Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, March 18, 2013

Interview with Don Anderson of Agalloch on Chuck Schuldiner

Don Anderson - Agalloch

So I recently had the HUGE honor of getting Don Anderson from Agalloch to answer some questions for me on the late great Chuck Schuldiner for my project. I hope you guys like the interview, and if for some reason you don't know Agalloch GO LISTEN TO THEM RIGHT NOW. 

Remember, if you want to get involved with the project, shoot me an e-mail at

Can you talk a little bit about your experience with Chuck Schuldiners music?
I bought “Human” when it came out and was immediately taken with it. Prior to getting into death metal I was, like most people my age, listening to and brought up on traditional metal and thrash/speed metal. But, I always preferred technical metal and loved albums like “Beneath the Remains” and “And Justice For All;” I actually preferred long songs with lots of riffs crammed into it, which the latter album perfected. I always wanted more extreme and brutal music and still had not seen a perfect merging of brutality and technicality until I heard “Human” for the first time. From there I followed the whole “death-jazz” scene made up of similar bands like Cynic and Atheist. But, I think Death really started the whole tech-death thing.

How do you think it evolved lyrically over the course of his career?
I suppose the gore element is obligatory for most Death Metal bands and particularly those earlier ones. But, definitely by “Spiritual Healing” the lyrics became more existential and philosophical and this approach really reached an apex with “Symbolic.” Existential and introspective lyrics were ground breaking in extreme music where one either adopted a complete “gore” style a la Cannibal Corpse, or total satanism like Deicide. I remember trying to decode the lyrics on “Human” as much as the music itself.

How do you think Schuldiners guitar playing evolved over the course of his career?
His soloing became more melodic and complex. I noticed him playing with larger interval relationships later—something perhaps taken from jazz and fusion players and most likely his peer Paul Masvidal. He really emerged into an underrated and brilliant lead guitarist following “Human.”

How do you think Schuldiners growling style evolved over the course of his career?
It seemed to get higher which I thought melded nicely with the down-tuned guitars. It mixed well and cut through better.

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