Destruction Interview


Heat in 7
Apr 17, 2001
Southern California

By Rodrigo

This interview happened almost 2 months ago and I thought it was going to be lost forever until I found the tape just this past weekend. I was very relieved because this turned out to be a great conversation with Schmier about the new album The Antichrist and the band in general. Thank you to Schmier and to Nuclear Blast!


Ultimate Metal: What were the reasons for the resurfacing of Destruction?
Schmier: I didn’t want to reform Destruction. The fans kind of forced us to do that actually. It’s been the major question for the longest time: "Why don’t you?" To hear that question a hundred times of course you start thinking about it. You start thinking if people really need that. After Mike also saw that people were asking for it, we first talked about 3 years ago or even longer than that. The first time we talked we discussed if we should do it, if we can do it and if it would work. Mike doesn’t care about trends, he just cared about the music and at that time he didn’t think it would be the right decision. I showed him that people were still interested in Destruction. After the first practice that we tried just to see if it would work Mike was totally into it.

UM: Its definitely great to have you back.
S: Thank you! If it weren’t for the fans we would not have done it. I was really skeptic about it. I was sure it wouldn’t be so easy. We have trying to create a lot and practice a lot and give people what they gave us. I think its worked pretty good so far and hopefully it will continue this way.

UM: Any particular reason why you went back to Abyss Studios to record the new album?
S: Peter is a great guy, he is a Destruction fan and he knows his shit. He knows a lot about new metal. Not the "nu-metal" thing but new metal bands. Destruction wanted to have a sound that is fitting in the new days that doesn’t sound like an old fashion production. Of course we are playing old school metal but we wanted to have a great production sound. Peter has one of the best studios. Some things were not perfect but I think he did a really good job.

UM: The sound for The Antichrist is so loud and aggressive and in your face.
S: We are not a difficult band. It’s really easy to produce us. Peter didn’t want to change the band. He was taping the band the way it is. That’s what makes the album strong. He didn’t change anything. He helped us a little bit in details but that’s it. I think the album is really good. The Antichrist is the result of what we learned from the last album and from being on the road. The important thing is that we don’t have to change like be progressive or modern. We stick to what we can do best and that’s why the album sounds the way it does.

UM: The Antichrist is one of the best releases of the year. How proud are you of the final result?
S: What I see right now is that the reactions from a lot of people are really good. Fans are reacting very well to this album. On All Hell Breaks Loose the press was really excited about it. But this time the fans are really happy with it. On the website and people talking to us, people are having great feelings on the album. It helps when you have good criticism from the press but the most important thing for us is the reaction of the fans, to satisfy them with the music. What is happening right now with The Antichrist is that many are calling it the best Destruction album. That is something very difficult for me to say because I have a lot of memories of the old albums that made the band popular. Right now old school fans are saying that the best album is one of the older albums and newer fans are saying that it’s The Antichrist. It gives me tears in my eyes to see that I did the right thing back then and now. This is great to see, compared to the old stuff it’s difficult to top that because they are classic albums.

UM: I don’t think you can fairly compare both eras of Destruction. It’s just two totally different eras.
S: Of course the 80’s are different, it was the beginning of everything.


UM: Exactly. In the context of right now The Antichrist is an excellent album compared with other 2001 releases. It belongs right in the top.
S: Thank you! Some people may call us old fashion but fuck we are not going to follow trends. Whenever we record we don’t care about trends. That’s why the band survived for so many years, not being a part of the scene just being a part of a legacy. That’s pretty nice that our friends are appreciating what we are doing. We are not trying to be different from the past but of course we are not going to sound like an 80’s band. It’s impossible, there was a big break in between those years and we just did what we could do best. Some people will dig it and others will say it’s not necessary. But fuck them!

UM: When you were writing and recording the music did you get the feeling that this was going to be a very special record? That it had a lot of promise?
S: It’s always the vibes when you write songs that are very important. Its stuff that catches you, that gives you Goosebumps, that give you a special feeling when it’s happening. I think on some part when we wrote the music, I would be sitting and I couldn’t move anymore and I would think, "WOW! This song is so cool!" I think you need a special magic to do a special album. We had the magic this time. Right now people are telling us how we are going to top this album. I don’t know how we will do that. It’s been a great year for us. We could feel that the songs were working. We would hang out in the studio with some beers and friends would come down and say, "This stuff is so cool!" I know they are my friends and they don’t lie to me or come up with fake opinions. They tell me the truth in my face.

UM: What are some of your favorite songs on The Antichrist?
S: I think it’s difficult to say this time. In the last album it was easier because there are a couple of songs that I really like. On The Antichrist it’s difficult to say that I don’t like any songs. The favorites are "Thrash ‘Till Death" because of all the special riffing, the words that are dedicated to my life, our life, Destruction’s life. "Nailed to the Cross" is like the song for the future for the next generation. I think a lot of the songs will be great live like "The Heretic". Even a song like "Meet Your Destiny" which is different from the rest or a song like, oh fuck I can’t remember this song. We have been practicing it a lot but I can’t remember which one it is. The important thing is that the all the songs will sound very cool live. This is what we didn’t have on All Hell Breaks Loose. Some of those songs just didn’t work like others in the live situation. This is what makes The Antichrist stronger. We have been practicing the songs live and they sound great and they are for a 3-piece band.

UM: Two songs that I think would work great live are "Bullets from Hell" and "Nailed to the Cross".
S: "Bullets from Hell" is actually the first song we wrote for the new album. Its the closest one to All Hell Breaks Loose and if it would have been on that album it would have been one of the best songs on it. It’s a song that has great riffing and a good chorus. We had a competition on the website to what people thought was the best song and "Bullets from Hell", "Thrash ‘Till Death" and "Nailed to the Cross" were the top three. For the rest of songs people said that they just couldn’t decide on which of those were better. It was pretty easy to see that most everyone agreed on the top three but afterwards people couldn’t choose because they liked every song. This is something we didn’t have for All Hell Breaks Loose. People liked "Butcher Strikes Back" and there was a big gap with the other songs.

UM: I don’t want to choose what are my top 3 songs from The Antichrist. I would be up all night trying to decide.
S: (Laughs) The funny thing is that we didn’t work any different from All Hell Breaks Loose. It’s just that the band had more experience for this album.

UM: It sounds like you aren’t too happy with All Hell Breaks Loose.
S: I am happy with it but the pressure was there to make a good album. There are definitely 3 songs in there that I would not do anymore, I would change them because of the experience I have now. I would rearrange them, I would change guitar parts but those are things you do afterwards after you listen to the album for so many times and you can change songs live. When we recorded them they were good and we liked them but when we started playing them live I could tell that the feeling wasn’t there. This time we changed that. I think all songs on the new album are all good songs to play live. I actually love that album. It was great album to comeback with and to follow it up with a great tour. We had great response from the crowd.

UM: Do you think you would ever get a second guitarist again?
S: No, I don’t think so. Mike is so comfortable right now. He is at the top of his game playing right now. Mike has perfected the Destruction sound. We split up because we had too many problems in the past with the second guitar player and right now Mike at the top of his career. So why should we get a second guitar player? The team is working perfectly. Of course in some parts a second guitarist would help in a live show but we didn’t record to many guitars for this album. I think the only big overdubs are on the lead guitar parts. Mike is a very good lead guitar part. He shows great emotions and not really a lot of technical shit. It’s working really nice and when you see Destruction: live you won’t need a second guitar. Mike is a great player and we will continue as a 3-piece band.

UM: The front cover is also the perfect personification of the music and lyrics of the album. I actually have it as my Desktop background for my computer.
S: Awesome! Actually, it’s a little up to date with what’s going on right now in America. We are a band that doesn’t hide from what’s happening in the world.


UM: It reminds me of the Infernal Overkill cover.
S: Exactly! That’s what the idea behind the cover is about. I love this cover and we can use live and we have great live ideas to use it. The idea was to have our skull and the exploding world together. It shows the name Destruction, it shows the way the world is today and I think its a lot better than showing Dragons and all that other shit that you see in metal covers right now. (Laughs)

UM: It seems like so many bands do that now.
S: There is only one word for that: CHEESY!! (We both have a good laugh)

UM: Do you think you might re-record any other old songs, like you did with "Total
S: People are asking for that terribly right now. We recorded "Curse the Gods" for the first limited edition pressing in Germany. On that song 80% of people said that it was amazing and they told us that we have to re-record older songs. I am not into that promotional stuff. We might put a second CD on the next album that contains re-recorded songs. We will see how we plan to handle that. We did that for the European fans, for those who bought the album first and it’s a hidden track. We won’t put a lot of emphasis on it. I don’t like that. Of course, it would be cool to re-record all the old stuff but we have to find out the situation with our old label. Things are not sure right now. We had a bad contract so we have to figure out the little details. We will see. Nothing is for sure.

UM: I read on your website about that hidden track and when I got the album I was expecting it but it was not on it. I didn’t think it was just for Europe.
S: I didn’t even know that. I thought it was going to be in the American version too. I don’t know why they didn’t do that. For the next release I have to be clearer what they plan to do because I always thought that all versions would be the same. I was disappointed about that but I don’t know why. But with all the other shit that went on with the release of the album I guess it’s just a cursed release. (Laughs)

UM: That story was completely crazy.
S: It kept on happening. We heard weird reports from all over the place.

UM: Any possibility you are going to release a live album?
S: That’s another possibility. Do two CD’s with all our best songs played live. We can do it with Peter and it would sound very amazing.

UM: Is any of the Headhunter material available? (Headhunter was Schmier's band when he got kicked out of Destruction)
S: I plan to re-release them. I don’t want to get in the way of the Destruction: releases so that will wait. I don’t have the time right now and I don’t want to do a shit release. I want to do a good job with these releases and it needs time to figure out a great way to put it out for the fans. If I have time after the next Destruction: tour maybe I will do it. But it’s also kind of selling out. Destruction: is popular again and then the Headhunter albums come out again, its kind of cheesy. There are people asking for it and if there is a good response for it I will think of doing it.

UM: What do you think of the albums Cracked Brain and Human Cannonball? (Albums that Destruction: put out without Schmier.)
S: I think that the Cracked Brain album is a disastrous release. It does have good riffs and good tunes but it’s a disaster because the band chemistry at the time was so difficult at that time. I don’t like to think too much of it and listen to it because there is a lot of bad stuff. The songs turned out better in the end because in the beginning they were shit! Now people are rediscovering again because of the history and some of the good music it has. Mike probably thinks there is some good stuff in those albums.

UM: Is the Destruction:, Kreator, Sodom tour going to occur in the US?
S: I think there is a big possibility for that. People are asking for it and making us offers. Right now we are focusing on doing a successful tour in Europe. The first thing is to prove to people that thrash metal can still be successful and that its up to date. Many people don’t believe that. If it’s successful in Europe then it could open the possibility for a US tour. Of course, the costs will be higher in America with the 3 bands. So we have to see and hopefully it will happen.


UM: I hope so too. It’s an incredible line-up.
S: Yeah! It’s the 3 originators of European thrash metal.

UM: That’s pretty much it Schmier! Thanks a lot for your time!
S: Thanks! Hopefully we will see you in an American tour pretty soon. It won’t happen until summer next year. People want it and hopefully we will go to the US.

Destruction Official Website
Ultimate Metal The Antichrist review
Nuclear Blast Website