Webzine: Renegade2k
Article: Death is dead, Control Denied is alive

Written by: Eduardo Gertum Führer
Published: September 2000



I'm sure that all the deathbangers in the whole world keep their eyes foccused on every interview that reminds them of Death. But now the traditional heavy metal fans also must turn their attention to interviews that are related to Death, for here is Control Denied, showing exceptional work. The main member of both, Chuck Schuldiner, is struggling against cancer, fighting for his health. After the first Control Denied album, "The Fragile Art Of Existence", the band has a new bassist, Steve DiGiorgio, one of the most skilled bassits of the world, nowadays also a member of Testament. He also played in Death in early days, so it was natural for Chuck calling his to handle plass playing for Control Denied too. Check out this interview with Steve.

One question that interests us all: how's Chuck?
Chuck is doing much better thank God. He's been through hell, but you can be assured that he is a true warrior. Only he could pull through something like this, he has the strength and the patience to overcome such a dreadful nightmare. Something like this can really change someone and the way they live their life. But even this can't take the fire out of a real metal giant.

Chuck wrote a letter to the press and the fans saying that he had already finished composing Control Denied's new album. Can you tell us more about this album?
It is much more aggressive music than the last one. I've only heard so far the guitar and a little bit of the drums. I haven't heard any of the vocals, but I'm sure they will rage. Everyone involved has the experience of the first record to build on. I'm sure everything will improve. From the song writing, to the guitars and bass, the drums I believe will be more crazy, and I think definitely the vocals will sound more in your face. I really enjoy this line up, everyone has lots of ideas to bring to the songs, and Chuck is good at writing pieces that have room for everything to breathe.

What have you been doing lately?
I just got back from a very long tour with Testament. We've been all over the world, and it was pretty exhausting. So I've just been living a slower life at home. But that doesn't last very long, as me and the other Dark Hall guys are preparing some new songs for a recording session some time in the near future. We hope to get a recording deal so we can record a full length album soon. So we've just been working on new material that I've been composing. Me and Ken (guitarist) are working on a few pieces together, and Flamp has written a cool song too. So this time I think it'll be more iverse because the writing is being spread out a little more than just me like on the first four song cd demo we've been sending out everywhere ately. We have a couple of sound samples on our web site if anyone is interested in checking out what we sound like. Go hear us at: www.the.nl/darkhall And sign the guestbook!

All members of Control Denied except the vocalist, Tim Aymar, has been or currently are in Death. So I would like to know 2 things: First, do you think that Control Denied's live show will be much too different from Death's?
Live show? Hmm, interesting question. I can't really say. Even though I've performed with Chuck many times in the past. I haven't done any shows with Rich and Shannon. And I definitely have never seen Tim in action. So it's really hard to say. I know that since this is slightly new for all of us, I think we'd like to bring something new to the stage. Tim is an excellent vocalist, so I think he'd be an energetic front man. We have yet to see what will happen when we finally get this thing going on the road.

Second: many people are considering Control Denied sound's a lot like Death's, but with a melodic vocal, instead of Chuck's vocals. Do you think hat these comparisons have any basis?
Yes, completely. Chuck has been very blatant in his dislike for his own vocal style for Death. And he knew that he couldn't bring in a different vocalist for Death. But he needed to do these things. So he had to change the name as a gesture of a new beginning. He has never told me that he was dissatisfied with the music that we always played, so he just changed the vocals and kept the same musical style. Of course it'll sound like Death music, we're all Death guys (except Tim), but that's cool with all of us. That's the way we wanted it; Death sounding riffs with killer vocals .

Talk about "The Fragile Art Of Existence".
Well , for me it was different than the other guys. They had worked on it for some time. But when I got the call to come play on it, it was mostly finished. They had problems with the old bass player and Chuck said he wanted me to come in and record my stuff really fast. So it was basically done except for the bass. When I finished I realized that it was a killer album. I think it has a lot of passion and aggression and there are moods. There is a display of musicianship, but the songs have room to move you too. Overall it was probably the best metal record I was involved with. Working with Jim Morris in the studio is great, he really pulled a lot out of me considering I was so unprepared as it was so new to me at the time.

When you were recording Control Denied's album, you saw Shannon Hamm and Richard Christy, two old friends from Death. How was it to see them again?
Actually they were all I saw. Chuck was up in New York getting treatment, and Tim was home in Pittsburgh. So me and Shannon worked together a little bit on the guitar riffs and Richard was there to provide comic relief. We definitely did some fun stuff together. It was a sign of times to come leading up to things in the future. I know Chuck and I know we get along great, I can say that I love those guys, Rich and Shannon, I have yet to meet Tim, but if he's a friend of Chuck I know I'll dig him. I don't like the distance between us all. But fortunately the metal is stronger than any geography so we will continue to plan for the future.

Something curious about "The Fragile Art Of Existence" is that all song titles fits in Chuck's current health condition. Don't you also think this is curious?
Well, I don't think anything weird was happening. I think the lyrics, as always Chuck writes them, are open to different translations. You could possibly get something close to his condition out of it if you try. But I know for a fact that he didn't know of his condition until after the record was recorded. So he had no knowledge of what would befall him when he was writing the lyrics. It was coincidence I believe with the title. I think he even had the title for a long time...way before his sickness, or disease. I know it fits well with what has happened to him, but that just shows you the way in which he can weave a tale in only his profound ways.

Control Denied or Death?
Death is dead. Control Denied is alive. To me it doesn't matter the title, it is purely jamming with my musical brothers that matters. I mean for that reason what should any title matter? If it's good that is all that counts. If you enjoy to listen to it, that's all that matters. The only difference is that now Chuck has given the mic to someone else. But it's still Death guys doing the jamming.

What do you hear lately?
I usually listen to a lot of different stuff. Lately I've been listening to a lot of newer fusion stuff. The Vital Tech Tones 2 is great, the new Wackerman is out, Waterfall Cites by Ozric Tentacles is killer. But to tell you the truth I've been mostly locked up in a hole writing new songs for my own weird fusion band - Dark Hall. I guess you could say I've also been listening a lot to bands like Spiral Architect, Aghora, Demons & Wizards and the Gathering.

How do you manage your time between so many bands? Tell us about each one of them.
Goodness, that would take a long time. Testament has definitely been keeping me busy spreading metal all around the world. Dark Hall, well we play instrumental fusion music, so naturally it's hard to get something like this rolling. Sadus has been taking a long break again. Control Denied, well I think you've heard enough about that. And in the next couple of weeks I'll be recording my bass tracks for Ron Jarzombek's Spastic Ink. There might be a couple more projects I need to work on in the coming months, but it's too early to talk about them. Don't want to jinx anything.

How is it working with Chuck? Is he a temperamental person?
I've been working with this guys on and off since 86 or 87. I think we have a great relationship. I don't know if anybody has had any bad feelings towards him in the past. But all I can tell you from my perspective is that we are not only musical partners but best of friends. He is the one guitarist that encourages me to play "more" when I can. He has this weird way of bringing out this sick inner-creature inside me when I play. I like it, I need people around me to push me. He has always been my biggest supporter, and I can't wait to jam down in sweaty Florida again soon.

Define in a few words all Death album's that you made.
I recorded Human in 91, and that was a blast. I had time to work on the stuff. But the sound on that album is weird. Not really that bad, but kind of weird. Individual Thought Patterns was done really fast in 93. It was a pleasure jamming with Gene, and doing the tours for that album was awesome. To this day, it's one of my best recordings. I was involved in the preproductions on the next two, but because of scheduling problems I wasn't able to go for the whole albums.

Something else to say? The interview is all yours, so increase it.
I just want to thank everyone, specially you, Eduardo, for the awesome support. The band is appreciative of everyone's emails and fan mail and all the response to the last Control Denied album. And on behalf of Chuck, I know he is beside himself from all the overwhelming support everyone in the world has given him on his road to recovery. All has been vital in giving him strength to overcome this bullshit. Thanks from myself and everyone in the band for all the feedback from the latest offering. Keep metal alive. See you out there!


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EmptyWords-Published on January 2 2003