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Paul Speckmann (Master)

Interview with Paul Speckmann from Master
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 26 May 2010, 3:05 PM

He has a long beard and he has an indescribable love towards pure Death Metal. Who is he? Paul Speckmann of course! After the release of MASTER's brand new album "The Human Machine" I decided to have a small interview with him regarding matters around the band. Enjoy this honest and thinking person…

Hello Paul! It is really an honor to talk to a Death Metal legend like you (even via mail). Your new album "The Human Machine" is going to be released in a few days. Tell us a few things about it like where was it recorded, who handled the mixing/mastering of the album etc.
The album was recorded mixed and mastered in Bzenec, Czech Republic at Shaark Studios where we have recorded the last several albums. It was recorded, mixed and mastered in six days as the budget was limited as always. I am quite pleased with this new CD for sure. This was really a project that included the engineers as well as all the band members this time around. We mastered the record twice as the guitarist Alex Nejezchleba didn't like the first mastering mix. It's really a family type studio as Alex's brother Petr owns the studio.

Are you satisfied with the result or is there something you would fix if you had the chance to go back in time?
I am really satisfied this time around. The engineer Petr said that maybe the CD was re-mastered in England by the guys from Plastic Head and this is quite possible, but he said the recording is still great. It angers me that these labels and studios always try and change things for the better when we always send the products completely ready to print. So I really cannot understand why they think they know better and change things. But, this is the nature of the beast.

What reactions have you got until now from your fans and the press?
Everyone is saying this record is a masterpiece and the reviews up until now are really quite good, but I will never understand the point system. Someone will give you 6 out of 8 points, but give the album and excellent review. Critics are bit silly, and anyway it doesn't guarantee that a record will sell regardless of the review of these critics. So as always we hope for the best.

How did the contract with Pulverised come up? Didn't you have any offers from bigger labels?
Actually I was in contact with a band called DEFILED from Japan looking for some shows in Asia. They sent me a bunch of contacts and I put the worm out so to speak and Pulverised contacted me and offered a contract. They are doing a fine job with this new release at the moment. I really wish the record would have been released a bit sooner, but you cannot win them all. I really didn't contact any of the bigger labels with this. I went to the Pulverised website and liked what I saw. This is a very professional label and certainly is on the way to becoming a major as you so well put it.

Is there any concept behind the lyrics of "The Human Machine"? I say this because I noticed many songs covering matters of our society.
Society is infected by the governments today and always has been. People are nothing but "Human Machines" working for their governments and so-called organized societies and creating a greater human machine. People cannot think for themselves anymore and all the youth of today will certainly be led to the slaughter. Free thinking will soon be prohibited. It was called power to the people, but now it's power over the people. If the youth don't take a stand and remove the governments and politicians with force then freedom is certainly lost.

I noticed you remained loyal to your sound once more. In fact, MASTER is band that is famous for being loyal to the old school sound. Is this going to change or will you will always be the MASTER we all know?
MASTER has and always will stay true to the music and the sound. Today the scene is saturated with clones of each other and everyone is playing typewriter drums and it really makes me sick. Originality is thing of the past. With all the latest technology anyone can create a decent record, but the question is can they play the songs live.

What about live shows? Have you scheduled any dates for the promotion of your new album? Are we going to see you here in Greece soon? It has been some time since your last visit.
We just finished 50 shows across Brazil, Europe and Scandinavia. We are always on tour my friend. MASTER and NECROPHAGIA will tour in support of MAYHEM in the USA in October and November. The Myspace page has detailed dates as they are booked. As for Greece, we need to find a promoter that can afford to bring us there. I love your country and of course the food is spectacular.

You are considered by many as the fathers of Death Metal along with DEATH, although you never met a high commercial success. Why do you think this has happened? Is it because you never compromised regarding your sound etc?
We made mistakes in the beginning and never signed the Combat contract. And one thing that stood in our way was that I never liked to kiss ass. I always told people and bands to fuck off and this was detrimental to MASTER. Today I have changed, and try and be at least sociable with people. Live and learn they say. I just never believed in kissing asses like some did. The industry people think they are rock-stars and it's the bands that pay their salaries.

What is you opinion on the state of the Death Metal scene nowadays? Are there any bands that have attracted your attention?
Clones of the originals march across the globe, and most of the music today is shit anyway. I would watch out for SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER from California and a Norwegian band called IMBALANCE.

By the way, here is a question I always had. Is MASTER considered to be a US or a Czech act? If I am not mistaken you have moved to Czech Republic.
I will always be an American and home is where the head lies. The band will always be Speckmann so this question really is a waste of time. I live in the Czech Republic and will die here, but America is still a friend of mine. I obviously don't agree with the politics, but there is still a growing Metal scene once again and I will continue to travel there for concerts, but I will never be trapped and forced to live there again.

Are there any news behind ABOMINATION? You haven't released something for years but from what I see you haven't actually split up.
The guitarist Dean Chioles died many years ago of ALS and the band will never record again. Drummer Aaron Nickeas has quit playing for many years as well.

Why do you use session live members instead of getting full time musicians? Is there a chemistry in the band you don't want to spoil or something?
I have permanent members in Europe, but in the USA it's better to travel with English speaking musicians. This is less problematic when dealing with all the police and governmental controls in the USA. The USA no longer likes people visiting their country. Hell, they even ask me questions when I try to enter the country.

Thank you for this interview Paul! Anything last you would like to add?
Check out a true innovator of the genre and forget about all the imitators. "The Human Machine" speaks for itself.


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Edited 04 February 2023

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