Magazine: SOD / USA
Article: Death

Written by: David Horn
Published: #11 summer 1998



THE FOUNDER OF the modern Death Metal scene, Chuck Schuldiner, took the underground by storm way back in 1987 with the release of the first Death album, Scream Bloody Gore, and in the 10+ years following, Chuck has never failed to find new ways to captivate his ever growing worldwide fans base. Now, with the impending release of the first new Death album in over three years and the hint of a side project album of pure Heavy Metal, it seems the golden age of Chuck Schuldiner is upon us.

SOD: Bring us up to date with what you've been up to for the past three years.
CHUCK: Well basically after the Symbolic tour I became very disillusioned due to the massive lack of support that our record label, Roadrunner Records, gave us for that release. Around that time I made it known in the press that I was very interested in concentrating my efforts on guitar playing and writing music and possibly turning over the singing to someone else. So once my obligations to the Symbolic release were completed I put the whole Death thing aside and concentrated on writing music and recruiting band members for Control Denied. We put together a demo with a singer out of Pittsburgh and sent it out to a bunch of labels but I felt that the time was not right yet for this style of music. At the time I was also writing quite a bit of Death music so when I decided to put the whole Control Denied thing on hold I pulled a bunch of those songs out and started playing with them. I decided that it would be the right thing to do to put a new Death album out there before plunging headlong into Control Denied because when we do put Control Denied out there it will be a full blown release with a world tour. As well the clamor for a new Death album from the fans was all around me so it just felt right to record the new material and make it as crushing as possible before going into a new direction.

SOD: What are the musical differences between Death and Control Denied?
CHUCK: Well, the vocals for Control Denied are much more traditional Power Metal style along the lines of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest but the rest of the lineup is identical to Death. I suppose there's a bit more of a majestic style to the guitars on Control Denied and not so many blast sections, it's really a very different style of music.

SOD: Tell me what your vision for the new Death album was.
CHUCK: Basically what I wanted to do with this album was put forth everything the fans have come to expect from Death and then surpass those expectations. The title, The Sound Of Perseverance, describes the whole attitude, how this album came to be, how we overcame all sorts of obstacles, the album is pure attitude. The album is very anti-trend, it's bursting with melodies, bursting with heaviness and aggression, it's everything that a metal album should be. I put my heart and soul into making this album as rebellious and anti-trend as possible.



SOD: A lot of fans look back on the first three Death albums, Scream Bloody Gore, Leprosy and Spiritual Healing, as the highlights of your career. How do you react to this?
CHUCK: Having a favorite album by a band is all part of being a fan, but at the same time I personally look back on Scream Bloody Gore and think wow, I've improved so much since this album. I've always had a vision for Death as being the kind of band that shows constant improvement and change from album to album. I mean, putting out seven albums in a row that all sound the same would get pretty boring, don't your think? I always have to laugh when I hear someone say that we've wimped out or some nonsense. The new album has hauling ass double bass. Some of the most crushing riffs. Just totally intense metal music. How can anyone call that wimpy? You can never please everyone so its best to just stick to what makes you happy and let the fans come to you.

SOD: Tell me about your recent appearance at the Dynamo Festival. That must have been really intense.
CHUCK: It was just fucking amazing. Even if I was just there hanging out and not playing it still would have been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The whole vibe behind having 35,000 people in one place totally united in the worship of metal is hard to describe. The whole metal movement in Europe is fucking huge. I savored every moment of the experience, from seeing the killer hands, to meeting cool people to playing right before Pantera in front of the biggest crowd I've ever seen.

SOD: Let's talk about some of the songs on the new album. Did you write all the lyrics again?
CHUCK: Yes I did. Lyrically the songs are all about real life, they are all based in reality. "Scavenger of Human Sorrow" is about people who seem to thrive of the troubles and downfalls of others and how the media seems preoccupied with the dark side of life and obsessed with making a buck at the expense of human misery. "A Moment of Clarity" relates how sometimes you have to go through hard times and storms before you can see things clearly, it's a very positive song about the opportunties that can come your way if you just choose to learn from your experiences.

SOD: You seem very mellow and at ease with yourself and your music. Didn't you used to have a reputation for being a bit of a dick?
CHUCK: Oh sure, that's something that I've heard over the grapevine for years. Actually, I'm one of the easiest people in the world to get along with. In fact I've probably been a little too easy going and I've let quite a few people step on me and then they are surprised when I say enough is enough. I give people the benefit of the doubt and I give people many chances but you can't let people walk all over you forever.


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EmptyWords-Published on October 1 2002