Friday, May 1, 2009

Speckmann about ABOMINATION

This is a fresh small talk with Paul Speckmann about ABOMINATION. This guy answered my shit faster as his beard is long. Amazing. So sit down please and enjoy!

Hi Paul, how are you man. It seems you are busy with MASTER and miscellaneous tour managements. Are you still hungry for the road?

Yes, but to be honest, I am enjoying this small hiatus from the world of metal at home this week. On the other hand it is also cool that after all these years I am still busy. Many people have given up, died, or just left the metal scene altogether. I just returned from a blast of a tour with the guys from Waco Jesus. This Grind tour was a complete riot with some real down to earth characters to say the least. I look forward to the DVD that was shot on the final day in Berlin last week. I am home noew for three days and I am ready to hit the road with Lividity next Friday. I am sure
all hell will break loose again after I get on the tour bus. This next excursion will deal with 7 bands and two buses also with Requiem, a killer Death metal act from Switzerland.

You were with MASTER back in the US last year and you will play your “old” home country this year again. Are your old fellows so bent for MASTER? Why do you play there 2 times in that short time? And when you play Chicago, feels it like a real homecoming?

Well, of course after such a successful return last October, promoters were eager to book Master again. The best part of this situation is that 17 of the 21 dates set for July 2009 are new areas
many of which I have never played before in the past. Back in the early days there was little or no support for Master in the USA, this is part of the reason I moved to Europe. But, this has clearly changed, as there has been a resurgence of Metal in my original home country. When we played Chicago 300 people filled the club on a Tuesday evening, and I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.

Let..s talk about ABOMINATION. You told you came to form ABOMINATION after you had trouble with the attitude of your old MASTER drummer and you did not want stagnation. May it would be easier to kick him out and go on with MASTER. Why did you need a new band that time?

This is a good point. The fact of the matter is that original drummer Bill Schmidt was the quote, unquote unofficial leader. Mittelbrun and I wrote a majority of the Master songs, but in the
beginning it was Schmidt’s baby until we split up and I formed Deathstrike with guitarist Chris Mittelbrun. On July 4th 1985 Schmidt returned to the fold so to speak and the problems began again. With Deathstrike and no Schmidt, things were easier as Mittelbrun and I were at the helm of this project. The Fuckin Death demo was quite successful in the underground and this was actually
the first demo that was released by the pair of us. We would record the original Master demos in the summer and fall of 1985 as where the Fucking Death demo was recorded and released in the spring of 1985. I will say that in October of 1983 Master got as far as taking pictures near Wisconsin on October 30th of that year, but we never saw a studio until 1985. After my second falling out with Schmidt, I formed Abomination as I found another killer pair of musicians with drummer Nickeas from the original Abomination and Schaefer from Impulse Manslaughter. Looking back is funny as I remember this15-year-old kid coming to Master practice one day with a suitcase full of warm Miller light beer in the form of Mike Schaefer. Mike Schaefer lasted about a
year before Aaron brought in his friend Dean Chioles and the band progressed rather quickly. In 1988 we received a record contract from the fledgling label at the time called Nuclear Blast Records. This actually came about after meeting another legend called Joe Caper from a band called Righteous Pigs out of Vegas. Caper was drinking at the local woods where I visited with my friend after moving furniture all day one afternoon. Caper passed along the red demo to Slatko at Nuclear Blast after receiving an Abomination contract, we then received a second deal for Master. We recorded the Abomination debut and then I recorded the Master debut shortly after with the newly reformed original lineup, only to split up the day after the recording as the insecurities of the
original members resurface immediately after the recording. I put together a new lineup for Master with Nickeas and guitarist Jim Martinelli from the Chicago band called Burnt Offereing. So Master, Pungent Stench and Abomination toured Europe for 26 days as Nickeas and I played in both bands and I sang of course for both groups for the duration of the tour.

Tell me about the early days of ABOMINATION and what kind of music was in your focus?

We were playing a kind of Thrash, Death Metal just like Master, but with more changes. I gues you could say it was faster and more technical. Check out the song I wrote called the Choice for
example. Nickeas wrote the lyrics for this masterpiece. This was the one and only real collaboration he and I ever did, but the song speaks for itself. Of course we were looking for an outlet to vent our anger at the world and looking for a way to get to Europe and of course we certainly succedded. But in the end Alex from Pungent said that we would play select shows with Master and others
with Abomination. Needless too say, this was a blatant lie and Nickeas and I had to work hard every day, but this is water under the bridge as I would do this again in 2002 with Krabathor and Master on tour in Europe.

How much influence you had with your band FUNERAL BITCH into the work with ABOMINATION. Is FUNERAL BITCH coaleced with ABOMINATION

These bands were completely different entities as Funeral Bitch was more of a Grindcore band, probably one of the first prototypes for the next genre of Metal. Just listen to Mc Mac Attack.
Kerrang magazine from the UK, said this was too fast and aggressive, but look where bands like Napalm Death would take this style in the not too distant future. Abomination began rehearsing late nights into the early morning after our other band practices. After a while we all decided to focus on one band, being Abomination. This led to a successful couple of years and the revival of Master as well.

Tell me about your old friend AaronNickeas!

This guy was a natural maniac. I mean let’s face it he improved immensely after playing with a steady original bassist like myself. We grew together really and my playing became more technical for the years too come. Today he runs a few small supermarkets and is raising a family. I miss the intensity of Abomination, but on the other hand today I have a killer drummer for Master in the way of Zdenak Pradlovsky and he plays with the same intensity as Nickeas did back in the day. So the machine plows on. The only one drawback about Aaron is that on the road the animal was always on the phone. He was extremely homesick on every tour and this is what forced him to
eventually leave music altogether. I often wonder why people take the time to develop a style with immense skill on a particular instrument, only to just quit and leave the scene.

Could you ever keep separate both bands with songwriting and so on?

I did this of course. These bands were two separate entities as I said before, and there are real differences in the sound as well as the writing and vocal styles at least in my opinion.

What about your NUCLEAR BLAST deal. Was it part of a straight developement or something special that time. How did you came to NB and what do you think about that deal nowdays?

I explained this earlier on, but I do have some regrets as Nuclear Blast exploited my name and made numerous Dmarks and never paid me all the money they owe me as with many other groups on the label. But hindsight is 20/20 and the past is gone. At least now I am beginning to make some money from the re-releases of the original masterpieces as well as the latest releases, as there has been a resurgence with my bands on the scene over the last 10 years. But, if it was only about money, I would have given up long ago. I still revel in the chance to take the stage at the various festivals across the globe as well as the Master tours every year.

In the early nineties you played with ABOMINATION and MASTER in Europe. What
were your impressions from the metal scene over there. Was it something spezial to play there? Nowadays bands are playing everywhere but in the early days...

Europe has always had a special place in the Metal scene. In some ways nothing can compare to the European fans as they really support all genres of music, and for this they must be commended, but as I said earlier on there is a resurgence happening in the USA and I am happy to play there and be a small part of this. Of course the doors have opened up all over the planet for Metal and this certainly great for all musicians.

I saw you on tour together with PUNGENT STENCH. You played 2 shows every evening. If I’m right you started with ABOMINATION, then PUNGENT STENCH played and you again with MASTER. I reckon it is exhausting. Or am I wrong? Any memories about that tour?

Yes, we made nearly nothing in the way of monetary residuals. I went home with my plane ticket paid and 1000 dollars for my efforts, but the tour was a blast. After all this was my first experience
over here and I fell in love with Europe on that very tour and this is why I choose to live here today. I believe if you believe in your music you will travel anywhere to practice your craft and this is why I joined Krabathor when the opportunity arose back in 2000 and never looked back. As for the memories of that tour, you will have to wait and read my book, called Speckmann, Surviving the Underground if and when I find a publisher for this.

ABOMINATION lyrics were critical all times. What were your influences. I know, the 1. Gulf war played a roll. And were the fans even interested in such sophisticated themes?

Real life has always influenced my writing. What is happening at a particular time influences my writing even today. The Gulf War played a big part on the Tragedy Strikes album of course. And as for the second part, no, many of the fans of the genre were pretty empty headed at the time. The average Metal fan only listens to the music I believe and takes life for granted and doesn’t give a shit about what the government and the world are doing to them. At least this is what I felt back then. Today the younger generation, I hope to think, are coming around although time will tell.
Unfortunately many people are robots of the greater machine and enjoy being told what to do. I truly hope some radicals are ready to make the changes needed to live in a free society. Big brother is taking over step by step, gradually freedom is becoming a thing of the past and when freedom of speech is removed, the music industry will die.

In 93, after 3 albums, MASTER split up. Why? Any coherence with your “farewell” from NUCLEAR BLAST?

Master never split up, only our alliancem with NBR. The band continued to write record and tour in the USA, Mexico and South and Central America. It took until 1998 to find another label to believe
in the band and this was the break that changed my life. After meeting the guys in Krabathor on the Tour with Malevolent Creation, co-headliner Master and Krabathor life changed. I came to the Czech Republic and recorded a project called Martyr, Murder X The End of the Game with the Krabathor guys and rest is history. This only happened because I never gave up on my music and namely Master.

I think MASTER was your alltime baby. Was it even possible to “drive double tracked” for a longer time?

I have always found a way to keep my baby alive although all the things I did served their purpose and I would never change a thing. I am just happy to be alive and still kicking as well as making
an honest living doing what I believe in.

In 99 ABOMINATION came back with 2 new releases. Tell me about it.

Actually I recorded a few songs for an EP with Nickeas and guitarist Bryan Brady from the Collection of Souls album. This was a blast, and I only just recently listened to the recordings as it was re-released as bonus tracks on a re-issue for Metal Mind Productions out of Poland. At the time I though the bass was too loud on the final mixes, but I realize I was quite mistaken as the recording is actually quite killer as well as the song writing. Many bands today have little or no bass on their records. The bass guitar is the backbone of any real recording and that’s a fact. This
was called the Final War. The other was just the original demo recordings from 1987 and 88, which I released for the fans, as the recordings were only originally available on the red and black cassettes.

Why did you think it was time to re-animate the band? What did Aaron think about this?

Aaron was all for this as this was always his baby and favorite band out of everything he and I did together.

It has the appearance that it was just a short straw fire. Why did it not become more. What do you think about a serious reunion nowadays?

Management played a big part in the fall of Abomination and Nuclear Blast made many mistakes as well. As for a reunion this will never happen as guitarist Dean Chioles died of Multiple Sclerosis many years ago and this was a sad loss for all.

If you look back, what significance has ABOMINATION for you personal and musically?

Abomination was a group that experimented with many genres of music and wasn’t afraid to try new ideas out and this was a chance to try out many of my crazy changes and the band would successfully implement them in their songs. I had the pleasure of bringing my Abomination
vision to Europe one time only for 26 performances and I will never forget this.

Thanks again for your time, wish you all the best with your US tour in summer and a free of stress tour-management with LIVIDITY tour. Last crap is yours again.

I have to say again I appreciate the thought provoking questions you have for me. Many writers have a tendency to ask the same questions over and over and this drives me crazy. Keep up the good work my friend and feel free to contact me anytime if you have more questions.

Paul Speckmann /

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