Over a quarter of a century ago, being a young Metalhead, I did not even dream about ever contact with Paul Speckmann to do interview. I remember my first time when I heard the debut album “Master” and which impressed me. And then I heard the debut album of another band – ABOMINATION, knowing that it is Speckmann’s band… Already then this musician was a powerful pillar of Thrash Death Metal, the living legend… It’s been so many years ago and he still is great musician, still producing deadly music for next generations…
Hello Paul! How long is you beard keep? Does not it get caught in the strings while playing? Hahaha…
Really stupid first question my friend, but since 1996 and at times it does get trapped in the strings!
The last release of MASTER is the split with DEHUMAN “Decay into Inferior Conditions” released by XenoKorp Records. These four concert tracks on the MASTER side are like a much shortened overview of the band’s work … Why did you choose these songs for this split?
If you did some research, you would find out that these songs were from a live show in Helsinki, and these are the first four songs of the set, so nothing tricky about it at all! When playing live there is quite a variety of tracks of course from all the years of Master! Unlike Dehuman this is from a live concert not the studio!
DEHUMAN also had the privilege of sharing this split with MASTER. They supported MASTER during many concerts, although their Death Metal is slightly different but and also totally kicks… How do you remember the tour with them?
Hmm, well we have toured together several times in the last 5 years and we get on well, so we continually do it together. We have been through many crazy experiences together over the years and are like a family after this!
Ok. But we let’s go for a moment of retrospection… The first album “Master” from 1990 put me on my knees, especially the song “Pledge Of Allegiance” with the specific vocal. This album is an uncompromising Death Metal with Punk breath… How do you look at this album today?
I have this album on a tape. I bought it in the early 90’s. At that time, like most various albums, it was a pirate edition (label Alf), but thanks to that I heard about a band like MASTER… At present, the piracy has gone a digital evolution. What do you think about this matter?
Obviously there is nothing that can be done about piracy, it began with bootlegging cassettes and actually this spread the music across the world and gave the bands notoriety. Many bands have great success because of the digital world of course, so what can we do?
And how do you recall those times (as a musician but also as a fan)?
It was a different time and place, where originality was a breath of fresh air. Today the world is poluted with clones of all the great bands!
Somewhere around 2003-2004 you exchanged the line-up of MASTER. How did the Czechs get to team?
Actually the first recordings in Czech were with Krabathor and also the first Czech, Master album!
Really, well I did all the arrangements like every album since the 7th Day my friend! Thanks for the kind words. This recording was experimental like many of my releases.
And why did you change the logo on “The Human Machine” once? Although, musically this album is slightly different. It has different riffs, other vocals…
The logo is still the same as always on every album, this was just an idea from the artist, nothing more, nothing less. Every album is a different time and place in our lives, so they obviously differ as years go by. Who wants to put out the same record over and over, not me!
The last album is “An Epiphany Hate”. If you would be to emphasize its uniqueness, what would it be?
It’s a killer example of great writing and aggressive playing like all albums. It’s back to the old school again in my opinion!
It is audible that music of MASTER is constantly deveops without losing own identity…
This is called longevity and style. Many bands sell out to trends, no Master. We always forge ahead with our brand of Metal!
How do you perceive the current Death Metal scene and its fans? Did you hear something contemporary?
Many metallers define MASTER as the forefathers of Death Metal. Would you give a blessing to some young band? Hahaha…
Sure if I saw one I liked!
Which does Death Metal style prefer you better?… American, like DEICIDE, CANNIBAL CORPSE or Swedish, like UNLEASHED or GRAVE?
None of these.
Also, MASTER is often called to as death-metal MOTORHEAD, so what do you think about bands playing style called Death’n’roll like ENTOMBED A.D. (ex-ENTOMBED) or GOREFEST?
Never really listened to these bands, except for Motorhead of course.
So, what Death Metal band do you listen to? Or maybe you are like Quorthon (R.I.P.) from BATHORY, who did not listen to Black Metal creating such music?
I only listen to Heavy Metal and old Rock n Roll bands like, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Venom, as well as bands like GBH, The Exploited and MDC, many of this material and these questions have been askede a million times before. You can find info across the internet or at master-speckmetal.net.
I play what I feel.
At concerts, sometimes you play a short solo, not necessarily in Metal style…
Solos are necessary as being original is a great thing.
Do you still sleep in a van with equipment instead of in hotels during your tours? I heard thet the rest of the band is instaled at different friends.
Not sure where you get your info, brother, but we tour in a bus mostly in Europe, sometimes in a van with hotels.
From some internet portal for which you gave an interview… And what about the technical team?
We don’t have a technical team unless we’re on the bus!
Such method is probably inexpensive but it isless comfortable…
And what about the afterparties?
What about them?
I mean spree and boozing after concerts…
Of course there are parties, but at 55 years old, this is by far the least important thing for me. Back in the day I was a party animal, but at a certain point in life you grow up.
Do you deal with merchandise of MASTER personally? If somebody would to get any merchandise with your autograph then he have to catch you during the concert?
I am the merchandiser at Master shows!
Once you said that music is not just a hobby but it is a lifestyle… So what is your lifestyle – as Death Metal maniac?
Hmm, good question, I write songs, practice the bass, go to the gym, cook, take walks in the forest, meet my friend for coffee, make wine and Slivovice and relax mainly between tours and shows.
So, quite decently, you give a good example of how to care yourself and have a good time… But you do not mention anything about your family…
My family is a private matter, I try to keep family and Metal separate my friend.
Even though you live in the Czech Republic, you’re still an American… What do you think about Donald Trump’s politics? He is a controversial president…
I write about these themes in my music, Subdue the politician for example!
And what is this book „Speckmann – Underground Survivor The Pictoral”?:
The book is what it says, a Pictorial about my life and all the bands I was and am involved with, there are stories and introductions to each chapter.
Do you still have Yorkies? How are they names?
Anthony and Luciano.
Paul, thanks! On the end, please inform us about your upcoming plans in 2018.
Tours and shows what else brother?
No, very thank you again for this interview. It was great an honour for me. Great respect!
Home: Parczew (Poland). Interests / Hobbies: music, musical journalism, oriental studies, anthropology, psychology, medicine, sociology. Favourite music genres: first of all the all genres of Metal, Hardcore and Progressive Rock as well as Gothic, Ambient, Classical Music, Ethnic Music, Sacred Music, Choral Music, Soundtracks, New Age Music, Folk Music i sometimes Jazz, Electro, Experimenta or Alternative Music... He co-founded magazine & webzine Born To Die'zine as Gnom.