Leprosy - 1988 - Combat
Spiritual Healing - 1990 - Combat
Human - 1991 - Relativity
Individual Thought Patterns - 1993 - Relativity
Symbolic - 1995 - Roadrunner
The Sound Of Perseverance - 1998 - Nuclear Blast
Live In L.A. - 2001 - Nuclear Blast
Live In Eindhoven - 2001 - Nuclear Blast
Vivus! - 2012 - Relapse
MembersS= Slaughter, Control Denied>>CHUCK SCHULDINER>>Control Denied
G= Slaughter, Control Denied>>CHUCK SCHULDINER>>Control Denied - Massacre>>Rick Rozz>>Massacre, Genitorturers, Flo, Massacre X, Gods Of Death, Left To Die - Agent Steel, Hallow's Eve>>James Murphy>>Cancer, Testament, Disincarnate, Obituary, Konkhra, Foreign Objects - Cynic>>Paul Masvidal>>Cynic - EF Band, King Diamond>>Andy LaRocque>>King Diamond - Bobby Koelble>>Junkierush - Metalstorm, Control Denied>>SHANNON HAMM>>Control Denied, Order Of Ennead
B= Massacre>>Terry Butler>>Massacre, Six Feet Under, Denial Fiend, Corpse Rot, Hideous, Left To Die - Sadus, Control Denied>>Steve DiGiorgio>>Sadus, Testament, Control Denied, Iced Earth, Dragonlord, Quo Vadis, Sebastian Bach, Quadvium – Monstrosity>>Kelly Conlon>>Temple Of Blood, Wynterborne, Sargon, Monstrosity, Pessimist – Control Denied>>SCOTT CLENDENIN>>Control Denied
D= Burnt Offering>>Chris Reifert>>Autopsy, Abscess - Massacre>>Bill Andrews>>Massacre, Metalucifer - Cynic>>Sean Reinert>>Cynic, Aghora, C-187, Levi/Werstler, Gordion Knot, Perfect Beings - Wargod, Dark Angel>>Gene Hoglan>>Old Man's Child, Strapping Young Lad, Testament, Konkhra, Dark Angel, Tenet, Dethklok, Zimmer’s Hole, Anthrax - Control Denied, Burning Inside>>RICHARD CHRISTY>>Control Denied, Iced Earth, Demons & Wizards, Incantation, Burning Inside, Tiwanaku
HistoryOne of the early founders of death metal (along with Slaughter, whom Chuck briefly joined in Canada, and Possessed to whose fan club he belonged and also travelled to stay with), the group behind 'Evil Chuck' was heavily influenced by Venom at first and was, in fact, called Mantas at inception. Mantas was active between 1983 and 1984.
At the demo stage (the better-known one being Mutilation) the band featured Rick Rozz and Kam Lee of Massacre. Relocating to California, Chuck recruited new members and released the debut album. Chuck Schuldiner was missing members and was inspired by Canada-based Slaughter so ditched the act and moved to Toronto. This did not last and when he returned to Florida, USA asked two members from Michigan’s Repulsion, namely guitarist Matt Olivo and singer Scott Carlson, to join him. That did not last either as Kam Lee would depart and the Repulsion members would return home to reform Repulsion. Rick Rozz rejoined Death after Chuck moved back to Florida in 1987 and had no band. Rozz was in Massacre and got other Massacre members to join and record Leprosy for 1988. Rozz was kicked out again and reformed Massacre and obtained a deal with Earache later. Since the rhythm section was soon kicked out too they rejoined massacre and the people in Massacre now were booted! Massacre recorded from Beyond. Mantas and Death issued and spread multiple rehearsal tapes into the underground at this stage.
The first three albums (featuring Rozz and other Massacre members upon return at one point) were heavily influential upon the death metal scene. Despite this, Chuck had enough and left his own band shortly before the start of a European tour with Kreator. Instead of disbanding, the rest of the band recruited Devastation drummer and former roadie and hit the road. When Chuck returned (with an entirely new crew), the sound was more progressive than before and the singer/guitarist was more and more into heavy and power metal than death metal. A tour with Pestilence did not go well (aside from how Death had always been accused of giving weak shows) and after much inter-band fighting the trek is cut short. Individual... again featured a new line-up and the band toured North America with, among others, Viogression who were also managed by Death's manager. That man, Eric Greif, was fired shortly afterwards.
1996 saw Schuldiner calling it a day and announcing the formation of power metal band Control Denied - in which he only acted as a guitarist. It is only two years later that Death is back on and released a new album on a new label. Despite this Schuldiner called it a day again and announced that the future belongs solely to Control Denied. Sadly in 1999 Schuldiner was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour and underwent several operations in the next two years. The metal scene is partially mobilized at this point to collect funds for Schuldiner as America does not provide its citizens medical coverage. Furthermore, Nuclear Blast released a mail order-only live album (second one from Death in 2001) to support Schuldiner with his finances. Despite the aggressive treatment Schuldiner died of cancer at 16:00 EST on 13.12.2001.
After much legal hassle between Karmageddon Media (formerly Hammerheart Records) and Jane Schuldiner, the mother of Chuck, the said label issued the last recording of the singer/guitarist under his name in the spring of 2004. The album was named Zero Tolerance. Nuclear Blast Records issued a Death DVD entitled Death: Live In Cottbus in November of 2005. It featured the same track listing as the Live In L.A. (Death & Raw) DVD/CD.
In 2008, Kam Lee decided to rerecord early Death and Mantas (pre-Death band) songs he had originally co-written. In 2009, Beth Schuldiner, sister of Death/Control Denied’s Chuck, was compiling the essays and writings of the bands’ fans into a volume dubbed "Symbolic What Chuck's Music Means to Me - The Journeys of Chuck Schuldiner's/Death Fans."
In 2010, Relapse Records announced a partnership with Perseverance Holdings Limited and the Schuldiner family to reissue the catalogue of Chuck Schuldiner and his bands Death, Control Denied and Mantas. Chuck Schuldiner died on December 13th, 2001 at the age of 34 due to pontine glioma.
Shannon Hamm and Tim Aymar were scheduled to play at a Chuck Schuldiner tribute show on December 18th at Latino Rock Café in San Jose, Costa Rica. They were to be joined by members from local metal bands Black Gallery, Advent Of Bedlam and Pseudostratified Epithelium. Relapse had a Death double CD called Vivus! Out in late February 2012. The disc featured two Death concerts, both of which were recorded in 1998. Disc one featured Death at Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, while Disc two was from Dynamo Open Air in Eindhoven, Holland. Death To All Tour 2012 was a June benefit for Sweet Relief. This five-city USA tour would feature a number of Death’s alumni. This tour was to celebrate the life and music of Chuck Schuldiner, of Death and to raise money for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. Gorguts was also part of the bill. Former Death bassist Scott Clendenin, who played on The Sound Of Perseverance album, died in March, 2015. He was 47 years old. A cause of death was not offered. Clendenin was recently involved in the Death cover band, Death To All. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of singer and guitarist Chuck Schuldiner, former members guitarist James Murphy and bassist Terry Butler would perform Death’s 1990 album Spiritual Healing in its entirety at two shows in Tampa, Florida, USA in December 2021. Former Death manager Eric Greif died at that time. He was managing the band’s old catalogue and re-issues recently. A new covers’ band was Left To Die in 2022. Former members Terry Butler and Rick Rozz asked Matt Harvey (Exhumed) and Gus Rios (ex-Malevolent Creation) to join them in writing an EP and touring with Death’s Leprosy and Scream Bloody Gore songs. Harvey and Rios were in the Death tribute band Gruesome and were covering Death also as Living Monstrosity.
DEATH - SYMBOLIC - ROADRUNNER
DEATH - LIVE IN L.A. - NUCLEAR BLAST
CHUCK SCHULDINER - ZERO TOLERANCE - KARMAGEDDON
InterviewsDeath is in Montreal, Canada supporting its latest album Human on tour on 19.11.1991. The band’s singer and guitarist Chuck Schuldiner is backstage at La Brique and speaks with Ali “The Metallian” about his band, metal and more.
METALLIAN: My first question has to revolve around your so-called ego. What is your definitive statement regarding all the rumours in this regard? I was interviewing a band, which hit the city, two weeks ago and they had very unkind things to say about you to give one example.
CHUCK: OK, these people don’t even know me. They limit themselves by wanting to see and create… bad things happening to people. Like, for instance, Borivoj… he is a person who shouldn’t be talking about egos or people being hard to get along with. This is a guy that, I think, the whole world despises. I can look in the mirror, every day I can wake up looking and know that I am not a bad person, know that I help people that I am kind to people, that I don’t judge people. Unfortunately, there is a lot of judgement on behalf of other people against me. You know, all these people don’t even know me. I feel sorry for them that they are limiting themselves in life as to say something about someone without really knowing, you know? It is very definitely that people are like that.
METALLIAN: So, why do you suppose all the talk is about you as opposed to someone else? What is so special about you that….
CHUCK: I don’t know. I think it’s flattery. I guess I am worth talking about. If they didn’t talk about me I would be worried. If people keep themselves entertained that way it’s definitely pathetic, but if that’s their form of entertainment then I guess that’s… whatever… I’ll worry about myself and not worry about what other people are saying. There are so many bands. It’s not just me. There are bands in the rock field, in rock and roll that are going through what I go through and have rumours. I am not the only person… that Chuck is a monster. The thing is there are people in big bands that go through this and people are always talking about. Thing is people talk about these people and band and don’t even know them. You know, that’s what is so mind-boggling… that people don’t know me. Some people do. Maybe they do know me, but whatever. I know I am not a bad person. I am very… I am too easy to get along with at times. I have been taken advantage of in the past and it’s not gonna happen anymore… definitely.
METALLIAN: OK, what if I come out and mention that you slag your old members. You have pulled out of tours because you don’t want to share buses with other bands. What do you have to say….
CHUCK: Those are group decisions. It wasn’t me… first of all there was one tour. I need to make that singular. Tour. That we didn’t tour with another band because… first of all, I don’t trust… you can’t go around trusting people. You know what I am saying? You have to be cautious in the music business and in the world in general. I don’t personally want to be stuck on a bus with a band I don’t know. They might drink, which I am not into drinking, they might smoke cigarettes, which I hate. I am allergic to cigarettes. These are all things that people have to take in mind. I am a person. I have my limitations and everything that was done in Death in the past – and in the future – is always a group decision. It’s not Chuck with people on chains, you know, like animals! I always discuss things.
The reason why, maybe, I talk bad about the former members is because there is a lot to talk bad about. The thing is I am speaking the truth and they, unfortunately, have to create lies about me. You know what I am saying? People have to resort to lying about Chuck Schuldiner and that’s really a drag. It’s a drag. It’s definitely very depressing thing to see happening.
METALLIAN: (referring to members touring Europe without Chuck) what the other members did in Europe and all those stuff…
CHUCK: It’s horrible. I just went to Europe to do a promotional tour about three weeks ago, doing interviews like this, I did twenty a day. Every single interview they had horrible things to tell me about things that were said about me. The thing is these people never go anywhere in life. All they can do is talk bad about me. I am progressing. I came out on top as far as I am concerned. I am here in Canada playing a really cool club with a really professional backing as far as management and everything is looking a lot better with the label just giving us money to do a video, which we did a couple of months ago… so if anything the people who are involved in the business still believe in me. That’s all that matters. As long as there are people out there still believing in me and who are not scared to come up to me and say ‘hey, what’s up?’ I’ll be a normal person. Maybe I’ll blow their minds because I am nice; not this person that’s made out to be into a monster. I feel good about what’s happening this year so far. Things looking really good.
METALLIAN: Changing the subject tell me about your latest album Human, the music, the lyrics and how do you see it as opposed to your older material.
CHUCK: As far as the music, I think it’s a lot more aggressive. It’s definitely much more technical due to the fact that I have definitely got a superior drummer this time around, a great guy by the name of Sean (Reinert). Everyone is really, really excellent in this line-up. These are all professional people. In the past line-ups I would have to worry about people not even practicing on their own. I’d have to worry and ask ‘when was the last time you jammed out?’ That’s horrible. You shouldn’t have to ask someone to practice on their own. They should want to. They should want to improve whether you’re a tennis player or baseball player you want to better yourself. You have to practice. This time around I’ve got a notch line-up. That combined with (producer) Scott Burns once again is perfect. It’s great, man. Such an excellent easy-going situation to be in. Everything is so natural, so laid back, it’s great. Much more professional, that’s the word I have to use. Much more professional atmosphere on this record.
METALLIAN: Tell me about the lyrics and the title.
CHUCK: Definitely, reality. Things that I have had to deal with over the past year. There is a song called Secret Face, which deals with people you think you know, but you really don’t until you see something come out of them like I've seen coming out of people that I considered to be my best friends, former member that I thought were my best friends. Stuff like that. Things we can all relate to and we all have to deal with as being human, which people tend to forget I am.
METALLIAN: What if I tell you that your change of direction has been a wimp-out. I don’t see any more lyric about zombies, mutilation, et cetra. Where did that go?
CHUCK: Well, first of all that’s very… I did that five years ago. I was eighteen and that was the thing to do. In my opinion, reality is far more brutal than anything anyone can create such as zombies ripping out eyeballs of a nun or whatever. These are things that don’t happen. I see reality. I don’t see zombies or demons flying. I see reality. That’s what we all have to deal with. That’s why people when they read lyrics on the new Death album or even the last album they can relate to it. I want people to relate to me and Death as a real thing; not this imaginary thing that we are talking about. You know what I mean? Real things! Definitely.
METALLIAN: Tell me, is that band that people will see on stage tonight, is it a band or is it Chuck? There have been so many line-up changes that I am not quite sure that this band is going to stay with you.
CHUCK: Hopefully, it’s a band. I have had this question at other times so it’s not unusual. It’s obviously a band because I can’t play drums, I can’t play second guitar, I can’t play bass, so all these elements make a band. Everyone in this band has a say in what’s happening as far as a lot of things go. It’s a group effort, you know? These are my friends. These are also musicians that I work with. I use the word ‘friends’ because people tend to forget that it is an important factor in a band or in life in general. Friends are important and its not to be taken advantage of… friendship.
METALLIAN: I can see that given your past experience you put a lot of emphasis on that. Does it extend to the music and it makes it come out better or is it just the chemistry side of things that it helps with?
CHUCK: It definitely helps when you feel comfortable working with someone. I have known all these guys for years. I am grateful, very grateful, for helping me and helping Death become reality once more. It’s in me. Music is always in me, will always be within me in one form or the other and I am grateful to anyone who helps that come out and helps bring it to life.
METALLIAN: How are the album sales? How many copies of its albums does Death Sell?
CHUCK: It’s very difficult. I know Spiritual Healing (1990) did around 160, 170 thousand worldwide, which is really good. It’s still selling, which is amazing. Human has really skyrocketed. It’s done about 30 to 40 thousand in about fourteen days in the US alone. So I think we are expecting very very good things from this record. With the video also, it’s going to help.
METALLIAN: Let’s talk about the video. For which song is it? How relevant is a video to the concept of a death metal band?
CHUCK: The video is for the song Lack Of Comprehension, which is a song that a lot of people who support heavy metal, rock, any type of music like that can really relate to. It deals with the Judas Priest scandal, the whole court thing with parents who brought their children up in a bad environment blaming their mistakes on heavy metal, the cliché. It is the typical excuse for people. It is an impossible thing to do, but unfortunately, it’s been done. Luckily, Judas Priest won. It is a very big victory for rock music in general. Lack of Comprehension is about the parents being so dumb to blame a form of music on their own wrongdoing! Children are like sponges. People are like sponges. We absorb what is taught to us while we’re growing up. These people put bad things into their kids’ upbringing. That’s what it revolves around.
Videos are very important. Headbangers Ball at least in America, whether it’s crap, is very important. It does play crap, but there are heavy things on there and I feel it’s very important for this band to make that next step as to do a video and hopefully a follow-up. It’s definitely not wimpy. I can’t see how anyone could say you are wimpy now that you are doing a video. I mean why not do things that are going to take this music to mass audiences, you know? Death is helping this music become more acceptable and hopefully on a good level and not on this very negative satanic level it’s gotten to. I think when people see the video and read the lyrics they are going to say ‘wow, nothing about Satan or anything on this.’ That’s really what sets… is going to continuously set this band apart.
METALLIAN: Chances of that video making it to TV here are minimal. Elsewhere, it is nice to interview someone who has something to say as opposed to my trying to get something out of the person because I have interviewed bands like Sacred Reich who are supposedly outspoken, but don’t have actually anything to say as far as censorship or current issues go, which according to the media is something they know about. They really don’t! You seem to have more to say than any band I have interviewed.
CHUCK: I’ve got a lot to say (laughs). I can sit here for hours and really analyze certain situations that we are dealing with right now. I feel this is an opportunity and any other interviews are an opportunity for me to hopefully clear up what has happened and make people think twice before they judge anything in life. To give things a chance before first making it into something bad. You know what I mean?
METALIAN: OK. Here is a question: what do you think of Metallica?
CHUCK: (Chuckles), uh, I have to be truthful. I am very disappointed in the new album. Not ‘cause it’s supposedly wimpy, but just I mean there are so many things that I don’t like about it. I am sure people are going to say ‘what a jerk Chuck is,’ but the thing is I have to speak my mind. As a person and as a fan of music, which I am I like hearing bands that progress and, in my opinion, I hear a reverse or a de-progression, or whatever the proper term is. I am disappointed with it because there is a lack of energy and a lack of thought put into their new songs. It’s simple, it’s gotten more simple instead of more musical. Maybe I am a little too critical because I am also a musician, but that’s just the way I feel. You know, it’s not horrible. It’s still catchy and they have somewhat of a decent element within their music, but I personally prefer to hear more than the typical drum beat behind music.
METALLIAN: I was totally bored with the new Metallica.
CHUCK: You know, it took three years to put this out and I think I and a lot of people expected just a little bit more, but hey they are making millions and they are happy. I am happy for them. We all have to survive.
METALLIAN: Speaking of their success, do you see your band going to that plateau? Would you want that, and if you want that, can you see yourself getting up that kind of an audience and charts and all the attention?
CHUCK: Well, I mean I never like to put limits on our music. I can’t see us being as big as Metallica. I have to be realistic about it, but I hopefully can continuously be bigger and be accepted as real musicians in a real band with good things to say. I would never want to get big if it meant changing. I would never put anything out that I wouldn’t want to hear. I am very very… I am my biggest critic as far as the music I put out for Death. I always judge it first as to how another person would hear it. If it’s not catchy and it’s just blah I am not going to use it. I would never put anything out that’s just there!
Anyone who had doubts or heard lies pick up Human and you will hear reality. That is, Death will always be a band that will not let the people who hear this music down. That’s so important because I am part of being let down by bands. I am really sick of it.
METALLIAN: Tell me about this tour you are on.
CHUCK: This is our fifth, no sixth, no seventh show, I am sorry, so it’s pretty much in the early stages of the tour. We just came from Massachusetts, USA and after this we play Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Milwaukee and then work our way to Colorado and to California so we are covering a lot of strong areas.
Europe is next definitely after the USA… the real Death!
METALLIAN: Which bands will you tour with?
CHUCK: This is a worldwide tour. It’s good because we are all friends, which I must bring up again. We all get along great. There are no worries. I don’t have to worry about some opening band ripping our stuff off, which has happened unfortunately. So, it’s great. We all trust each other. I can leave my guitar on stage and not worry about anything. That’s great have that trust and friendship involved.
METALLIAN: One more thing that I noticed when I was speaking to the guys from Viogression was how friendly you have been towards them and it is a great help for them to be on the bill.
CHUCK: Yeah, definitely. I think it’s great to be able to help an upcoming band out. I would naturally treat anyone equal. I don’t care if they sell one hundred million albums or ten. They are people. I think Viogression are extremely cool guys, as well as Pestilence. There is no competition involved. We are all three different bands each doing what we believe in. There is no need for egos regardless of what people think out there.
METALLIAN: Do you have any last words to say to the Canadian fans?
CHUCK: Definitely. Support music and not rumours.
Sean, Scott, Paul and Chuck were the headliners that night and followed Pestilence and Viogression. The last band shared a manager with Death.
This interview was originally heard on CRSG cable radio in Montreal.
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