MASTER - Paul Speckmann

Master has been one of the most influential bands in the history of the underground with a huge impact on most of the notorious extreme metal bands that followed later on and for generations to come. Formed in 1983 along with bands such as Possessed, Necrophagia, Mantas/Death, Master put its name with golden letters in the list of the forefathers of Death Metal scene although the band is often overlooked. Master’s mainman the legendary Paul Speckmann although doesn’t agree with the definition on himself as a metal icon yet he confirms one more time his devotion and unceasing love for the underground.
\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: First of all I wanna thank you for this interview. You know you are some kind of a legend in the extreme metal scene and mostly in the underground for many years now. Do you actually feel like a Death Metal icon?\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: No actually I am just Paul, and I am glad to have been part of the inception of the genre. Of course I thank you for the interview. I will try and answer as fully and honestly the questions you have submitted. I have and always will support the underground movement. This has always been a major part of my life and I fully support this. What actually is an icon? Icons of evil seem to rule the planet today. This is definitely not I. This is Bush, the former Blair and Putin, as well as the other various leaders that rule the planet and make decisions for others. I am just a supporter of metal genre.
\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: Your new album Slaves to Society was released in May 2007.How are things so far with the feedback and the correspondence of the metal fans?
\r\n
\r\nPaul Speckmann: The reviews for the CD are quite killer this time around. Most people are saying this is the best Master release since "On The Seventh Day" from 1990. The fans are buying the CD and many critics are saying it’s one of the best releases of 207. We will see. I have been offered many festivals and shows throughout Europe and the offers continually come in. let’s face it, I write these CD’s first and foremost for myself, and it’s like rolling the dice, some work and others fail miserably, but that’s the business. There is no accounting for taste. There are many shitty bands and albums that have success that I cannot understand.
\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: How would you describe Master’s music for someone who hasn’t heard your band before?
\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: The music deals with the pitfalls as well as the ups and downs of mankind. There is no fantasy or fiction in this music. This is just straight-forward aggressive Metal. If you’re looking for the truth as well as food for thought then look no further. If you’re looking for the glorification of the silly ritualistic religions, then go somewhere else.¨ Believe in yourself, divide and conquer.
\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: You were on a tour with Lividity and after that you are doing the merchandise for all five bands on the Massacre tour. First of all tell me how the Master tour went?
\r\n
\r\nPaul Speckmann: The Lividity and Master tour was quite successful, as we knew it would be. The crowds were good as well as the intensity. It was cool to hang out with the crazy Americans once more, but I honestly missed Matt Bishop this time around. This was the second tour this year as Master toured in May and June as well for the latest album "Slaves To Society".
\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: Why the Slaves of Society US - Tour 2007 was canceled?
\r\n
\r\nPaul Speckmann: I cancelled this because a band from Finland contacted me and said the promoter was a rip off, and so how could I make promises to Chuck and Dennis from Macabre, if I couldn’t deliver. I didn’t want to be put in an awkward position, so I cancelled. These days it is quite difficult to trust anyone in this business. Things are difficult at the moment. John from Incantation will be releasing "Slaves To Society in the USA" in a few weeks or so, so maybe he can put together a tour for me in the USA.
\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: And then the Massacre tour follows when you are going to visit Athens in a few weeks. \r\n

\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: Master played in Athens in June this year. The show was quite successful. The Massacre show in Athens was quite killer as well. Denial Fiend also crushed the Greek audience. I have to say the support for Metal in Athens kills the rest.
\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: And after that you will be heading to USA for a tour with Macabre’s members Chuck and Dennis. Is there any project there in the works with Macabre?
\r\n
\r\nPaul Speckmann: We were discussing a project called Evil Old Men, but it has yet to materialize as I haven’t heard from Chuck in six months or so. I guess he’s busy with his various other projects. Maybe one day we will meet again I suppose.\r\n

\r\n

\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: What are your other plans in the near future about touring because from what I know you are always on the road either with Master or travelling as a tour manager or a merchandiser. And you actually love it when you are on the road, isn’t that so?
\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: Yes, I am dedicated to Metal. Next I will join the tour with a band called After Death for ten days in December, featuring Mike Browning from Nocturnus, followed by a third Master tour in Feb 2008 and then followed by a tour as merchandiser with Broken Hope and Jungle Rot if this materializes. The road is full of pressure and chaos with a traveling circus, but it is a way of life that you grow accustomed to.
\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: Returning to your band Master is there any time left to write and prepare the next album? Is there any material ready for your next release?
\r\n
\r\nPaul Speckmann: I have already written 25 tracks for the next release. Of course we will go through them when time warrants and pick out the best tracks. I spend plenty of time at home as well every year. I mean tours last from ten days till seven weeks depending on the situation, so there is plenty of time at home for writing and living a normal life.
\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: Is Master a real band or a Paul Speckmann band with studio musicians?
\r\n
\r\nPaul Speckmann: No, it’s a real band, that writes and records, and tour together for the last five years now. It’s a real brotherhood like no one else.
\r\n
\r\nMetalzone: Your label at the moment is Twilight. How pleased are you with the support or the promotion you have so far? Are there any plans about promoting the album in the US as well?
\r\n
\r\nPaul Speckmann:The label does a superb job, and is growing every year. The future is bright with Twilight of course. I believe we will have a long and lasting cooperation. Yes, Ibex Moon should be releasing the CD in the USA and it will be available in all the stores around America.\r\n

\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n

\r\nMetalzone: You mentioned many times that Master is not a death metal band, not even when you started back in the ’80s, but a life metal band. Yet your impact on American bands and American death metal has been enormous and Master has been imitated for years by many bands while from the other hand Death Strike has been a big influence to the grindcore genre. And if I’m not mistaken Terrorizer changed their name from the Master song. And all this without having released an album or played live. Yet things turned out really bad for Master at the time. Do you think that if you had managed to release your debut in 1986 things would be a lot differently?\r\n

\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: Of course, but hindsight is 20-20. I couldn’t care less about the past. I live for the future. Of course things would have been different if the album was release in 1985 when it was recorded.\r\n

\r\n

\r\nMetalzone: Master is big in Europe and has been huge for years in the underground but in the United States is kind of overlooked. Why do you think this is happening? Would you say that your lyrics may always be a big drawback in that matter?\r\n

\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: Ignorance, this has always been typical in the USA. Why, because the truth hurts. I don’t waste my time with Satan or fantasy. What’s happening in this shitty world is way more important. I realize Satan sells, and people often get pissed when I say this, but it is the truth. Kids are looking for something to believe in and Satan is cool and evil so the gullible go for it. It’s really an American thing.\r\n

\r\n

\r\nMetalzone: How do you feel about the current death metal scene? Do you listen to any new stuff?\r\n

\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: I haven’t really heard anything new since the eighties. Today is nothing but regurgitated riffs stolen for GBH, Master and MDC.\r\n

\r\n

\r\nMetalzone: Is it true that the classic Venom single "In League With Satan" changed your perspective in music?\r\n

\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: Yes this would change the lives of Bill Schmidt and myself drastically. We both quit Warcry and began working on something more aggressive. Master couldn’t find a guitarist so Schmidt quit and I formed Deathstrike.\r\n

\r\n

\r\nMetalzone: Which is the factor that you find so appealing in the underground? And do you think that today there is actually an underground scene or movement?\r\n

\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: Let’s face it, if I would have sold out like many others of the genre I wouldn’t be in the underground. It’s not about money, it’s called integrity.\r\n

\r\n

\r\nMetalzone: You’ve said that the bass is the most important thing in your life. Actually you are one of the few extreme bands that I know of that the basslines are so audible. So what’s the main thing about this instrument that makes it so unique and dear to you? \r\n

\r\n

\r\nThe power and depth of the sound are important. The only other heavy bass player out there now is Terry Butler and I had the pleasure of listening to the aggressive sound as he pummeled his way through 18 shows in the last three weeks. Thanks Terry.\r\n

\r\n

\r\nMetalzone: What’s your opinion of today’s digital techniques? Do you miss the analog process at all?\r\n

\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: It’s much easier today and any idiot can record and album now a days. In my day you really had to play the song for the tape, or do it over and over. Today you push a button and punch in and out to fix it. It’s a wimpy way of recording.\r\n

\r\n

\r\nMetalzone: What your advice would be to the young bands that are just beginning to make a stand on the metal map?\r\n

\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: Be careful of the contracts and rip off managers out there. Smoke some weed, drop some acid and snort some cocaine. Live a little.\r\n

\r\n

\r\nMetalzone: What do you think of the free downloading over the internet? Do you believe that sells are badly affected by all this and from the other hand what do you think that the internet is offering today to the bands that you didn’t have back then? \r\n

\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: I lose more money every year because of this bullshit, but on the other hand, I get more shows and festivals in Europe every year from the internet.\r\n

\r\n

\r\nMetalzone: Is there anything you would like to add or comment for our readers?\r\n

\r\n

\r\nPaul Speckmann: Yes, thanks for support. Paul
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n

\r\nVaso Prassa \r\n

\r\n

Copyright 2023. All Right Reserved.