Note from the translator:
"Some of the lines I decided not to translate for the mere reason to let bygones by bygones...."

Chuck: "This is much more than a record to me : it is a statement, it's revenge."



Chuck Schuldiner is angry and sticks up for himself with his new CD "Human". Not only by printing remarks like above on the cover, but above all through the music itself. With the help of top musicians Paul Masvidal (guitars) and Sean Reinert (drums) from Cynic and Steve DiGiorgio (bass) from Sadus, "Human" turned out to be the most progressive Death album so far. When the instrumental violence at times seems to be meaning a big raised middle finger towards certain ex-colleagues of Schuldiner it is definitely not by chance.

But Chuck is not that "evil" at all. He realizes there's also a time for remorse and expresses his regret about the cancelled tour at the end of last year. Let's call upon Mr. Death himself for a mix of anger without any compromises and a calm self- analysis.


Magazine: Aardschok-Metal Hammer/ Netherlands
Article: Ik ben ook maar een mens!

Written by: Robert Heeg
Published: December 1991



Let's not jump into the filth right away, let's start with something new and beautiful; "Human". After "Spiritual Healing" another step towards the techno direction.

"Indeed, it's a natural developement. One can not set bounderies for musical progression, certainly as a guitarist I don't wanna restrict myself. A song like "Cosmic Sea" is a good example. We optimum used studio techniques like the reversed recorded lead guitar at the end. We used to think we should at all times be able to play things live. We will never be able to do so with "Cosmic Sea" but it doesn't matter anymore, it's just a studio track and a breathing-space between all the heavy stuff on the CD. Refreshing."

With just over half an hour playing time it is a pretty short album.....

"Yes, but quality is more important, I won't put another song up just to make the record longer. It's a collection of equal compositions. A bit comparable with Slayers "Reign in Blood", that one also takes just about half an hour but leaves you behind wanting more. As a music lover I like that desire, you have to prevent dullness."

The song "Suicide Machine" is about euthanasia as "Pull The Plug" on "Leprosy", what is it about this subject?

"One should have the right not having to suffer. When you have a deadly illness without any escape then there's just one alternative. You don't wanna just see somebody die away real slow. I am an animal lover. When your dog is incurable ill the vet will put him to sleep. It's the most painless way. In many ways animals are like humans, they also feel pain, joy, guilt (my dog does hahaha). People as well don't have to suffer."

What's the current line up?

"Skott Carino on bass (who also plays on "Cosmic Sea"/RH) whom I hope stays a while. Masvidal and Reinert still are in Cynic but put that on hold to be able to tour with Death. In the long term I am searching for musicians still but I don't have to worry about it until after the tour. At the moment these musicians are irreplaceable. Sean is divine, his drumming is crucial on the CD. I always admired those guys, thanks to them the band could grow. Death compared to a meal they are the hot sauce being poured over making the whole much more stronger. I don't have to restrict myself as a writer to what is to be expected from death metal. It doesn't always have to be narrow minded noise. Even on "Scream Bloody Gore" (Death's debut in '87/RH) I had some worked out solos. Nobody can say we all of a sudden went wimpy just because we play decent leads and melodies. They have always been there and will always different Death from others."

Would this CD have been possible with the old line up?

"You just have to listen once for the answer. These aren't riffs suported by just some background music, everybody complements perfect, everybody is in total control. Sean sometimes plays the opposite of what the riffs do and becomes one with them at the same time. It is so original, hard to explain, you just have to hear it. These musicians bring Death alive, bring Death into reality. It's a pity they will go back to Cynic but I admire their devotion for their band."

Aren't the other Cynic men afraid of Paul and Sein sticking with you? After all you once ripped off Kam Lee's total line up of Massacre.

"They might be worried, I don't know. But thank God those Massacre days are gone. At least I work with professional musicians nowadays instead of people who wanted to be seen as musicians but couldn't deliver the required skills. People who don't give a fuck for self- improvement. My solos on Human aren't masturbation but proof of what I am capable of. They show I am the pivot without anybody else demanding the existence of Death. I am glad I now get a chance to clear away all the dirty, sick lies that are told about me. That's why this CD is the ultimate revenge for me man ! This album is crucial, an extension piece of myself. I am proving myself with what really matters: the music. I am just human and not created on some planet of perfection. I can make mistakes, unfortunately. The fact you release albums doesn't mean your life is perfectly in order. I have a right to make mistakes. That's why I had to take some time off, to put things into perspective. I like to seperate my two lives, I also talk different than I sing, hahaha! But when those two lives conflict with each other then you're in deep trouble. I won't be the first musician having to deal with this. When problems starting to mix, you can't think clear anymore, then you need a time-out. Hopefully people will understand they are thinking different through manipulation and lies. I have got to do some explaining. It's a pity some have to go through life by hurting others. I don't like hurting people, I rather prove myself."

Time-out meaning the cancelled tour last year?

"Yes, and I apologize for that to the fans, they must have been disappointed. But there's no reason to hate me as a person. I had to sort out some problems. Now I'm back with a new CD filled with brand-new material and not some old stuff I wrote five years ago like some others have to depend on."

Ex-colleagues of Massacre......

"Human is new, sincere and that's rare nowadays."

What about Terry Butler and Bill Andrews coming to Europe as Death despite of your cancellation.......

"That was sick, they did it just for the money. At the same time dragging the name of Death and me through the mud."

Even urging the audience to a mass "fuck Chuck" yelling.

"Disappointing, people lowering themselves to that level by intimidation of liars. Be mad at those perfoming as Death but weren't. Be mad at being took of for a ride, for being manipulated. They were victims of weak people. I can't blame anybody for what was being told to them, it was one-way and deliberate lied. I am sincere, as a human and as a musician, which I can't tell about those who lied about me. I can still look in the mirror and feel good. I can see now who are my true friends and who aren't. I threw away a lot of waste I carried around in my life. The ex-members of Death I considered being friends but they obviously weren't. They feel the need to ruin others."

Yet all the negative talks about you came from different sources.

"LIES ! Pathetic characters passing for humans. I pity them and hope they will be helped some day. The enormous skill on Human in fact is a big "fuck off" to all of them. A prove that I am not some psychotic monster but a person making music and who's personal situation has been abused. But this CD is not only for me, it's for all those that supported me, I hope they understand I am telling the truth. You see I don't have to lie I can tell the rock hard truth, like Terry Butler not playing the bass at all on "Leprosy", I did! I never told it because I considered him my best friend. Back then I said: don't worry about it man! Now with them spreading lies about me, it might be time to reveal the truth. People now have a right to know Terry just couldn't handle the bass parts of "Leprosy". I will leave it to that because I don't wanna descent to their level, it's just one of the many examples. It was a shock to realize who are my real friends and who aren't . I think things started with me canceling the European tour but who knows what was going on behind my back already. Well you come across those kind of people in all aspects of life not only the death metal scene. People wanting a free ride and when it's over the real character reveals. I look at them now as people who saw their free ride disappear, no longer being able to benefit from somebody else's talent and hard work."

January 1992, will you be touring Europe? Aren't you afraid of reactions (or maybe the staying-away) of the fans?

"Not at all. When they read this kind of interviews they can see I am not evil. I never did things to fuck somebody. Some of my favorite bands disappointed me in the past but it didn't make me hate them. King Diamond didn't come to Florida for a long time, all the happier I will be when he shows up, clear isn't it? Our tour wil reveal the truth. I would like to say this: Thanks to everybody reading this and understanding what I have been through. Speak up to those who manipulated you. I will always be faithful to the music, the fans and myself. Death will always be a band to believe in. As a human I will try never to let down anybody ever again."

Robert Heeg


to talks

Translated by YK/AS for EmptyWords-Published on July 3 1999