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.”