Magazine: Rock Hard / Germany
Article: Only Human...?

Written by: Götz Kühnemund
Published: October 1991


huck Schuldiner.................

is somebody with two faces. On the one hand, a musical genius, proved once again when listening to the promo-CD of the new Death album "Human". On the other hand, he passes for a completely unreliable guy due to several tour cancellations and now has to deal with the fact that many disappointed fans have given up on him a long time ago. We met Chuck and his (new) band in Tampa and asked some awkward questions.

>>Chuck, in the last couple of months a lot of negativity was said and written about you. Since the bursted European tour you are standing in the cross-fire and had to swallow many reproaches. What's your reaction to this?<<

Chuck: "I get annoyed when reading those articles written about me. I went through the hardest time of my life and anyway since just a few months I am able to deal again with the music business. Back then I decided not to tour Europe because I was in the middle of a personal crisis. I know this might not be an excuse and I understand the disappointment of the fans but I just couldn't cope with the music business back then at all. Along with that, some personal problems also influenced my behavior. You should not forget I was the one bearing total responsability for the band all the time. Nobody helped me when I had to make important tedious decisions and that really got on my nerves. I came at a point to which I just couldn't go on anymore. I needed some time for myself. That's why I withdrew completely. After eight years of working very hard with DEATH, I couldn't give up that easy but at that moment couldn't go on either. It makes you only caring about yourself. This may sound selfish, whatever. When people still think I am an arrogant asshole, I had my reasons for my behavior, people who know me know. Why am I not asked anything before they judge about me? After all I have emotions too and just because of the fact I am a musician doesn't mean I am public property. I have a right to a private life and there are certain things you can't bear just like that. Still, I don't want to apologize here for something I can't undo anymore. In any case I have learned from it and put together a new band that surpasses the old one by far. We made a new record and the result justifies my decisions."

>>Isn't that to easy-going? Eventually it wasn't just the cancelling of the tour but the fact you didn't tell anybody.<<

Chuck: "I did! I told the rest of the band, they knew in what a bad state I was in. Twisted reproduced words by the press later on. I understand the fans are fed up with me but the life of a musician isn't always a bed of roses. Whoever believes the lies some tell about me, well......."

>>Ultimately it wasn't the first time you cancelled a tour just before the start!<<

Chuck: "That's right, but there always was a good reason. I am not an animal and I don't want to be treated as such for over 2½ months. When we tour there has to be certain conditions. I don't demand much, nothing we don't have a right of, just what we deserve. When I disappointed people I am sorry, but know that there were reasons for certain decisions."

>>There's assertion that you demanded hotels for every day on the tour with Kreator; besides you didn't want to share the bus with Re-Animator. What's your story?<<

Chuck : "It's easy to backbite about me in public. What conditions I demand on tour aren't really of anybody's concern. I just want what I am entitled to and if someone thinks he can treat me like a fool for it then I will defend myself. I don't know what other people do, but it's just that I take a shower every day and I am attached to a certain measure of hygiene. I am not demanding caviar or a personal hairdresser, I just want what I have earned after 8 years of hard work."

>>Still it will be hard to get the disappointed fans back..........<<

Chuck: "Well, let the music speak for itself. Whoever wants a good record gets served promptly with our new album, and the next European tour will happen for sure. I know I owe my fans and I am convinced the new album will do great. Future counts, not the past. I will try to make up for my mistakes."

>>Would you say you're a difficult person?<<

Chuck: (slightly irritated) "Those who say so have big problems with themselves, laughable! I see myself as rather uncomplicated, as long as I am treated fair. Ask my friends, f.e. Scott Burns. I am a very normal, well mannered person as long as I am not diddled. But that's not the point at all, importantly, coming first is the music. After all, I like Yngwie Malmsteen although he has the name of being an arrogant asshole."

>>How are things going nowadays between you and your ex-bandmembers, f.e. the Massacre musicians?<<

Chuck: "I don't even think of them anymore. A new band is a new band. I am grateful of getting the opportunity of stating my opinion here but I won't say anything about certain people. I don't need it. When our CD is released, some of them in any case, will be unmasked........"

>>Is this a hint at the rumors you should not be interested in death metal anymore?<<

Chuck: "Exactly, I play death metal way longer than 95% of the others who are telling such nonsense about me. Music for me is more than a hobby and whoever listens to the new Death CD will hear the true spirit. Eventually I have, not for an insignificant part, helped in founding this direction in music."

>>You say all is gossip, but what should the fans think? They are feeling completely ripped off.<<

Chuck: "Of course they are, I understand. The fans are, quite rithtly, mad at me. But a lot of what is being said about me just is NOT true. Come to the upcoming Death tour and make your own judgement about me!"

>>The tour will go on this time ?<<

Chuck: "Definitly. The record will be released at the end of October and we'll be on the road from November. As far as I know now we'll be in Germany at the end of this year. Then you can see the real Death ~ and not a coverband!"

>>Okay, tell us about the new line-up.<<

Chuck: "On the album you will hear guitarist Paul Masvidal, and Sean Reinert, a real drum God. Both are from Cynic, which they will return to again. On bass is an old friend of mine, Steve DiGiorgio from Sadus. The studio work went a lot better this time because all three of them are really professional musicians."

>>You still haven't got a permanent line-up ?<<

Chuck: "That'll have to show. Paul and Sean are going on with Cynic indeed but they will come with me on tour. On bass, Skott Carino from Tampa will come along. So the tour line-up is complete. How things will go from there, we'll have to see by that time."

>>What's to say about the new album ?<<

Chuck: "It's called "HUMAN" and is again produced by Scott Burns. After all Scott is an important part of the typical Death sound and one of my best friends. Yet the album sounds different than "Spiritual Healing" or "Leprosy", a lot more technical and varied. There is, for example, an instrumental on "Cosmic Sea" which we won't do live because there are just too may effects in it. But it was fun doing, it was something completely different for a change. The album is far more melodic but again very, very heavy. Above all, the album is more musical because I had musicians that were capable to interpretate the songs sensibly."

>>I think the new album is that good because it's not only death metal, but yet not less heavy.<<

Chuck: "Exactly, I hope people will hear that. Death's not a limited band only appealing to the death metal fans. I grew up with bands like Raven, Mercyful Fate, Metallica, Slayer, Posessed, Exciter, Anglewitch, Torsch, Sortilège, Satan etc. etc..... All those bands are very heavy yet had a great sense of melodies and I don't want to restrict myself either. Nowadays a lot of bands sound the same. I don't want that to happen to Death."

>>Your old "friends" from Massacre just delivered a nice album with a song on it "Corpsegrinder".........<<

Chuck:(laughing) "Cool they've covered my song! I don't know however, why they forgot the songwriting credits, I guess it wasn't deliberate........"

Götz Kühnemund

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Translated by YK/CM for EmptyWords-Published on October 4 1999