pondělí 22. února 2016

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Interview - MASTER - The world will end long before the necessary changes are made!

tranlated by Duzl, thank you!

interview with legendary death metal band MASTER - answered Paul Speckmann

Ave Master! You have recently released your thirteen album in a row entitled " An Epiphany of Hate". What are the feelings you got right now, as well as some time after the release? Do you have any feedback from the fans, and  what about the reviews?

I have no feelings either way by the time an album comes out. The music speaks for itself. You spend a month or so preparing to record a new album and by the time it's mixed and mastered you're sick of it! I usually wait a few months or so and put a new recording on the stereo then! I guess there are some out there that think every recording they do is the best, let's face it, if you truly believe this then your a complete idiot. The reviews for the record are outstanding, yet the UK and the USA have completely turned their backs on the band as usual, they would rather support the many Master copycats across the globe than the original Master! Influence can be a horror or a blessing in disguise!

Paul Speckmann
As a band you are really loyal to Shaark studio in Bzenec for many years. It gives you your characteristic sound. Can you imagine yourself recording elsewhere? Are you sometimes tempted to try it with someone else? Incidentally, the new album sounds very good.

Why would you record somewhere else when you have found the most comfortable studio in the world? I have been recording at Shaark, Studios since 1999. So as I always say if something is not broken, there is no need to fix it! I am a man that is set in his ways so I wouldn't look for any changes, anytime soon my friend! Besides, the studio improves every few years or so! If you are looking for a professional studio with reasonable prices then Shaark is the best choice in the Czech Republic in my opinion. The thing about the studio is that Pavel and Petr have combined years of experience, and this quality can be heard on the releases they produce!

Not too long ago you were with your band celebrating thirty years of being in the scene. When you look back, is it a big difference recording and releasing a new album today and years ago? I do not mean just technical details and possibilities but also the attitude of publishers, labels, etc.

No not for a band like Master my friend, things don't change. We always find the support of a label like FDA Rekotz in Germany for example and continue to release albums. We have also a great Czech label called Doomentia Records that re-releases all of my albums over and over to the masses, so this also helps extremely. When you're in a band that means something to the underground, you will always find another label who will support you as they know that they will make some money from yours and their efforts!

The lyrics often dealt with contemporary social issues. It seems that the world has for several years been rushing into perdition. But do you see any kind of solution? Are there any?

Their is only one solution but it will never come to fruition. The youth of today are more interested in the telephones and computers. Change takes physical activity and this is no longer necessary for the next generations. It's time to remove the politicians, and police from power and live in a new truly free society. But this will take a great effort on the part of the youth of the world, and to get organized will take much work and strategical thought! Of course I will be dead and buried, but I know my thoughts and ideas from some of the songs I have written will remain until the end. The world will end long before the necessary changes are made.

Cover for the new album is created by Mark Cooper from America. With his creation I really like the fact that every cover is different than the previous one. How did you find this guy and why did you choose him? Regarding the album covers of MASTER, it seems  to me that you have created almost every cover through someone else.

I didn't choose him and actually just heard his name after you mentioned it. The label FDA bought this magnificent of artwork several months before we began recording and asked me what I thought of it. In the end it worked out well, but I honestly have always thought the music is the most important thing about an album, but seeing as though everyone also likes the artwork for the album, maybe I have been wrong and in today's world you need the whole package! When I grew up, the music did the talking!

The first album that you recorded with the current line-up was "The Spirit of the West" in (2004), I wonder if you have any rituals during the recording from this time.I mean some rules, procedure,etc.

Great question, but at this time when we recorded the first time together the guys spoke zero English and I spoke zero Czech as well. So the music really was done nearly the same way we do it today, but drummer Pradlovsky speaks English very well today. I still have not mastered the Czech language by any means and never will! When recording there are no rules, this is Rock"n"Roll.

Does Alex participate in creating new riffs and ideas?

Alex brought in two songs this time around and the first we never recorded as it did not fit my vision for a Master track, but he did bring in a great number called , "Just take my right arm," near the end of rehearsals. Alex writes a song or two on nearly each album and I think his songs are always killer and add diversity to the albums which is an important thing for certain!

Are your bandmates correcting your ideas and are they discussions about it?

I keep wondering about the whole process of creating a new song. I cannot see how it differs from any other band! I write riffs over a year or so on my acoustic guitar in my home office and record these on a digital hand held recorder! When it's time to record a new album, I listen to the riffs and put together songs. I then bring these tracks to the rehearsal studio in the basement of Shaark Studios where we rehearse and play these songs along with drummer Zdenek on my electric guitar. Some of the songs are immediately ready after playing the first time, others Zdenek and I work on and tweak a bit. It's always good when you have an excellent drummer to work with! Obviously, Zdenek shows me the different possibilities he can do on the drums and sometimes I also have an idea about how some parts should go, so we discuss it and play. Sometimes we have to extend parts for vocals etc, but this is quite normal I suppose. I then play the guitar parts for Alex and switch to bass and we take it from there. As for vocals I write these after all tracks have been worked out. I sing the vocals always for the first time in the studio!
You have released a second album with German label F.D.A. Rekotz. In my opinion they currently belong among, one of the best underground labels. Are you satisfied with their work? I like the fact that there are no problems in getting your CDs and vinyls. By the way, this time  you will have vinyl in several versions. After all  it is still a small label, hence what are  your thoughts regarding  some bigger label?

Man, 10 questions in one question! The label F.D.A. Rekotz is doing a great job for Master for the moment and hopefully we will have a long and lasting relationship. This is the second release and they certainly take the time to do an excellent job for sure. They way things are looking at the moment though, thy may be the next big label, and this could be a problem. Labels get too big and then the bands get lost in the shuffle!

In one interview I read that MASTER as a band is now under an Italian company ALPHA OMEGA MANAGEMENT. What does this means to you? Because you have concerts almost constantly.

Obviously we will see what happens, but things look good. They will book a tour in October in Europe and we will see how it goes. This will give me a break as I am the one booking the shows, finding the gigs, and finding the agencies as well as the festivals. It's hard work so we will see what someone else can do.

Last year you were on tour in the USA , where you are visiting quite regularly. But Alex and Zdeněk did not play with you but instead of them there was Alex Bouks ( ex-Incantation) and Jacob Shively. 

Actually you are wrong, Ruston Grosse plays drums for Master in the USA every year or so, and this past tour featured Gruesome, Possessed guitar player, Daniel Gonzalez! Alex Bouks was busy at this particular time! Master waits for no one!

Why did those guys not play there with you? It's too expensive to get visas for the Czech and Slovak guys and the US government makes things to difficult with foreigners abroad.  How do you evaluate this tour and when are you planning your next tour?

The tour was killer and I will most likely return to the USA for a tour in August if things pan out.

MASTER've also had a tour in South America last year. In Europe, we are told about Brazil, Chile and Argentina as countries where the fans are literally "crazy". How successful was this tour? Do you remember some interesting experience from there?

The tours are always a blast in South America. This time around we had a blast once again in Chile playing with Venom Inc, the 800 people were crazy at this show period!

Touring in the Americas is always filled with crazy experiences, which is why we go there.

Also you had three gigs in Tokyo within the Obscene Extreme time. If I remember correctly, it was your first gig in that country. How did you like it  and how were you  satisfied with the  performance? About Japanese fans we hear that they are a bit "cautious" is it true?

We killed it in Japan, the band puts on a great performance whatever the situation, this is called being a professional band. Curby as always, set us up with a great situation and we enjoyed the hell out of Japan. I once visited the country on my first Krabathor tour but this time around in 2015 was much better and more professional of course. Yes, the fans are a bit cautious but by the time we played the Deathstrike show, they were stage diving and going crazy on that final Monday gig in Tokyo!
MASTER always has been synonymous of absolute underground for me. I just keep thinking, if   it is  really hard and exhausting? Is it something different where you are continuously on the tour and you keep this way of life style where you are 20 years old, but now you are not any "young mans". What about settling down, going "normaly" to work, etc.? What about family?  It has to be hard for them when you are on tour all the time somewhere. What have you apprenticed - what is your "civil profession"?

Too many questions brother, this is my work, I play Metal and otherwise relax at home. This is my profession, I have to visit the post office twice a week to send out my parcels across the globe, but this is the least of my worries! My civil profession is Metal Head period! Sure it's hard on the wife sometimes when I travel so much but this is the way it works. 

13.3. you will play with DEATH STRIKE on the festival Deadly storm in Božkov 10. We look forward to all the old songs. Will you be bringing some tshirts, CDs and vinyls of DEATH STRIKE? It will be your first performance with DEATH STIKE in Czech Republic and we would like to buy something as a souvenir.

 I will have to think about it!

The last question in the end - as a relief. You already live in the Czech Republic for relatively a longer time but I have never heard you talk too much in czech language. Is the czech language so difficult for you or are you just lazy?:) I wonder one more thing. Once i read how you like Czech Republic because we are not so tied by the "American way of life". Thanks to globalization.....way of life in  even our country has relatively changed. We are more focused on consumerism, what do you think about this?

I cannot concern myself with such nonsense brother, as I explained in many interviews, I am lazy true, but the fact of the matter is that even the music promoters across the world must speak English or they have little or no concerts with bands from abroad, so put this in your pipe and smoke it like Krakonoš. I am looking forward to seeing you and the underground Metalheads at the Deathstrike show (info here) brother thanks again!

As for globalization and consumerism, I still feel and always will feel more free in the Czech Republic to do whatever I wish to do period. This is why I live here and have made a life for myself and my wife here!

Thank you for this interview. I wish you a lot of CD sales and great live shows. I look forward to meeting you in any upcoming gigs!

- concert DEATHSTRIKE in Pilsen, Czech republic 
- 19. March 2016  - info here
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