Ex-Death Drummer Kam Lee Says It Was “A Bad Choice Of Wording” To Say Chuck Schuldiner “Ripped Off Possessed’

As previously reported, ex-Death drummer Kam Lee recently made headlines after saying that the band’s frontman Chuck Schuldiner “ripped off Possessed.” Now, during an interview with VWMusic, Lee further addressed his comments saying that it was “a bad choice of wording.”

Lee said the following about the assertion that Death created death metal:

“Man, you really just keep wanting to stir up this pot of trouble, don’t you? [Laughs]. Asking my opinion is like asking me to expose my belly to a churning chainsaw of opinionated know-it-alls. They’re all out to gut me for just once sleeping in the same room as their chosen “metal messiah.” Fuck, it’s like you want to get me in so much fucking trouble, and you want me to say something that’s going to get somebody wanting to use a baseball bat across my kneecaps. [Laughs]. Look, I’m not going to say that Death started the death metal genre. I’m not going to say that they didn’t start the death metal genre. I will say we were there at the beginning with a lot of other bands. You can’t ignore the facts, and the facts show that guys like Killjoy and Necrophagia were there in 1985. You had Paul Speckman of Master, Tom Warrior of Hellhammer, and Jeff of Possessed there too. There were so many great people during the early days, and all had essential parts in the creation of it.”

He continued when asked about his claim that Schuldiner “ripped off Possessed”:

“Bro! It’s like you want to get me killed. My bad. [Laughs]. I guess that was actually a bad choice of wording. Saying “ripped off” makes it sound bad. I guess the proper wording should be “took heavy influence from.” Although, you could say that I ripped off Hellhammer and Tom G. from Warrior, and I’m not going to get butt hurt about it. I won’t because it’s fact. Yet, some people don’t care about facts. They just want to keep believing the fiction they bought into because it fits the messianic mold their “hero-worshipping” icons have been fitted for. It disrupts their ideology and topples the tower when they hear their gods might not be as almighty as they once believed. It’s that same sunken feeling when a kid for the first time is discovering that just maybe Santa Claus is not real. It hurts their feelings. Worse yet are those others out there manipulating those people who are hurt. Some people are just trying to jump on the pity party bandwagon with that one. I got a lot of hate from that statement, though it wasn’t intended to downplay Chuck’s influence on music, but rather to end the debate of who came first Death or Possessed. Sadly, morons spun it to change the narrative, to fit their agenda, and to further instigate and cause strife.

Do I feel Chuck’s influence is overstated? Let me put it this way – for the “product and commodity,” his legacy became post-mortem. In order to keep reselling and repressing albums, it’s exactly what it’s being marketed as. No, it’s actually exactly what one should expect from a product sales pitch. I mean, you’ve got to make sure that your product is the people’s choice, right? It’s Coca-Cola vs Pepsi. McDonald’s vs Burger King. Starbucks vs Dunkin Donuts. In the end, the company with the better commercial is always going to win over the masses.”

This news comes after Possessed frontman Jeff Becerra recently said that Schuldiner “was like [his] protégé.”

Possessed’s Jeff Becerra on Death’s Chuck Schuldiner: “Me And Chuck Were Friends, He Literally Was Like My Protégé”

Metalheads have often argued about the origins of death metal and whether Possessed, who released “Seven Churches” in 1985, or Death, who released “Scream Bloody Gore” in 1987, deserve the credit for its creation. Now, during a recent appearance on “The Haunting Chapel” podcast, Possessed frontman Jeff Becerra shared his thoughts on the debate saying that Death frontman Chuck Schuldiner “was like [his] protégé.”

Becerra said the following:

“We [POSSESSED] were selling ourselves as a death metal band, and that was what we went with. And to this day, it’s both a blessing and a curse because it’s highly debated and contested. And we literally, after I got shot, certain revisionists tried to block me out of history. The POSSESSED Wiki is the most vandalized page of Wikipedia. There was a certain person — he recently passed away — that was just relentlessly retitling our YouTube, moving our dates forward, messing with the timeline. It was like a battle. When I left, we were the death metal guys. When I came back, it was no more. So I had to fight for my own history back, which was weird. ‘Cause there’s no cool way to do that, because it sounds like you’re tooting your own horn.

I’m not saying I created death metal; I’m saying POSSESSED was the first death metal band. And it’s a bone of contention with many DEATH fans. And because of the way that their management spun it and the way that the magazines spun it… Remember, me and Chuck were friends. He literally was like my protégé. He moved out to Antioch; he lived at the [house of the then-]POSSESSED fan club [president Krystal Mahoney]. He was pen paling for a while and tape trading. And he very much modeled himself after me. I was so honored because, remember, I’m just a young teenager. But he was the first person to really get what we were doing, what I was doing, and he was the first person that really understood what it was about. And he was so smart that way because it was undefined and so hard to explain what it is, without putting rules on it, because the last thing you wanna do is put rules on anything and stifle it. But he would just grasp it; he loved it. He said, ‘Listen, Jeff. I sound just like you.’ And he was proud of that. And I was proud of him. And there was a bromance going there. It was a respect.

I’ve never been jealous of another band. I’ve never claimed anything that wasn’t mine. And it’s just so obscure to see people trying to claim what they know they wouldn’t do in front of me. They know what they didn’t do; I was fucking there. And I’m not hating on anybody, but it’s a very coveted position.

What makes me mad is when the magazines spin this ‘DEATH or POSSESSED, DEATH versus POSSESSED.’ And it even tainted the relationship between DEATH and POSSESSED, and that pisses me off, because we were friends.

I realize that metal is supposed to be fun, but there’s also something very valid about true history and not revising stuff — not just with POSSESSED but any band. And the way it’s spun is, like, bands will exaggerate what they did and the writers will be eager to impress who they’re writing about, because the last thing a writer wants is for the band to go, ‘This is fucking fucked up.’

In the old days, it was very truthful. People did their research. They didn’t have clickbait. There was no ‘POSSESSED versus DEATH.’ I hate that shit. Because if Chuck was alive today, I’d like [us to] collaborate. And I don’t like it fucking with my remembrance of what it really was. I like the history. Maybe I’m being weird about it, but I think that the truth is so much better than the tale.”

This news comes after ex-Death drummer Kam Lee made headlines for saying Schuldiner “ripped off Possessed.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Ex-Death Drummer Kam Lee Says Chuck Schuldiner “Ripped Off Possessed”

Metalheads have often argued about the origins of death metal and whether Possessed, who released “Seven Churches” in 1985, or Death, who released “Scream Bloody Gore” in 1987, deserve the credit for its creation. Now, during a recent appearance on the “That Metal Interview” podcast, ex-Death drummer Kam Lee offered his thoughts on the debate, saying that he believes Death frontman Chuck Schuldiner “ripped off Possessed.”

Lee said the following [via Blabbermouth]:

“I’ll admit this, and I’ll say this straight out, ’cause I know there’s an argument all the time, who was first — was it DEATH or was it POSSESSED? Well, I will tell you POSSESSED was first, and I will tell you why. Because Chuck heard what Jeff [Becerra] was doing and Chuck wanted to emulate Jeff. I was there — I was there in the beginning.

There was times when we were living here in Florida before Chuck moved to California, and Chuck and I both started off as tapetraders back in the day. And I remember, if you go back to before we were DEATH, we were called MANTAS. If you look at some of the hand-drawn logos of MANTAS, the MANTAS logo, there’s the logo with the devil’s tail on it, on the ‘M’. That’s completely stolen from the original POSSESSED logo, the devil’s tail.

I’ll say this now, ’cause [former DEATH manager] Eric Greif has passed, he’s deceased, but this is stuff that he didn’t want me to tell people. That’s why I was denied ever being interviewed for the DEATH movie, the DEATH documentary [‘Death By Metal’]. They denied me, because they didn’t want me to say these certain things, because how are you gonna sell a documentary about DEATH if I come on and tell everybody, ‘Nah, that’s not really how it was’? So they didn’t want me on there — they absolutely refused to talk to me on there. They didn’t want me to come up and say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was the one that drew the DEATH logo, not Chuck.’ They didn’t want me to tell everybody I’m the one that created that. And they didn’t want me to tell everybody, ‘Oh, well, Chuck ripped off POSSESSED.’ They wanted to sell it like Chuck created it, because they were selling a product. And if you’ve got somebody come and say, ‘Well, that’s not exactly how that product works.’ Kind of like the [fast food chicken restaurant chain] KFC. I’m sorry, but it wasn’t [KFC founder] Colonel Sanders that came up with a special recipe; some other guy came up with it. So that’s really what it was.”

Unsurprisingly, some have already taken issue with Lee’s comments including former Death guitarist Rick Rozz, who said the following on social media:

“SORRY CAN’T LET THIS ONE SLIDE MY FRIENDS, HMMM… BELITTLING THE DEAD, HOW LOW CAN YOU GO? SO… LET ME BE BLUNT, THE REASON THIS P.O.S. NARCISSISTIC, REVISIONIST WASN’T INCLUDED IN THE DEATH BY METAL DOCUMENTARY IS… IN A PRINTED INTERVIEW HE WARNS CHUCK THAT HE BETTER WATCH OUT OR HIS MOM WILL BE SONLESS ONCE AGAIN, REASON ENOUGH? OH… YEAH… AND AT LEAST CHUCK DIDN’T GET ON STAGE AT SHOWBIZ PIZZA IN WHITE SPANDEX WITH LEPPARD SPOTTED LEG WARMERS LIP SINKING TO I WANNA BE SOMEBODY BY W.A.S.P. THAT’S REALLY DEATH METAL BARNEY, TRUE COLORS UNTIL THE END. CHEERS & PEACE”

Death’s “Non:Analog – On:Stage Series” To Be Released On Vinyl And CD In July

Death’s “Non:Analog – On:Stage Series” will be coming to vinyl and CD on July 15. Pre-orders can be found HERE. The series includes the following live albums:

  • “Death: Non Analog – On Stage Series – Belgium 12-23-1991”
  • “Death: Non Analog – On Stage Series – Montreal 06-22-1995”
  • “Death: Non Analog – On Stage Series – New Rochelle, NY 12-03-1988”
  • “Death: Non Analog – On Stage Series – TIJUANA 10-09-1990“

More Artists Added To Upcoming Tribute Shows For Late Death Frontman Chuck Schuldiner

More artists have been added to the upcoming tribute shows for late Death frontman Chuck Schuldiner. The concerts will take place at The Brass Mug in Tampa, FL on December 11-12 and they will find Living Monstrosity performing “Spiritual Healing” in full and Symbolic performing songs from “Human,” “Individual Thought Patterns,” “Symbolic,” and “The Sound Of Perseverance.” Here’s the updated lineups for those groups;

Living Monstrosity:

* James Murphy (ex-Death, ex-Obituary)
* Terry Butler (Obituary, ex-Death)
* Gus Rios (Gruesome)
* Matt Harvey (Gruesome, Exhumed)

Symbolic:

* Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, ex-Death)
* Bobby Koelble (ex-Death)
* Kelly Conlon (ex-Death, ex-Monstrosity)
* Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth, ex-Soilwork)
* Max Phelps (Exist)
* Leo Lozano (Symbolic)

Former Death Manager Eric Greif Passes Away

Former Death manager and president of Perseverance Holdings Ltd., Eric Greif has sadly passed away at the age of 59. According to Blabbermouth, “Greif was reportedly an insulin-dependent diabetic for much of his life, which was briefly cured by a pancreas transplant, but it failed a few months later and health continued to be a struggle for him.” He was also seeking a kidney donor before his death. The following message was posted on Death’s Facebook page:

“The world has lost an absolute warrior and proponent for metal and music in general. Eric was first introduced into my life as a child when he was chucks manager and friend then later on in my late twenties when we met in Philadelphia to strike up a deal with relapse records to finally give chucks legacy a proper home. All of you are enjoying chucks music on all of these wonderful platforms and releases now because of this man. Eric was average in physical stature but once he opened his mouth there was no doubt he was a giant. He was a loving father and one of the most articulate and interesting men I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Please keep his mother and children in your thoughts. The art of existence is fragile indeed…..”

Ex-Death Members James Murphy And Terry Butler To Perform “Spiritual Healing” In Full During Chuck Schuldiner Tribute Shows

Former Death guitarist James Murphy and bassist Terry Butler will be commemorating the 20th anniversary of frontman Chuck Schuldiner’s death with two tribute shows at The Brass Mug in Tampa, FL. The concerts will be held on December 11-12 and they will find Murphy and Butler playing “Spiritual Healing” in full with Gruesome drummer Gus Rios and Exhumed frontman Matt Harvey. Death tribute band Symbolic will also perform.

Watch Former Death Bassist Steve DiGiorgio Perform “Overactive Imagination” With Interludio Duo

Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, ex-Death) has joined forces with Interludio Duo for a string cover of Death’s “Overactive Imagination.” You can check that out below:

[via Metal Injection]

Listen To Previously Unreleased Live Recordings Of The Late Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom) Singing Death’s “Within The Mind” And “Defensive Personalities”

Journalist and author Björn “Nalle” Österman has paid tribute to the late Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom) and the late Chuck Schuldiner (Death) by releasing live audio of Laiho singing Death’s “Within The Mind” and “Defensive Personalities” during a March 1, 2002 memorial concert for Schuldiner at Nosturi in Helsinki, Finland. Laiho performed the tracks with a supergroup called Evil Chucks. That band consisted of guitarist Mitja Harvilahti (Moonsorrow), guitarist Janne Perttilä (Moonsorrow, Barren Earth), bassist Oppu Laine (Amorphis, Chaosbreed, Barren Earth), drummer Nalle Österman (Gandalg, Chaosbreed), and several guest vocalists.

[via Blabbermouth]