Challenges with the Band’s Lineup
More than 20 musicians went through Death, including studio musicians and official members, and only Chris Reifert was saved from being labeled stupid by Chuck. This wasn’t because he really suffered from a complex egomaniac, as accused by the Death’s first members, but because of the problems they caused while they were in the band. Mainly because Chuck – the vocalist and composer of the band – was against drugs and based his work only on musical professionalism.
In His Words
“I can’t deal with people who are going to stop us from improving. Of course, I like it when a band maintains its formation, but as long as they keep the same sound, that’s what interests me, that’s how good music is made. Regardless of the rest, Death has always been faithful to his sound, and that is what matters,” Chuck Schuldiner said in an interview with Metal Mania in 1991, when they were preparing to release their album ‘Human’.
It was also in this period that Chuck Schuldiner directly faced criticism from all sides, due to the constant changes in the formation of the band, which from 1991 onwards would only work with session musicians. The album ‘Human’ was conceived as a concept to respond to all the criticisms, and to prove that the decisions made by Schuldiner were not fanciful, but aimed at seeking a better future. “We can all make mistakes, and unfortunately, when it happens to us, the public looks at us with contempt. I have made mistakes. I have had to do things that do not make sense to people. But instead of assuming that I am an idiot for doing them, they should think that I have my reasons,” he also stated in 1991, explaining that he was seeking to clarify the bad. Those were the rumors that left him as an egomaniac before the fans of those years.
Schuldiner was a perfectionist and was always clear in explaining that the name Death was nothing more than that, a name for the band that suited the violent of the music, but did not mean something more obscure or macabre, much less something close to Satanism. It is true, his music was violent, and he wanted it to be so. But his way of being was not consistent with the violence of his riffs. For the same reason, he always declared himself a lover of life, of animals and, obviously, of beer.
“I am a person with a very positive vision, towards life, towards friendship, towards love, towards all those things that make us human beings,” he said in 1991 during an interview on MTV.
Godfather of Death Metal Chuck Schuldiner’s Legacy, Illness and Death