First of all, Hi! to the Master of Death Metal. And thank you for the
opportunity for interviewing with such a legendary band.
Paul : You're welcome, interviews are important of course my friend.
Hey Paul, what is going on these days on Masters side, how is the life going?
Well, been touring and playing shows regularly this years as always. The
band has been very busy ever since I moved to Europe 11 years ago.
You will go on a tour with Massacre and Grave on Europe next summer. Which
countries will that tour include?
I am still waiting for the final dates for this trek. We will play 25 shows
along side Massacre and most likely Macabre from Chicago as Grave recently
You are one of the well-known old school bands. So that you were found on the
same timeline with bands like Death,Morbid,Angel and Possessed thus making you
one of the legendary ones. Can you tell us about those times?
In the beginning times were tough as this was a relatively new genre back in
the day and people just didn't really support the shows unless you played in
your own neighborhood. We actually teamed up with Death in 1987 and it was an
over 21 club called the Exit in Chicago. Because of the over 21 situation back
in the day a mere 25 people came to support Death and Funeral Bitch which was
really quite pathetic.
How did you guys started this and where did the inspiration come from?
Life has always been the greatest inspiration for the music I create. Life
is difficult and I like to address the obstacles and misfortunes of life through
the music I write. The biggest influence has always been the experiences I have
had in my personal life really.
What obstacles did you encounter?
Everyone has great obstacles in life. The hardest thing has always been
getting professionals to stay together.
And how was the communication of you with those bands?
I never really communicated much with the aforementioned bands back in the
I suppose 80s were a little hard for you. Especially your foundation
timeline is spread to 5-6 years. What was the reason for that? I think your are
one of the rare bands among other legendary ones that suffered such difficulty?
We had management, these days I handle all of this business myself and ever
since I took over things have improved considerably. We made many mistakes and
signed some bogus contracts in the early days. Hindsight is 20/20 so I always
look to the future which is always the best thing to do. Also these so called
innovators you mentioned in the question were always good at kissing ass. I
always told everyone to fuck off and suffered the consequences. I have a more
realistic and professional attitude these days and try to get along with the
bookers and promoters and since this has happened we get many more gigs and play
many festivals in Europe every year.
You started recording for your first album in 1985, but apparently you
encountered some difficulties, so released that album in 2003 not with your
publishing company, but with From Beyond. Can you tell us about the events took
place in 1985 and those difficulties that you encountered?
Yes we signed a contract with Combat back in the day, but the album was
never released due to many mistakes on the part of the original drummer Bill
Schmidt. He was always afraid of his own shadow and we were left behind so to
speak. Since we never signed the contract many bands went on to have great
success and we were left out in the cold. After this bullshit, I took over the
reigns of the band and never looked back. Schmidt can be found walking in the
forest these days in Chicago talking to himself to anyone who will listen. Such
a talented individual he was, it's really a shame.
After those hard 80s, with the coming of 1990 you rose up and recorded first
full-length album. If you wish, we would like to talk about that special album
that carries your own name, its all process through recording to releasing, and
its influence over people?
Actually the first Master as well as the Abomination debuts were released in
1989 followed by the Speckmann Project in 1991. The Speckmann Project was
originally intended to be the first Master release but in the end Nuclear Blast
didn't like the crisp Scott Burns production so thea tried him again and remixed
the original 1989 mix that was done in Chicago at Solid sounds Studios in
Hoffman Estates. In the end we didn't want to waste the other recording so it
was released as The Speckmann Project.
I suppose years 1990 and 1991 were quite satisfying for you. We can see 2
studio albums and a split record with Abomination. Would you like to tell us
about that split album?
This was only split 7-inch to get interested in both bands and it worked.
Nuclear Blast always had a knack for good promotion and this certainly paid off
in the end.
About the 2. Full-Length album that you published in 1991. On the Seventh Day
Master album. We found a very special surprise in that album that
increases our enthusiasm. Paul Masdival(Cynic, Gordion Knot, ex-Death)
concomitances album with his guitar. If you wish we would like to talk about how
Paul joined to album, recording process and its influence over bands fans?
He had absolutely no influence over the fans or the recording to be honest.
The songs were written by myself and Jim Martinelli when he waltzed into the
studio. He only came to fill in and played the solos after each one was
rehearsed for and hours or so. He is and was a true professional through and
through. But even today he says this was the worst album he ever recorded and
the music was quite boring. But it went on to sell 40.000 copies worldwide which
is no small feat for this genre for sure. Paul was a friend of Scott Burnes and
was called after Jim Martinelli was too drunk to play. Jim has since become a
reformed alcoholic and no longer drinks, so great for him.
After 1993, yet again you enter another difficult timeline and after the
Collection of Souls album that came with Nuclear Blast, you found yourselves in
another five years without any albums. Can you tell us about that five years?
Especially your agreement with Nuclear Blast and the Collection of Souls album
came afterwards, its recording and release process and the discontinuance
Nuclear Blast didn't like the album and we were subsequently dropped, end of
story. In 1998 we were offered a contract at Pavement and have been recording
ever since really. We recorded again in Chicago where the Master debut was
recorded and the record just didn't have the finesse of the earlier recordings.
We did much experimenting on this third offering and I personally still like
this record and many people have said the same. We record records for ourselves
as any professional artist should and if the people like it so be it if they
don't they can kiss my ass. It makes no sense to write the same record over and
In 1998, you finished working on your 4. Full-Length album, published it and
entered a 12 year period that you published albums non-stop, performed
everywhere, in which you published around 6 Full-Length albums, 1 live album and
compilation album that consists of live recording. Even though they were all
with different companies, you were constant and shiny, which indicates that your
band can live through whatever obstacle you may encounter. And I think the
suffering on past might has helped you to achive that. What do you wish to tell
Suffering is always good for the soul. If everything is handed on a platter
one takes things for granted and many die for sure. We have worked hard to
achieve the limited success we have had and will continue to do so.
Until 2002, you released a live album and video record vhs of Mexico concert.
Besides that, there was a possibility of moving to Czech Republic. In that
particular, we can see you played with legendary band Krabathor from Czech
republic. Throughout that, whose idea was live record?
The live record as you call it was bootleg and was never officially
sanctioned by Master. Nevertheless there are some interesting moments on this
recording. Unfortunately the recording volume rises and falls on this and really
it' a shit mix perion and there is no video, it's only audio on a cassette.
How did that effect the scene?
No effect as I said a cassette released in Mexico only.
And what was the reason for moving to Czech republic?
Christopher, Skull and I discussed a project called Martyr after spending
time together on The Malevolent, Master and Krabathor Tour in 1998. While
recording our project Bruno left the band Krabathor to form the band Hypnos and
I was asked if I was interested in join Krabathor and of course any real
musician will go and work anywhere in the world. This was an excellent
opportunity which took me to Japan for my first excursion with the band..
What did you do with Krabathor?
I wrote songs and recorded two albums with the band and toured extensively
for four years.
By the way, crowning that period with 2 magnificent albums was a great thing
for people like me who worship Master and Krabathor.
Thanks.Let's Start A War was recoded the same year as Unfortunately Dead and
both records were killer in my opinion. Many of the Krabathor fans didn't like
the two Krabathor records with me on them, but I had a great time and have great
memories of recording them for sure.
Label changes, member changes, including in different projects, somewhere
around 10 Full-Length albums, and a band that always performed well, never given
up, never disbanded, a flawless band, Master tries to tell us about the reality
through its music. My question is, why did Master had to change these many
labels and members? And how come Master always found a way out of that?
Many musicians have an unrealistic view of this crazy business and think
when you join a band you are instantly rich. We will always struggle to continue.
I have had a stable lineup since 2003 and hope it continues.
Since the beginning, the only thing stayed still was your style and your
melodies I suppose. Despite very little changes, your general construction of
songs never got upset. I suppose the foremost reason for that is you worked with
people who have similar music tastes? What do you think?
Style is an important thing. I realize many famous bands change style like
they change their underwear but real bands like Motorhead for example always
stick to their roots and I choose to do the same.
Albums you released after 2000, we can see you added some effective solos
besides speed and hardness. Can we say the reason is that the members werent
that young anymore and throughout the life, people can get more mature and cruel?
I just found better players. Good guitar solos have always been really
important to the Master sound.
Is there anything you would like to tell us about the current status of music
market and the direction it is going on? How do you find Death metal nowadays
and what do you think it is going to be like?
There are many crappy bands out there copying the old legends but I suppose
this is a normal thing. I rarely see anything new.
I suppose you are recording anything these days? Are there any plans for an
album near future? Is there, when do you think about releasing it ?
The New album called The New Elite is finished except for mastering next
week and will be released very soon over the next few months.
Alright, thank you for this great conversation and your precious time you
spared for us. Hoping to see you in future concerts. Take good care.