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Schmier – Bass and Vocals for Destruction

Date: 2/28/06
Interviewed By: Rich Catino



1. How successful was your tour with Kreator in the States a few years ago? Was there a lack of audience the reason why Destruction has not been back?

SCHMIER: I think it was pretty successful given since then Kreator has been back for two more tours with one going on right now. But those guys also have an American manager so that helps and something we don't have. Its hard to get a tour going without that. Also I don't think Thrash Metal is really that big in the States and for a German band to come over and do a tour that often is not that easy. Kreator is the only thrash band I think that has done it recently. We've been trying but its hard, I hope after we do this run with Vader and Kataklysm we can come back sooner than later.

2. There was talk of Destruction, Sodom and Kreator touring the U.S. together. Was there are truth to those plans?

SCHMIER: Yes there was an idea but everybody has their different schedules going on to coordinate plus it's a bit expensive. Its also hard to convince Tom from Sodom because he wants a certain amount of money and he doesn't like going on the road for too long. He has to realize that you are not going to get payed as much as you want in the States. I talked to him about this before and I told him he just has to calm down on the money situation. Its still a plan of the future and I hope it happens some day. I heard that Sodom just did some shows in the States and that went well. Its always better to play shows along the coast. It would be great to bring that package to North, South and Central America .

3. Who or what is the inventor of evil? In reference to the title of the latest Destruction cd.

SCHMIER: Well mankind is the inventor of evil and the most cruel being on the planet, that's why the butcher has returned on the cover, he stands for mankind looking in the mirror at himself.

4. So that answers my next question….how did the butcher return to grace the cover once again for a Destruction album and do you think he will return again?

SCHMIER: Well we though of bringing the butcher back for some time but its kinda cheesy to do the same thing all the time so that's why its been so long since he has been part of Destruction's artwork. But with the title “Inventor of evil” it was a good time to bring him back. Plus, the butcher has become a symbol of Destruction and an important part of our history so it was a good time for him to return. The artwork is great it was done by some unknown Hungarian artist, we didn't want some artist who was already burned out so this was good and a nice fresh take on the butcher. I think if we have the right idea for it the butcher will come back. Actually we are working on a Best Of collection and it would cool to incorporate a lot of the past artwork used for the Destruction covers.

5. So how did you become involved in this tour with Vader and Kataklysm?

SCHMIER: After Nuclear Assault dropped off the bill we were asked right away. We are friends with Vader and Kataklysm and have toured with them before so this was a perfect opportunity to return to the States. I mean we are not expecting the best crowds because these are kind of underground bands you know but it's a good billing. This time also we have had enough time to promote these shows in advance. We play about 45 minutes and will basically do a lot of classics, all killer no filler. Not a lot of talk… just thrash till death.

6. How do your albums sell in the States?

SCHMIER: Could be better of course, being on an independent label is tough. We get a lot of complaints from fans its hard to find our albums. It's the same thing everywhere though being on a small label, just not enough distribution because its not big record companies putting it out. The legacy of the band is what is important and that's what will bring the fans always.

7. I have a question about an album I like a lot “Release From Agony”. On that album you brought in a second guitarist and for the kind of complex thrash you write I found it very accommodating. Why was the two guitar team not followed through to future albums?

SCHMIER: Its hard to find a second guitarist to fit into the band. I remember when Harry came into the band is when all the problems started and it divided Destruction. It was all about the guitars and trouble at the time. You know for the live situation its nice for the solo parts but then again I like the three pieces like Motorhead. With three people its only three opinions, the more people the more trouble sometimes. Plus Mike has a real good guitar sound and switches between leads and rhythm well.

8. After you left the band guitarist Mike kept the band going and released a couple albums. What do you think of those?

SCHMIER: At the time when I left we were working on “Cracked Brain” and we couldn't agree on anything, it took three weeks to record just guitars. We were fighting about a lot of shit so when the recording for “Cracked Brain” came about I wasn't in the band anymore. I heard it because when it came out I wanted to hear what it sounded like with a different singer and I think its alright and has some good songs. It still sounds like a Destruction album but I think what came out after consisted of a totally different lineup with different opinions, those really don't sound like Destruction. If you like Mike riffs you may like some of it but I don't consider those real Destruction albums.

9. Is there talks about remastering the classic albums “Sentence of Death” E.P., “Infernal Overkill”, “Mad Butcher” E.P., “Eternal Devastation”, and “Release from Agony”?

SCHMIER: Yes there has been but we have some issues to patch up first with out old labels before that happens. I know those albums are only available with two albums on one disc, cheap covers without proper artwork and no liner notes.

“Butcher” is together with “Devastation” and “Sentence” is with “Infernal”. Still they are hard to find. Its time to do proper reissues for them. The first E.P. definitely needs some more balls, right now unmastered it has a lot of high end and we need to play around with the frequencies. Hopefully they will be re-released as they originally were as individual albums but it depends I guess on how much extra material we dig up. If they are re packaged as two albums on one disc it would nice to have them at a special price then.

10. Were there any promo videos off those albums from the 80's?

SCHMIER: No real official videos, a few TV appearances like we did something for “Reject Emotions” on German TV. “Bestial Invasion” also which is on our DVD but not very good quality.

11. Speaking of reissuing and remastering albums, what about Headhunter the band you started after you left Destruction?

SCHMIER: Same situation as with Destruction, we had about three different companies who worked with Headhunter so we are trying to find out who has the rights and tapes to those so they can also get some new life being reissued and remastered. Those are even harder to get than Destruction albums. I know when I was in Japan there were some still available because maybe at the time more were pressed. There is definitely interest in getting those back in stores, I hope we get distribution for those in the States.

12. What's going on for the rest of 06?

SCHMIER: We have this tour with Vader and Kataklysm, going to North, Central and South America , summer festivals. The Best Of collection later in the year which will include some rerecorded songs and some options for future setlist. We may have the fans vote for what the people like also on our website.

13. Any other projects aside from Destruction?

SCHMIER: I am working on some songs that maybe don't fit into Destruction and I am not sure if Mike from Destruction will be playing guitars , its a little more traditional Heavy Metal like Headhunter. I like this Priest influenced metal.

Official website: www.destruction.de

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