Death metal legend Paul Speckmann gives his views on the world and "The New Elite"

interview master paul speckmann

Master’s eleventh studio album is something of a pure death metal force. Laden with classic tunes and a raw energy,  there is no slowing down for mastermind Paul Speckmann, so this was a perfect opportunity to question the legend and find out a little bit about the album and of course, Paul’s well versed views on the state of the world. Now if there was anyone that really should be leader of any country, then maybe we should be voting for this guy! 

Wow, big thumbs up for ‘The New Elite’, I feel it’s the most pleasing to date amongst you’re more recent efforts, have the results and praise been similar across the music media? 
Well surprisingly the reviews of the new CD are crushing. People really seem to love the New Elite, I just really hope the people buy the CD and don't just illegally download it. I found 5 sites before the CD was even released. I suppose maybe the record company leaked it, not sure. It's crappy today the way this happens especially to an underground band like Master. The bigger bands have nothing to fear with this but underground bands really suffer from this.

There seems to be two versions again of the album artwork, a difference between the vinyl and CD like ‘The Human Machine’. Do you do this to give us fans something different for each format?
Actually every time I send the release and artwork to my Czech vinyl producer Doomentia Records, he doesn't like the covers so he always has an idea for a new cover. In the end the new cover always looks cool and different from the original so I just go with it. As you said it's cool anyway to have different version available. These days vinyl has become important again so this is a special difference for the vinyl collectors.

Do you feel the album warrants a different presentation i.e. both forms are relevant and give a different, or maybe a similar view by way of visual expression?
Again as for the covers I usually just let the artist come up with an idea and if it looks cool I go for it. I admit for the Human Machine I had a special concept but this time I just let the music do the talking!

I know myself I ended up buying both versions of the last release, and will do again for ‘The New Elite’!
I like have several versions personally for my collection as well, so I understand brother!

What was the inspiration and concept behind both artworks and were these both completed by Mark Bridgeman?
The vinyl cover was done by Raul Gonzales Serrano and I like it very much to be honest. Death is in the air!

If there is one track off the new record that you had to sum up Master, its sound, its lyrical content, which one would it be?
‘Smile as you're told’ would pretty much do it for me. Master has always been a straight forward Metal machine and this song really sums up the absolute energy of this band. Today the governments of the world tell you to smile as you're told, when to wipe your ass and when to use your remote control. Today the world is in a sad state. Individuality has become a thing of the past. Human machines march to work on a daily basis and make more money for the larger machine.

It's really sad that the youth of today are so happy to take orders from the controllers. I am afraid that the new elite will be under complete control in the next few years unless the people get organized and revolt, but this seems to be the big question I guess. Will the youth figure it out or just lie down and take it?

Will you tour soon for this release? If so, will you venture to the USA as well as Europe?
July 21st Master- Immortal Shadows Kozlovice, Czech Rep

July 28th Master- Amageddon in the park-
August 18th Master- ŽELENICE u MOSTU (IL FES PT.7) Czech Rep
August 25th Master Brezovska Metalova Noc Festival vol.5. - Brezova u Sokolova, Czech Rep
August 30th Master Arschcholio Open-Air fest Stavenhagen, Germany
August 31st Master Kill-Town Death Fest- Copenhagen,Denmark
September 1st Master Death from the East 3 Schlosskeller Weisenfels, Germany
September 7th Master Dasslitz Schweinemast Open Air, Germany
September 8th - Deathstrike- Death Doomed The Age Festival-Pilgramsberg/Germany-Bavaria
September 9th Master Blue rose Saloon, Bresso (mi)
September 10th, Master- Lyss Kufa Carnage Feast, Switzerland
September 11th, Master La Rumeur, Lille, France
September 12th,Master Tilburg (Holland) Little Devil
September 13th, Master Brussel DNA club, Belgium
September 14th, Master Tannheim-Egelsee Club Schwarzer Adler, Germany

September 15th, Master, Lyss, Switzerland Carnage Feast

October 5th Abomination- Skullcrusher- Dresden, Germany

Master and Dehuman Tour
October 6th De Buze Club, Steenwijk, Holland
October 7th@ Elite of the dead fest Oostende, Belgium
October 9th @ Heretic Club, Bordeaux, France
October 11th @Traffic Live Club. Rome, Italy
October 12th @ Controsenso Club, Prato (nearfirenze) - Italy
October 13th @ Kulturcafé Schlachthaus Dornbirn, Austria

October 19th Master Master @ Schlachtfest (Metal Night X) in North Germany

November 3rd Master- UNITED FORCES FESTIVAL, Osterode/Harz (am Harz), Germany

November Brazilian Trek-Master

14.11 – Porto Alegre/RS (Brasil) @
15.11 – Curitiba/PR (Brasil) @
16.11 – Belo Horizonte/MG (Brasil) @
17.11 – TBA (Brasil)
18.11 – São Paulo/SP (Brasil) @ Carioca Club

Master Tour November 22nd Nov to 1st of Dec
November 22nd K17 Berlin, Germany

January 12th 2013- Master-HARDMETALFEST - PORTUGAL

January 26th BOGOTA, Colombia
January 27th PEREIRA, Colombia

Fri. March 1st - Los Angeles, CA
Sat.March 2nd - Sacramento, CA
Sun.March 3rd - Portland, OR
Mon.March 4th - Seattle, WA @ 2 Bit Saloon
Tue. March 5th - Boise, ID
Wed.March 6th - Salt Lake City, UT
Thu. March 7th - Cheyenne, WY @ Forum 619
Fri. March 8th - Manhattan, KS
Sat.March 9th - St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
Sun.March 10th - Madison, WI
Mon.March 11th - Chicago, IL
Tue. March 12th - Cleveland, OH
Wed. March 13th - Albany, NY @ Bogies NY
Thu. March 14th - Boston, MA @ Radio
Fri. March 15th - Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar
Sat. March 16th - Philadelphia, PA
Sun. March 17th - Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
Mon March 18th - OFF DAY -
Tue. March 19th - Nashville, TN
Wed.March 20th - New Orleans, LA
Thu. March 21st - Little Rock, AR
Fri. March 22nd - Oklahoma City, OK
Sat. March 23rd - Ft. Worth, TX
Sun. March 24th - Austin, TX@ Dirty Dog
Mon. March 25th - Midland, TX @ The Pinebox
Tue. March 26th - El paso, TX
Wed.March 27th - Tucson, AZ
Thu. March 28th - Phoenix, AZ
Fri. March 29th - Mexicali, MX
Sat. March 30th - Corona, CA
Sun. March 31st - Las Vegas, NV
Mon.April 1st - Fullerton, CA @ The Slidebar Rock N Roll Cafe

So that would be a pretty extensive tour schedule thenIs there anywhere in the world you would like to play, that you have not so far?
I am sure Master has never played in Japan or Australia; I would like to do this one day.

What “comforts” do you take with you whilst on tour? Do you read, listen to music, TV, video games, take in the local sights etc…
Jack Daniels and books are the most important thing on a tour for me as well as clean socks, shirts and underwear of course!

You have served the cause of death metal extensively over the years, what do you make of the music scene in general or in particular to the death metal circuit compared to when you first started in the industry?
Well when we began no one came to the shows in the USA, at least not very often. Today the scene is better but on the other hand it is saturated with clones of the past everywhere. Today originality is a thing of the past. People dress the same, act the same and even go as far as playing the same riffs as one another as well as getting the pro tools sound in the studio. We still try to sound different than everyone else and I feel we still accomplish this with every new release! When you buy a Master record you know what you are getting aggressive natural brutality dictated by the way things are in society at a particular time and place in history.

What advice would you give to new, young bands first starting out on their musical journey?
Be weary of managers, record company contracts and label bosses, they all can be very tricky.

Are you working with any of your other past projects at the moment? e.g. anything to do with Death Strike, Abomination etc?

With the recent Death Strike re-release, did you have full control of that release, its content etc?
Yes, I certainly admit the bonus tracks from the garage are terrible, but the layout of the release is much better than the original so I was at least pleased with the way this came out. I also look forward to playing the CD live for the first time ever at the Death Doomed The Age festival in Bavaria on September 8th 2012 along with the songs from the first Master release as well only for this one special concert.

No interview with your good self would be complete without having a chat about politics and the state of the world. You left the USA for the Czech Republic quite some time ago, I read you felt that you had more freedom without “big brother” watching you, do you still feel the same now in 2012 as you did then?
Well let's face it the European Union is no better as they force the rules and ideas down people’s throats while gambling with the budgets of Italy, Spain and Greece, what's next. Obviously the corruption in these countries is at the highest levels. It's like a similar situation with aid to Africa. The warlords keep the money and it rarely ever reaches the people. It's time to overthrow all governments and make a new start! Of course every country has its problems with political and governmental corruption. But freedom still exists in Europe in my opinion. When I fly here from anywhere in the world with the exception of Schipol airport there are never any questions for me, but in the USA they want to know where I have been, what I am doing and if I have any money with me! You have to laugh at the Americans with all the fuss about illegal immigration especially with the Hispanic situation. The Americans seem to forget that most of the Southwest once belonged to Mexico. The people are just returning home!

What do you make of this “European Crisis” we are in at the moment. Do you think there is a plausible way of us ending this “crisis”?
Sure, bring down the politicians and spread the wealth!

Are we too “soft” on the financial markets and their questionable “ethics”?
Yes of course, the power mongers have way too much control. The pork bellies are criminal’s period.

Do you feel certain governments involvement in wars in the Middle East (that may have no direct influence on their society) should end now and maybe this would help reduce various debts?
Definitely, forcing democracy on lands that aren't interested in the American ethical situation is idiocy they should be left destroy themselves!

Has the Czech economy suffered badly recently?
Things are still fine here surprisingly with the exception of the numerous new tax increases and fees every year for petrol, cigarettes, and property taxes.

Has anything changed for you personally or anything you have observed changing in yours or other people’s lives since you have been resident there?
Sure the European Union is sending money over here to revamp entire cities and villages; I guess this is Germany at its finest. Also you can find homeless people wandering the streets pissing and shitting in their pants, but I suppose this is normal in every free society so I just have to smile and keep working!

Thank you ever so much for your time, good luck with ‘The New Elite’, hopefully we will see you on tour.