely cool that people give Death credit. We hung in there, but I have to give credit to other bands as well, like Venom and Celtic Frost, and all who were early influences that inspired us; not just death metal, but other bands like Anvil, Exciter, and Raven. But it’s great to be acknowledged for at least helping.

In the early stages of Death, what were your intentions?

Chuck: To play some of the heaviest metal that hopefully there could ever be; to always get better at what we were doing. And for myself as a guitar player, I’ve always wanted to get better but stay true to the music – never wimp out or whip out any power ballads.

Was Death your first “real” band?

Chuck: Yeah, definitely. I was in one band before that; played mostly covers. As a high school band, we played Iron Maiden, which is also a great band and another influence.

As time went on, Death matured - retaining its heavy sound but becoming more technical and could really no longer be considered simply a death metal band. Are you happy with this progression?

Chuck: Absolutely! I hope we’re never considered just “us” – I don’t want to feel everything we’ve done was everything we can do! The band is going to be the band and its sound, but hopefully it will become more advanced without losing the heaviness, the double bass, and all the other key ingredients.

Death has gone through numerous lineup changes. Is this due to the people you recruit not wanting to progress along with your ideas or not willing to progress at all?

Chuck: That is a very big part of it. People need to understand that, while I wish there were never any lineup changes, some are inevitable. You can’t stop them or else you’ll end up like everybody else wants you to be – ant that might be something straightforward or, for some people, even backward. I’ve always wanted to go forward, because I think you have to do that in life; why live it? Hopefully, this is a really, really good lineup and we’re very happy with the way things are going.

How exactly did you find the new bassist and guitarist?

Chuck: Actually, through mutual friends in Orlando. I made a few phone calls and said, “Hey, I need a couple of people!”

Did Gene’s [Hoglan] involvement with Dark Angel influence you to acquire him or did you audition him?

Chuck: No audition needed! As soon as I knew Gene was available, he had the spot! I’ve been into Gene Hoglan as a drummer since the first time I heard him, which was in 1984 or 1985 or something like that.

Would you ever work with Steve DiGiorgio or James Murphy again?

Chuck: Steve, sure. James, absolutely not!


Chuck: Same reason he’s not with other bands right now. Ask Obituary; ask Cancer why they won’t play with him anymore. I wish him the best of luck, but he, I would never play with him ever again!

How did you manage to get a hold of Andy LaRocque for the last album?

Chuck: I’ve been a big fan of Andy’s for a long time; I think King Diamond is ruling…all the way back to the Mercyful Fate days! We were in a position where we had material for INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT PATTERNS ready to be recorded and we still hadn’t found a permanent guitar player. I was definitely picky! I wanted to make it someone killer.

We didn’t have anyone permanent in mind, so I called up Andy…I didn’t even know him; I just called him up! I took a chance. I said, “Hey, my name is Chuck. I’m in the band called Death and we’re about to record a record. We’re very much into what you’re doing, and we’d really love it if you could come down and play some leads.” I sent him a tape with some of the material, and he really liked it! He came in and threw down some killer leads.

What influences your lyric writing?

Chuck: Life – things we all go through. No matter if you’re in a band or whatever you do. Life is pretty complex. I find a lot of inspiration in what goes on every day.

Did you find it difficult to write ALL of the material?

Chuck: Not at all. I feel very productive, actually.

No writer’s block yet?

Chuck: No…knock on wood.

Kiss’ “God of Thunder;” did you record that specifically for AT DEATH’S DOOR II or was that a previously recorded song that was never previously released?

Chuck: Exactly; it was recorded, we had it lying around, and they really wanted it on there. I said, “Okay, whatever!” I wish we had done it again, actually. It was okay, but I think we could have done it better.

Were you happy with the way “The Philosopher” video turned out?

Chuck: Yeah, actually, very happy. It was very low budget.

Were you aware that BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD…

Chuck: Yes, I know. But actually, they played it more than HEADBANGERS BALL did. So, it helped us, in a way, to get exposed!

So, is that REALLY Jeremy running through the woods?

Chuck: No [laughs]. No, it was Jeremy’s long lost evil twin brother.

Visit Empty Words; the official website honoring the life and work of Chuck Schuldiner.

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