Destruction (en)

Destruction has toured around US during their “North American Reckoning 2011” tour. The last concert happened in West Hollywood. Spirit of Metal had the pleasure to interview the bass guitar player and lead singer of the band, Schmier. Check it out!

interview DestructionTonight you are playing the last concert of this American tour (2001). What are your thoughts about the overall experience of it? Any highlights?
Actually it was a good tour. We toured with our old friends from Heathen; we had also just toured with them in Europe. So, I think the “surrounding” [of the tour] was very nice, you know?

We had some problems in the beginning with the tour bus (it broke down several times) and some gear problems. And America is, of course, a huge country so it’s kind of “rough” to play here, everyday you have those 10 hours or even longer rides. But the tour was really good, we had a lot of really good shows. A few turned out to be bad, but sometimes it’s hard to play at the beginning of the week in the US, same in Europe.

This tour did much better than the last one so we are happy. We have offers to come back in the fall already, but we can’t do it so we may come back in February or March (2012) and do the “second leg” of the North America tour.

Anything different planned for tonight (since this is the last concert of the tour)?
Back in the past, the last show was always kind of the “funny” one. People start out doing “weird” stuff up stage to the other bands, but I’m not a very big fan of that. So, I hope nothing will happen tonight because we play the show for the fans and if shit happens the show gets affected.

What is a perfect concert for you? Meaning: how would you like your fans to feel when leaving your concert?
Of course they have to leave with a smile on their faces, they have to feel their bones and their necks the next day, that’s for sure. The perfect concert is when the energy of the crowd and the band unites. It’s always a great compliment when fans write on the website: “Yeah, my neck hurts from the show” or “I can feel all my bones” and stuff. Trash metal needs to be a physically exhausting thing. If the fans feel the power and the extreme of the music, that’s perfect for me.

It’s been 2 months since the release of your latest album “Days of Reckoning”. How have the reactions been until now?
The results are very good. It’s more “trashy”, it’s faster... it has more of the “trademark” of the band. So people really like the album. The reactions have been very good. People consider it to be one of the best albums since the reunion, together with the “Antichrist”. The similarities with those are that they are pretty aggressive and have real fast songs. Basically, the best reactions we had on an album since “The Antichrist”.

The lyrics of this album talk about the way we are living now, the way society is living now. What is the biggest message that you want to pass to your fans through this album?
The biggest messages: First of all that you believe in yourself and not listen to “what’s going on”.

For me the biggest problem in this planet right now is that nobody is caring about others anymore. Everybody is greedy and just wants to have themselves in a good position. So everybody will be with “elbows out” and fighting for him/herself, that’s a sad thing to see you know? The greed of humanity is getting bigger and bigger every year. It has been like this always, since I can remember, but I think it’s been getting worse these last years.

When you tour the world and you see different cultures you have different impressions. But, in most countries it’s basically the same problem. We all get ripped off by our governments, they are just there for the rich people and poor people are suffering everywhere, more and more. It’s only [different] in a few countries where people are still open and the government shares with the community.

I’m scared to see all those people [living] in the streets in America. We don’t have so many in Germany or in Europe. I don’t understand how a government can let it happen. Many of those people may have worked all their lives and have just lost their job and they get homeless like ( he snapped his f
interview Destructioningers). You turn on the TV and it’s all about who is making more money. It’s ridiculous.

The message I send in the album is that in the end, when you die, it doesn’t matter if you are or not rich. You cannot bring your money into your final grave. You better be aware of what you do in your life.

In one of the songs you mention that people should recognize the afterlife freedom. Would you mind telling us what that is for you?”
That’s a good question. I’m not a religious person. I was raised as a Catholic but I don’t believe in that afterlife stuff. But, I believe that there must be something because the energy that we have must go somewhere. And I don’t believe in that religious bullshit.

For me the afterlife freedom is when you will face death. I’m sure your life will be reflected at one point. Then, everybody needs to know if they were a good or a bad person you know? I’m pretty sure a bad person, at some point, will face what they did in their life. That’s what I mean with “the afterlife freedom”.

I believe that there’s more than this, that we are living here. Maybe this is just a first step or something. But if you would tell everybody: “We are living in a world but it is just a first step and afterwards everything will be better”, everybody would commit suicide.

I mean (laughs)… I guess there is more than we should know.

How do you get inspired for your writing / composing?
Exactly by things like this. Here in the States I watch TV, I open my eyes, I see what I have to see and I write lyrics about it. The same thing if I go to Brazil or to China or to other countries. I get a lot of impressions and at one point I write down stuff that I have on my mind.

For me, lyrics are also a kind of relief, to get out what’s inside. Some stuff is depressing. Stuff that I can share with people also helps me to get over them.

You guys have a pretty busy calendar until the end of the year. What are the plans for 2012?
We have some more stuff coming up. We have just confirmed a festival in Colombia in July. In August we will be playing in Latin America. We are adding two more concerts besides the six already confirmed there [total of 8 Latin American concerts].

We also confirmed a tour with Sepultura and Exodus in Europe in November/ December. And we also have offers for Asia in November. This year will be very busy. Then, next year we may do some more North American shows [as mentioned in the beginning of this interview – question 1].

Do you have plans to go to new territories during the “Day Of Reckoning” tour?
I hope so. We have offers to play in Indonesia for the first time, Malaysia, India, etc. So it will be very exciting to play there because there are a lot of heavy metal fans there.

We want to go back to Australia and finally play New Zealand but there is such a small scene there.

And hopefully one day we can play for our fans in Arabia too. There is a very big heavy metal scene in Morocco, there are heavy metal fans in Iran, Iraq…

Thinking about the beginning of your career as a musician: what are the biggest differences between metal back then and nowadays? Especially in trash metal?
At the beginning it was new and exciting, it was something very “fresh” but the scene was very small. People like to glorify the 80s and I understand it’s because something new happened. But, it was very tough to live from the music because there were not so many concerts. It was very difficult to come to other countries. We played Europe, we didn’t play many shows in America [during the 80s]. The big difference now is that the world is open; you can play much more shows in a global base. It’s definitely nicer for us. We can play for all our fans.

In your career… can you think of the hardest thing you had to go through until now? And also the most “amazing” moment?
The hardest thing… we have had difficult tours you know? Stuff breaks down
interview Destruction, you have no more money or somewhere in the desert your bus doesn’t work. Things like this happened all the time. We kind of got used to that. It is difficult to name one only. There are a lot stories that happen on the road that you think: “What am I doing here” you know?

On the other hand there are a lot of great moments and of course when you play in front of a great crowd or you meet people crying because they are seeing you for the first time, after waiting for many years, it pays off. And of course “the comeback years”, it was amazing when you play for the first time in front of 20.000 or 30.000 people.

That was not possible in the 80s. There was only one big open air which was “Dynamo Open Air”, which held 10.000 people.So our first big show was our reunion, in 1999, with more than 10.000 people.

Yeah… so those are the amazing moments, seeing that the fans are really dedicated. It is not just music, there’s much more behind what you do. That’s really touching. Fans have such strong bonds to the band.

That’s in metal only I think. When people don’t know what metal is and ask me about it I always say that the fans really support the bands. That’s different from other scenes, I think.
Other music gets consumed you know? Heavy metal is a lifestyle; it’s a whole way of life.

Talking about the scene… what do you think about the US scene nowadays?
It’s getting better. We started coming back here since the year 2000 and it was very bad, very hard.

These last years it became better and better. Most of the main cities have now a very good fan base. In between, a lot of the smaller cities have a decent turn out for the shows.

It’s just… metal is not as big in America as you think. It’s not like Brazil or Germany. There’s a decent scene here, there are more and more heavy metal fans but it’s not as huge as you would think it is.

Hard rock or Rock music, in general, is very popular in America but just the normal metal stuff is not that “high” here.

Talking about your personal life now: What do you do in your free time?
There is not too much free time. If I have free time I like to do sports and meet my friends… try to be a normal person. Heavy metal is my 24hr thing: it’s my life, it’s my job. It’s “eating” a lot of time in my life. So, sometimes I just try to go out and do “normal” stuff. When you live in music like this it’s hard to have a separation of spare time and music life. It becomes one and some point.

What type of music do you listen to during your free time?
I love all kinds of rock music basically, starting from punk rock to death metal and of course I like the trash stuff. I like old rock music in general, guitar driven music. There is no real limit.In my car I have everything from Bad Religion, Dead Kennedys up to… what was the latest album I got in my car? I don’t know. I have been touring for too long! I haven’t driven my car for a while!(laughs).

I am pretty open-minded. I mean, it has to be guitar driven music. I hate rap. I am a big metal fan. All gates are open for all kinds of metal for me.

How do you see the bands in 5 or 10 years?
I don’t know. I hope we can do this for as long as possible. At one point it may be difficult because it’s a physical thing [physical effort / capacity]. You have to do live performances. At one point your body may not be able to do it anymore.

I think music is something that keeps you really young. It is like every job: if you do something that you love, you will stay “younger”, and you can do it for a long time. I hope I can keep that spirit up and music will give me pleasure for the next 10 years at least. I don’t see myself without music so if I stop the band I don’t know if I would stay in the music scene to do something else. I don’t know. I am not the guy that write things about the future that much, I am living today to the fullest and I don’t care about the next 10 years. Who knows?

Interview done by Deesse_de_la_nuit

4 评论

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MONK - 19 六月 2011: Interesting!
Elevator - 19 六月 2011: Thank you for this interview !
swit35 - 19 六月 2011: Excellent interview
Deesse_de_la_nuit - 19 六月 2011: Hey everybody, thank you for your comments!
By the way, there is a mistake on the first question (2011 instead of 2001). Sorry about that!