Article: Van death metal tot ziektekostenverzekering
Written by: Kees Kluitman

for EmptyWords
Published: March 2000


When we tracked him down on January 25 about the benefit concert for Chuck Schuldiner, he was totally shocked. Who else (for us) would be able to play the Death stuff other than this guy? Patrick Mameli --- mastermind behind Pestilence, and Chuck's Dutch "equal" and "arch-rival", did not doubt for one split second to offer his help. A good opportunity to burry the hatchet and revive good memories. About the scene, the past and the future plans of Pestilence.....

It was kinda strange to hear from your mother that you more or less hung your guitar in the trees and, ironically, are working for a health insurance company?

"Completely understandable. Especially because I presented myself with Pestilence, that's why I am mainly being associated with this. Luckily next to Pestilence, I had other career options. But I never really stopped with making music, maybe you already know, I am a huge jazz lover."

Well, it's good for us you're gonna be around again, although the reason for tracking you down was an odd one.... You reacted quite shocked when we told you what was going on with Chuck. Aren't you at all aware about what's happening in "the scene"? Did you leave the past behind, or is it because of your history with Chuck?

"Yes, mainly because this was the first "contact" with the metal scene, after 7 years, and it was about an old acquintance (no matter friend or enemy!)."

Insiders know a bit about what happened. Was it really as bad as the headlines wanted to let us believe it was? Weren't things maintained by a horrible rumor-mill?


"Only the true insiders (us and them, tour-crew, roadies and managers) are (were) well-posted about what really happened during that era..... But I believe, especially in this hard time for Chuck, it would not be very relaxed to express myself about this anymore."

Excellent ! Then we will leave this in the past forever (dot). Something else though:
Most of us read it, that you made some statements back then about the death metal scene and left the real fans that admired you and Pestilence so much for your technical skills, behind very disappointed. Isn't it the case that you were tempted by some jurks that screwed up for the majority of real lovers?

"Those ideas weren't there all of a sudden. The real fans, people that appreciated Pestilence for the music and technical skill, were never meant anything by it!"

Most noticeable was your decision to use older Death songs, from the first four albums, on the initial setlist for the Benefit show. Do you personally prefer the older stuff more or was there another reason for it?

"Probably because Chuck seldomly would play any tracks from the first 4 cd's anymore (?/KK), and I wanted to serve the "oldschool" fans with cuts like Zombie Ritual, Leprosy, Living Monstrosity, Suicide Machine etc....... I can understand Chuck though, after playing ......(fill in any old song) 10,000 times...."

He still plays them, indeed you've been away some time, hahahaha......
Many of us saw you as the "Dutch Death", is this a compliment or not? Knowing you, you'd rather stay on your own than to be compared?

"Composition wise, certainly not, and with that I actually answer it all. Better: we were the Dutch answer to Death."

Indeed this is how we know you again....
Chuck musically developed enourmosly with Death and especially with "Human", he made a big leap forwards. Did you have the same feeling with Pestilence? I mean: the last album "Spheres", actually was far ahead of its time.....

"At that time "Human" was a musical zenith in the death metal music scene. Mainly because of Chuck's cooperation with Sean (Reinert/YK) and Paul (Masvidal/YK) from Cynic. Two "real" musicians that also are able to play metal, do you understand? Only with "Spheres", Pestilence started to be really making epoch, but this did not fit within the boundaries of death metal and the result was the loss of fans. Only the true fans that, as ourselves, realized that we created a new style, stayed loyal. But what could we do? Just pick 3 strings because that's "heavy"? Mainly in this period we got (by Cynic) fascinated by fusion and jazz. As a musician it opened our eyes, especially about our shortcomings. Back then I stopped playing the guitar for 5 years after hearing Allan Holdsworth.... Music lovers know what I mean....."

In the run-up time to "Spheres", you were talking about "weird" and maybe even "normal" vocals. For some musicians nowadays, it sometimes appears that the "death grunt" had its days. Chuck, for example, made no secret about the fact that he was fed up with his vocal contribution for years and moved on to "normal" vocals, but for this he needed to change the bandname and add a singer. Have you thought of this yourself?

"The "death-grunt" is typical for death metal. If you want to break the boundaries you are gonna get style problems, for you're changing an important part of a music style, isn't that so? Dilemma. Luckily, now in 2000, people are more tolerant and became familiar with bands like Korn , Slipknot etc.. where "singing" can/is allowed to be. Of course this does not mean Pestilence2000 is gonna sound like these bands!!!!!!!!"

Thank God, you scared the shit out of me!!!
Like you just mentioned, you are planning to take off again with new musicians under the name Pestilence, with the addition 2000. What is it gonna be? Is there something to finish or rectify?

"The name of the project will be "Pestilence2000", with working title "Y2H (Year To Hate)" and will, from a technical/composition aspect, go much further than "Spheres". For the aggressiveness it will go back to "Consuming"/"Testimony" though. So, no synths--- but more guitar."

Technical yet heavy, sounds promising.....
What does the new line-up look like? Do we know the musicians? Will it be feast again? Tell us!

"First of all, it is great to actually rehearse and play with a band again. Before I already spoke about "real" musicians.... the line-up is: Ruben de Wilde (bass), Giovanni Verlato (drums) and myself (guitars/vox). For live performances, Pestilence2000 probably will get assistance from my cousin, an exellent guitarist, Luca Mameli. At the moment we still are very busy with composing and rehearsing, but I already have some titles for you: "PCP-Murder", "RoadBlock D.O.A.", "Stalker", "Hostage Situation", "Violated Extreme". The lyrics and subjects are all inspired on Reality T.V. (like C.O.P.S. etc.)."

Are you gonna tour as well or is it gonna remain a studio project?

"Unfortunately, that's still all very uncertain, because the bandmembers have other musical obligations as well. But we'll see what the future has in store for us. Of course we have to see if this project is gonna be succesful at all......"

It would amaze you, how many (also young) fans you still have, b.t.w......
For many fans you were the Dutch hope and pride. On the phone you were very enthusiastic and told me everybody has his own heroes. Whom are yours, or at least the ones that you're influenced by?

"I am mainly influenced by the Fusion world. People like: Allan Holdsworth, Chick Corea, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Scott Henderson, Steve Coleman etc. etc..... music lovers know what I mean."

Would you, in the light of our "mediation attempt" and the known "hatchet", want to express some words towards Chuck from this place?

Well, Chuck, you probably never would have expected these words coming from me, a ghost from way back in the past. I was shocked when I heard about your condition and so therefore I wish you all the best and best health in the future."

At last, what's your all time playlist (5)? Differently said, which 5 albums would you take with you to the "desert island" tomorrow?

"Here they are, the albums I could not live "without". Allan Holdsworth / Secrets (fusion), Dave Weckl / Masterplan (fusion), W.C. / The Shadiest One (gangsta rap), Dogg Pound / The Dogg Pound (gangsta rap), Ripping Corpse / Dreaming with the Dead (metal). Of course this is just a selection of my all time faves.... but I could only just pick 5 !!!!"

Yeah, pretty hard huh? But don't worry, as far as I'm concerned you won't have to move yet....... lots of success with your come-back!

Due to the fact his bass player couldn't make it on the re-scheduled date, Patrick was not able to form the planned "Death Tribute Band", which he was very disappointed about, cause he was really looking forward to contribute to this event..... Let's all hope he can get Pestilence up and going again and that we can enjoy this guitarist on the Dutch stages again really soon.....



to talks

Translated by YK/CM for EmptyWords-Published on March 11 2000