Magazine: Sentinel Steel / USA
Article: Death no more!
Control Denied is here!!

Written by: Dennis Gulbey
Published: spring 1997


Are the rumors true? Has Chuck Schuldiner gone..... power metal? YES! Chuck, as many of you know, was the leader of DEATH, who jump started the metal form known as "death metal" back in the early 80's. Creating the original "true growl" that most death bands use today, Chuck and his ever shifting bands line-up inspired legions of musicians to play brutal metal. Chuck, however, has a wide range of tastes; after years of writing ground breaking material within the constraints of what is known as "death metal", he has decided to end DEATH and start anew, with a proper vocalist. Unfortunately, while the music is all written (and a preproduction album recorded), there is still no singer. The original WINTERS BANE vocalist was with CONTROL DENIED for a spell, but his commitments to his own band (WICKED WAYS) pulled him away. Nonetheless, Chuck will come through, it's just a matter of time. Catching Chuck in mid-sentence, we begin with - what else? - heavy metal. Due to the length of this interview, esteemed typesetter Natalie Vlahovic deleted nearly every mention of the word "definitely" - sorry Chuck!

.....Like I said, Ace Frehley, Yngwie, and the players from MERCYFUL FATE as well, they're a great guitar team. I always loved that double axe attack. IRON MAIDEN as well, major infulence on the leads. As a lead player, I just thought MAIDEN were like butter. Their leads were flowing, just smooth. That really blew my mind. They did a lot for me.

What did you think of their new album?
I am crushed and angered, I must say. It's MAIDEN's end, I am just so angry. When I heard that, we were in Europe. It was the Symbolic tour. I ran out to the store; I got the double-vinyl release of it. I bought the CD of it. I am just thinking, man it's going to crush, and I'm sorry, I just expected so much more from that band.

What was the last MAIDEN you liked?
The last MAIDEN I liked... gosh... there were a couple of decent things on Fear of the Dark, but I lost hope at that point. For me, as a fan of that band, I felt like they lost their hunger. I think that no matter what type of music you're involved in, if you lose the hunger for it, you're going to lag. I think it's like that with anything in life that you do. If you lose the desire, and that thing inside of you that keeps you pissed off or whatever, as a musician, I think, man, I'll hang it up when I lose that. I'll know when I lose it. I won't put it out for other people to hear it. For me this new MAIDEN, the singer's just nowhere near where I thought they were gonna go. I'm a big fan of Bruce Dickinson as well as Paul Di'anno, who was also a killer singer. I just waited so long for that record, and now I'm disappointed. Everyone I know... when we listened to it, we were all crushed. I'm sad: I really am. Maybe in the future they'll get Bruce back. I just don't hear any range whatsoever with the new guy, and that's what Bruce is about.

I just did an interview with Steve Harris and I told him that, but Steve is happy with the album...
Is he?

But Steve Harris' and Blaze Bayley's favorite IRON MAIDEN album is the same one, it's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. That's my favorite too.
Yeah, that's a great record. Blaze for me just isn't what I expected.

A lot of people have said that.
But maybe live he will surprise me, who knows?

I thought he did pretty well live. I saw him up here in New York, except sound-wise Harris' bass was overpowering. You could not hear the guitars.
It's kind of like that in the record. The guitars are very subtle. That's another thing about the record. It didn't jump out. You throw on Number of the Beast, men... look out. Crushing stuff.

1980's - you did Scream Bloody Gore... you did Leprosy, which I liked, I thought it was Dan Johnson's influence that made the album great... he worked on it...
Yeah, he did.

I don't know what he did and how he worked with you, but some of the songs on there are so catchy. It's almost like a power metal album with growly vocals.
Yeah. Back then, I was trying to get that out, definitely. Dan was a great person to work with. That's what appealed to me about Dan; he worked with really cool bands, really great productions back then. I wanted that for our music. I wanted him to bring out all the stuff that was going on in our music. It was great. He was a great guy to work with... actually made people really look twice, because it was a very produced album for back then, but raw... at the same time, we triggered the drums, so that was like high-tech step for us. I think it showed Dan definitely lent a big hand in that, bringing out the clarity of it.

Why didn't you use him again?
Actually, we were going to, but unfortunately, Dan got out of producing a short while after that and went into other sorts of stuff. I think he went into doing something in the electronics field. So, unfortunately, we weren't able to work with him again. We had hooked up with Scott Burns who had worked with us on Leprosy. That was one of Scott's first records. It was cool how we hooked up.

I'm not a big fan of Scott's work. Why go with Scott instead of Jim or Tom?
Back then, we had built a relationship after knowing Scott through Leprosy. Scott's a very cool person to work with, and we just immediately got on well with him. We were like, 'how would you like to do the next record with us', and we told him what we were looking for and that we wanted to clean it up, but keep it really heavy. Scott definitely has the same goal in mind, so we decided to work together and Spiritual Healing, I thought, was a risky record causing a lot of people to go, 'whoa, this is a pretty tidy sounding record,' but that's what I wanted to go for, to get more in your face. I feel like there were a lot of productions out there getting lost, and working with Scott enabled us to achieve what Spiritual Healing was. I was very happy with that at the time, so we just built a relationship on Spiritual Healing. That album did really well for us. A lot of people started taking us more seriously, which made me really happy. I was always really serious about the music. And it's the name 'DEATH', people were kind of like, 'oh, they're just another death metal band.'

Did you ever feel that in some point in your career, the name 'DEATH' held you back, or were you annoyed with the name 'DEATH'? Take the band SATAN... it's like, you know... SATAN!
Yeah, that's even worse than DEATH ! Yeah, sure I am. When the name came about, I was 18, and naturally when the music started evolving and the name kind of was the chain and ball, and the weight attached to the end of the whole thing. With the vocal style, that went along with DEATH in the beginning. I couldn't change it very much. I definitely tried to evolve and have the words come out better because the lyrics are very important to me. I want people to know what I'm saying, but with conviction. Towards the end, I felt like I wanted the music to take off, but I've got to do something a little different here, which I've planned to do for the past few years, and I've tried to make it public. I've talked about it three years back in Guitar World... kind of picture of a highway, and I'm kinda veering off to the left with the main road in sight. That's the way I like to look at it, so people couldn't freak out and go, 'uh oh.' With the whole thing, I felt a little trapped towards the end. I feel like the fans have grown with the band and have accepted the evolving of the music, and everyone that's been with me this far is going to really enjoy the new record as well. No disappointment here.

You have no labels lined up?
Right now, there's actually already been some interest. I'd like to give names, but once again, I'm not supposed to. We will definitely put out press releases as soon as something is solidified.

Are these European, Japanese, American...
There 's some Japanese, there's some American, and Europe is going to be another story. This is so early in the game that it amazes me how there's already been inquiries coming into our office via fax from labels saying, 'hey, we heard this is going on. We want to hear it,' so that psyches me out even more.

Believe me, I've been talking it up a bit with friends of mine and in phone calls from readers, and they're all excited about it. First of all, you've got a great sound, and you can all play your instruments, and great production on Symbolic. Symbolic is like the perfect jump off point, and Symbolic really crossed over with all the power metal fans I've talked with. It's like SENTENCED-North From Here, and CARCASS-Heartwork; these are all big crossover albums.

CARCASS really expanded. I thought they were really going for what they wanted to. I was like, 'right on.' I supported them all the way on that one. They were big-time traditional metallists, and people will be shocked how many people are. What's great is that I think it's going to come back full circle very soon. I'm going to be there, man. I haven't given up on metal at all, going on 12 years in the band situation, as a fan... and I'm not about to right now. Some bands do not have to turn grunge in order to get notices. We're one of them. I'm one of those people that will not turn grunge to satisfy the... whatever.

So back in the early eighties, you were a pioneering this special form of music, and you see yourself again just, in America anyway, leading the way.

I would like to hopefully think of myself as pioneering something that's going to be fresh and that's going to, hopefully, make a difference. This is very serious to me. I spend a lot of time... I live sleep, eat, and breathe music and do think it's going to show, just like the other members of CONTROL DENIED. I'm being very careful with putting the band together as far as finding the right people so far. It's gone really smooth. Everything is falling into place. I think with all these same things in mind that we all have, it's just all ready from the stuff we've demoed off. It's quite explosive. It's something I want people to hear as soon as possible. I've got that antsy feeling, that I want to get this out and get playing out there to Japan, which was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Japan was incredible. That's another place I want to go to real soon.

You've been there...

... just once recently for Symbolic.

... and you were blown away...
It is the heavy metal capital of the world. There is no competition. It's like when you go to Japan, you're in a time warp. Metal is massive. It's so hard to comprehend. You walk into record shops in a department store... very commercialized, and you see this insane heavy metal that's available, like SILVER MOUNTAIN. In a department store! I felt like I was in a dream!

Ha Ha...
I tried to control myself, but I ended up bringing back some valuable things back with me, some really rare SILVER MOUNTAIN stuff. So that, for me, was a dream come true. I've wanted to go there since I saw this picture of KISS in Japan, and I always thought, 'wow, that looks like an incredible place to play.' So being there was just mind-blowing. The shows were just incredible.



How many shows?

We played four shows, and two of them were in the same venue in Tokyo, and they were just phenomenal.

How many people do you think?
One night, there was close to 2000 people for the shows in Tokyo, and the last night we played there, it was sold out. I'll tell you what... you'll talk about natural high, just that feeling... I was living it. I appreciated every moment I was there, looking out, being on stage, knowing where I was. The vibe, the expression on people's faces out there... they're so die hard. The vibe is nothing but friendliness. This warm, good vibe out there, which I miss in music, in heavy metal. Just that positive thing.

It kind of gets tiring in the States to go to a show, and all the people want to do is to a rough each other up.

And you as a musician have to deal with people getting on stage and knocking you down. I'm sure that's happened to you a few times. You go to Japan, and the people just concentrate on the music. Like you said, sounds great! I can't wait to go myself.
You will not return! You will not want to! It's great. It was a life-changing experience.

Did that possibly make you say, "I've got to do power metal!" Once you go into something with more melodic vocals, the venues start getting bigger.
That would be great, definitely. That's funny, because when we were there, I was already working on material that we are using now. Riffs and stuff we have on tape. A couple of times, people have said that they could hear Symbolic with proper vocals. I thought the same thing. I've been thinking the same thing for a while. It was always in the back of my mind with Symbolic. There were several guitar harmonies that I put down that I wasn't able, being my type of vocal style, to put the melodic stuff in there, so actually some of the melodies guitar-wise are vocal melodies I would have had, if there was a melodic singer in the band. Actually that's where a lot of melodies started coming out. My frustrations of not being able to put that through the vocals, and also my love for melodic things as well. My guitars definitely helped me along the way to get that melody out, and in return, that's definitely what separated DEATH from a lot of other stuff. I got brought down eventually by not expanding, and the melodic part of DEATH is what has helped keep our heads above the water, so to speak.

So what's your favorite DEATH album?
I would say Symbolic, hands down... I think it's just got a lot of ingredients from day one, heavy double-picking approach that is a key ingredient of DEATH, as well as the melodic stuff, and I just feel that the album is more rounded. I had a lot more time to work on the songs. Actually, all of that record was written revolving around an 8-track recorder that I had purchased and that really helped me expand as a guitar player. Symbolic really took off after I got that 8-track and was able to start demoing stuff at home.

So the CONTROL DENIED material that you are preparing right now, is that done in a studio, or is that using your own 8-track?
It's up to a 24-track now, so it's full on demoing stuff at home.

This demo that you're making right now is being done at home. When do you think it's going to be finished and ready to be shopped around?
Well, actually, the only thing that's holding us back from shopping it around is the lead vocals. Everything's done. All the leads are arranged, all the leads, all the rhythms, bass, master, final drum tracks for the demo tape. I've got it mixed, and it's just sitting here waiting for that final element to occur. It's exciting not knowing who's going to be on there. It's so close, yet it's so far away. So, it's just going to be a waiting game right now. As soon as we have the vocalist in mind, we'll put the vocals down here at home. There's people waiting to hear it. I am definitely getting antsy.

So when you do find the vocalist and you do get the deal, will you use Morrisound.
Yes, definitely I will use Morrisound, and Jim Morris as well.

With that combination, you can do some magic.
I feel that way too, and honestly, I feel like some really good things can happen. They did with Symbolic, and with CONTROL DENIED, it's like some barriers are being broken down, and they will continue to do so, especially with Jim behind the project. He opened up a whole new sound on Symbolic. The material was alive, and that's the way I want this to be as well. Real in your face, and in Symbolic, I just wanted to plug in my guitar and play. I didn't want to fool around with the squishing and squashing it with technology. That's basically the attitude we went in with, and Jim really likes things to remain natural, and the same thing with CONTROL DENIED. Same aspect, same concept. I want people to know it's people playing instruments, and not technology, or that we've been sitting in the studio for two years doing guitar tracks. I definitely consider myself the perfectionist as far as wanting to take time on things, but it can get quite ridiculous if you sit in there for two years or a year. You get an artificial-sounding album. I want to get back to the roots of the essence of just getting in there and recording. At home, I have free reign to do that with the stuff I'm recording now, and I'm trying to expand my studio at home, and eventually I'd like to open up a small studio in my home town down here in Orlando, and work with bands locally, which I've already started doing since I've got the 24-track board.

You're starting up this little studio. Do you make a living off of DEATH?
Barely. It's getting really crazy, I would love to be able to expand and do stuff on the side, because you can't always rely on the industry to support you. It's a very just demented business to be in. You don't see money all the time. I get really scared sometimes of how things are going to work. We're self-managed. We do everything ourselves in that respect, it's a big responsibility. It's very expensive, as well, because being self-managed, you incur expenses first-hand. For Symbolic, we had to finance it ourselves. Same thing with Individual Thought Patterns.

That was on Combat....
Yeah, Relativity/Combat. It was totally self-financed. It's amazing how barely things get by. They always end up working out some way.

Did you license Symbolic to Roadrunner, or was it just a one-off deal?
That was actually done through Relativity handing over the option. Actually, Symbolic was an option through Relativity, and they made a deal with Roadrunner to release it, and Roadrunner in return hardly did anything for it in America at all. It suffered immensely because of people not knowing how to promote it here. That really pissed me off, and I took that very personally.

That's a shame that they promoted the hell out of TYPE O NEGATIVE and MACHINE HEAD, and DEATH just kind of sat there.
We got stepped on. It was sick. It was the most important record in my life at the time. I put a lot of personal stuff in that record.

Would you ever work with Roadrunner... well, Relativity is now a rap label, but will you ever work with those two companies again?
Never, ever ever ever...

So, are you looking towards Metal Blade or Century Media?

Yeah, I'm looking at certain labels on that level as well as major.

If MORBID ANGEL are on a major...
Well, actually they just got dropped...

Oh, ha ha...
But they were on a major, and that is pretty damn extreme stuff. It's going to come down to whatever label can treat us right. And I just want people to know about this music. I don't want this to get thrown under the mat. If people don't like it, cool, but if they like it, great, but they have to hear it in order to have that choice. That is something I've never had. I've never been given that actual full-scale push. I just want it one time in my life, so I can say the chance, and I either succeeded with it or it didn't work. Until then, I'll never know, and that kind of bothers me deep inside, definitely. Hopefully with CONTROL DENIED, someone's going to look at this and go, 'wow, something's happening here. Let's push this. Let's give this a chance.' Try to give this a chance and try to make a difference in metal. If the label would see that, it would be a really cool thing. I'm not giving up. I believe in this 100%, and someone's going to see it.

Oh, absolutely. I have total confidence in the whole project, and I can't wait until the day when I'm holding the disc in my hand.

I appreciate it.

How did you come up with CONTROL DENIED? What's the meaning behind that?
Absolutely control being denied, just the way the industry thinks, the control it puts on you, control meaning controlling the direction your music may go in, or the direction your career's going to go in. This is a scratch type of thing. I'm not on a label right now. Things are going to be done differently this time around. I'm not that 18 year old kid who signed a contract without knowing anything. I'm going to make sure my arse is covered, and the music and the fans don't suffer from it as well. People wonder sometimes why bands all of a sudden are just gone. As a fan, I often wonder that... you know, 'what happened to that band?' A lot of bands end up breaking up because they're crushed by what the industry does to them. This is a band that's not going to get crushed. I'm not going to get crushed again. I'm going to have the chance, because things are being done right. Things are a million miles opposite of what they were when I was 18. This is a full on force, with the legal backing that it needs, and protection I didn't have back then, and the music suffered because it was never pushed properly. People had that control, and like I said Symbolic, in my opinion, was shit on, and that hurt me. That definitely is a hard feeling to describe other that hurt, that, 'wow, someone just gave me the run-around, because I was told that the record was going to get pushed and get the full treatment that they knew I wanted.'

I read some interviews, and you were saying that, too.
They had me going big-time. It's sickening and it's just not right. There are so many aspects of the industry that treat people like dirt. If I can make a difference in some way to tell people look be careful, lend some advice, I will do so. That's another reason I would just like to expand, get a studio eventually, go into something where I can work and make a difference, treat people good and also feel good about what I'm doing. There's a lot of studios around here locally that are... I'm hearing a lot of horror stories about bands spending a lot of money and getting ripped off in the studio and I'd like to open up a studio for bands on small levels, and eventually big (levels).

That's great. That sounds like how Morrisound started.
That's why Morrisound is so great, because they have got that outlook that immediately drew me to that whole vibe. They treat people with respect. They do their utmost to try to give the band the best they can. And that comes back, because you always hear nice things about them. you leave feeling good, and that's important. Especially in such a negative form of business that we're in, as a band. When you're treated good, you really appreciate it. You leave going, 'cool, that's a great memory, I'll leave holding on to that one.' You've just gotta stay positive, and I'm definitely going to keep going forward full force.

So what are some songs titles?
The tentative title for the record is The Moment of Clarity. That's, I think, going to end up being the title. Also, a song called "What If", another song, "Cut Down to Size". I always write the music first and apply the titles. I usually have a master list of titles and then I listen to the music and apply the titles to the music that it seems like it goes along with.

So you've got song #1, song #2...
Yeah, now we're starting to label them. The songs essentially have names now. It's the process I've always used. Music's always been the first thing.

Lyrically have you thought about delving into historical themes, fantasy, science fiction, or mythological fiction, or anything like that?
Well, I think that stuff's definitely cool. I'm a big fan of a lot of that stuff lyrically. For me, I've got so much stuff going on inside that I feel like it's a great source to get out stuff that I'm thinking about that I can tie in with the music on that first-hand personal basis. The basis of it was lived. I'll tell you what, it's been really exciting, because I was always kind of taking a chance when I started doing that, because there were some people that said, 'uh oh, what's up, he's not writing scary lyrics, anymore', but for me it felt great. All of a sudden I started seeing mail come into the fan club, and people were like, 'man, that one song I can really relate to. I really felt that way too', and as soon as I saw that, there was a connection going on here. I've talked to people who have contemplated suicide, and they've read the lyrics, and they related to it... I can get deep about some stories about people who have read the lyrics and have been inspired by it, and that's mind-blowing for me. I never intended to do that. I was just expressing my honest emotions. I'm pretty damn honest within the lyrics. People can read a lot into Chuck's life in a very big way. I think a lot of people do realize that, and they write in, or I'll see people on tour and they'll tell me, 'hey, man those lyrics are pretty deep, they seem like they're painful. I've felt that pain', because life's not perfect. When you're in a band, I feel like everyone else does. I have my moments when I feel like I'm on top of the world, and other moments when the world's on top of me. Depression, happiness. We're all in that whole same fishbowl, so to speak. So, music had always been a great release for stuff that's inside of me, and the music and lyrics, when they intertwine, it's a good feeling. Symbolic was just, I guess, symbolic of what was going on at the time.

It sounds like everything's going to remain the same except for the vocals.

Yeah pretty much. Like I said, people are going to hear a lot more stuff going on with the guitars, it's a very active record. I'd like to say it that way.

I can't wait to hear it.
Hopefully as soon as possible I promise, definitely.

Band members:
Chris Williams-drums
Shannon... (last name unknown)
Brian Benson-bass
Vocalist-big question mark

Your video is on MTV, and some cartoon characters are surrounding it. How do you feel about that?

I thought it was pretty... I don't know... At first, I had mixed reactions... it was like, what the hell... but then, I'll tell you what, a lot of people saw that, and whether it's good or bad publicity, a shitload of people saw that, and it's crazy. I ran into people recently from high school, and they were like, 'man, I saw you on Beavis and Butthead.' It was funny, people from all over were seeing DEATH when they normally really would not have known about the band by choice. They had no choice. I definitely don't regret it being on there.

What song was it?
"The Philosopher" off of Individual Thought Patterns.

Did you do anything for Symbolic?
No videos. We couldn't get the video support.

What other videos have you done?
A video for "Lack of Comprehension" which is off of Human. That was on MTV a big old two times. That's it as far as official video.

And you are on that Ultimate Revenge?
Unfortunately. Unfortunately Revenge. It's just hideous, not a good representation... none of the bands were happy with the performace.

I know. None of them were.
If you talk to any bands, they will say, 'burn your copy.' I encourgae people to hold a big bonfire of Ultimate Revenge videos and go sick.

What went wrong with the whole thing?
The schedule, you had no time for anything. It was very unorganized as far as that goes. All of this elaborate equipment, but the camera angles were stupid. They could've been better. The mix was really bad, and they had all this equipment. They should have hired someone who knew how to mix. It was really not good. The vibe was just not here. I think the members had more fun just partying after, honestly. It was great, a lot of people in the audience seemed to have fun, and that's what ultimately counts.

How did you like the first Ultimate Revenge?
It was OK. I could tell that one was cheesed out too. There was an unprofessional vibe going on there. If a label is going to release something, make it pro. I've heard a lot of complaints even from those bands back then about that whole fiasco. They're both done through the same label. I don't think that's a coincidence.

Ha ha... So what are you listening to now?
A lot of older stuff still. Actually, some stuff from Japan I got. SABER TIGER, a band from Japan who are just phenomenal.

What kind of music?
They're progressive melodic metal. Definitely progressive with one of the greatest female metal vocalists of all time. Just incredible, and I'm pretty picky about that. I'm not into the LITA FORD mod. This chick... LITA FORD should hide. This chick has such a voice; it is insane. She is belting it out, man. There's no bubblegum rock. It's just unfortunate that a lot of people will not hear this band. It's available in Japan only. I was fortunate to have the connections and someone sent it to me. Definitely incredible. They are like a less progressive DREAM THEATER. They concentrate a little more on repeating, a formula... DREAM THEATER's a great band, don't get me wrong, but this band is not as complex as that, which is good in some cases, because people get thrown off form that at times. I totally dig that stuff. They have two records out, and their guitar player has a solo record out in Japan. Another band, actually ULI ROTH, who has a record out in Japan exclusively. His record is just phenomenal. I think ULI is one of those guitar players who gets really ripped off and never really gets the recognition he deserves. The only recognition I think he ever got was when he was with SCORPIONS back in the 70's. His new record is insane. He's actually conducting a lot of orchestra stuff on his record and intertwining that with his guitar work. If anyone gets a chance to hear him, they'll know where Yngwie got all his licks from. Absolutely, that is the reality of that one. ULI is just incredible. Actually, the cover painting of the first ULI ROTH album was called Rising Force. YNGWIE's first band was called YNGWIE's Rising Force and so it's really coincidental there! Definitely, YNGWIE is a great guitar player and took his inspirations well.

In the beginning he took it well. I don't know about his last few.
Yeah, exactly, but those were two new things that I've been checking out on a constant basis, as well as Number of the Beast. I was cranking that yesterday. WATCHTOWER, their first album, Engergetic Disassembly, Piece of Mind. I was kind of having a MAIDEN festival for a couple days here.

What would be your Top 5 of all time?
Definitely I would have to say Destroyer by KISS... let's say KISS-alive 1 actually; let's change that, Number of the Beast - great record, there are so many great early MAIDEN albums, but that's definitely a special record, definitely memories. MERCYFUL FATE-Melissa, what a masterpiece...

What did you think of the last two MERCYFUL FATES?
I enjoyed the second one better that the first one. It's kind of like they're more settled into their style that they used to have. The second one was good, the first one didn't sound like it had the energy going. It was a little held back I think. Probably, they haven't played in a long time together as a band, so I think it probably took a record to get that part going. But I definitely enjoyed them.

How about Spider's Lullabye?
I enjoyed that as well. I thought that was a really good record. Andy's awesome, another guitar player that has not been given the recognition he deserves.

Now that would be something if you could get him to play along with in CONTROL DENIED.
Yeah, now I was actually considering getting Andy, because that's the type of style I want to get into the band as far as the lead player, with that conviction, speed, and melody all mixed. What I really dug about Shannon, was that he really had similar approach in the respect of the progressive but traditional approach, the up-to-date, but yet you know where the roots are coming from. So Andy was a little... things were preventing that, actually. For one, finances, like I said. Right now I'm not on a label, so I don't have the support from the label to get Andy down, but definitely he was one of the people I considered contacting, and started thinking, 'man, i needed a guitar player who's going to be able to be here on a full time basis.' Luckily, I had a feeling, that if I let people know I'm looking around, word will get out soon enough through Chris. Ironically that's where I met Shannon. It went great, and hopefully this weekend we're going to hook up and jam again and the rest can be history.

Hopefully big history.
I hope so.

Top fives of all time.
I never finished that... it's so hard to say, there are so many essential records out there, especially from the early 80s. Probably Kill Em All-METALLICA, magic. That was magic. That's another one that inspired the whole double-picking thrash, aggressive metal thing. I was just eating that up. METALLICA had that killer rhythm going back then. That's what really appealed to me as well. Definitely blew my mind. Show No Mercy-SLAYER, another record all around the same era all within the same year of each other.

How do you like Show No Mercy in comparison to their later work?
One of their peaks for me was Hell Awaits. They were in their prime. That's when they were listening to a lot of MERCYFUL FATE as well. I remember reading interviews before they recorded Hell Awaits, and they were like, we are listening to a lot of MERCYFUL FATE and stuff like that, and you can tell that record man, with some of those riffs, they got that demented MERCYFUL FATE style going on... a lot of Melissa, which inspired me as well. Naturally Reign in Blood is killer, but Hell Awaits was when they were really really hungry, when they were on top of it. That was a pretty complex album. there were some trippy things going on for back then rhythm-wise definitely. Show No Mercy was naturally the first official thing I heard by them when it came out, so that's really what blew my mind. Haunting the Chapel was incredible as well. It's another life-changing record at the time. That was some of the early stuff that gave me that push. ANVIL as another big band. Metal on Metal was just phenomenal. Forged in Fire another great record.

Yeah, that's a good one.
See, all that stuff... I was just blown away. Everyone had their own style. That was what was so intriguing. EXCITER-Heavy Metal Maniac, another crucial record that inspired me. That album was so raw. It just... there was no stopping it. It was so heavy. Definitely.

I wonder what happened to them.
It's sad they screwed up. They put out a wimpy record and pissed me off.

OK Chuck, well thank you very much.
No problem, it was good talking to a fellow metaller of the past, especially a fellow HELSTAR fan.



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EmptyWords-Published on October 29 2001