My fascination for the band Death have increased over the years. After looking on youtube I came across a channel which seemed to be dedicated to Death as a whole, and specifically Chuck Schuldiner (RIP) the iconic frontman and singer of the band. I took the time to view some of the clips in the channel and it struck me that this could probably be the best channel for dedication I’ve ever encountered. All high quality clips, interviews, live shows and much more for your delight as a Death-fan.
Needless to say, I became interested in what had motivated such a project. I checked for contact information to find out more about the channel and the persons behind it, luckily enough I came in touch with a James. C that took the time to answer my questions. Beneath is a interview I conducted via mail. Thank you for your participation, James.
What got you into Death in the first place?
A chance encounter with the music about 11 years ago, through an internet radio stream.
Why Death and not some other band?
For several reasons. Death are one of the very few bands who can truly claim to of influenced so many others in the metal scene, nobody would deny that. Can we say Death are the first death metal band? That question has raged forever. Another reason to of done this for Death is to recognize and respect what Chuck Schuldiner gifted the world of music, when you mix a rich history with a stunning story, it becomes an obvious choice to want to try and give something back no matter how small, as a fan.
What do you think about the upcoming release of Death – “Vivus!” on Relapse Records?
My first curiosity came with the title “Vivus” it seemed Latin so I looked up what it meant and it turns out it means alive/living so I thought the title quite fitting given that the responsibility of keeping the love for the music going is in all our hands. In terms of the content I believe it to be the audio from Death live in L.A. and Live in Eindhoven both of which also exist as DVD’s. Between Eric Greif, Relapse and Chuck’s family, the fact that all things Death have had a new lease of life is something which I think is awesome.
Did you have the pleasure of attending any of Deaths gigs?
Unfortunately not, as when the first time I heard Death Chuck had already passed away. Although I would like to take this opportunity to hopefully help other fans who feel too consumed by the notion that they won’t see Death live. I would remind everyone to focus on and be happy for what we still have and get to enjoy. The music.
You provide your subscribers with alot of interesting material, how did you come by all of this?
My approach to content is a simple one, what interests me, what would I like to watch, to read, to listen to, to learn. That forms the foundation of the content I search. The attempt is to always provide a high standard with a certain degree of originality. So it becomes a case of finding something which to me is fresh and then sharing that with the community. As well as thinking up my own ideas for content, wether it be product reviews, interviews, fan provided material, funny videos. Ultimately I would love to one day either see or put together myself a rock solid documentary on Chuck’s life.
Some people say Australia is where you should look nowadays when it comes to Death Metal, do you agree?
I’ve personally never heard that and if I did I would dismiss the statement, purely because it’s always a mistake to make blanket statements which discards the rest of the globe. Australia has some stunning bands, one of the most known being Psycroptic. At the same time you can look to every continent on the planet and find many skilled bands, of course some areas are more prominent. For example Canada is ridiculously abundant with some of the best tech death bands on the planet, but so is America. The reality is there are good bands everywhere. There’s more metal to choose from than ever before.
Some would also disagree and say both Australia and Mexico, what is your view on that?
Similar to my above statement, look to the world not just specific countries.
How is the genre Death Metal progressing nowadays?
In my opinion the life of a touring band from what I can see never got any better, bands still have no money and just about survive, on the flipside the music itself is as healthy as it’s ever been. There’s a plethora a bands to choose from which for some, is an issue as it suggests the market becomes over-saturated. There will always be a click of people who believe the only true and best metal was made in the late 80’s early 90’s but to me the musicianship, composition and standard of music is higher than ever. Some years it dips some years it peaks. I think 2012 is gonna be killer.
Do you think it’s heading into a good era?
There is always going to be trends, they come they go, they come they go. These days there’s too many attempts to categorize everything, genres within genres which have sub genres, it’s ridiculous. The question of is it heading into a good era simply depends on which direction you look. There is something for everyone nowawdays. Metal will always be around, as for Death metal, all I see happening is an increase in song writing ability, musicianship and quality of music, we as fans get to enjoy the ride.
What about the technical wing of Death Metal, any recommendations?
If we talk technical/progressive Death metal then I would recommend, Beyond Creation, Spawn of Possession, Quo Vadis, Psycroptic, Decapitated, Decrepit Birth, Necrophagist, Obscura, Augury, The Faceless, the talent that exists today is almost obscene. There’s too many unbelievable bands to name.
I’ve been listening to Dead Congregation for some time, what do you think of them?
I’ve never heard them before.
Will you be expanding this project?
2012 will see the release of The Metal Crusade, it will be THE official Death fan site, I’m part of the team which is responsible for its continuation, development and maintenance whilst the design was covered by Sean Jenkins of the band Divinity. Although this isn’t the same thing as expanding the youtube channel, everything is a cross over, so no content is limited to one place. The soon to be opened Metal Crusade can be found at http://www.metalcrusade.org/
If you could choose, which band (besides Death) would you dedicate a whole channel to?
I wouldn’t choose another band because the root of creating something has to come from a passion and a belief. I don’t have the same feelings towards another band. An important factor to remember is that I wouldn’t do any of this the same if Chuck were alive. So it becomes a question of do you believe you can contribute something which isn’t already there, and I believe I could when it began and still can now.
What would be your last words of wisdom?
Be your own god.
Where can we find you, besides on youtube?
I have my own musical project called “Altering The Future” you can find that on Facebook, Youtube and a little down the line alteringthefuture.co.uk will exist. Also remember to check out DeathinHD on Youtube!
I would just like to finish by saying thank you for the interview Jonas and to quote Chuck “Keep the metal faith alive”.